TIL immunotherapy is effective for approximately 50% of melanoma patients, and is only available in select facilities around the world.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer originating in the melanocytes, the cells that produce the skin pigment called melanin. Although people with dark skin have more melanin, it is actually those with light skin who have the highest risk for melanoma. Cancer of the skin is by far the most common of all cancers, and melanoma accounts for only about 1% of skin cancers. However, it causes a large majority of skin cancer related deaths, with nearly 9,000 people dying as a result of melanoma each year. Unless detected early, standard treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, often fail to eradicate the disease, but cutting-edge TIL treatment for melanoma, offered in Israel, provides hope to patients.
Reasons to Get the Latest Treatment for Melanoma in Israel:
- TIL Immunotherapy: TIL is a cutting-edge treatment for melanoma and other cancers that is very effective for patients in an advanced stage of the disease who have experienced little or no benefit from traditional therapies, and particularly for metastatic melanoma patients. A new and advanced treatment, TIL immunotherapy, offered in Israel, is only available in a handful of other medical institutions worldwide.
- 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. 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
TIL Immunotherapy: The Latest Treatment for Melanoma
TILs, or tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, are special immune system cells (T cells) that are naturally present inside some tumors. TIL therapy involves collecting TILs from a tumor through biopsy or surgical resection and growing them to very large numbers in a laboratory with interleukin-2 (IL-2), a protein that promotes rapid TIL growth. Once successfully multiplied to billions in number, the TILs are infused back into the patient, where they actively attack cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. TIL therapy is usually provided to patients with metastatic cancer in advanced stages, and has been shown to improve the condition of 50% of melanoma patients, while approximately 25% achieved full recovery. Since TIL uses the patient’s own white blood cells, there is little risk of infection or allergic reaction.
Where to Pursue the Latest Treatment for Melanoma in Israel
Having discovered a few of the many benefits of traveling to Israel to get treatment for melanoma, 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.
The advantages of receiving treatment for melanoma 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.
- Sheba has full accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI), the premiere 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.
- 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.
- Many of the foremost TIL and melanoma specialists are at Sheba. These physicians are rigorously trained and experienced, and they regularly collaborate with their colleagues worldwide.
Mike Herstig’s Story: Latest Treatment for Melanoma at Sheba Medical Center
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 and available treatments. Her dedication to saving the love of her life led her to book a consultation with the experts at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, were they met with Prof. Jacob Schachter, Director Emeritus of the Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, who recommended TIL immunotherapy. Let’s allow Mike to describe what happened next: “After I had another PET-CT scan one month later, I received a call from Dr. Ronnie Shapira (senior oncologist at the Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology). She told me that the metastases were not getting smaller, they were completely gone! I was melanoma free.” Fast forward to present day: Since May 2013, a month after Mike underwent TIL immunotherapy at Sheba, he has been free of cancer. Click here to read Mike’s full story.