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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

Terrorist Stabbing Saves Jewish Man’s Life

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

(JNi.media) “The terrorist attack saved my life,” Daniel Cohen, 31, who was injured on Monday, Nov. 2, in a stabbing attack in Rishon Lezion, told NRG. Cohen, a kashrut supervisor, was stabbed several times in his upper body and was rushed to the hospital, where doctors discovered a dangerous tumor in his colon, and saved his life.

“I was in the middle of work in Rishon Letzion,” Cohen recalled on Wednesday. “I was at the central bus station and waited for a local bus to take me to my next appointment. I waited for the bus and did not see anything suspicious. Then I moved a little and suddenly the terrorist attacked me and choked me.”

I felt my wrist almost being dislodged,” Cohen continued. “He pulled out his knife and tried to cut off my head. I tried with my hand to push it away and then he tried to stick the knife in my throat. I tilted my head and then he hit me in the jaw, near the ear. He knocked me down to the floor and then stabbed me several times, puncturing along the left side of my body, in the chest, the abdomen and the shoulder.”

“I grabbed his leg and tried to get up,” Cohen related. “I hit him, but couldn’t take away his knife. A passerby tried to throw a trash can in our direction and then the terrorist ran and I ran, too. I was in very serious condition. I knocked for the driver to open the bus door for me. The driver quickly let me into the bus. I reclined in the back seat. They tried to stop the bleeding. They asked me what happened and I groaned in pain. I started to say Shema Israel (which religious Jews say before going to sleep and before giving up the ghost).”

Except that later on it turned out that the attack was very lucky for Daniel Cohen. “When MDA arrived I was still conscious, we reached Assaf Harofeh Hospital — there they put me to sleep,” he said. “I went into a four hour surgery. The surgery went well, they removed the spleen and a piece of liver. My intestines were damaged.”

Then, “as they were treating these organs, they discovered over my colon a tumor I did not know I had. They cut this growth and stitched me and everything,” Cohen said. “Thank God I’ve reached the point within a week that I’m in good shape. They told me they discovered the tumor during the operation. If they hadn’t cut it, it could have gotten worse.”

A resident of Bnei Brak, Cohen is married and the father of five girls. “My wife took it very hard,” he said. “I’m staying in my parents’ home now for rehabilitation, for rest. There’s some pain, but there’s simple faith, especially in the situation we’re in. A person does not understand where a stabbing can lead him. I’m getting stronger, little by little.”

Ben Gurion U. Students’ Cancer Therapy Wins Boston Competition

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

The student team from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has won the Best Health and Medicine Project category in the prestigious 12th annual iGEM 2015 Giant Jamboree competition with their cutting-edge biological cancer therapy called “Boomerang.”

IGEM is considered one of the most important ventures in the global sphere of science. Nearly 4,600 students competed in this year’s event in Boston.

The BGU project Boomerang is based on advanced methods of genetic engineering and synthetic biology. It has many applications that rely on the special characteristics of cancer cells to identify and alter cells as well as treat the disease at the molecular level.

The name “Boomerang” mirrors the actions in which the synthetic system uses cancer cells’ own genetic alterations against them.

As a cancer therapy, Boomerang works as a modular system. It can cause disruption of genes essential for cancer survival or activate suicide genes so that the cancer or tumor kills itself. Boomerang can also produce color proteins for cancer cell detection so that the edges of a tumor are visible to ensure complete surgical removal.

In addition to winning the grand prize in the Best Health and Medicine Project in the “Overgraduate” category (graduate level), the BGU team was a first runner-up in the overall competition, the first Israeli team to reach this level in iGEM.

The BGU team also won the Best New Basic Part Award for developing and submitting the best new functional DNA sequence to this year’s competition.

Neurologist Oliver Sacks Dies at Age 82 in New York City

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Dr. Oliver Sacks, one if whose books was turned into an Academy Award-winning movie, died on Sunday in New York City at the age of 82.

He never married. Among his cousins are Nobel Prize Winner Robert Aumann of Israel and the late Abba Eban, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations.

Sacks – a professor, writer and neurologist – authored more than a dozen books, including “Awakenings.” His book “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” helped demystify Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s.

He was professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University between 2007 and 2012 and was on the clinical faculty of Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. Sacks was born in London, from where he was evacuated during the Blitz. His best-selling books included case studies of people with neurological disorders.

After the war, he learned physiology and biology and later earned his medical degree at The Queen’s College, Oxford.

He later moved to Canada and then to the United States, where he learned neurology] and experimented with various recreational drugs, which he described in an article in The New Yorker three years ago and in his book “Hallucinations.”

Dr. Sacks was diagnosed with cancer this past January and wrote in The New York Times in February that he had “months” left in his life and wrote that he hoped the time he had left would be spent “in in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can”.

Israeli Geneticists Offer Exam to Presage Cancer 15 Years Prior to Earliest Symptoms

Monday, August 17th, 2015

(JNi.media) A genetic analysis laboratory in Katzrin, in the Golan Heights, has announced a new development allowing the identification of an inherited predisposition to prostate and other cancers in families with a history of cancer—a full 10 to 15 years before any symptoms of early cancer are presented.

Galil Genetic Analysis (GGA) says it is leading the revolution in genetic diagnostic testing in Israel, and is the largest private genetics laboratory in the country, dealing, among other areas, in Oncogenetics predisposition testing.

The company’s stated goal is that its genetic testing be used to provide all patients with a confirmed diagnosis of their chances to have cancer in the next 10 to 15 years, so that they can receive the most appropriate medical and pharmaceutical treatment.

