Fighting Cancer

Preventing Cancer: The Weizmann Institute's Moross Integrated Cancer Center

The new Moross Integrated Cancer Center (MICC) at the Weizmann Institute of Science aims to revolutionize cancer prevention, detection, and treatments. In this video, several of the senior scientists involved with the MICC – Prof. Zvi Livneh, Prof. Moshe Oren, Dr. Tamar Paz-Elizur, Dr. Eran Elinav, and Dr. Ayelet Erez – discuss directions in cancer prevention research.

By understanding how cancer develops in the first place, we can avoid the treatments that are very harmful to the patients, says Prof. Livneh, Director of the Institute for Cancer Prevention at the MICC. “We must understand cancer at a molecular level, then stop it before it begins.”

The video looks at several cancer prevention-related topics: finding solutions through DNA repair, finding solutions through the microbiome, and finding solutions through metabolism. For example, the scientists have already developed a blood test to measure the amount of DNA repair taking place in relation to lung cancer.

As Dr. Elinav says, they are “trying to understand what are the signatures of microbes that predispose an individual” to cancer? With that knowledge, they hope to “develop new and much more sensitive diagnostic methods that allow us to detect the cancer before it even develops.” And if we manipulate certain genes related to the metabolism, can we regulate the formation of cancer?

Prof. Livneh says, “here at the Weizmann, we are combining biology, biochemistry, genetics, chemistry, physics, bioinformatics, computers” – all in the name of really understanding cancer and finding ways to reduce incidence of the disease.

“And that, of course,” he concludes, “will be a huge achievement for humankind.”