During traditional “targeted therapy” treatments, leukemic cells quickly activate their other proteins to block the drug. The result being is that drug-resistant leukemia cells grow back quickly and renew the disease.

But the new drug works like a cluster bomb. It attacks several leukemic proteins at the same time, making it difficult for leukemic cells to activate other proteins that escape therapy.

In the body of a patient with leukemia, white blood cells grow uncontrolled and immature and take the place of normal blood cells.

Other cancers have benefited from new treatments, but over the past 40 years there has been no encouraging news for most leukemia patients.

In addition, this new single-molecule drug does the work of three or four separate drugs and reduces the pain cancer patients suffer from the side effects of various therapies, which is often intolerable.

The new drug’s ability to eradicate leukemic stem cells is also promising. This has long been the great challenge of cancer therapy and one of the main reasons why scientists have failed to cure acute leukemia.

The US company BioTheryX, which offers effective therapies for cancer patients, recently purchased the rights to this promising drug from the Hebrew University’s technology research center.

Together with the research team, they are now seeking approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Phase One clinical trials.

Oren Blitzblau with guide Erez Faulk (twitter)
Oren Blitzblau with guide Erez Faulk at 2018 Iron Man competition (twitter)

This was Oren’s first Iron Man competition, which he felt was a success. “I experienced a serious injury, but I showed that I can deal here with the Iron Man, and this ability also helps in dealing with the blindness on a daily basis.”
Now, after half a year of exhausting training for this competition, he wants to spend time resting at home in Israel with his wife Nitzan and two children. In another six months, I’ll start thinking about the next competition where there is also a category of Physically Challenged,” he asserted.

After the competition today he revealed, “I am very happy with the result, I know which landscapes I am missing out on, I was not born blind… but my imagination complements what I cannot see. After eight kilometers of riding, we went back into the city, heard the cars and realized that we had left the forest and returned to the city. There’s no doubt that the other senses are sharper. I’ll lie if I say it’s fun, but I do not want to think about that part, I’d rather just enjoy the achievement “.

“The feeling of satisfaction as an athlete is a tremendous feeling. But as a victim of terror, on the national level, it’s a huge victory… I returned to my first love, to sports and I managed to bring honor to the country all over the world today. There’s room for improvement and I will do my utmost to improve” he continued.

Executive Director of the IDF Disabled Veterans Organization, Brig. Gen. (res.) Haim Ronen commented on Oren’s remarkable achievement. “Oren’s achievement demonstrates that the strongest force in the world is willpower. We are proud of you and happy to help you make history. You are a model and an inspiration for all of us”.