Amazing cancer cure but BBC won’t say where it came from

Imagine an article about an amazing cancer drug that has cured 58% of terminally ill patients. A drug cocktail so amazing and effective that the United Kingdom has approved it in record time in order to make it available for their National Health Service. Now imagine an article about it written for the BBC that tells us everything except who is actually responsible for this amazing breakthrough in cancer research. Here is the article. As you can see no mention at all is made of where the cure came from.

Given the worldwide media bias that you know of, which country to you think this cure came from?


…The Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer, near Ramat Gan, Israel, reported a year ago that Dr. Yaakov Schachter, head of Sheba’s Ella Institute, had developed the new combination of drugs – a discovery that was hailed by the scientific community as “a major breakthrough in cancer research.

Based on the drugs nivolumab and ipilimumab, the new medicine shrinks cancerous tumors or eliminates them altogether reported that “a pioneering pair of cancer drugs that unleash the immune system on tumours will be paid for by the NHS in England” and that the decision to approve the drugs “is one of the fastest in NHS history and is likely to be adopted throughout the UK.

The article goes on to sing the praises of the new drug, but does not divulge a word as to its Israeli origins reported that in trials, the combination therapy shrank “the most aggressive and deadly type of skin cancer” in nearly 70% of patients.

The new drug harnesses the body’s own defenses – a field known as immunotherapy – and gives “new hope” to cancer patients. Patients with advanced and aggressive melanoma lived for an average of nine months, while today, patients that have been given the new cocktails are seeing a 20% rate of total cure, while more than half have seen their tumors shrink.


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  • Mike

    I would love to see a list of “contributions to the world in science, literature, the arts, film, music etc” from Israel/the Jews and a similar list from the Arab world/Muslims. I suspect one list would be rather long and the other rather short. I can start the former list already:
    Einstein – theory of Relativity (Nobel prize winner)
    Spielberg – flimmaker (Oscar winner)
    Portman – actress (Oscar winner)
    Day-Lewis – actor (Oscar winner)
    Wiesel – author (Nobel prize winner)
    Simon & Garfunkel – musicians (Grammy winners)
    Kafka, Roff, Heller, Uris – writers
    Stiller, Brody, Ford etc – actors
    I could go on.

    • bristol

      This may help? Notwithstanding terrorist Yasser Arafat ‘Peace’ Prize :)

    • jimknowsall

      Need to be careful with lists like this. For example, Day-Lewis is English and Irish and identifies as agnostic. Whilst his mother is Jewish, his father wasn’t and nor is he. Similar story with Harrison Ford. But you make a good point otherwise :-)

  • Second time around

    The original article says both drugs were developed by Bristol Myers Squibbs (a New York based pharmaceutical company headed by CEOs with Italian sounding names). One of the drugs used in the drug pair is opdivo, which I recall is Pharmac’s choice for a melanoma therapy. The two drug therapy does seem to have complications without offering a full cure. I think the Israel connection should be spelt out. Did they develop the antibody, or were they simply involved in early testing as many medical institutions around the world, including Auckland and Melbourne, were?

    • bristol

      Keytruda, made by Merck? But researched in Israel by Professor Jacob Schachter of the Ella Institute for melanoma treatment and research at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, Keytruda is part of a promising new class of drugs called immunotherapies, which harness the body’s immune system to help fight cancer.
      The US-based Merck pharmaceutical company’s injectable biotech drug works by blocking a protein found in certain tumors called PD-1, which inhibits the body’s natural response to cancer cells.

      • Second time around

        Keytruda was researched in clinical trials all around the world, including the contribution from Israeli researchers you have noted. I am sure NZ/Aust groups were also involved with Keytruda.

        • bristol

          Always happy to be corrected :)

    • PsychoKea

      I think the Israeli institute was just involved in the clinical trials, many clinical trials of Melanoma drugs have also occurred in NZ in recent years but they get diluted by the noise from the anti Pharmac brigade. The effectiveness of the 2 BMS drugs in combination is fairly well known however Pharmac at this stage will only be funding Opdivo but the effectiveness of the combination was probably part of the reason it was selected over the Merck product Keytruda, the paucity of long term data for the combination makes it premature to talk about a “cure”

    • Rebecca

      You’re correct: both chemicals were devised/patented by US company Medarex that was bought by Bristol Myers Squibb in 2009. The Israeli connection comes from published results of well-run clinical trials which is a vital part of the successful commercialization, since big Pharma needs trial results to win approval for use in humans but has no patients and cannot conduct experiments or trials itself.

