Nov. 17, 2017
- Israeli Scientists Have Helped Develop Life-Saving Cancer Drugs – Benjamin Brafman
Israel has made disproportionately large contributions to the fight against cancer. A breakthrough in the 1980s by Israeli scientist Eli Canaani was critical to the development of Gleevec, a drug that has saved the lives of millions diagnosed with leukemia. Velcade, a drug used to treat bone marrow cancer, was based on the research of Israeli professors Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover, and their collaborator Irwin Rose, who went on to win the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2004.
Israeli scientists discovered the role that mutations in the p53 gene play in causing cancerous tumors, and how a minor mutation in the RAD51 gene increases the risk of breast cancer in women with the BRCA2 gene mutation. It was scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Center who contributed to the platform science that resulted in the development of Doxil, the first drug encapsulated in a microscopic fat bubble for direct delivery to a tumor site. (JTA)