Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology
The Ella Lemelbaum Institute is internationally recognized as a leading medical facility for treating melanoma and skin cancer. Using the latest technologies and research-based techniques, we implement some of the most innovative therapies available, such as TIL immunotherapy. Services at the Ella Institute are all-inclusive, caring for patients from diagnosis through monitoring and follow-up.
Located on Sheba Medical Center’s vast campus, the Ella Institute collaborates with exceptional cancer centers worldwide, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States. Our top-tier institute exists due to the generosity of the Lemelbaum family, in memory of their daughter Ella.
The Cancer Research Center at Sheba
The Ella Institute is part of Sheba’s Cancer Research Center, where we are continuously immersed in clinical and pre-clinical research. Our mission is to improve diagnostic and treatment methods for patients with melanoma and skin cancer. Alongside the focus on academic teaching and training, Sheba’s physicians also work in tandem with major pharmaceutical and biotech companies and prominent international research groups. We conduct many clinical studies to develop new anti-cancer drugs with the aid of progressive technologies.
Programs at our Cancer Research Center include:
What diseases do we treat?
At the Ella Institute, we offer advanced treatment for melanoma and skin cancer.
What treatments do we offer?
Sheba is one of the few hospitals worldwide to offer innovative TIL (Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes) immunotherapy as a treatment for patients with metastatic melanoma. This type of cellular immunotherapy involves drastically increasing the number of elite cancer-killing lymphocytes in your body that target and attack malignant cells.
Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
This drug blocks specific proteins that are produced by some types of immune system cells, such as T-cells and certain cancer cells. The function of these proteins is to help control the body’s immune responses, such as by preventing T-cells from attacking cancer cells. Therefore, by blocking particular proteins, the T-cells and immune system can destroy cancer cells more efficiently. We offer treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors to help treat melanoma and skin cancer.
Surgical removal of the cancerous tissue (such as a mole) is the primary treatment for early-stage melanoma. If melanoma has spread to lymph nodes in surrounding tissues, surgery may also be performed to remove the affected nodes.
Chemotherapy drugs to destroy cancer cells can be administered intravenously or with oral pills.
High-powered energy beams are used to destroy cancer cells. Radiotherapy is sometimes used after surgery or to alleviate melanoma symptoms when the disease has spread to other parts of the body.
Also known as biological therapy, specialized drugs are used to target specific vulnerable parts of the cancer cells. Approximately half of melanomas carry particular mutations that can be suppressed by targeted therapy drugs, preventing the cancer cells from multiplying.
Fecal microbiota transplant
A gut microbiome is the totality of microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, and their collective genetic material present in each person’s gastrointestinal tract. Recently, scientists discovered that the microbiome works closely with the immune system so that a change in the flora of the bacteria has an effect on the body’s immune response to many health conditions, including treatments for oncological diseases. By eradicating the microbiota of a melanoma patient who is unresponsive to immunotherapies and replacing it with bacteria taken from melanoma patients who have responded to the treatment, through the use of a fecal transplantation, this procedure can significantly improve a patient’s body’s responsiveness to immunotherapy.
The innovative Immunophoresis approach uses a special filter to remove specific immune-suppressive cytokines produced by cancer tumors. Selective removal of these targeted cytokines is intended to neutralize the cancer’s ability to block natural immune defense mechanisms, which are significantly compromised during late-stage, metastatic cancer. In this manner, the treatment re-energizes the immune system to aggressively fight the malignancy. An added benefit lies in the relative lack of side effects or detrimental impact on quality of life typical of other cancer treatments.
Nethanel Asher, MD
Senior Physician, Oncology Specialist, Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology
Dr. Asher received his board certification in medical oncology and now focuses on clinical diagnosis, management and treatment of melanoma patients. Dr. Asher’s interests include the toxicity profiles of immuno-therapeuthic agents and combinations; practice and quality of care development; oncologic education and collaboration with medical; surgical and dermatologic teams; oncologic patients’ quality of life.
Dov Zippel, MD
Head of the Meirav Breast Center
Surgery Specialist, Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology
Dr. Zippel specializes in melanoma treatment and intraperitoneal chemotherapy. He received his medical degree from Tel Aviv University and completed his residency at Sheba. Dr. Zippel also completed a sub-residency in surgical oncology at the University of Calgary, Canada.
Holistic Healthcare at Sheba
At the Ella Institute, we treat melanoma and skin cancer with a patient-centric approach that considers your whole body – not just the cancer. World-class clinicians customize every treatment program with a focus on your quality of life. Our multidisciplinary staff includes medical oncologists, pathologists, dermatologists, surgeons, specialized nurses, and researchers who every patient with supportive, integrative care. At Sheba, you will benefit from advanced therapies that are based on groundbreaking research and take into account your unique needs – physical, psychological, and social. All healthcare services are provided conveniently on our comprehensive campus.