According to GGA’s website, each patient can become aware of potential medical risks according to his or her genetic background, as well as family members’, and be able to reduce the risk for biological relatives.

These promises are apparently already being fulfilled today, according to a Monday report in Ynet. The patient is referred to the GGA lab by an oncologist, and the exam is done privately, since Israel’s HMOs do not yet provide for it.

The patient gives a blood or saliva sample which is sent to GGA in Katzrin. The test device scans 12 to 66 genes, and is capable of detecting risk for prostate, colon, breast, ovarian, pancreatic and skin cancers, to name a few.

The cost of the test ranges from $1,600 to $2,000. The genetic analysis takes five to seven weeks, and the results are sent to the referring oncologist, who then deciphers the results and invites the patient for consultation.

The test detects mutations in genes, allowing the attending physician to better understand the characteristics of the disease and tailor an optimal treatment for it. The patient would typically also be at a high risk to develop other cancers, and would benefit from the increased surveillance efforts to get early detection of additional tumors. This patient may receive preventive treatments and be warned about exposure to cancer causing factors.

The company’s most ambitious goal is to get to a place where, in each individual medical record, the predicted reactions to drugs will be listed, so that, when necessary, the patient will be treated accordingly.

Their website promises emphatically: “Pharmaceutical treatment will no longer be provided by the method of trial and error.”

According to the Israel Cancer Association, in 2012, 28,709 individuals were diagnosed with malignant tumors in Israel and 10,640 succumbed to the disease.

The main cancers that account for 50% of overall cancer morbidity among men are prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers, and cancer of the urethral diverticulum, as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Among women the reigning causes are breast, colorectal, and uterine cancers, as well as NHL.

The main cancers that account for over 50% of overall mortality are similar among the Jewish and Arab populations, in men: lung, colorectal and pancreatic cancers, in women: breast, colorectal and lung cancers.

However, Israel ranks relatively low among the top 20 countries with the highest incidence and mortality rates in the world. Israeli men rank 19th highest and Israeli women 15th highest, both in incidence and mortality.

Compared with cancer mortality in OECD countries, as of 2011, Israel ranks below average, with a relatively low mortality rate (8th lowest).

Former US Pres. Jimmy Carter Announces He Has Cancer

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, 90, announced Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with cancer that has spread throughout his body.

The announcement came nine days after elective surgery at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta to remove a “small mass” from his liver.

“I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment,” Carter said in a statement. “A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week.”

The disease is one that is prevalent in the former president’s family of origin; his father and three siblings all died of pancreatic cancer, which his mother also had.

In a phone call on Wednesday, President Barack Obama wished Carter a quick recovery.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Rosalynn and the entire Carter family as they face this challenge with the same grace and determination that they have shown so many times before,” Obama said in a statement. “Jimmy, you’re as resilient as they come, and along with the rest of America, we are rooting for you.”

Carter left the White House in 1981 but has remained extremely active in American foreign policy regardless of who occupied the Oval Office following his own administration.

In 1982 the former president helped found the nonprofit Carter Center, a human rights organization that furthers his activity as a global mediator, among other things.

Carter has been particularly active in advocating for the establishment of a new Arab country comprised of the Palestinian Authority regardless of its cost in blood to Israelis. In the past he has also been particularly fierce in his criticism of the State of Israel in advocating for Arab residents of Gaza as well.

Khamenei’s Cancer May Kill Iran Deal

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Ayatollah Khamenei may end up saving President Barack Obama and Israel from a “bad deal” because of a reported terminal cancer and scramble for power by hard-liners anxious to replace him.

TheJewishPress.com reported here in March that Iran may have faked events to show that Khamenei had not died. Reports of his death were premature, but it increasingly clear that the leader of the Islamic State has terminal cancer.

Iran’s regime-controlled news agencies recently have carried fewer articles highlighting Khamenei’s speeches, and the London Telegraph reported this week he has undergone several operations for prostate cancer,

Several reports, which Iran will probably never confirm, say that he has only a few months to live, which would explain why senior Iranian hard-liners are busy campaigning against a deal with the United States and the other P5+1 powers over its nuclear program.

Preaching compromise is dangerous to one’s health in Iran.

Hassan Rowhani controls Iranian policies by virtue of being president but is subservient to the Ayatollah, whose replacement may have already have been engineered with the jockeying by Sadeq Larijani, whose brother Ali is Iran’s senior negotiator with the Western powers.

If Khamenei dies, the Islamic Assembly of Experts, so they call themselves, will chose his replacement.

Lo and Behold, a hard-line ally of Khamenei named Mohammed Yazdi was named to the Assembly in March, giving Larijani more solid support since he is protégé of Khamenei.

Sadeq Larijani heads Iran’s judiciary and has begun an investigation of those who are alleging that Khamenei is corrupt.

And who is behind the allegations? None other than a contender to replace Khamenei, Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, an ally of former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjan. Remember him? He is a moderate, keeping in mind that everything is relative.

With Larijani set to take over, and a deal supposed to be signed in two weeks, statements from Iranian officials that the “deadline” may be extended are sounding more reasonable and not just rhetoric.

If Larijani wants to prove to the Assembly that he can be trusted to not let President Barack Obama get away with a deal that could actually force Iran into a situation that would endanger Iran’s nuclear weapons program, June 30 is going to be marked as nothing more than the end of the month, and the same night be said for July 31.

Larijani might want to bury the deal along with Khamenei.


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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/technion-scientists-reach-breakthrough-in-cancer-study/2015/04/13/

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