Israelis have the 8th longest life-expectancy in world according to the latest World Health Organization figures. Israeli medical treatments and devices are extending lives all over the world. Here are some of the recent Israeli news items relating just to the areas of cancer, cardiology, neuroscience and diabetes.
I am confident that most readers in their lifetimes will see an end to the deadly effect of the majority of today’s cancers and can be proud that Israeli scientists will be major contributors to this achievement. For example, the UK’s National Health Service just has approved the funding of patients receiving the pioneering melanoma (skin cancer) treatment developed by Professor Jacob Schachter of the Sheba hospital in Tel Hashomer. Meanwhile in the States, surgeons at Mercy Medical Center at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, have reported that MarginProbe from Israel’s Dune Medical has reduced the number of repeat breast-cancer operations by 75%. And many aggressive brain tumors can now be cured using Novocure’s electrode treatment, invented by Israeli Professor Yoram Palti.
Leukemia’s days are numbered thanks to pipeline treatments such as Astarabine from Israel’s BioSight and BL-8040 from Israel’s Bioline Rx. And Israel’s Gamida Cell reported good results from US trials of its NiCord blood cancer treatment. Finally, Weizmann Institute’s groundbreaking prostate cancer treatment has now been approved by Israel’s Ministry of Health and is being administered to patients at Beilinson Hospital.
But prevention is better than cure, so I was pleased to read that researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Israel’s Technion Institute have developed enhanced micro-emulsion liquids that produce a powerful antioxidant anti-cancer protection protein called Nrf2.
It warms my heart to read that so many cardiology treatments and innovations have been developed by Israelis.
UK medical journal The Lancet reported the first one-hour implants of the interatrial shunts from Israel’s V-Wave administered into 10 Canadian patients suffering poor left ventricular function, who were then discharged home next morning. Surgeons performing a multicenter clinical trial of the laser system and unique catheters from Israel’s Eximo successfully unblocked the arteries of 20 patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) – some of whom otherwise required bypass surgery or leg amputation.
Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have even trained cardiac cells to beat, using mechanical stimuli that do not come into contact with the cells, which could lead to development of more effective pacemakers. At Tel Aviv University, Professor Tal Dvir unveiled his remote-controlled, bionic heart patch, which researchers say could become a revolutionary alternative to heart transplants for patients whose hearts have been damaged by heart attacks or cardiac disease.
Again, prevention of heart disease would avoid the need for the above treatments and devices, so let’s wish good luck to Israel’s Lycored for its award-winning supplement Cardiomato that lowers oxidized LDL cholesterol and reduces systolic blood pressure. And perhaps the best news is that new Israeli Education Ministry guidelines prohibit selling or serving of sweets, snacks, and sugary or fatty foods to Israeli school and kindergarten students. They must now be offered healthier substitutes such as low-fat spreadable cheeses, avocado, whole-wheat pasta and bread, fruit and vegetables.
In the field of Neuroscience, nearly 660,000 people have viewed the video that showed Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center surgeons curing an Israeli woman of Parkinson’s using the focused ultrasound brain surgery of Israel’s Insightec. And the communication device for ALS and other “Locked in” patients from Israel’s EyeControl won its inventors £32,000 of funding thanks to public votes in the International on-line competition “The Venture”. Israelis should certainly have no problem sleeping thanks to Israeli startup 2breathe Technologies, which has developed a sensor and smartphone app to induce users to breathe slower, relax and fall asleep. And Israel’s Itamar Medical has reported that 60 international hospitals have now adopted its Total Sleep Solution which treats Sleep Apnea – a known cause of heart attacks.
Diabetics will be interested to know that researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered that the gene p16 enhances insulin production and have partly reversed diabetes in lab tests. Further down the treatment pipeline, Israeli biotech Oramed had success in the Phase IIb study of its oral insulin capsule, designed to replace injected delayed-release insulin. Meanwhile, Israel’s Frutarom – developers of Portusana, an extract of the herb purslane – have confirmed its positive effects on blood sugar levels in adults with Type 2 Diabetes. Finally, type 2 diabetes may be preventable, thanks to a behavioral analytics engine and risk meter developed by Israel’s Sweetch.
What is really astounding is that these Israeli developments (and many more) all occurred during the last 3 months. I haven’t even got room to include the areas of fighting infections, autoimmune diseases and life-saving medical devices. I’ll report on those on another occasion.
Wishing you good health from Israel.
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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