Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Israeli researchers develop cancer vaccine, world yawns

by Carl in Jerusalem
 Here's hoping that the BDS'ers will at least have the intellectual honesty to boycott this one too. Israeli researchers have come up with a vaccine - it's still being tested - that fights off certain common kinds of cancers (Hat Tip: Tundra Tabloids).
Scientists have, however, found that a molecule called MUC1, which is found in high amounts on the surface of cancer cells, can be used to help the immune system detect tumours.

The new vaccine, developed by drug company Vaxil Biotheraputics along with researchers at Tel Aviv University, uses a small section of the molecule to prime the immune system so that it can identify and destroy cancer cells.

A statement from Vaxil Biotheraputics said: "ImMucin generated a robust and specific immune response in all patients which was observed after only 2-4 doses of the vaccine out of a maximum of 12 doses.

"In some of the patients, preliminary signs of clinical efficacy were observed."

The results are still to be formally published but if further trials prove to be successful the vaccine could be available within six years.

As a therapeutic vaccine it is designed to be given to patients who are already suffering from cancer to help their bodies fight off the disease rather than to prevent disease in the first place.

Cancer cells contain high levels of MUC1 as it is thought to be involved helping tumours grow. Healthy human cells also contain MUC1, but have levels that are too low to trigger the immune system after vaccination.

When a vaccinated patient's immune system encounters cancer cells, however, the far larger concentration of MUC1 causes it to attack and kill the tumour.

As MUC1 is found in 90 per cent of all cancers, the researchers believe it could be used to combat the growth and spread of a wide range of cancers.

In a safety trial at the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem, ten patients suffering from multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, have now received the vaccine.

Seven of the patients have now finished the treatment and Vaxil reported that all of them had greater immunity against cancer cells compared to before they were given the vaccine.

Vaxil added that three patients are now free of detectable cancer following the treatment.
Oh - and lest you think that Vaxil Biotheraputics doesn't come from Israel....
Vaxil was founded in late 2006 by an experienced management team supported by leading scientists and clinicians. It is headquartered at the Weizmann Science Park, Nes –Ziona, Israel.
So why isn't this getting more publicity? Hmmm.

I hope the BDS'ers will boycott it. Darwin would call that selection. Heh.

posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 11:41 PM

Bee's Note:
How many reading the good news of Israel's cancer vaccine wonder why this isn't being shouted from the roof tops and at the very least, announced on any of the hundreds of news channels?  Is it the fact that if it isn't bad news about Israel - there's no news?  Not since Jonas Salk and the polio vaccine has there been such exciting news!
How many reading have either battled cancer, or have had a member of their family struggle through the "treatments"?  How many have received the news during a so-called "check-up" that they have less than 3 months to live because the cancer is in its "last" stages and the only thing left is to make the patient as "comfortable" as possible?  My beloved husband died in August, 2010 after receiving the "last stage" diagnosis.  He said to me that his mind could not think about the cancer and so, he would sit in our yard watching the birds land on our bird feeder and our conversations would often turn to our younger days; happy memories; and of the children and grandchildren.  His spirits were good right to the end, but so little time from that day when he was first diagnosed, that me and the family went into shock about six months after we lost our husband/father/grandfather.  
Cancer is one of the most dreaded, fearful diseases on this planet.  Why?  Because it oftentimes represents or is affiliated with the next dreaded word - death.
As a cancer survivor of three major female cancers and one who has been through the radiation and chemo treatments, I never thought in my life time I would hear anyone announce that there is a cancer vaccine!  And so, as Carl asks, "Why isn't this getting more publicity?"
The emotional roller coaster does not just happen to the cancer patient; it spreads throughout a patient's family and friends.  I can tell you now that I would weep at the drop of a hat months after the treatments.  It took time for me to actually realize that in-between my stages of "remission", life is good and each day is a miracle to cherish. During my second struggle with cancer, I was angry to think I had to go through those treatments again and so, I wore a small badge that said "Cancer Sucks". No more did I want to hear "one day at a time" crap! During one of my brief visists to the local grocery store, a young clerk read my badge and broke down in tears, as she told me she just lost her mother to cancer.  Strangers would walk up to me and give me a hug and say, "I'll pray for you".  What an impact those two words had on folks!  And, that badge helped me overcome my anger, as I listened to the stories of people who wanted to share their love for someone they had lost, due to cancer.
And so, I say to Israel, thank you!  Thank you for blessing this world with your technology and scientists.  Thank you, Weizmann Institute (photo below).  You truly do make this world a better place to live.