It’s that time of the week again, and it seems to come round quicker every week – time for a Good News Friday post.
We start with Israel’s outstanding bio-medical industry, where the Israeli company Ice Cure are planning to turn lung cancer tumours into ice balls in a similar manner to their revolutionary treatment for breast cancer:
We’ve told you before about IceCure’s amazing tumor-freezing technology that destroys breast tumors by freezing them into ice balls. Now the company has set its sights on another killer – lung cancer. The Israeli biomedical company that pioneered the application of cryoablation (a process which uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy diseased tissue) as a treatment for benign breast tumors (fibroadenomas), intends to expand its technology to the treatment of lung cancer, with a new clinical trial to begin in Japan.
“This study, which is fully funded by the Kameda Medical Center in Japan, may pave the road for IceCure to use its cryoablation technology in lung cancer tumors, in addition to the current commercial applications for the treatment of benign breast tumors and investigational use for small breast cancers,” said IceCure President and CEO Hezi Himelfarb.
A proven means to destroy breast tumors
IceCure has received FDA approval for its cryoablation system, IceSense3, to treat fibroadenomas and small malignant breast tumors. The procedure is minimally invasive, takes approximately 15 minutes and requires only local anaesthetic.
IceSense3 uses ultrasound imaging to guide a hollow needle into the lump or tumor. The distal part of the needle is then cooled to -274F (-170C) through the use of liquid nitrogen, which engulfs the tumor in a ball of ice and destroys the targeted cells. No further procedure is necessary and the body automatically reabsorbs the dead cells over time.
According to IceCure, its procedure produces a more aesthetically pleasing result than surgery, which can leave big scars.
Himelfarb says: “Successful results in the Japanese trial may open the possibility to enter a huge market with hundreds of thousands of new cases every year.” According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women in the United States, more than the next three cancers combined (colon, breast and prostate).
The clinical study will be managed by Dr. Akihiko Takeshi, the chairman of the Thoracic Surgery Department at Kameda Medical Center. IceCure Medical will determine its future involvement in the treatment of lung cancer through cryoablation in accordance with the results of the study.
If these clinical trials prove the treatment are as successful as they were for breast cancer, the results would be hundreds of thousands of lives saved, and lives made more comfortable through less drastic treatment. We wish IceCure and their Japanese partners every success and say kol hakavod on their initiative.
My next item also concerns Israeli the hi-tech industry: Israeli start-ups are set to make a big splash in the UK:
London doesn’t lack a start-up scene, but that won’t stop the city from importing dozens of Israeli start-ups for the second annual Innovate Israel, the largest Israel business conference outside of the Holy Land. This year’s event promises to be even bigger than last year’s, with over 500 attendees expected at the one-day event on December 4. Attendees representing some of Europe’s largest companies and investment houses, along with government and tech industry figures, will hear from senior figures from companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Virgin.
Sponsors include W residence and hotel developers, British Telecom, Bank Pictet, executive search and networking firm The Up Group, accounting firm Mazars, and Orange Telecom. Among the speakers at Innovate Israel will be Nathalie Boulanger, director of Orange Startup Ecosystem, a part of the worldwide Orange Group (not to be confused with Orange Israel, which is run by an Israeli licensee of Orange). Speaking to The Times of Israel, Boulanger said Israel was one of her group’s most important sources for start-up innovation.
It’s not just tech start-ups that UK companies are interested in. Several weeks ago, a delegation of 17 top executives in the UK water industry were in Israel to explore new technologies in waste treatment, water desalination, water reclamation, and other environmental areas.
[Ed. note: I blogged about Watec a few weeks ago].
Enhancing business ties between Israel and the UK is the job of the UK Israel Tech Hub, said Hub director Naomi Krieger Carmy.
“Our focus is promoting commercial partnership, to make connections and show Israeli companies opportunities in the UK,” she said. “We have been working with start-ups and large companies in a number of programs. There are incredible partnership opportunities for companies on both sides. Israeli innovation can ‘go global’ via Europe’s business capital, and British companies can gain a global advantage by tapping into Israel’s tech ecosystem.”
The news about the Innovate Israel conference is excellent for two obvious reasons: for Israel’s economic development and of course for its diplomatic influence. Of course it also helps enormously in countering the BDS haters who would do anything to boycott and isolate Israel – or even to falsely claim that they are successful in their campaign, a claim that is so clearly refuted by conferences such as Innovate Israel.
