Prof. Avigdor Scherz studied photosynthesis, the process by which plants capture sunlight and convert it into useful energy. Together with Prof. Yoram Salomon, he developed light-sensitive compounds that successfully treated cancer in laboratory animals. The compounds are based on chlorophyll, the plants’ light-collecting pigment.
The “green” compounds have been developed into drugs for use in photodynamic therapy of cancer. They are being tested in clinical trials of prostate cancer at two medical centers in Canada. Additional trials of prostate and other cancers are in the pipeline.