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October 4, 2015 / 21 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

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.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israelis-donate-masses-of-hair-to-cancer-patients/2014/11/27/

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