Is Astrocytoma Treatment Effective?
Learn more about astrocytoma treatment in Israel and treatment options available for different astrocytoma grades.
Astrocytoma is the most common type of glioma, a brain and spinal cord cancer, and accounts for almost half of all brain tumors in children. Astrocytoma forms in cells called astrocytes, which are star-shaped glial cells that nourish the neurons in your central nervous system and protect them from infection. As an astrocytoma tumor grows, it can press on or grow into nearby areas of the brain, which can stop parts of the brain from functioning normally. While the malignancy can affect people of all ages, it is most commonly diagnosed in children between the ages of five and eight.
Depending on the specific subtype of the malignancy, astrocytoma can be a slow-growing tumor or aggressive cancer that grows quickly. The aggressiveness (grade) of your astrocytoma determines your prognosis and treatment options. Since astrocytoma can spread throughout the brain and blend with normal tissue, it can be difficult to remove the tumor with surgery. However, the majority of astrocytoma cases are highly treatable and curable and do not generally spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. The options for astrocytoma treatment in Israel depend on the type and size of the tumor, and include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Like other types of gliomas, astrocytoma cases, are categorized into four grades:
- Pilocytic astrocytoma (grade I): A slow-growing tumor, it is the most common childhood brain tumor. Pilocytic astrocytoma is generally cystic (fluid-filled), and develops in the cerebellum. Often, surgical removal is the only necessary treatment, and the cure rate is 90%.
- Fibrillary astrocytoma (grade II): A tumor that spread into the surrounding normal brain tissue, which complicates surgical removal and is more likely to come back after treatment. This treatment can require additional treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
- Anaplastic astrocytoma (grade III): Anaplastic astrocytoma is a high-grade malignant tumor that usually manifests more pronounced symptoms and requires a more complex and extensive treatment.
- Glioblastoma multiforme (grade IV): A fast-growing tumor, and the most malignant type of astrocytoma, glioblastoma can be difficult to treat. When surgery is not possible, or if the cancer has spread, the preferred treatments are radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and especially- targeted therapy.
Targeted Therapy for Astrocytoma Treatment
In recent years, medical research has shed light on some of the main differences between normal cells and cancer cells. It is these differences, or mutations, that cause the latter to grow and spread out of control. This information led to the development of specialized drugs that can precisely identify and attack certain types of cancer cells.
Targeted therapy, officially classified as biological treatment, is a type of cancer treatment that uses these specialized drugs that target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. Targeted therapy destroys cancer cells by blocking chemical signals that tell them to grow; changing proteins within the cells so they die; preventing new blood vessels from forming that would otherwise feed cancer cells; triggering the immune system to kill cancer cells; or sending toxins to the cancer cells to destroy them. Since these specialized drugs are made to only target specific cancer cells, targeted drugs can, in many cases, be more effective than chemotherapy, and they often have fewer side effects.
As cancer treatment research continues and advances, new and better-targeted therapies are constantly being engineered. At Sheba, our skilled scientists and oncologists are leading the way in the clinical application of cutting-edge targeted therapies.
Benefits of Getting Astrocytoma Treatment in Israel
- Advanced Treatment: Medical institutions in Israel and the US often collaborate in advanced cancer research, developing new and effective treatments against the disease, yet Israel has fewer constraints than the US when it comes to adopting novel treatments. Israeli clinical trials still adhere to the highest standards of safety, but innovative treatments are generally made available to patients sooner than in the US.
- Quality of Care: Israeli physicians are exceptionally well-trained and often spend even more time on their medical education than American doctors. Also, you can be assured of high standards and strict safety regulations if you choose a hospital accredited by a trustworthy authority.
- Cost: In many countries, healthcare costs can be exorbitant. Without insurance, the costs of cancer treatment can be crippling. Prices are much lower in Israel, averaging 30-80% less than in the US, for example. That said, you’re not trading affordability for quality, since Israeli specialists, medical institutions, equipment, and procedures are among the most advanced in the world.
Where to Pursue This Treatment in Israel?
Having discovered a few of the many advantages of getting astrocytoma treatment in Israel, where exactly should you pursue it? Sheba Medical Center is an exceptional choice. One of the 10 best hospitals in the world according to Newsweek magazine, Sheba is dedicated to providing patients with world-class medical care.
The advantages of receiving treatment at Sheba Medical Center include:
- Sheba is dedicated to performing procedures that minimize pain and suffering, with deep consideration for the physical and emotional needs of children.
- Sheba treats children with a holistic approach, keeping in mind that cancer can have devastating effects on the physical and emotional well-being of your child and his/her entire family, which is why we offer a variety of support services.
- As a government institution, we have no hidden costs, and our fees are transparent. Although we offer advanced treatments that are available only in select medical institutions around the world, our prices are affordable.
- Sheba treats each patient as a unique individual, personalizing every therapy program.
- Sheba’s 360-degree care approach to every patient, which means that Sheba’s professionals will assist you with arranging medical record reviews, travel, visas, accommodations, and language interpretation as needed.
- Sheba has full accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI), the premier international healthcare accrediting group.
- Sheba has both advanced treatment and laboratory facilities. At Sheba, patients receive every aspect of their treatment in a single facility.
- Our physicians are actively involved in the latest research and application of progressive treatments.