  • waldopepper

    if it was developed by an israeli doc, i assume all muslims will stand by their convictions and hatred of all things jewish and die of cancer rather than use one created by a “jew”.

    • PsychoKea

      I wonder if a Muslim would accept a porcine derived heart valve ? I know that Jewish people take a very pragmatic approach in this regard based on experience

  • Dog Breath

    This is why the medicine act needs an overhaul to accommodate for what is about to be amazing treatments for all sorts of ailments that will become bogged down with the current approval model. The model needs to act much faster to keep up with fast moving technology and methods and identifying the research winners much sooner in the process.
    My son is also doing similar research work and is achieving 75% cure success on mice with options for the remaining 25%. His method is soon to be tested on human tissue and if that is succesful human trials. He has developed a cancer vaccine that can be tuned to work against cancer variants. He is currently proving that the vaccine can be adjusted easily to treat cancer varients. The goal is to create a vaccine that can be administered (a simple injection) by a GP and thats it for cancer treatment and cure, no chemo no radiation. Very exciting however under the current model it could be another 10 years before his effort becomes available. Good research work is not unique to those overseas there is amazing work happening here in little old NZ without all the publicity.
    It’s regrettable that his research efforts are considered troughing on this site as if his 30 year old car is a 2016 Lamborghini in disguise and his rented flat is percieved to be a mansion on a hill overlooking the poor people. The reality being any personal money he has comes from his wife rather than through money grants he receives for his research work. Money is not his motive for his work.

    • Rebecca

      In fairness, those referred to as “troughers” on WO are not people like your son, but people who a) sup energetically at the public purse, b) jet-set around attending conferences in the Rivierra on the taxpayer’s dime, and c) make “take it from me” scolding pronouncements based on limited evidence. Clearly that’s not your son who sounds as if he is doing very creditable work.

    • Quinton Hogg

      i think there is a distinction between the research your son does and the research that people like Profs Selman & Swinburne undertake.
      Your son’s research produces tangible physical results. The fields of research commented upon adversely in this blog which are conducted by those gentlemen, it seems to me, do not provide those physical results. only lectures about how bad things are and can we have more money to tell you how bad things are.

    • spanishbride

      I believe that WO only goes after researchers who politicise their work and attempt to hurt private business or who spend the money meant for research on personal junkets. We also will criticise a researchers conclusions if the science is not yet settled and provide an alternative viewpoint.

    • Paul Marsden

      Your son sounds like a very interesting individual. And yes, your correct, most would have no idea what goes on quietly behind the scenes here in NZ. Does your son work for himself, a research institution, University or, perhaps a pharmaceutical? I’d be very interested to know.


    Isn’t is sad that so called intelligent and highly educated people can’t be generous enough to give credit where credit is due…..Thank you, Israel!

  • jimknowsall

    I’m not sure that the origin of new any new drug is routinely reported by the BBC unless it is a home grown invention. I think perhaps we are looking for bias where there is none. It also doesn’t help that stories like this by the MSM are usually focussed on the human interest side, not the corporate or scientific sides, because they are scared these aspects will be boring or go over the heads of idiot viewers.

  • Dave B

    Today’s children are taught Socialism, the religion of Greed. They are taught that success is theft, hard work is oppression, and wealth is the Original Sin.

    Who is more successful, more hard working, and wealthier than the Jews?

  • biscuit barrel

    This perhaps marginal about the BBC hiding the origin of a new drug ( unless its British) eg
    “Douglas Clarke, from Stoke-On-Trent, was one of 100 patients chosen by The Christie Hospital to trial the drug ABT-199, while he was waiting for a life-saving bone marrow transplant.”-BBC

    But one thing the UK Defence ministry did hide was a new israeli weapons system bought under urgency for Afghanistan.
    “Israel provided the British army with Tamuz missiles from its emergency stock, starting in 2007, to assist the British in fighting Al-Qaida and Taliban squads in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following their satisfactory deployment, the British ordered more from Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Haaretz.

    And this response to SNP question in 2011 specifically mentioning the M113 vehicle ( Not used by UK before)
    “The UK has a range of systems deployed in Afghanistan to support coalition forces and protect civilians. However, I am withholding further details on individual capabilities as their disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.”

    It wasnt till 2014 that they were more open. Its a wonder the BBC didnt raise a hue and cry. As The Statesman got all worked up over it.
    Should be something NZ could look at instead of outdated 105mm artillery

  • JLS

    Black salve is another one which just works but is banned. It’s all about money.