A team at Israel’s Hebrew University made one of the most important leukemia research breakthroughs in 40 years, putting a cure for the disease within reach for the first time ever.
By: United with Israel Staff
Dr. Yinon Ben-Neriah and his team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are giving cancer patients throughout the world a glimmer of hope with a major breakthrough in the search for a cure for acute myeloid leukemia.
Specifically, the Israeli researchers developed a cutting-edge biological drug that demonstrated a cure rate of 50% for lab mice with acute myeloid leukemia, an extremely aggressive forms of cancer with a five-year survival rate of only about 25% overall.
Dr. Ben-Neriah’s drug represents a breakthrough of epic proportions because unlike many other forms of cancer, for which new effective treatments have been introduced, there has been little good news for leukemia patients over the course of the past 40 years.
The results of the trial were recently published in Cell, one of the top peer-reviewed life science journals in the world.
One of the greatest challenges facing the development of biological cancer drugs to treat leukemia is their ability to target only individual leukemic cell proteins. Leukemic cells, however, adapt and respond by blocking the drugs, resulting in drug-resistant cancer cells that rapidly regrow, advancing the disease’s attack on the patient’s body.
Ben-Neriah’s new drug is revolutionizing treatment by operating like a cluster bomb, attacking multiple leukemic proteins at once, so that the disease can’t overcome the drug’s effects. The new therapy also does the job of a multi-drug approach, which eliminates the debilitating host of side effects brought on by simultaneously administering multiple therapies to fight cancer.
“We were thrilled to see such a dramatic change even after only a single dose of the new drug. Nearly all of the lab mice’s leukemia signs disappeared overnight,” commented Ben-Neriah.
In addition, Ben-Neriah’s new therapy has also shown promise in eradicating leukemia stem cells, a feat that could unlock the ultimate cure for acute leukemia.
Recently, BioTheryX bought the rights to develop the drug and will continue working with Ben-Neriah’s research team, applying for FDA approval to begin clinical studies in humans.
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