Why Many Travel to Israel for Neuroendocrine Tumor Treatments
Neuroendocrine tumors, or NETs, are rare cancers that begin in specialized cells called neuroendocrine cells. Neuroendocrine cells, most common among people 60 and over, have traits similar to those of nerve cells and hormone-producing cells. While rare, neuroendocrine tumors can occur anywhere in the body, but most commonly develop in the lungs, appendix, small intestine, rectum, and pancreas.
There are many types of NETs, and they can be both slow-growing or fast-spreading and very aggressive. Due to a relative lack of symptoms, cancerous NETs are usually discovered at a progressive stage.
The treatment of neuroendocrine tumor treatment can be complex, so it is crucial to choose a medical center staffed with top-tier cancer specialists and medical experts with experience in a wide range of disciplines for treatment. However, treatment options are available. A treatment plan for NETs must take the tumor’s type, size, and location into consideration, and may include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted drugs, radiation therapy, and peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT).
Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy for Neuroendocrine Tumor Treatment
The cell surfaces of NETs usually contain receptors for somatostatin, a naturally occurring hormone. Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) uses molecules that imitate this hormone, called somatostatin analogs (SSAs), to treat neuroendocrine tumor patients with a radioactive material called Lu-177, which is attached to the SSAs and then injected into the patient’s vein. As a result, the SSA-Lu-177 compound binds to the somatostatin receptors on the neuroendocrine tumor cells and the radioactive material is absorbed into the tumor, delivering a highly targeted dose of radiation directly to the cancer cells, killing them in the process.
Being a systemic therapy that can reach all parts of the body, PRRT can be a very effective treatment therapy for advanced stage neuroendocrine tumors, while also limiting radiation exposure to healthy tissue due to its unique targeted nature.
At Sheba Medical Center, our Neuroendocrine Unit of the Institute of Endocrinology is one of a few clinics globally to offer PRRT to treat NETs. Sheba treats more patients with NETs, a relatively rare disease, than many other cancer centers – and more experience translates into more successful outcomes.
Benefits of Neuroendocrine Tumor 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 safety standards, 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 Treatment in Israel?
Having discovered a few advantages of neuroendocrine treatment in Israel such as PRRT therapy, 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.
The advantages of receiving treatment at Sheba Medical Center include:
- Sheba treats children with a holistic approach, keeping in mind that cancer can have devastating effects on the physical and emotional well-being of your child and their entire family, which is why we offer a variety of support services.
- As a government institution, we have no hidden costs, and our fees are transparent. Although we offer advanced treatments 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.