3 Things You Need to Know About Small-Cell Osteosarcoma Treatment in Israel
Learn more about the advanced small-cell osteosarcoma treatments offered in Israel
Osteosarcoma, also known as osteogenic sarcoma, is a type of cancer that occurs primarily in the bone or soft tissue around the bone. In general, both soft tissue and bone osteosarcomas are not common, but pediatric osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer among children and adolescents.
Osteosarcoma forms as a result of a mutation in the DNA of a healthy bone cell. The mutation prompts the cell to start making new bone when it isn’t needed, resulting in a mass (tumor) of cancer cells similar to early forms of bone cells that normally develop into new bone tissue, but the malignant bone tissue is not as strong as that of normal bones. Osteosarcoma cells can invade and destroy the healthy body tissue around them, and even break away and spread (metastasize) throughout the body, usually to the lungs or other bones.
The malignancy can be categorized into several different types, usually classified by looking at the tumor cells through a microscope. The most common subtype is called conventional central osteosarcoma (or in short, conventional osteosarcoma). Other subtypes are much less common, each accounting for less than 5% of all osteosarcomas. These include:
- Small-cell osteosarcoma: Small-cell osteosarcoma is a very rare type of osteogenic sarcoma, estimated to account for less than 1% of all cases. It presents a challenge for diagnosis, owing to its rarity and morphologic similarity to other tumors, and especially Ewing’s sarcoma. The prognosis of small-cell osteosarcoma is considered to be worse than conventional osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma.
- Giant cell-rich osteosarcoma (GCRO): GCRO is a rare variant of conventional osteosarcoma constituting about 1-3% of all osteosarcomas, and characterized by an abundance of osteoclastic giant cells and a lack of tumor osteoid. The unusual histopathological appearance and the rarity of the lesion poses a great diagnostic challenge.
Small-Cell Osteosarcoma Treatment in Israel
As an aggressive type of tumor, osteosarcomas are often assumed to have metastasized by the time a patient is diagnosed. Thus, the treatment of osteosarcoma, and rare subtypes such as small-cell osteosarcoma in particular, can be complex. Accordingly, it is crucial to choose a medical center staffed with top-tier cancer specialists and medical experts experienced in a wide range of disciplines for treatment.
Small-cell osteosarcoma treatment plans in Israel take into consideration the tumor’s type, size, and location, and may include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted drugs, and radiation therapy. The treatment often progresses in 3 stages: neoadjuvant chemotherapy, a surgical tumor resection, and then additional chemotherapy and/or radiation. Given timely and proper therapy, two-thirds of patients with non-metastatic primary osteosarcoma will survive long-term.
Radiotherapy for Small-Cell Osteosarcoma Patients
Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy or irradiation, is one of the most common approaches to cancer therapy in general, and a common treatment for small-cell osteosarcoma. Radiotherapy damages the DNA inside cancer cells so they cannot continue to grow and divide, and eventually die. During radiotherapy sessions, high-energy rays precisely target and destroy cancer cells, thereby minimizing the harm to healthy surrounding tissues.
Radiation therapy can be used to shrink or cure early-stage cancer, complement a surgical procedure and ensure its success, prevent cancer from recurring, treat a recurrence of cancer, and destroy cancer cells before a bone marrow transplantation. Typically, the treatment lasts for two weeks, with the patient receiving small doses of radiation each day.
At Sheba Medical Center, our radiation oncologists have specialized techniques to determine the dose and volume of radiation so that it provides the most benefits with minimal long-term effects for the overall health of the patient.
Small-Cell Osteosarcoma Treatment in Israel: Important Facts
- 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 Osteosarcoma Treatment in Israel?
Having discovered a few of the many advantages of receiving small-cell osteosarcoma 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.
Within our Department of Sarcomas and Bone Tumors, Sheba is actively involved in exciting clinical studies to develop new treatments for osteosarcoma in children.
The advantages of receiving treatment at Sheba Medical Center include:
- Antiangiogenesis: Antiangiogenesis is a breakthrough treatment for metastatic sarcoma, which inhibits the development of blood vessels that feed metastases. Research trials showed that in 46% of the patients who received the therapy, the enlargement of 31% of the metastases was stopped.
- 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.