Studies of susceptibility to cancer among Jews of European and Oriental origins in Israel were referred to here today by Professor Peter Beaconsfield when he disclosed a new biochemical approach to the understanding and inhibiting the mechanism of cancer.
Prof. Beaconsfield, formerly a special research fellow of the United States Institute of Health and now a visiting professor at the Charring Cross Hospital Medical School here said that the new approach centers on the search for a drug capable of blocking the overactive nature of an enzyme or chemical initiator in cancer patients. Professor Beaconsfield then cited Israel, where he said medically well-documented people of diverse geographic origins live under similar environmental conditions.
It has already been determined by Israeli Public Health authorities that Jews from Middle Eastern countries were less likely to die from cancer than Jews from Europe. No explanation of this fact had been made. Professor Beaconsfield asserted that the Oriental Jews belong to ethnic groups known to have a deficiency of the enzyme believed to be instrumental in producing cancer cells. The deficiency occurs mainly in males and is transmitted by a gene found in females. This genetic peculiarity, according to the medical scholar is mostly found in racial groups that originated around the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean.