Nowadays, bone marrow transplantation is a widely accepted treatment with unparalleled success for many blood cancers and non-malignant disorders. More than 50,000 transplants are performed worldwide every year, and this number is increasing. To date, over one million bone marrow transplants have been performed around the globe.
The Goal of the Transplant
Bone marrow transplant (also called a stem cell transplant) is provided in Israel for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and certain autoimmune disorders. The goals vary depending on the particulars of each individual case but typically include curing or controlling the disease, prolonging life, and enhancing the quality of life. With the right bone marrow match, a transplant can cure cancer or put it into remission.
Cancers of the blood and the conventional therapies used to treat them – chemotherapy, radiation therapy – can damage bone marrow, affecting the function of stem cells that are needed to produce life-sustaining blood cells. Not only can a bone marrow transplant replace the destroyed stem cells with healthy cells, but it can also help to treat specific types of cancer directly. That’s because the donated cells can sometimes recognize and kill cancer cells better than the patient’s original immune cells.
Advantages of Coming to Israel for a Bone Marrow Transplantation
- Premier Experience
At the Hemato-Oncology Division of Sheba Medical Center – the largest of its kind in Israel – our physicians have performed over 2,000 bone marrow transplants. Sheba’s facilities support the hospital’s extensive experience providing bone marrow transplants, with 25 private patient rooms, an outpatient treatment unit, patient clinic, clinical laboratory, cell therapy, and immunotherapy unit, apheresis stem cell collection and freezing service, and research laboratory.
- World-Class Doctors
You’ll benefit from international experts, including hematologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists who customize each patient’s treatment for optimal results. Prof. Arnon Nagler, Director of the Division of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplants at Sheba Medical Center, is a pioneer of new approaches for both malignant and non-malignant blood disorders, and he has been working in the field for over 25 years. Along with being the recipient of many prestigious awards and the lead investigator on more than 15 clinical trials, he is widely published and a highly demanded speaker.
- Leading-edge Technologies
Sheba Medical Center uses a state-of-the-art HLA laboratory and an on-site molecular laboratory to find the perfect bone marrow match.
- Access to Stem Cells
Sheba Medical Center is a member of the National Marrow Program. Therefore, if a genetically suitable bone marrow transplant donor cannot be located, appropriate stem cells from this data bank of unrelated donors may be used.
- Patient-focused Care
A multidisciplinary team provides compassionate, customized care for each individual. A personal coordinator from the International Medical Tourism Division provides assistance with all parts of the treatment process, including travel and accommodations.
Ivan’s Life-Saving Transplant at Sheba Medical Center
Finding a Bone Marrow Match in Israel
There are two types of transplants, categorized according to the source of the donor marrow.
- Autologous Transplants: Your own stem cells are used, typically harvested from peripheral blood that is frozen and preserved before you receive any cancer treatments. This type of transplant is used when no donor can be located, or when the patient’s clinical condition isn’t suitable for a donor transplant.
- Allogeneic Transplants: Stem cells are sourced from a bone marrow donor who is genetically suitable. Ideally, the donor should be an HLA-matched sibling or relative. When patients don’t have a family donor, Sheba doctors can access the data bank of the National Marrow Program to locate an unrelated donor. Additionally, in lieu of a perfect donor match, a mismatched allogeneic transplant may sometimes be performed with specially refined cells.