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P53

Cancer cell Research

Insist of  your Oncologist that the below research has no bearing whatsoever on your treatment! Insist on an Oncologist whose approach does not rely on Israeli Cancer Research!

Cancer research was introduced to Israel in the 1950s by the Weizmann Institute, with the first studies engaged in understanding malignancy and finding weapons to fight it.

One of Israel’s first cancer-research discoveries was made by Prof. Isaac Birnbaum and Prof. Leo Sachs, who laid the foundation for differentiating between cancer cells and normal cells, and understanding the transformation of a normal cell into a cancerous cell. While working on blood cells, Sachs discovered that cells have to “make decisions” as to whether they will grow or differentiate further, explained Prof. Benny Geiger, dean of the faculty of biology at Weizmann.

“He understood that the balance between the decision to stay on line in normal growth patterns or to continue proliferating is a critical event, and that a malfunction could throw a cell into a cancerous state,” Geiger said.

That early discovery led to other cancer-cell discoveries, including the properties, activities, and biology of the P53, a protein that is central to cancer biology, and was characterized, cloned, and studied extensively by several research groups at Weizmann. P53 can be mutated in a large percentage of human cancers because it acts as a guardian, instructing cells to stop proliferating and die, rather than mutate into cancerous cells. But when P53 mutates, there is nothing to prevent cells from developing cancer.

The P53 research brought about more recent discoveries, including a DNA repair mechanism that could enable cells to repair damage and reconstruct a normal gene from a damaged one, as well as the existence of programmed cell death, an apparently common process that is activated when something goes wrong with a cell.

“Discovery is understanding something you didn’t understand before,” said Geiger.

“It’s understanding a process in both specific and intuitive terms. If you want to know the difference between a cancer cell and a normal cell, it is very clear. If you can fix a gene, you can think of a therapy.”

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