TAMPA, Fla. — Israeli scientists say a cure for cancer is coming within the next year.
That headline is taking the internet by storm. But is it the real deal?
No doubt, with 18 million new cancer cases being diagnosed worldwide every year, a cancer cure-all would be the Holy Grail, especially one without side effects as these scientists claim.
But Dr. Vince Luca, a principal researcher at Moffitt Cancer Center says the claim should be taken with some serious caution.
"Taking a drug from bench to bedside really takes years and a lot of very carefully controlled trials,” Luca said. “It’s also very unusual to hear something just emerge out of the woodwork instantaneously that’s going to be a universal cancer cure.”
Luca says there are two big, red flags in the findings being claimed by Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies: no peer reviews and no clinical trials on humans.
“When you make an announcement of a scientific result, the most appropriate way to validate that result is to have your peers review the experimental design and the data itself,” he said.
“They’ve skipped all those steps, made an announcement without having done any of those essential processes.”
The only data published appears to be an interview the scientists gave to a local Israeli newspaper proclaiming their experiment in mice to be a success.
But that’s not to say the method the scientists are developing isn’t promising, Luca says, because it’s actually similar to work happening daily at Moffitt.
However, with more than 200 types of cancers, Luca says there likely will never be one, single cure.
Similar concerns have been echoed by the American Cancer Society’s chief medical officer Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, who wrote in a blog post, “It goes without saying, we all share the aspirational hope that they are correct. Unfortunately, we must be aware that this is far from proven as an effective treatment for people with cancer, let alone a cure.”
“In the absence of a clinical trial it’s really unfair to get peoples’ hopes up,” Luca said.
So, a cancer "cure" within a year?
We can verify that claim is too good to be true.
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