Eytan Stibbe Visits
Schneider Children's has been chosen to participate in the Rakia Mission to space, sponsored by the Ramon Foundation and the Ministry of Science and Technology, during which Eytan Stibbe will conduct breakthrough scientific trials. The experiments will be transmitted at the beginning of 2022 to the international space station within the framework of AxiomSpaces's Ax1 mission.
The scientific and educational trial of the Hemato-Oncology Division at Schneider Children's aims to characterize leukemia cells under sub-gravitational conditions with or without chemotherapy. Leukemia is the most common type of cancer in children. The majority of children can be cured but there are significant side-effects following chemotherapy. The findings of the research to be conducted in outer space, will be compared with those following a similar study on planet earth, through the identification of changes is the distribution of cancerous cells and their genetic expression. The trial is planned for, and will be conducted by, children being treated in the Hemato-Oncology Division at Schneider Children's, under the supervision of lab techicians, doctors and staff members of the Educational Center at Schneider, which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Education.
Dr. Efrat Bron-Harlev, CEO of Schneider Children's, welcomed Mr. Stibbe together with Dr. Yehudit (Diti) Birger, head of the Hemato-Oncology Research Lab. Stibbe also toured the Oncology Department, including the laboratory which seeded the research. He also met with the children who will be taking part in the experiment, including 15-year-old Yael, 12-year-old Shoham, and 17-year-old Michal. Michal, who is entering Grade 12, is doing her final paper in Biology about the research under the supervision of the investigators in the H-O Department and a biology teacher at the hospital. The children asked him different questions such as whether he thinks there are aliens. Stibbe answered affirmatively, with a smile.
Stibbe said that "the visit to the hospital and meeting with staff and amazing children was very exciting. The children described the trial and shared with me the various treatments they have. I was pleased to tell them about the future mission, and I hope that the experiment they send me in space will bring new insights in novel therapies of cancer cells on earth."
Dr. Harlev added that "as part of the experiment, children will reach beyond the limits of their disease and the hospitalization department, and will enter into an enjoyable arena filled with greater understanding and self empowerment. Involving the children in the study alongside a multidisciplinary team (doctors, lab technicians, educators) will contribute to improving their resilience in coping with their disease, as well as pique their curiosity, and no less importantly, give them a taste of research in general and medical research in particular. From my standpoint, this is a significant bonus where we can give children the "over and above", which is part of our culture and efforts at Schneider Children's. The results of this study will contribute to our knowledge about cancer cell culture under sub-gravity conditions, and lead the way to developing new therapies and reduce the side-effects of current treatments at the same time."