Israel not only has one of the world’s most advanced healthcare systems but is also a cost-effective choice for medical tourism.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is a type of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system, which transports lymph, a fluid that contains disease-fighting white blood cells, and circulates through the body, much like blood does. The lymphatic system spans the whole body, and lymphomas can start anywhere lymph tissue is found. In NHL, the cancerous cells originate from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system. It is more common in adults than in children, although it can affect children as well. NHL is generally divided into 2 main groups, based on whether it starts in B lymphocytes (B-cells) or T lymphocytes (T-cells), but there are multiple subtypes of NHL. Nevertheless, B-cell lymphomas are the most common type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, accounting for around 85% of patients.
Reasons to Choose Israel for B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Treatment
- 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.
- CAR T-cell Therapy: CAR T-cell therapy is an innovative immunotherapy that involves stimulating immune T-cells to attack cancer. A new and advanced treatment, CAR T-cell therapy is available in Israel and relatively few other countries around the world.
- 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.
CAR T-cell Therapy for B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Patients
Israel, and Sheba Medical center in particular, are world leaders in the implementation of CAR T-cell therapy for lymphoma patients. 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 cancer cells.
Unfortunately, as a novel advanced treatment, CAR T-cell therapy is only available in a handful of medical institutions worldwide and tends to be very expensive. At Sheba Medical Center, CAR T-cells are engineered in-house in a specialized laboratory, and as a result, the entire process, from lymphocyte collection to patient delivery, only takes about 10 days. In contrast, many other hospitals use commercial CARs, which must be engineered abroad and shipped back, taking months to become available. This delay allows the patient’s disease to progress further, which can also reduce the effectiveness of the body’s response to the CARs. Furthermore, the shipping process compromises cell quality, as some cells die during the necessary freezing and thawing.
Where to Pursue This Treatment in Israel?
Having discovered a few of the many advantages of getting B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment in Israel, where exactly should you pursue it? Sheba Medical Center is an exceptional choice. The largest hospital in Israel, and one of the 10 best hospitals in the world according to Newsweek magazine, Sheba is dedicated to providing patients with world-class medical care.
The advantages of receiving treatment at Sheba Medical Center include:
- 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.
- 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’s extensive experience with CAR T-cell therapy speaks louder than words. Under the expertise of Prof. Arnon Nagler, Director of the Hemato-Oncology Division, and a world-renowned specialist in the field, we have provided over 220 patients with CAR T-cell therapy, including 60 children.
- 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.