top TOP
Grant Recipients Home

Yinon Ben-Neriah, MD, PhD

Yinon Ben-Neriah, MD, PhD

Grant Status

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Grant Type
Research Professorship Grant

Project Title
Controlling clonal evolution of transformed blood cells to block leukemia progression

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Blood Cancers, Cancer Treatment, Leukemia

About the Investigator:

Yinon Ben-Neriah, MD (Tel Aviv University), PhD (Weizmann Institute), is a Professor of Immunology and Cancer research at the Hebrew University and an Adjunct Professor of Immunology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He is a member of the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities, an elected EMBO member and recipient of the Landau (1993), Teva Founders’ (2007), Rappaport (2016) and EMET (2019) prizes for biomedical research. His research focuses on dissecting aberrant cellular responses underlying cancer development and developing therapeutic measures for correcting these responses.

About the Research:

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is one of the most aggressive and most challenging types of cancer. Despite a lot of progress in its treatment, it is still considered a disease with unmet therapy needs and the 5-year mean survival of AML patients is only 25%. Following an intensive research and development effort, which has been funded in part by ICRF, the Ben-Neriah research team succeeded in developing a new experimental drug for the treatment of aggressive leukemia.

Most of the biological cancer drugs developed so far attack a single leukemic protein and the leukemic cells quickly find a way to avoid the drug’s effect by recruiting other, redundant proteins to perform the same function. In contrast, their newly-developed drug works like a cluster bomb that simultaneously attacks many leukemic proteins and, thus, makes it difficult for the leukemia cells to evade the therapy. Based on their preclinical studies, the FDA approved this drug for a Phase 1 clinical trial at three major cancer centers in the US. The Phase 1 trial has been successfully completed and the drug is about to enter a Phase 2 trial. It is especially exciting that AML patients who were refractory to all previous treatments, and who share a single mutation commonly found in AML, achieved a near-complete response upon treatment with this drug. The goal of Prof. Ben-Neriah’s future ICRF research is to further improve and expand the anti-leukemic effect of the drug by combining it with other drugs, and to prevent the emergence of therapy resistance which is highly common in cancer therapy. They will also test whether the drug may be useful in preventing leukemia development in people having signs of blood cell aging associated with high leukemia risk, as predicted by their studies thus far

Help End the Suffering Caused By Cancer

The answer to cancer is research. Support groundbreaking cancer research in Israel today: