CAR T-cell Therapy Success Rate at Sheba Medical Center Stands at 70%
The advanced therapy, available only in select medical institutions around the world, is a highly effective treatment for patients with relapsed or refractory cancer
CAR T-cell therapy is an innovative procedure that makes use of your own immune system to seek and destroy cancerous cells. After some blood is taken from the patient, the T-cells, a type of immune cell, are separated from the rest of the blood in a special laboratory. The T-cells are then genetically engineered to produce chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). The engineered T-cells are then given some time to multiply in the laboratory and are later injected back into the patient. The CARs allow the T-cells to recognize, target and destroy the cancer cells. The whole process takes approximately 10 days, but patients are hospitalized for a minimum of 2 weeks to monitor toxicities. A cutting-edge treatment, the success rate of CAR T-cell therapy is very high compared to standard treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, especially in relapsed or refractory patients.
What Are The Success Rates?
Research on the use of immune system T-cells for cancer treatment started 25 years ago in Israel, and during the past five years, clinical trials conducted in Israel and around the world have demonstrated the great efficacy of this therapy. According to recent studies, the success rates of CAR T-cell therapy globally stand at 50-80% on average. At Sheba Medical Center in Israel, the first institution to offer CAR T-cell therapy outside the US, the success rates are 85-90% in young children, about 80% in teenagers, and approximately 70% in the general population.
The Benefits of Choosing Israel for CAR T-cell Therapy
In many countries, healthcare costs are often exorbitant without insurance, particularly when dealing with treatments that are cutting-edge but limited in availability, such as CAR T-cell immunotherapy. Costs are much lower in Israel, but you’re not trading affordability for quality, since Israeli specialists, medical institutions, equipment, and procedures are among the most advanced in the world.
The Benefits of CAR T 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 price of cancer treatment can be crippling. Costs are much lower in Israel, averaging 30-80% less than in the US, for example.
Where to Pursue CAR T-cell Therapy in Israel
Having discovered a few of the many benefits of traveling to Israel for CAR T-cell treatment, where exactly should you seek treatment in Israel? Sheba Medical Center is an exceptional choice. As the largest hospital in Israel, Sheba is dedicated to providing patients with world-class medical care and was the first hospital to offer this innovative treatment outside of the United States. Sheba Medical center offers this therapy for more types of hematological malignancies than most other institutions, including acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), multiple myeloma and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).
The advantages of receiving CAR T treatment at Sheba Medical Center include:
- Affordable fees: As a government institution, we have no hidden costs, and our fees are transparent.
World-renowned specialists: Our staff includes some of the most qualified and experienced oncologists, hematologists, and immunologists in the world.
- Holistic care: The 360-degree care approach to healthcare at Sheba means that our team will help you arrange medical record reviews, travel visas, accommodations, and language interpretation, while at the same time helping you maintain your quality of life and overall well-being throughout your treatment.
- Full accreditation: We are fully accredited for international healthcare by the Joint Commission International (JCI), the premier international healthcare accrediting group.
Convenient on-site care: We offer all of the required services for CAR T-cell therapy under-one-roof, including blood collection, chemotherapy, a genetic engineering laboratory, T-cell injections, and patient monitoring, resulting in an efficient and expedited treatment.
- Top-notch facility: Sheba is home to the Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, a modern facility devoted entirely to cancer immunotherapy research and treatment.
Sam Turel’s Story – CAR T Treatment at Sheba Medical Center
“Like a bolt from the blue”- that was Sam Turel’s reaction when he was first diagnosed with chronic lymphoproliferative disease. Sam had enjoyed an active full life, but when he was given his diagnosis he fell into despair. After years of initial treatments slowed him down, he was later diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It was time to seek an advanced treatment method, and Sam chose Sheba for CAR T-cell therapy.
According to Sam: “I was aware of treatment options such as CAR T-cell therapy, and my neurosurgeon brother suggested getting treatment at Sheba Medical Center in Israel. We had explored other international hospitals, such as MD Anderson in Houston, TX, but they only had a program to treat DLBCL with this therapy, or a 2-year clinical trial to treat both DLBCL and CLL. The latter was an experimental program spread out over a long period that required temporary relocation to the United States. Sheba Medical Center had a program to treat both DLBCL and CLL with CAR T treatment. Because of their on-site lab, the entire treatment would take 8-10 weeks, maximum. Additionally, the cost of the treatment in Israel was much more affordable than in the US.” After receiving CAR T-cell therapy at Sheba, Sam’s CLL went into full remission. Click here to read more about Sam’s story.