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Types of Cancer Treatment in Israel

Types of Cancer Treatment in Israel

At The Cancer Center at Sheba Medical Center, we have a unique 360-degree approach to cancer treatment. As the top cancer treatment center in the nation, we take a holistic and integrative path to patient care. We achieve this firstly by providing for every need of patients and their families – medically, psychologically, and socially. Caring and compassion are our watchwords and we reflect these values in each and every patient interaction.

Next, we pursue our goal of world-class medicine with a personal touch by retaining staff with specific expertise in each type of cancer. Our specialized cancer clinics are a reflection of this commitment:

  • The Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, dedicated to advanced skin cancer research and treatment.
  • The Meirav Breast Center, which is devoted to new surgical techniques and other therapies to eliminate the scourge of breast cancer.
  • The Radiation Oncology Department, treating an extremely wide range of cancer types with the best in clinical care.
  • The Sheba Pancreatic Cancer Center (SPCC), the largest center of its kind in Israel and staffed by some of the top pancreatic cancer experts in the world.

Each patient is different and every cancer case is unique – that is why we provide tailor made medicine. Although we have highly specialized experts, the various centers at Sheba Medical Center work in concert and collaborate with the International Medical Department to provide world class care to all our patients every day, whether they are from Israel or abroad.

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Types Of Cancer Treatment Available At Sheba

Sheba Medical Center is proud to offer many different forms of cancer treatment, all at the pinnacle of the latest cancer research. Our expert physicians and professors work together to address our patients’ cancer with all appropriate therapies, ensuring the best success rates possible with a minimum of side effects. Here are some of the treatments available for our patients:

Radiation Therapy

Radiotherapy has been used successfully in cancer treatment for many years. Sheba Medical Center has the latest in radiation delivery technology as well as expert and experienced staff. Our Radiation Oncology Department sees over 2000 patients each year and provides treatment for an average of more than 160 patients each day.

Radiation is used in cancer treatment to kill cancer cells as well as reduce the size of various tumors. A versatile form of treatment, radiation is often used in conjunction with other modalities, such as chemotherapy and surgery. Multiple treatment sessions are usually needed, and radiation may be employed before, after, or even during surgery.

External beam radiation, or radiation introduced from outside the patient’s body, is useful in the treatment of a wide variety of cancers. Sheba Medical Center has a team of expert radiation physicists who consult with our radiation oncologists on safe and effective dosages and treatment methods.


Brachytherapy, literally meaning “short or near” therapy, is a form of internal radiation therapy treatment. Small amounts of radioactive material are placed inside the body near the cancer, usually via a catheter. Brachytherapy allows for continuous treatment and is particularly effective against cancers of the prostate, eye, head and neck, cervix, and breast.

Zvi Symon, MD is the director of Sheba’s Radiation Oncology Department. Dr. Symon studied at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Surgical treatment for cancer involves removing tumors from a patient’s body for several different reasons. Surgery may be used to remove an entire tumor for a curative intent or to reduce symptoms and ease pain. At times, a tumor may be debulked, or reduced, via a surgical operation in order to reduce symptoms. Typically, surgical therapy is used in conjunction with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.

The Department of Surgical Oncology at Sheba Medical Center is specialized in treating several cancer types, including but not limited to breast cancer, hepatobiliary (liver) cancer, colorectal cancer, and gastrointestinal cancers. In addition, the department contains a genetics laboratory which focuses on BRCA gene research, a factor in the development of ovarian and breast cancers.

We see 2,500 inpatients and over 8,000 outpatients each year for surgical treatment of cancer. Radiation Oncology has 48 beds and is an academically-recognized department of the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University.


Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells with the intent to cure or relieve symptoms. Chemotherapy drugs have advanced significantly over the years and Sheba Medical Center is on the cutting edge in drug availability and research.Chemotherapeutic treatment is often used in concert with surgery, radiotherapy, and other therapy types. Treatment may be over the course of a few hours or several days.

At Sheba Medical Center, we make use of the latest research and employ targeted chemotherapy. This results in the destruction of cancer cells while sparing normal cells, leading to fewer side effects for our patients.

Chemotherapy drugs may be given orally or intravenously. Here is a list of some of the drugs approved for use at Sheba Medical Center:

  • Herceptin® (trastuzumab)
  • Avastin® (bevacizumab)
  • Erbitux® (cetuximab)
  • Tarceva® (erlotinib)
  • Sutent® (sunitinib)
  • Gleevec® (imatinib)
  • Nexavar® (sorafenib)


Immunotherapy is one of the latest cancer-fighting technologies. By encouraging the patient’s own immune system to attack cancer cells, immunotherapy provides effective treatment while minimizing side effects. Immunotherapy takes several forms, including injectable vaccines, biologic drugs, and cell transfers.

We are happy to report that Sheba Medical Center is the leader in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) immunotherapy. TIL is a very promising treatment for patients with malignant metastatic melanoma. These patients, who often have weakened immune systems, receive transfers of immune cells, and very encouraging results have been seen in clinical research. Sheba Medical Center has improved the TIL protocol and hopes to make use of it in other cancer types in the future.

At Sheba Medical Center, our Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology is at the forefront of immunotherapy use and research. In collaboration with top global institutions, such as the National Institutes for Health (NIH) in the United States, the Ella Institute offers immunotherapy to combat melanoma and other skin cancers. Patients can be assured of the latest treatment options and the possibility of being enrolled in suitable clinical trials.


The Ella Institute is headed by Professor Yaacov Shachter, an expert in the nature and treatment of melanoma and skin cancer.

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Sheba Medical Center provides innovative, personalized medical care to patients from around the world. We are the largest, most comprehensive hospital in the Middle East and dedicated to providing advanced and compassionate medicine for everyone.

We welcome all cases, including the rarest and the most challenging. Our medical teams collaborate to provide the best possible health outcomes. From your initial inquiry through the long-term follow-up care, we are here for you.

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