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March 2017                                                             Volume 13 Issue 3
  Director's Letter
These days, I am thinking a lot about change. Change may be difficult - and sometimes inevitable - but often change can be positive. Change usually works best when we can anticipate it, and it works even better when we can control it, or at least influence how it unfolds.

Biotherapy is often considered "ancient medicine," but it is still with us today because of changes in our understanding of science, as well as changes within biotherapy itself. Methods of employing living animals have continued to adapt to our changing medical needs. This is why we organize and attend conferences regularly (be sure to see the article, below, regarding the upcoming International Biotherapy Conference).

The BTER Foundation, too, continues to change --- to grow, to evolve, to adapt and improve, according to the needs and desires of our constituents, like you.

With this newsletter I would like to introduce some opportunities for change: namely, additional services. As many of you know, Facebook Live was recently introduced, and it gives us the opportunity to schedule live video programming. So please let us know whether you would like to see us (literally) make use of this resource. Let us know how often and for what purpose. Would you like to see monthly lectures? Weekly interviews? Bimonthly "Ask the Experts" sessions? All of the above?? Take a quick, anonymous 3-question survey to let your voice be heard.

Whatever your ideas and desires, just let us know. Remember this is your foundation, and you can help us improve. YOU make us BeTER.

With best wishes, always,
R Sherman (signature)  
Ron Sherman

Meet a Biotherapist: Kosta Y. Mumcuoglu
Q: What drew you to biotherapy?
A: In general, the desire to help people; in particular, I wanted to help those who suffer from parasites as well as from acute and chronic wounds.
Q: What is your specialty within biotherapy?
A: Since 1996, I have been working with the treatment of chronic wounds using maggots. Beginning in 2005, I also became active in hirudotherapy, which uses the medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, to salvage compromised microvascular free-tissue transfers and replanted digits due to venous congestion.
Q: How many patients have you treated?
A: Personally I have treated over 600 patients with approximately 1,000 chronic wounds and by applying around 3,000 single treatments to these patients. In addition, I have treated close to 50 patients with leeches to salvage their tissue transplantations and fingers.
Q: Is maggot therapy officially accepted as a treatment modality for chronic wounds in Israel?
A: Yes, in 2011 maggot debridement therapy (MDT) was officially accepted by the Israeli Ministry of Health for the treatment of chronic wounds.   
Q: Who else is using maggot therapy in your country and how many additional patients have been treated?
A: About 200 patients have been treated by physicians, who were instructed by me on how to use this treatment modality.  Additionally, I supplied those physicians with sterile maggots, which I produced in my laboratory.  An additional 2,200 patients have been treated by the CWT company, which is now producing and distributing sterile maggots all over the country.
Q: What else did you do for the field of Biotherapy?
A: In 1998, I organized the 3rd International Conference on Biotherapy in Jerusalem, and I have been active in the organization of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th International Conferences on Biotherapy worldwide. Between the years 1999-2011 I was the president of the International Society for Biotherapy (IBS). In 2015 I was re-elected as president of IBS. My group published over 20 articles on MDT and 4 articles on hirudotherapy. I acted as one of the co-authors for the books: Biotherapy - History, Principles and Practice: A Practical Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Disease using Living Organisms. Springer Pub., Heidelberg, 2013 (Grassberger et al., eds) and for  Multidisciplinary and Biologically Based Natural Therapies - Biotherapy (Apitherapy, Hirudotherapy, Maggot Therapy and Ichthiotherapy), 2015 (Tamyuksel & Mumcuoglu, eds.), Meta Basım, İzmir. Last but not least, I was able to introduce MDT to countries such as Switzerland and Turkey.
Q: Have you received any awards for all these activities?
A: In 2010, I received the BTER Foundation's William S. Baer Award for Outstanding Service in the Advancement of Biotherapy, while in 2010 I became a honorary lifetime member of the BTER Foundation. 
Q: How are you promoting biotherapy in your country and abroad?
A: I give lectures to students of veterinary medicine, biologists and pharmacists, as well as to nurses and physicians in different universities in both Israel and Turkey. I participate in  congresses, at which I often give presentations on maggot therapy and hirudotherapy. At the moment, I am organizing the 10th IBS conference in Istanbul, Turkey and acting as the webmaster of the Society website.
To view the full interview and links to Dr. Mumcuoglu's work, please visit
Biotherapy Around the World

MDT success on Burn Victim

Did you know that Maggot Debridement Therapy can help provide healing and relief to burn victims? 
Disclaimer: this story mentions Monarch Labs, for whom Dr. Ron Sherman, BTER's Executive Director, serves as Laboratory Director.

Read the article  here.

International Apitherapy Symposium
Don't miss this International gathering 
of Apitherapists, scheduled for May 26-28, 2017, in Portoroz, Slovenia.

Learn more and register  here.
2017 Biotherapy Conferences

We have recently updated our list of Biotherapy-related conferences for 2017. We will continue publishing it in our monthly newsletter, but you can also find it on our website at
March 31-April 1; 14th Annual Wound Care Conference; Idaho Falls, ID, USA

April 3-4;  Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Forum: Europe; Amsterdam, the Netherlands

May 26-28;  International Apitherapy Symposium ; Portoroz, Slovenia

September 29-October 4;  45th Apimondia International Apicultural Congress , Istanbul, Turkey

October 4-7, 2017; Wild on Wounds; Las Vegas, NV, USA
Lecture and Hands-on Workshop led by BTER Foundation's Dr. Ron Sherman

October 4-9; 10th International Conference on Biotherapy; Istanbul, Turkey

October 26-27; 5th World Congress on Targeting Microbiota, Berlin, Germany

November 2-3;  Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Forum: USA; San Diego, CA, USA

November 28-30; 3rd Annual European Microbiome Congress; London, UK

Donated Art by Artist Kevin Raye Larson
Dear Friends of the BTER Foundation,

Several years ago, two paintings by Kevin Raye Larson were donated to the BTER Foundation in the hopes that the sale of these paintings would fund biotherapy research. From Larson's highly acclaimed "Saint Series," these two 4 ft x 4 ft acrylic airbrush paintings were then priced at $10,000 each. If you or someone you know may be interested in purchasing these beautiful paintings, please contact us at Otherwise, they will go to auction in the coming months.


Publication Credits

THE BeTER LeTTER is published by:
BioTherapeutics, Education & Research (BTER) Foundation
36 Urey Court, Irvine, CA 92617
Phone: 949-246-1156 / Fax: 949-679-3001
Ronald A. Sherman

Assistant Editor:
Amy Lajiness

Contributing Writers:
Dr. Sagiv Ben-Yakir, Dr. Jose Contreras-Ruiz, Dr. Robert McKie, Dr. Jacques Oskam, Sheri Rosen, Dr. Pascal Steenvoorde, Dr. Tarek Tantawi, Catalina Wang,
Dr. Shou Yu Wang. Your name could be here!

Foundation Consultants:
Eve Iversen, Dr. Alana Jolley, Amy Mendez, Joanne Preston, Dr. Aletha Tippett

Foundation Board:
Ronald A Sherman (Chair);  Sagiv Ben-Yakir; Chris Kleronomos; Samuel G Kohn (Treasurer); Sheri Rosen.

Past Board Members:
Donna Beales Sharon Mendez; Pamela Mitchell; Randall Sullivan

Administrative Assistant:
Amy Lajiness
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