Science for the benefit of cancer research.

Fighting Cancer

Fighting Cancer

From the earth beneath our feet to the stars we wish upon, the physical world around us is still a mystery – and the Weizmann Institute’s curiosity-driven scientists are working to understand it. In a world’s first, our archaeologists discovered a way to precisely identify and analyze prehistoric ashes, and found a highly pure, well-preserved source of DNA in fossilized bone. Our materials scientists and structural biologists found that bone and shell actually form in similar ways. Our astrophysicists actually watched – for the first time – as a massive star, later estimated at a mass of perhaps 200 suns, went supernova and became a black hole. Our hydrologists created a model of groundwater movement that can aid development of sound environmental policy, such as after an oil spill. From learning about the past to shaping the future, the Weizmann Institute of Science is exploring new frontiers to reveal how the world works.

Weizmann by the Numbers

  • We were first to clone p53, the gene involved in over 50% of all cancers
  • Our research led to the world’s first bone-marrow transplant between incompatible people
  • Over 60 research groups focus on cancer – that’s ~40% of all our life-science research


The NIH estimates that cancer՚s total annual cost is over $200 billion

Weizmann՚s Photodynamic, chlorophyll-based prostate cancer treatment is entering the market after clinical trial success


The most common type of cancer worldwide? Lung Cancer


The number of people surviving cancer is rising and could reach

19 million by 2024

An immunotherapy method based on Zelig Eshar's pioneering research is revolutionizing cancer treatment

Imagine a breakthrough that revolutionizes cancer research and therapy around the globe.

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute work to clarify the molecular mechanisms involved in metastasis, which is still one of the least understood aspects of cancer, and devise strategies against it.

Imagine science that uses antibodies to help standard therapies fight cancer.

Weizmann scientists invented the synergistic effect behind Erbitux®, an antibody-based therapy that presents synergism with conventional chemotherapy. Used to treat colorectal and head and neck cancer, Erbitux® was approved by the FDA in 2001.

Imagine science that uses garlic to destroy cancer without damaging healthy tissue.

Allicin, a natural chemical in garlic, has been used by Weizmann researchers to destroy malignant tumors while leaving healthy tissue intact. This technique could also prove invaluable for preventing metastasis following surgery.

Imagine science that can replicate a human gene, leading to new cancer-fighting treatments.

Weizmann scientists were among the first to study and clone the p53 gene, defective copies of which are found in more than half of all human cancers. They determined that this gene can suppress cell multiplication and trigger cells to kill themselves.

Imagine science that enables bone marrow transplants between incompatible donors and patients.

Weizmann scientist Prof. Yair Reisner tackled the problem of bone marrow transplantation between incompatible donors and recipients by using a hormone to mobilize the bone marrow cells of leukemia patients and "bubble" children. In 1993, this method was used for the first time to treat a leukemia patient in Italy. Today it is used worldwide.

Imagine science that can predict your risk for lung cancer - with a blood test.

A Weizmann scientist identified an enzyme that helps protect against lung cancer. Genetic differences may explain why some people get cancer while others, including smokers, don't. A simple blood test could help gauge personal risk.

Imagine science combining non-toxic drugs with light to treat prostate cancer.

Weizmann Institute scientists are conducting pioneering research on the viability of photodynamic therapy (PDT) to treat malignant tumors. This "green" therapy can treat prostate cancer by combining non-toxic drug treatment with light, destroying the tumor's blood supply. Advanced clinical testing is underway.

Imagine science that lays the groundwork for an FDA-approved leukemia treatment.

Weizmann research established the foundation for the development of Gleevec®, which has been approved by the FDA to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

Imagine science that creates a drug to seek out and identify cancer-causing genes.

Weizmann scientists succeeded in reversing the metastatic properties of colon cancer; their research may be used as the foundation for drugs that can specifically target colon-causing genes.

Imagine science that enables detection of malignant tumors without the need for invasive biopsies.

Weizmann scientist Prof. Hadassa Degani developed a non-invasive, MRI-based method called three time point (3TP) that is FDA-approved for diagnosing breast and prostate cancer.

When you support Weizmann Institute scientists that inspire you with their vital work, and encourage others to join your effort, you become partners in the search for meaningful solutions to the world's greatest challenges.