In addition, innovative cancer therapies from the “immune checkpoint inhibitors” category, such as Nivolumab (Opdivo), Keytruda (Pembrolizumab), and Yervoy (Ipilimumab), function by affecting the immune system’s mechanism of attacking cells. While these treatments have expanded the horizon for patients who are receiving cancer therapy, their method of immune activation can also damage the body’s natural immune system. The endocrine system, which involves a wide variety of glands – adrenal, pituitary, pancreatic (type 1 diabetes), thyroid – is generally one of the first systems to suffer.
Sheba’s Endo-Oncology Clinic specializes in providing an in-depth diagnostic and therapeutic response to these problems. Highly qualified, experienced physicians address the endocrine side effects of immunotherapy, the control of new or unbalanced diabetes due to various cancer and steroid treatments, damage to bone health as a result of hormone therapy for breast or prostate cancer, hormone deficiency due to chemotherapy or radiation therapy to the brain, and other thyroid, adrenal, or pituitary neuroimaging findings.
Dr. Ruth Percik, Specialist in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, explains the principle behind the establishment of the Endocrine Oncology Clinic, “Just like at the Gulf of Alaska, where two oceans meet and the water types and temperatures are so vastly different that the liquids cannot mix well – the same phenomenon has always occurred at the long, deep seam between oncology, internal medicine, and endocrinology. Now, Sheba is offering a new juncture – which is a home for patients who suffer from cancer along with other complex and related medical diseases to receive integrative treatment.”