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Radiotherapy for Cancer Treatment

Radiotherapy Treatment for Cancer in Israel

Radiotherapy for cancer treatment has been a standard weapon in the arsenal against cancer for many decades. In fact, approximately 60% of all cancer patients receive some form of radiotherapy during their treatment.

The high-energy rays employed during radiotherapy can eliminate tumor cells, reducing or even curing cancer. Radiotherapy is often combined with other treatment modalities, such as chemotherapy and surgery, to effectively address patients’ cancer.

Radiotherapy

Modern Advances in Radiotherapy Treatment

Modern advances in radiotherapy, including the use of robotics, 3D imaging, and improved targeting systems, have increased the effectiveness of cancer treatment and reduced side effects. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Sheba Medical Center, where the Department of Radiation Oncology employs high-tech, cutting edge equipment and techniques in the fight against cancer. The types of cancer treated by radiotherapy at Sheba include:

  • Abdominal cancers
  • Brain cancer
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Gynecological cancers
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Pediatric cancers
  • Pelvic cancers
  • Prostate cancer
  • Spine cancer
  • And many others

Over 3,000 patients are treated in Sheba’s Department of Radiation Oncology each year or about 240 patients every day.

Our Technology

In addition to external beam radiation therapy via the advanced TRUEBEAM accelerator, Sheba brings groundbreaking radiation technology to bear against cancer. This includes:
Frameless Radiosurgery for Brain Cancers
Traditionally, a metal frame was used to secure the patient’s head when treating brain tumors with radiation. This was to eliminate patient movement and avoid targeting healthy brain tissue. Unfortunately, the frame was often cumbersome and painful.

Now the frame is a thing of the past. A comfortable thermoplastic mask attached to the bed is used instead in conjunction with our NOVALIS treatment system. Targeting is highly accurate and allows for the precise eradication of the tumor.

SBRT Treatment Using 4D CT

Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is used at Sheba in the treatment of lung, liver, stomach, and spine cancers. It is an incredibly accurate form of high-dose radiation.

Of course, the goal of radiation therapy is to kill cancer cells while minimizing the exposure of healthy tissue to radiation. SBRT with 4D CT tracks patient movement due to breathing, thus ensuring ultra-precise application of radiation. This makes it possible to use high-dose radiation with minimal damage to surrounding tissue. Therefore, treatment times are often shortened from six to seven weeks to only three to 10 sessions.

Sheba’s physicians have obtained thorough experience with this cutting edge technique. For example, we have achieved success in treating primary and secondary lung tumors, liver and stomach metastases, and spinal cancers.

Often, the use of SBRT with 4D CT can reduce or even eliminate the need for surgical tumor removal.

Novel Prostate Cancer Treatment

Through years of research and experience, Sheba’s radiation oncologists, engineers, and MRI experts have improved prostate cancer radiotherapy. Merging multiple MRI images allows our treatment team to precisely guide the radiation when treating prostate cancer, a disease that affects millions of men worldwide.

SBRT Treatment With Spacer

Another advanced technology in the fight against prostate cancer, SBRT treatment with spacer uses tiny prostate markers of less than 1 mm to focus the beam, along with a balloon that moves the colon out of danger during treatment.
The result of an international study conducted between 2012 and 2015, Sheba’s Radiation Oncology Department now has vast experience with this technique. The data from five-year followups indicates an incredible 98% success rate. Sheba is proud to offer this treatment, which can reduce the number of sessions from around 30 to 40 to a mere five.

Brachytherapy

In contrast to external beam radiation, brachytherapy uses internal sources of radiation to eradicate cancer, usually in the form of implanted radioactive beads or pellets. This type of therapy is particularly useful in prostate cancer cases. The advantages of brachytherapy include positioning a radiation source near the malignancy to deliver maximum therapy without the need to penetrate healthy tissue. Also, the beads will naturally lose their radioactivity over time, so no removal is necessary.

Brachytherapy is often used in combination with other cancer treatments like surgery and chemotherapy.

Although brachytherapy is not a new treatment, Sheba is on the cutting edge of this modality. We use a specialized operating room customized with 3D imaging equipment and the high dose radiation (HDR) SMART SEED therapy. This allows our physicians to treat moderate-risk prostate cancer without the need for hormone therapy. Available at only a handful of advanced medical centers around the world, Sheba is at the forefront of this effective technology.

MRI-TRUS Guided Brachytherapy

Of course, the safety and efficacy of brachytherapy largely depend on the accurate placement of the radioactive beads. To that end, Sheba’s Computer Imaging Lab has developed a novel system for navigating within the body to precisely place the beads. MRI-TRUS guided brachytherapy allows our radiation oncologists to target the location exactly for maximum effectiveness.

Our Doctors

Zvi Symon

Prof. Zvi Symon

Prof. Zvi Symon is the director of the Department of Radiation Oncology. He is an expert in radiosurgery, radiation oncology, stereotactic radiation therapy, and radiotherapy for many forms of cancer. Prof. Symon has specialized in both Internal Medicine and Radiation Oncology.
He is a faculty member of the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and has undergone training at Hadassah Hospital, Sheba Medical Center, and other prestigious facilities.
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