Israeli scientists say cancer cure close; doctors here are skeptical

Michael Perchick Image
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Israeli scientists claim cure for cancer is near
Israeli scientists claim cure for cancer is near

A Jerusalem Post report states that a group of Israeli scientists said it believes it is on the verge of finding a cure for cancer.

The article, published Monday, focused on the company Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi).

"We believe we will offer in a year's time a complete cure for cancer," Dan Aridor, the company's Chairman of the Board, is quoted as saying in the article.

The report states the company's treatment called, "MuTaTo (multi-target toxin) is essentially on the scale of a cancer antibiotic - a disruption technology of the highest order."

Despite the report, doctors who spoke with ABC11 expressed skepticism about the claims.

"Although one can always find something new, it's highly unlikely that a company has developed something that is going to cure all cancers within a year. I mean, it's just not plausible," said Dr. Benjamin Neel, the director of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health.

Off-camera, a spokesperson for Duke Health declined to comment on the report, citing a lack of scientific peer-review, calling it a "non-story."

"I really think that it's really unfair and almost cruel to bandy about these likely to be false hopes to cancer patients," said Dr. Neel.

The Jerusalem Post article reports the company has tested on mice and is on the cusp of clinical trials.

"As far as I know, this product hasn't been in patients. History is littered with claims made on the basis of test tube-based or animal studies that had absolutely no transferability into human disease," Dr. Neel explained.

In a statement to ABC11, Aridor said AEBi is not a university research publishing for peer review. Aridor noted that the company gave detailed lectures on its progress and findings in three Drug Discovery conferences in 2017 and 2018 (two in Germany, one in Boston), and added it received "wonderful reviews."

"When they present it for peer review and it's published in a respectable journal and we can look at it, then that will be another story," Neel said.

AEBi received a US patent on their platform last month.

"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.

Aridor is quoted in The Jerusalem Post article as saying "our solution will be both generic and personal,"

The National Cancer Institute estimated that more than 1.7 million people would be diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and more than 600,000 would die from the disease that year.