Cure For Cancer? Unfortunately Not
The New York Post The Jerusalem Post and The have both recently published claims by Israeli biotech company, Accelerated Evolution Bio-technologies Ltd (AEBi). The company, founded in 2000 from the ITEK Weizmann technology incubator, has made the bold claim that they have found a cure for cancer, and it will be ready in a year. Many people have taken these articles at face value. A cure for cancer! I wanted to know more. A quick search showed multiple articles refuting the claims. For the news outlets that did more research, there are many red flags in the claim. Let's examine a few.
Ilan Morad, listed as CEO of the company, stated in The Jerusalem Post that “Instead of attacking receptors one at a time, we attack receptors three at a time – not even cancer can mutate three receptors at the same time,"
This is untrue. Cancer can have from tens to thousands of genomes many of them being the receptors referred to. A key part of cancer therapy is using a combination of chemo-therapies to reduce the chance that the cancer becomes resistant. Still, cancers can be come resistant to treatment, making Morad's logic questionable.
Websites for new drugs display scientific studies showing clinical trials and how the drug works. On the website of AEBi, there are two graphs and some images from a microscope. Not very promising or confidence building.
Another red flag is that, based on information disclosed to the public, the company had only done tests in mice. "Anything tested in mice has to undergo testing in other animal species, be formulated, and then approved to administration in Phase I clinical trials in humans," says Dr. Benjamin G. Neel, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine and Director of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center. Therefore, I don't anticipate seeing this drug on the market anytime soon.
The company also claims that this therapy would work for all types of cancer. No. There are over 200 types of cancer and subtypes within those. One universal cure is extremely unlikely.
The chief researcher has also largely only been published in botanical sciences, his last paper being from 17 years ago.
New "cancer cures" with no firm evidence to back them up is nothing new for the medical community. However, it is heartbreaking and cruel to offer patients and their families false hope. If a cure is created, it will involve thousands of scientist from around the world combining their expertise, experience, and funding. It will also take much longer than one year. Clinical trials often take 10-15 years by the time they are tested in patients to when they are approved for regulatory bodies. This company has drawn international condemnation from leading cancer experts and organizations. After extreme pressure, The New York Post published a more balanced piece urging caution regarding the news of a cure for cancer. The damage has already been done though. According to Victoria Forster, cancer researcher and pediatric cancer survivor, "Such awful, unbalanced coverage of cancer research erodes trust in not only health journalists but also everybody genuinely working towards better treatments for people with cancer. Cancer patients and their families deserve far better." As a fellow survivor myself, I agree.
Forster, Victoria. “An Israeli Company Claims That They Will Have A Cure For Cancer In A Year. Don't
Believe Them.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 30 Jan. 2019,www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster