Weizmann Experts Find Possible Clue to Control of Leukemia

A Weizmann Institute research team under Prof. Leo Sachs, director of the genetics department, has discovered through tests with animals what scientists hope may be an effective tool in arresting leukemia and other white blood-cell diseases. The team of biologists has been working since 1967 on a protein substance known as MGI, which induces maturation and differentiation of the white blood cells, Dr. Sachs said.

Leukemia in its most severe form involves an excessive production by the body of white blood cells, or leukocytes, mainly in the bone marrow, spleen and liver until they swamp the marrow, whose function it is to produce red blood cells. It is not known what causes this excessive production but it has been found that the introduction of MGI causes white cells to mature and hence slows down their rate of multiplication. Although tests have not yet been conducted on human beings, it is hoped that the successful tests on animals will be equally successful in controlling blood cancer in humans, Dr. Sachs added.

Twenty-one-year old Israeli immigrant Irina Markish, wife of Jewish writer David Markish, who is being held in Russia, said Sunday on her return to Israel from Europe and the United States, that she was optimistic that her efforts would lead the Soviet authorities to grant her husband a visa to emigrate to Israel. David, a poet like his late father Peretz Markish, was expelled last week from the Russian Writers Association and is now working as a porter.

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