Cure for cancer?

This looks promising.

A cure for cancer? Israeli scientists say they think they found one

A small team of Israeli scientists think they might have found the first complete cure for cancer.

“We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer,” said Dan Aridor, of a new treatment being developed by his company, Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), which was founded in 2000 in the ITEK incubator in the Weizmann Science Park. AEBi developed the SoAP platform, which provides functional leads to very difficult targets.

“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,” Aridor said. “Our solution will be both generic and personal.”

From reading the entire article I can’t imagine it will be available to the general public within a year. Maybe five or ten years. But still… very, very, cool if it works out.


11 thoughts on “Cure for cancer?

  1. Every few years, someone makes this claim. Then it turns out that they don’t.

    • President Nixon declared “war on cancer” in 1971. I recall the goal being to cure cancer in 10 years although a quick scan of the sources doesn’t verify that.

      I find the different reports on the status of the “war” interesting. From Infogalactica:

      Many types of cancer remain largely incurable (such as pancreatic cancer) and the overall death rate from cancer has not decreased appreciably since the 1970s. The death rate for cancer in the U.S., adjusted for population size and age, dropped only 5 percent from 1950 to 2005.

      From the National Cancer Institute:

      The incidence of cancer in this country started dropping in 1990 and has continued to drop every year since, and so has mortality. And the morbidity from cancer, comparing 1971 to 2005, is like night and day….So, every benchmark of the mandate has been hit.”

      No mention that a large portion of the small decrease in cancer in the U.S. is because fewer people are smoking cigarettes.

      • Curious. The cited source for the Infogalactica (Wikipedia) article is the NYT. Not a good authority.
        Not dying from cancer is one possible improved outcome. Another one is dying from cancer but years later than would have been the norm before. That suggests a better metric, which is average age at death of people killed by cancer.
        Anyway, on this news item, very interesting. Israel certainly is a hotbed of high tech innovation. If it works, the next question will be how long the FDA will keep it out of the hands of Americans. They often seem more interested in running their rigid bureaucratic processes than in keeping Americans alive.

        • The metric of success gets complicated. If cancers are detected when they are much smaller and the patient dies five years later is that any better than the case when cancer has had more three years to grow and the patient dies two years later?

          A co-worker of a radiologist friend kept the stats on breast cancer survival rates for many years and concluded that early detection did not significantly improve life expectancy. That was probably at least 15 years ago when I heard that story so it may not be true anymore. But still, it shows you need to be very careful how you define improvement.

  2. Yup; Ponds and Fleischmann “thought they might have found” cold fusion too, back in the 1990s. Need I list another hundred or more similar examples or “ground-breaking” “findings”?

    Scientists don’t “think” they “may have” found something and then announce their “thoughts” as world news. They either find or they don’t find, and then they announce their findings. “Findings” and “thoughts” are different words having different meanings.

    Thinking you may have found something means you shut up and get busy with the experiments, and try to prove one way or the other, conclusively, whether you actually did find anything.

    Point being; we’re not dealing with science here, in language like that. It may have some of the trappings of science, but it isn’t science. Nor is a pig wearing lipstick and dress your mother (in case anyone was unsure).

    • I think you’re overstating the point. Scientists announce results when they believe they have valid evidence for them. One reason for doing so is to allow others to attempt to reproduce the results. This is in fact the definition of science, and a field where this is not done — or where it is actively prevented — is not science. Warmism is currently the canonical example of a non-science for that precise reason.

      A consequence of attempting to reproduce a result is that the attempt may fail. That doesn’t mean the original work wasn’t science, far from it. Instead, it means the original experiment was defective, incomplete, incorrectly interpreted, or whatever. An example that comes to mind is an observation in a European observatory that showed particles going slightly faster than light. Needless to say, that produced quite a sensation. The proper reaction was “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. A lot of people descended on the work, and after some time the outcome was “experimental error”.

      I think the Pons/Fleischman example was another case like that. They did a series of experiments, observed some very interesting results, and published them, inviting others to see what they could make of it. The outcome at this point is that it doesn’t appear to be real, though I still wonder what they actually observed in that case. In the meantime, it also produced some very interesting research. I have a nice theoretical paper by the famous Robert Bussard inspired by the Pons/Fleischman work. That paper seems perfectly valid in either case (though whether it points to practically useful widgets is a different question).

      In any case, the critical point is that failure to reproduce an experiment does not mean that the original work wasn’t science. It merely demonstrates that not all new work is sustained by subsequent scrutiny.

      To pick an extreme example, is Newton’s work not science? That’s of course an absurd assertion. But remember that Newton’s theory of gravity has been falsified by experiments (starting in the early 1900s) which prompted its replacement by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

  3. Meh. I call bullshit.
    There are thousands of different cancers, and they all have a different etiology, and growth process, and thousands of different factors that effect formation and reaction to treatment. This article just declares, CANCER CURE!
    If it was a cure for breast cancer, or lung cancer, or skin cancer, only, I might not be so skeptical.

    • Absolutely. I was successfully (at least so far) treated for a variety of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. There are, to date, at least 70 versions of NHL alone! And researchers are finding that the specific genetic signature of lymphoma – even the same type – varies from individual to individual. This is why the same treatment can work spectacularly well with one patient, and not at all on another.

      I’m a moderator on two major lymphoma forums. Just about every other year there’s a breathtaking announcement of some broad-spectrum “cure” for cancer. What it usually boils down to is the treatment killed a few cells in a Petri dish. Hell, gasoline can do that. There’s a huge jump from in vitro to in vivo success, and a likewise huge jump from mice to men.

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