Melanoma – Common Facts
Over the past 30 years, the incidence of melanoma – the deadliest of all skin cancers – has doubled in the United States, according to CDC statistics. As the ozone layer continues to diminish, this number is predicted to rise.
- A look at the American Cancer Society’s estimates for 2020 can be frightening:
- Approximately 100,350 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed.
- Approximately 6,850 people are expected to die as a result of melanoma.
But fortunately, new innovative treatments have led to exciting outcomes that have made advanced stage metastatic melanoma a survivable disease. One of the most effective new treatments is tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) immunotherapy for melanoma.
Inspiring Hope – TIL Immunotherapy for Metastatic Melanoma
TIL immunotherapy for melanoma is a cutting-edge procedure that reprograms your body’s own cells to attack the cancer. Specific cells, called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, are extracted from the tumor and isolated in a highly specialized laboratory. After they are genetically engineered to become cancer killers, they are injected back into your body.
Where is Immunotherapy for Melanoma Available?
Because TIL immunotherapy is such a progressive treatment, it is offered at only a handful of medical institutions worldwide. Sheba Medical Center in Israel is at the forefront of immunotherapy research and is highly experienced at performing this promising cancer treatment.
Who Can Be Helped by TIL Immunotherapy?
The use of immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma is extremely effective in patients at an advanced stage of the disease who have experienced little or no benefit from traditional therapies.
The numbers are impressive and encouraging:
- About 50% of patients show improvement with immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma
- About 25% of metastatic melanoma patients are cured of their disease
Mike & Michaela – How Immunotherapy Was Life-Saving
High school sweethearts, Mike and Michaela Herstig, refused to give up hope when Mike was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. Ten years after his original diagnosis, a PET-CT scan in Bangkok revealed that Mike had stage 4 melanoma. Michaela responded by going online to research every bit of information available about his disease, available treatments, and outcomes. Her dedication to saving the love of her life led her to book a consultation about TIL immunotherapy with the experts at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, and they met with Prof. Jacob Schachter, Director Emeritus of the Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, and Dr. Ronnie Shapira-Frommer, senior oncologist at the institute.
Fast forward to present day: Since May 2013, a month after Mike underwent TIL immunotherapy at Sheba, he has been free of cancer. Read his full story.
What Are the Advantages of Immunotherapy for Melanoma in Israel?
- You won’t find a hospital with more experience in this encouraging therapy than Sheba Medical Center. From the very early days of TIL immunotherapy through the current advances, Sheba has been actively involved – working in close cooperation with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US.
- Sheba has a massive center dedicated exclusively to cancer immunotherapy – the Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-oncology, which is staffed by many of the world’s most renowned melanoma specialists.
- The Cancer Center at Sheba enables you to benefit from a range of customized therapies in addition to immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma, granting all-inclusive care.
- Sheba Medical Center was ranked by Newsweek in the Top 10 Hospitals in the World for two years running! You can depend on quality multidisciplinary care across the spectrum of medicine.
- Patient comfort is a top priority at Sheba, and the team of the International Medical Tourism Division is devoted to assisting with everything from travel arrangements, translation, accommodation and helping to streamline the efficient hospital process.
- In Israel, innovative immunotherapy for melanoma is provided at a much more affordable cost than at other premier global centers. In the US, for example, it can be extraordinarily expensive.