There is a quote attributed to Leonardo da Vinci: “Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses – especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

Though ‘art’ might not be the first word that springs to mind when we think about the work of cancer researchers, we know that art and science are closer than they appear. You only have to look at the fascinating winning entries from our Image of the Month competition to see this. Sometimes thinking creatively and seeing beyond the obvious is the key to solving the scientific puzzle or making the right diagnosis.

That’s why we were intrigued to learn that MSD Israel, in collaboration with the Israel Cancer Association, wanted to organise an art exhibition at our recent EACR-AACR-ISCR cancer research conference in Jerusalem. The exhibition, which is also available online, shows the journey from research to diagnosis and treatment, from the medical caregiver’s perspective. The exhibition website is interactive and allows you to click and move the mouse to show new aspects of each page. We asked MSD Israel to tell us a little bit more about it.

Can you tell us about the exhibition?

We have translated the therapeutic journey into an artistic one

“’The Art of Besting Cancer’ exhibition, put together with oncologists and researchers, expresses through artistic means, the therapeutic journey of the treatment of cancer from the point of view of the medical team. This role demands a considerable degree of ingenuity with a focus on scientific, clinical, emotional and organizational aspects of care” said Iris Aharoni, Oncology Business Unit Director at MSD Israel.

The Art of Besting Cancer
“Imaging”, represented by two classical male and female statues, David and Aphrodite: “On the one hand, the body looks perfect on the outside; on the other hand, that same body is diseased on the inside.”

“We have translated the therapeutic journey into an artistic one, presenting key points in the lives of medical caregivers and patients originating from authentic medical materials: photographs, imaging, laboratory tests and histopathology which have been creatively adapted to highlight the existing conflicts through artistic interpretation.”

Aharoni added that “The exhibition brings together the diagnosis and the associated emotions, clinical data and hopes, and the experience of the medical caregiver and the patient in their journey.  This includes the following stages: Research, Symptoms, Imaging, Diagnosis, Treatment, Surgery and Longevity.

“We believe that this artistic experience will provide a new perspective relevant to significant points in the medical team’s professional lives”, Aharoni concluded.

Click here to visit the interactive exhibition website


Further information:

‘The Art of Besting Cancer’ exhibition website (in English and Hebrew)

‘The Art of Besting Cancer’ exhibition appeared at the EACR-AACR-ISCR Conference: The Cutting Edge of Contemporary Cancer Research, 9-11 October 2018, Jerusalem, Israel

Images and information about the exhibition Copyrights© Merck Sharp & Dohme (Israel-1996) Company Ltd. 2018 All rights reserved. ONCO-1277600-0000

The Art of Besting Cancer
Surgery: “This exhibit is comprised of jars used for the storage of the excised tumor removed at surgery… Up close, each jar becomes a personal story and inside each jar you can see a a personal artifact belonging to a patient.”