In the facilities of the Espol, Machluf, who has dedicated 20 years of her life to science, receives a team from this newspaper to talk about the research. We focus on one of his latest discoveries, the most important, which has shown that from the modified stem cells – called Nanoghost or Nano-ghost – can eliminate any solid tumor.
– In the world this topic is already talked about, but in what does it consists. What are the Nanoghost?
– They are tiny particles made of the outer membrane of a certain type of cells, called mesenchymal stem cells, that we have in our body. The treatment consists in extracting them, emptying them (in the laboratory) and filling them with medicines and genetic material that then, through the blood system, we inject them into the patient and reach the tumor. The process acts as a kind of trojan horse that ends up eliminating it.
– That the treatment goes to say it in some way, encapsulated or that it acts as a vehicle that transports the drugs, does it avoid that the healthy cells are affected, as happens, for example, with chemotherapy?
– Indeed. By the particles – which have natural addressing capabilities – do not release their cargo en route, healthy tissues cannot be damaged. In traditional procedures, sometimes the tumor is attacked, but also other organs that do not correspond, giving rise to side effects.
– For ten years that started the studies have been tested in animals (mice). To date, what are the results?
– That with the application of a single injection has been able to inhibit tumors in 85%, 95%. The human clinical trials, which will have an investment of approximately 10 million dollars, will begin in three years.
Machluf,who through investors has managed to raise $ 2.5 million “playing manydoors”, says, based on studies, that there is no significant differencebetween mice that received one, two or more injections with the drug .Therefore it is estimated that with a single application, which will cost $400, the treatment will be effective. The United States and Australia would bethe first countries where it would be administered.
– Will the Nanoghost help fight all the tumors?
– According to what we know yes; These can reach any type of solid tumor. The tests have been performed in five types of tumors: pancreas, prostate, two types of lung cancer and brain cancer; and in all cases cancer growth was inhibited and there were no adverse effects. It should be emphasized that the Nanogosht by itself does not destroy the tumor, but the drug that is inside it and acts only on it, without dispersing.
– And for who will be more effective. For those who have a stage of advanced or newly detected cancer?
– It acts on the tumors in both cases, only maybe in some it will be necessary for the nanoghost to carry more medication. With this treatment we have been able to fight against initial formations of undetectable cancer cells, even with traditional methods. This platform combines medicines with DNA to eliminate even tumors in their primary state.
– With what has been discovered, do you consider that a cure for cancer has already been found?
– I do not like to use the word cure because cancer is a very smart disease and you have to fight it in many directions. However, I hope that with this type of studies, more patients can be reached and the treatment is more direct and comprehensive.
So thisprocess, which cannot guarantee that the tumors will not return and wasdeveloped jointly by the Technion and the New York University Langone MedicalCenter, has achieved great advances that allow a more precise treatment. Infact, for her work and career, the Technion scientist has not only received the2006 Gutwirth Award for her achievements in gene therapy and the Juludan 2014Research Award for her outstanding innovative research; He lit one of the 12torches at the Independence Day ceremony at Mount Herzl in Israel.
– Among her anecdotes is the fact that, when she made the discovery, there were even scientific journals that thought his study unreal, so they initially refused to publish her studies. How did you deal with that and even more how did you get science to certify your work?
– In the scientific world this kind of thing happens, one day you can cry and the next day you clean your tears and smile. The key was to never give up. And demonstrate the results. (I)