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August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

Technion Scientists Reach Breakthrough in Cancer Study

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Israeli scientists are closer than ever to finding a way to beat back cancer at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The findings of the new study were published last week in the journal CELL.

The researchers discovered two cancer-suppressing proteins, according to information released via PR Newswire. They carried out the study in the world-famous laboratory of Nobel Prize laureate Professor Aaron Ciechanover, president of the Israel Cancer Society.

The team was led by research associate Dr. Yelena Dravtsova-Ivantsiv and worked together with physicians from Rambam, Carmel and Hadassah Medical Centers, all of whom are studying tumors and their treatments.

KPC1 – a vital pathway in the life of the cell – is responsible for the degradation of defective proteins that could damage the cell if not removed. The system tags these defective proteins and send them to the proteasome cellular complex to be destroyed.

The system also removes functional and healthy proteins that are no longer needed, thus regulating the processes the proteins control.

By the time a protein reaches the proteasome system it is already broken down but there are exceptions.

This study examined “p105” – a long precursor of a key regulator in a cell called “NF-kB” which has been identified as a link between inflammation and cancer.

The first person to suggest such a link was Dr. Rudolph Virchow, a German pathologist, in 1863. His research has been repeatedly confirmed over the years, and since the discovery of NF-kB 30 years ago, there have been many articles linking the cell to malignant transformation in tumors in various parts of the body.

The current research is focused on deciphering the decision-making mechanism that determines which process will be applied to the NF-kB cell. There are two, both connected to the “ubiquitin system” which produces a protein that greatly restricts the development of cancerous tumors.

1. Either a “ubiquitin” system component called KPC1 becomes involved and attaches ubiquitin to p105, thus shortening the protein to become “p50” ; or 2. Ubiquitination is mediated without KPC1 and instead by another component in the system, and p105 is degraded and destroyed completely.

In other words, the presence of high levels of KPC1 and p50 would mean the malignant growth is suppressed and healthy tissue appears to be protected, according to the present findings in the study.

The current research was conducted on lab mice as well as samples of human tumors. A strong connection was found between the suppression of malignancy and the level of the two proteins.

Professor Aaron Ciechanover, president of the Israel Cancer Society, noted that many more years will be required “to establish the research and gain a solid understanding of the mechanisms behind the suppression of the tumors. The development of a drug based on this discovery is a possibility, although not a certainty, and the road to such a drug is long and far from simple.”

Ciechanover won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2004, together with Professors Avram Hershko (also from Technion) and Irwin Rose of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, for the discovery of the ubiquitin system. The current line of research is a continuation of that work.

Defend Cancer Against the Jews!

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Israelis Donate Masses of Hair to Cancer Patients

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Over 200 hair salons across Israel took part in the annual nationwide drive to collect hair for the Zichron Menachem Cancer Support in Israel in partnership with Pantene Products Israel. From Kfar Tapuach to Herzliyah and from Arad to Haifa, women and girls donated their hair locks at hair salons that provided free haircuts during the three-day marathon that took place from November 24-26.

In Jerusalem, hundreds of girls, teens, and women as well as men (with long hair) arrived to the Malha Mall on Tuesday to take part in the opening event, where hundreds of braids were cut and sent to be made into wigs that will be donated to girls and women with cancer.

Jerusalem hair stylist, Lior Kakon told Tazpit News Agency that this was his first year participating in the initiative.

“I don’t have my own hair to contribute, so I do it through my profession. There were three high school girls today who stopped to get their free haircuts for this important initiative,” Kakon told Tazpit.
“I hope to cut hair again for Zichron Menachem drive next year.”

The non-profit Zichron Menachem was founded in 1990 in the memory of 15-year-old Menachem Ehrental, who died after battling cancer and provides practical and long-term aid and solutions to young cancer patients both at home and in the hospital. SMenachem’s father, Chaim thanked all the hair donors for their contributions on Wednesday. “The hair salons are doing holy work and I want to thank all those who contributed their hair for this cause.”

“We are creating wigs of all possible lengths and styles, in every color available, as well as every hair texture, from straight to curly and more, so that every cancer patient in Israel will be able to receive a new wig made of quality natural hair, identical to the hair she lost,” explained Ehrental. “The wigs are given for free and remain forever with the recipient.”

Any hair can be donated, except for severely damaged hair, hair that is completely white or gray and dreadlocks, as there is not sufficient demand for these hair types.

“Frequently, the first question that a girl or woman diagnosed with cancer asks the doctor, is how treatment will affect the hair on her head. The opportunity that we have to give those who are battling cancer, free quality wigs is vital to them and a moving experience for all those involved,” added Ehrental.

