Rising trends in biotech oncology in Israel
by Dr. Mark Gaides, MD, PhD, is the CSO of ZMD Group. ZMD Medical is a member of IATI (Israel Advanced Technology Industries).
In recent years, there has been a big change in the concept of diagnosing and treating cancer.
1. Diagnosis of cancer- detection of cancer cells in a patient
2. Treatment of cancer:
a. Destruction of tumor by surgery, radiotherapy, immunotherapy etc.
b. Stoppage of the proliferation of cancer cells by chemotherapy.
Today, it is known that even in healthy people there are cancer cells present in the body. Every second in the body there are multiplications of hundreds of billions of cells. Even if the percentage of defective multiplication cells exceeds 0.000001%, there would be in a human body thousands of cancer cells. Even though every human has cancer cells in the body, only in 3% of the population a tumor is formed (depends on age, risks, place of work etc.).
Our immune system constantly detects cancer cells in our body. This means that pathology is the weakness of the immune system and not the existence of cancer cells. Therefore, the elimination of cancer cells (surgery, radiotherapy, etc.) does not protect against relapse, because cancer cells are constantly formed in the body of patients, and a weak immune system does not eliminate them. Therefore, cancers appear again and again .
There are cases of unexpected and unexplainable fulminant cancer leading to the death of the patient within 10 weeks. In this case, there is germination of new defective cancer cells into tumors and not the spillage of the primary tumor into multiple tumors (metastases) as accepted in conventional oncology. Such dissemination is the evidence of the utter exhaustion of anti-cancer activity of the immune system in the body.
In recent years, there has been a big change in the concept of diagnosing and treating cancer. Scientists and doctors have come to understand that the pathology is the reduction of the anticancer activity in the immune system. In accordance with this new raising concept, modern oncology has set itself two new fundamentals objectives:
1. Early detection of the decline of anticancer activity of the immune system
2. Strengthening and restoration of the anticancer activity of the immune system so it self-destroys cancer cells
This concept first emerged in the late 19th century (work of William Coli [Coley WB Annals of Surgery 1891; 14:. 199-200], and many others). Nowadays, there are many new developments of this concept. Researchers discovered that a significant role of the anticancer activity in the immune system is done by bacteria residing in the colon. There are many studies showing the effectiveness of cancer treatment using colon bacteria. Many of these studies are led by the Israeli companies in the biotech industry. In the recent years many biotech startups focus on immunotherapy using colon bacteria. This brings much hope to finally solve the cancer problem in the very near future.