TEL AVIV (Nov. 12)
A Haifa doctor claims to have found a possible cure for cancer he says proved “overwhelmingly successful” in rigorous tests on live animals and human cancer cells, though it has yet to be tested on human cancer patients.
Dr. Eitan Barnea, a gynecologist and reproductive endocrinologist, says he and his research team have discovered a compound of human origin that can combat and eradicate cancer.
“The compound we have isolated and further developed has been tested on animals injected with cancer cells and has been found to prevent the development of cancer in all cases,” Barnea said in an interview Sunday. He said his discovery marked a totally new approach to cancer treatment but declined to disclose details.
The 41-year-old doctor founded and heads the Feto-Placenta Endocrine Center for bio-hormone research at Haifa’s Rappaport Institute for Medical Science.
Barnea has come under fire from medical and scientific colleagues for announcing his “break-through” in an interview with the Jerusalem Post last Friday instead of in a professional journal.
Barnea replied that he wanted to protect his patients’ rights and to ensure his findings would be developed in Israel.
Had he sought to publish in a respected medical journal, he would have had to submit his findings for prepublication appraisal by experts, Barnea explained.
He said he decided to avoid that after learning of experiments abroad which might lead to a similar discovery.
“My main interest is to ensure that this discovery be completed and developed in Israel, hopefully in connection with the Rambam Hospital and the Technion,” he said, mentioning a well known Haifa hospital and the Israel Institute of Technology located in Haifa.
“The information about the research work being done abroad, in sophisticated and fully equipped laboratories, put a time limit on my own experiments,” Barnea said.
“I felt that publicizing the results of my work in the field was the only way to initiate the momentum to press ahead.”
Professor Natan Trainin, vice chairman of the Israel Cancer Association, welcomed the announcement.
“We are naturally very happy about any progress achieved in science, and especially in the field of cancer.
“On the other hand,” said Trainin, who is a cancer research professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, “it would be desirable for such potentially important information to be channelled through the scientific community before raising expectations among the general public.”