by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A team of Israeli and Portuguese scientists have made a breakthrough in developing an oral immunotherapy pill for cancer that patients could take at home instead of having to go to the hospital for intravenous immunotherapy treatment, the Times of Israel (TOI) reports.
While the actual availability of a potential medicine is still years of development away, researchers from Tel Aviv University and the University of Lisbon have stated they believe their immunotherapy for cancer may be the first drug of its kind, TOI said. The researchers have published a peer-reviewed study on their breakthrough in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer.
Cancer patients currently receive immunotherapy intravenously because the antibodies which form immunotherapy drugs cannot survive in the intestine, TOI said. However, the researchers are working on a synthetic molecule that could take the place of antibody-based immunotherapies.
Speaking to the Times of Israel about the benefits of the new research, Prof. Ronit Sacthi-Fainaro, head of Tel Aviv University’s Center for Cancer Biology Research, said: “This is important, as the new molecules have many advantages. They can be given orally, are cheaper to produce than antibodies, and penetrate more areas of the tumor than antibodies can reach,” she said.
Attesting that the research is “exciting,” Prof. Cyrille Cohen, head of the immunology lab at Bar Ilan University, told The Times of Israel: “I look forward to seeing its implementation in clinical trials that will compare the efficacy in cancer patients of these new drugs to current antibodies. If successful, I have no doubt that it will fast forward another revolution in cancer care.”
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