Following on from the picture of a note left on an BDS supporters computer. The name of the person who left the note is ED KLINGER. Ed, we salute you. You are our “Person making a Difference” this week. Kol Khavod
No further explanation needed. Kol hakavod to Mr. Klinger on your initiative.
My final item for today is a wonderfully heart-warming story of amazing courage and perserverance in the face of incredible physical hardship. You may remember the case of Lt. Aharon Karov who was almost killed the day after his wedding in Gaza in 2008. His recovery has been miraculous, and this week he ran the New York marathon in order to raise funds for the One Family Fund that helped him and his family on his road to recovery:
NEW YORK – Crossing the finish line at Sunday’s New York City Marathon, the scarring on the left side of his head was barely noticeable. Aharon Karov, 27, completed the race in 4:14:31, an impressive feat for anyone. Especially someone who was critically injured five years ago and thought dead.
But his story begins even earlier, at a wedding.
On a cold Thursday in December 2008, Karov, then 22, married the love of his life, Tzvia, 19. They danced, sang, and did all the happy things that couples do.
The next morning at around 7 a.m., Karov, a platoon commander and 2nd Lt. in the IDF’s paratrooper unit, received a call from his superior officer informing him that there would be a war in Gaza — Operation Cast Lead — and that he was needed.
Some ten days after his wedding, Karov and his men were tasked with sweeping six buildings for explosives. As he ascended to the second floor of one building, a booby-trap was tripped. Karov was blasted into the stairwell and the entire building crumbled on top of him.
Karov noted that apparently one EMT actually proclaimed him dead. Then, feeling a faint pulse and realizing that he was not, an EMT made an incision in Karov’s throat to ensure he would keep breathing.
But with eight pieces of shrapnel in his head, all of his teeth knocked out, his nose dislodged, his left eye dismembered, and his stomach and upper left side of his body completely crushed, the prospects of his survival looked grim.
Five years later and in good spirits, Karov noted, “With my good luck, it [the blast] only hit me and not the soldiers with me.”
Typically, Karov ran Sunday’s NYC Marathon not for himself, but for a cause. The money he raised, just over $40,000, will be going directly to OneFamily Fund, an organization which supports victims of terror and their families.
The organization had helped the Karov family since Aharon’s injury in 2008. All of the money Karov raised will be used exclusively to aid other victims of terror, including the five soldiers who were injured in the Gaza tunnel bombing explosion last week.
After being pulled out of the rubble which threatened to crush him to death, Karov was airlifted to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva and immediately prepped for surgery which lasted 18 hours, “just to keep me alive,” Karov said.
As reported in a 2009 YNET article, Aharon’s doctors agreed his rapid recovery was nothing short of miraculous. Trauma Unit chief at Beilinson, Professor Pierre Zinger remembered, “When he was brought in everyone was pessimistic and thought his hours were numbered. The injuries were very bad, but in the end there was no injury to the brain.”
The surgery worked. He was alive, barely. In a coma, his family had nothing to do but wait for a recovery that seemed almost impossible.
“I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t move my hand, but I just had to go on,” Karov said.
He recalled the frustrations of being a prisoner in his won body. Laying there in his hospital bed, “I thought my new reality was in a bed, as I was.” Sometimes, he said, “You say to yourself, enough, I don’t have the strength to continue, I don’t have it in me… I want to be normal; a normal husband, have a family, and not be a burden.”
Six months ago, with four and a half years of rehab now under his belt, Karov began jogging. OneFamily Fund, the organization that had helped the Karovs during the five years since Karov’s injuries, actually encouraged him to run the NYC Marathon.
“I hadn’t thought about it,” Karov said. “But in the end they convinced me and so I am here,” he said speaking from New York.
Aharon will be returning home to his wife and three children in Israel later this week to resume classes at Ariel University. A religious man, Karov spoke gratefully about his lot in life and noted God’s work in the universe.
“To get to where I am despite all the hardships I went through, for me it’s a miracle and Divine Providence.”
Read the rest of this fantastic article. What a remarkable young man! What amazing courage and indefatigable faith in G-d he has displayed during these long years. Kol hakavod to Karov and to his loving and supportive family, and of course to the One Family Foundation. May they all go from strength to strength.
May Aharon Karov’s words of thanks and praise to G-d accompany us into the Shabbat this week.
Shabbat Shalom everyone!