Shalom Life | April 20, 2014

Hadassah University Hospital Makes Lung Cancer Breakthroughs

Yet another success in the area of cancer treatment for Israeli researchers

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: May 24th, 2012 in Health » Israel

Hadassah University Hospital Makes Lung Cancer Breakthroughs

Israeli researchers at Ein Kerem’s Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem have made significant breakthroughs in the area of lung cancer treatment, according to Haaretz.

The four-member research team conducted tests on cell samples and laboratory mice, which facilitated them in identifying a material, BKT140, that could help remedy the disease.

The researchers had been exploring two components, a receptor called CXCR4, and CXCL12, the protein it adheres to, which is often present in cancer patients, Haaretz reported.

These components, which were found to increase as the lung cancer advanced, could be blocked from adhering to one another when BKT140 was added. Instead, the substance was found to kill the cancerous cells and reduce the size of tumors in half, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network.

But when combined with radiation therapy and chemotherapy, BKT140 was found to reduce cancerous cell growth rate by around 90 per cent.

“We injected the blocker into the mice and it found its way to the site where the tumor was developing in the lung, where it helped reduce the volume of the tumor,” said Prof. Oz Shapira, head of Hadassah Ein Kerem’s Cardiothoracic Surgery Department.

BKT140 was developed by Biokine Therapeutics in Rehovot as a novel therapy for Multiple Myeloma, a type of blood cancer and for bone marrow donors to produce more cells before a bone marrow transplant.

“The material was already developed as a remedy and has already proven to have a high safety profile with few side effects,” said Dr. Ori Wald.

The Israeli researchers presented their findings at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery conference in San Francisco this month and are expected to receive approval for clinical tests on lung cancer patients.

In Israel, lung cancer accounts for 21.5 per cent of cancer-related deaths in men and 9.9 per cent in women. Worldwide, it is the second most common cancer and has a survival rate of about 20 per cent, or one in five, after five years.
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