At the end of last year, I read a very interesting article online about Alpha Tau Medical’s revolutionary cancer therapy, that dissolves cancerous tumors in days. At that time, Alpha Tau had just successfully completed its first-in-human clinical trial of Alpha DaRT with squamous cell carcinoma patients from Italy and Israel.

Clinical trials targeting patients with skin, oral, pancreatic and breast cancer are currently taking place in many countries in the world. There are, however, no Alpha DaRT clinical trials going on in Africa right now.

Driven by this observation, I contacted the Alpha Tau team in Israel and ask them if they were planning to launch clinical trials in Africa. They informed me that they were willing to start clinical trials in Africa if a willing partner can be identified.

I, enthusiastically, contacted the cancer research team at one of the top universities in Africa with the aim of linking them to the Alpha Tau team. They promised to kick-start the process of setting up a centre for Alpha DaRT clinical trials at their university. But almost one year down the line, I do not think there has been any progress on this issue.

One of my venerable academic colleagues told me that most of these University-based Cancer centres are scared of entering into agreements with new cancer companies such as Alpha Tau simply because they have existing agreements with some big pharmaceutical companies that are behind the traditional cancer treatments. Somehow, I tend to think this is true.

My hope of finding a top African university that can gladly jump on the opportunity of working with Alpha Tau on clinical trials in Africa is almost dead now. But I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel from a completely different source.

A few days ago, a team of five doctors from Israel visited Malawi to assess the National Cancer Center in order to find ways on how they can support the center. Malawi stands to benefit a lot from the Israelis.

According to Sheba Online, cancer treatment in Israel is characterised by quality of care, access to advanced treatments, 30-80% lower cost than in US, and the possibility of benefiting from several specialisations.

The Alpha DaRT technology is one of the specialised cancer technologies that Malawi can benefit from. Our authorities must ask the Israelis to set up a center for clinical trials at the National Cancer Centre in Malawi.

This will make it easy for many of our cancer patients to access this life saving treatment without the need of travelling to countries such as India, South Africa and Tanzania. More people will be helped within the country.

For the first time, there is also the potential for people from other countries to start travelling to Malawi to access the Alpha DaRT treatment. The economic implications for the nation will be enormous.

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