In the last two years, Pantene Products in Israel, as part of the company’s international campaign to encourage women to donate hair to women fighting cancer, has partnered with Zichron Menachem, contributing NIS 350,000 for the wig-making. Pantene also covers advertising costs for television, radio and the internet to encourage Israelis to donate their hair. Consequently, hair donations to Zichron Menachem have increased dramatically.

“Hair is precious, and it’s the greatest gift you can give away to someone who needs it,” Zichron Menachem spokeswoman, Devorah Sorotskin told Tazpit.

For sisters, Vered and Shirley, from Rishon Lezion, donating hair to the drive wasn’t a question. “Our father passed away battling cancer five years ago. We pray that no one will have to suffer from any more losses from this terrible disease,” said Shirley, who proudly watched her sister get her braid cut for the campaign.

“When our father passed away from cancer, one month after finding out he had it, there was nothing I could do to help. But today I got the opportunity to do something small – to give away my hair to those battling this disease,” said Vered.

Free Haircuts

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Young Israeli women arrive at the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem to donate their hair to create wigs for cancer patients at a fundraiser arranged by “Zichron Menachem”, the Israeli Association for the Support of Children with Cancer and their Families (November 24, 2014).

All photos by Gershon Elinson/Flash90

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Israel Health Ministry Lists Electromagnetic Radiation as Possible Carcinogen

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

For the first time ever, Israel’s Health Ministry has issued a warning to the public about electromagnetic radiation in its newly published, updated list of carcinogens, based on recommendations by the World Health Organization and a ministry committee.

For the first time, the list includes exposure to electromagnetic radiation as a possible cause of cancer, advising the public to be careful and reduce contact as much as possible.

Different ministries are in charge of enforcing the laws on exposure to the various carcinogens.

The new list, available in Hebrew only, is located on the ministry website. www.health.gov.il/Services/Committee/malignancy_substance/Pages/default.aspx

Substances such as teratogenic materials, those that can cause birth defects in unborn babies, are also on the list.

Occupational hazards are also listed – those to which workers are exposed in their workplace – as well as substances to which the general public is exposed in the general environment.

New Cancer Drug Uses Immunotherapy to Treat Metastatic Melanoma

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Researchers have come up with a new treatment to fight metastatic melanoma – a fierce form of cancer that is particularly difficult to overcome. The new medication, called Keytruda, works on the body’s immune system and just received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Keytruda, produced by the Merck pharmaceutical firm in the United States, does not focus on destroying the cancerous tissue with chemicals, but rather initiates a different process in the body’s natural immune system, which then attacks the cancerous cells on its own.

The treatment mechanism is called “immunotherapy” and if it lives up to its expectations, the world of oncology could see a new revolution within just a few years. One of the clinical trials is being carried out at Tel Aviv’s Sheba Hospital at Tel Hashomer Medical Center.

Some 250 of newly diagnosed melanoma patients in Israel per year suffer from metastatic tumors. Malignant melanomas usually start on the skin but can also start elsewhere. Israel ranks among the 20 nations in the world with the highest morbidity rates for the disease, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

“The new drug creates real potential for curing one of the deadliest forms of cancer at the negligible cost of light and tolerable side effects,” commented Prof. Jacob Schachter, head of the Ella Institute for Melanoma at Sheba Hospital. “Moreover, it completely alters the working assumptions in oncology treatment, as its working mechanism is effective in the war against other types of cancer too. There’s no doubt today that the holy grail of oncology lies in immunotherapy, which helps the body’s immune system to destroy the tumor’s cells itself.

“At this stage, we can only imagine the therapeutic potential of a combination of a number of such drugs, each acting on a different system, and some of which are already at an advanced stage of development. Among doctors, too, the scope of the breakthrough has yet to be digested.”

Cancer-Stricken Boy Acts Out Rescue Operation for Purim (Video)

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Rafael Asulin, 6 1/2 years old, has been fighting cancer since the age of six months.

He has watched his father, who volunteers for the United Hatzalah rescue group, run for three years on a daily basis to save lives.

Rafael has been inspired by his dad and dreams of having his own ambucycle when he grows older, and save lives just like his role model.

For Purim, his father made him a great surprise – a replica of his own ambucycle – complete with all the accessories: an electric motorcycle, United Hatzalah uniform and first aid kit.

Smile and cry.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/cancer-stricken-boy-acts-out-rescue-operation-for-purim-video/2014/03/18/

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