Record number of organ donations; Israeli schools bring on the medical clowns; Arming white blood cells to fight cancer; and much more!
By Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Record number of organ donations
Israeli doctors performed a record 592 organ transplants in 2018 – 13% more than in 2017. 258 were from live donors – mostly kidneys, including 106 from non-relatives for altruistic reasons. Dvora Ben Dror, who founded the Adi organ donation card system, passed away recently, aged 93.
Israeli schools bring on the clowns
The therapeutic benefits of medical clowns in Israeli hospitals (see here) is undisputed. Last year, Israel’s Education Ministry sanctioned an Educational Clown pilot at three Israeli high schools. It was so successful that this year the project has expanded to six high schools and one primary school.
Arming white blood cells to fight cancer
Scientists at Tel Aviv University have discovered that the white blood cells called Eosinophils secrete powerfully destructive proteins that can kill tumors. When activated by the protein IFN-gamma, they induced an even greater immunotherapy response and a new anti-cancer pathway.
New biomarker helps detect high risk of cancer
Researchers from Tel Aviv University and others have found that high levels of the protein ubiquilin-4 cause cells to become prone to genome instability and more likely to develop into tumors. Once discovered, these cells can be treated with other forms of cancer therapy.
Successful trials of treatment for severe burns
I reported previously (see here) on the innovative NexoBrid treatment for severe burns from Israel’s MediWound. MediWound has just announced positive top line results of its pivotal U.S. Phase 3 clinical study. Dead skin was completely removed from 93% of trial patients.
US approval for groundbreaking inhaler
The US FDA has approved the ProAir Digihaler made by Israel’s Teva. It is the first and only digital inhaler with built-in sensors that connects to a companion mobile app and provides relevant information to people with asthma and COPD.
The neurons that recognize a face
Researchers at Israel’s Bar Ilan University and in Paris have identified neurons in the human visual cortex that can selectively respond to faces. The discovery came while studying an epileptic patient that had micro-electrodes implanted in the vicinity of the Fusiform Face Area.
Breakthrough cancer treatment available to Israelis
The Israeli-developed CAR-T cancer treatment is one of NIS 460 million worth of new treatments added to Israel’s 2019 Health Basket. CAR-T has over 80% success rate, even in terminal cases. The new treatments will benefit an estimated 70,000 Israelis.
Better ICU patient monitoring
Israel’s RenalSense is conducting a study using its Clarity RMS critical care renal monitoring system at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The first study stage with 200 patients is complete. Now data will be collected and analyzed from an additional 2000 patients.
Personal sleep coaching
Israel’s SleepRate uses off-the-shelf sensors such as fitness belts and smartwatches to track sleep patterns and detect sleep problems, offering users personalized coaching for improved sleep. It is partnering with Dutch multinational Philips who will integrate SleepRate into its Better Sleep mobile app.
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