Cure for cancer or false promises?
Photo By: israel21c.org
Hudson Tran, Staff Writer
A biotech company in Israel recently announced that they would have the cure for all forms of cancer within a year, however other scientists are skeptical.
In January, Dan Aridor the chairman of the board of Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi) told The Jerusalem Post, "We believe we will offer in a year's time a complete cure for cancer."
He also said, "Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market."
If this treatment turns out to be successful, it would be an enormous breakthrough for the scientific community. According to the National Cancer Institute, "in 2012, there were 14.1 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths worldwide."
A treatment plan that completely cures cancer and is available at a low cost would have the potential to save millions of lives a year around the world.
Peers of Aridor and other scientists quickly scrutinized these claims. In response to these claims Dr. Ben Neel, the director of Perlmutter Cancer Center said, "More likely, this claim is yet another in a long line of spurious, irresponsible and ultimately cruel false promises for cancer patients."
One of the reasons AEBi is being scrutinized for making these claims is that they have not published any findings that back their claims. CEO Dr. Ilan Morad explained to The Jerusalem Post that they could not afford to publish their research. This, however, does not mean that research could not be published whatsoever. Although publications can be costly, some reparable scientific journals do not charge to publish serious scientific research. In this case, a cure for cancer would be very serious research. The only catch is that it can be a long and rigorous process.
This team of scientists is not a group of amateurs. "In 2018, a team of scientists won the Nobel Prize for their work on phage display in the directed evolution of new proteins" according to The Jerusalem Post.
So their research is not without some prior experience. According to Morad, traditional treatment plans work by targeting a specific part of a cancer cell. Instead, his treatment uses a combination of peptides to target multiple parts of the cell at a time. By doing so, he claims that the cell will not be able to defect the peptides by mutating as they sometimes do in traditional treatments.
So far the team has had success in pre-clinical trials. The treatment has been successful in targeting common cancers like colon, head, neck and lung cancer. Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the national office of the American Cancer Society said, "However, as experience has taught us so many times, the gap from a successful mouse experiment to effective, beneficial application of exciting laboratory concepts to helping cancer patients at the bedside is in fact a long and treacherous journey, filled with unforeseen and unanticipated obstacles."