An Innovative Cancer Treatment Available at Sheba was Recently Recommended for FDA Approval

CAR-T, an innovative treatment for leukemia, was recommended this week for official US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval by a panel of experts. CAR-T is available in Israel exclusively at Sheba Medical Center.

Thus far, 17 patients who failed to respond to standard treatments have undergone CAR-T therapy at Sheba. Amazingly, 75% showed a complete response, meaning a total remission of their disease.

Amazingly, 75% showed a complete response, meaning a total remission of their disease.

During the treatment, T-cells are removed from the patient’s body and are then genetically altered through innovative technology. A specific gene is inserted in the T-cells that causes them to attack cancer cells. The modified T-cells are then infused back into the patient’s body.

The altered cells are produced in a laboratory headed by Dr. Michal Besser at the Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, which is directed by Prof. Jacob Schachter. The treatment is performed in children by Dr. Elad Jacoby, who was specially trained in the United States, and in adults by Dr. Avraham Avigdor.  The head of the CAR-T research program at Sheba is Prof. Amos Toren, director of the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Departments.Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, director of Sheba Medical Center, stated: “One of the goals of Sheba Medical Center is to provide the most advanced treatments to all patients. Once again, I am proud of our professional team, who has proven that there is no barrier high enough when the health of our patients is at stake.”

Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, director of Sheba Medical Center, stated: “One of the goals of Sheba Medical Center is to provide the most advanced treatments to all patients. Once again, I am proud of our professional team, who has proven that there is no barrier high enough when the health of our patients is at stake.”

Prof. Amos Toren, Director of the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department spoke about CAR-T:”After decades without a significant breakthrough in the introduction of new drugs and treatment methods for children with leukemia, Sheba Medical Center was the first academic center outside of the United States to successfully implement this unique technology without the assistance of pharmaceutical companies and to give Israeli children with leukemia similar chances of recovery as in the United States.”

Dr. Elad Jacoby, Director of the Center for Pediatric Immunotherapy, said: “We provide this treatment to patients for whom this is the last possible line of therapy and their last hope. So far we have treated 17 patients, children, and young adults, with high success rates.”

Dr. Michal Besser, laboratory director at the Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, spoke about this innovative treatment: “The Ella Lemelbaum Institute is quite active in the field of immune treatments for cancer patients, and our clinical laboratories have been studying cellular treatment for cancer patients for the last 13 years. The CAR-T treatment is a breakthrough technology that brings a new and significant player on to the field of cancer treatment. ”