3 Reasons to Get Primary Osteosarcoma Treatment in Israel
Learn more about different categories of malignancy, and primary osteosarcoma treatments in Israel.
Osteosarcoma, also known as osteogenic sarcoma, is a type of cancer that occurs primarily in the bone or soft tissue around the bone. In general, both soft tissue and bone osteosarcomas are not common, yet malignancy is the most common type of bone cancer among children, adolescents, and young adults.
Osteosarcoma forms as a result of a mutation in the DNA of a healthy bone cell. The mutation prompts the cell to start making new bone when it isn’t needed, resulting in a mass (tumor) of cancer cells similar to early forms of bone cells that normally develop into new bone tissue, but the malignant bone tissue is not as strong as that of normal bones. Osteosarcoma cells can invade and destroy the healthy body tissue around them, and even break away and spread (metastasize) throughout the body, usually to the lungs or other bones.
Osteosarcoma can be delineated into “primary” and “secondary” categories. While primary osteosarcoma is not directly associated with another cancer, disease, or treatment, secondary osteosarcoma develops in connection with a pre-existing skeletal disease, cancer, or previous treatments such as irradiation and chemotherapy. Primary osteosarcoma typically occurs in young patients (10-20 years old) corresponding with the period of bone growth in adolescence. In contrast, secondary osteosarcoma usually occurs in the elderly.
The malignancy can be further categorized into central tumors and surface tumors, each with different subtypes. The type and subtype of osteosarcoma are determined by looking at the tumor cells through a microscope. The most common subtype is called conventional central osteosarcoma (or in short, conventional osteosarcoma). The other subtypes are much less common, as each accounts for less than 5% of all osteosarcomas.
Primary Osteosarcoma Treatment in Israel
As an aggressive type of tumor, osteosarcomas are often assumed to have metastasized by the time a patient is diagnosed. Accordingly, primary and secondary osteosarcoma treatment alike can be complex, so it is crucial to choose a medical center staffed with top-tier cancer specialists and medical experts with vast experience in a wide range of disciplines for treatment.
However, treatment options are available. A treatment plan for osteosarcoma must take into consideration the tumor’s type, size, and location, and may include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted drugs, and radiation therapy. In Israel, primary osteosarcoma treatment often progresses in 3 stages: neoadjuvant chemotherapy, surgical resection, and then additional chemotherapy and/or radiation. Given timely and proper therapy, two-thirds of patients with non-metastatic primary osteosarcoma will survive long-term. However, when chemotherapy is excluded, up to 80% of patients will develop metastatic tumors, even if the primary cancer is locally controlled.
Chemotherapy for Primary Osteosarcoma Patients
Chemotherapy, often referred to as “chemo,” is a type of treatment for cancer that involves medication, or a combination of different medications, given intravenously to the patient. Ultimately, the goal of chemo is to slow down or totally stop the growth of cancer cells. Sometimes, chemotherapy is the only treatment needed, while other times it is used along with radiation therapy, surgery, or both.
Chemo is a systemic therapy, meaning that it affects the entire body – in contrast to surgery and radiation, which removes, kills, or damages cancer cells in a particular area. In practice, this means that chemotherapy can be used to eradicate cancer cells that have metastasized (spread) throughout the rest of the body, and not just the cells of the primary tumor.
The specific function of chemo depends on the kind of cancer being treated and how far it has progressed, but chemotherapy can serve four main roles:
- To destroy cancer cells completely and put cancer into remission.
- To control the growth and spread of cancer.
- To ease symptoms by shrinking a tumor.
- To prevent disease recurrence.
Benefits of Primary Osteosarcoma Treatment in Israel
- 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 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.
Where to Pursue Primary Osteosarcoma Treatment in Israel?
Having discovered a few of the many advantages of receiving primary osteosarcoma treatment in Israel, where exactly should you pursue it? Sheba Medical Center is an exceptional choice. One of the 10 best hospitals in the world according to Newsweek magazine, Sheba is dedicated to providing patients with world-class medical care.
Within our Department of Sarcomas and Bone Tumors, Sheba is actively involved in exciting clinical studies to develop new treatments for osteosarcoma in children.
The advantages of receiving treatment at Sheba Medical Center include:
- Antiangiogenesis: Antiangiogenesis is a breakthrough treatment for metastatic sarcoma, which inhibits the development of blood vessels that feed metastases. Research trials showed that in 46% of the patients who received the therapy, the enlargement of 31% of the metastases was stopped.
- 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 treats each patient as a unique individual, personalizing every therapy program.
- 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 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.
- Our physicians are actively involved in the latest research and application of progressive treatments.