Complex Hematological Disorders – Cancers of the Bood
Cancers of the blood form in the bone marrow, where blood cells are produced, or in the lymphatic system, which protects your body from infections. These blood disorders, such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, are a large-scale problem that can afflict adults and children of any age, gender or race – and the statistics are frightening. According to the National Foundation for Cancer Research, one person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer every three minutes. Fortunately, medical treatment for hematological diseases has advanced dramatically over the past 20 years, and survival rates have greatly improved.
Where is Treatment for Hematological Disorders in Israel Provided?
The Hemato-Oncology Unit at Sheba Medical Center was founded in 1983 and designed as a center dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of hematological disorders. Currently, it is the largest unit of its kind in Israel. A specialized nursing staff, trained and highly experienced in dealing with the most complicated conditions, delivers cutting-edge therapies in optimal intensive care facilities. Full collaboration between specialists promotes a comprehensive, custom tailored treatment program for each individual patient.
What Types of Hematological Disorders Are Treated?
At Sheba, personalized treatment is designed for many types of blood cancer, including:
Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common types of adult leukemias.
Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), the most common type of childhood leukemia along with AML.
Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), another type of adult blood cancer that leads to the production of too many white blood cells.
Lymphomas, cancers of the lymphatic system, including Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Myeloma, often called multiple myeloma, which is a cancer of the plasma cells, a specific kind of white blood cell that is manufactured in the blood marrow.
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), cancers that originate in the bone marrow and affect blood cell growth.
Myelofibrosis (MF), which begins in the bone marrow, where it causes fibrous scar tissue to replace the healthy, soft and spongy tissue that is inside healthy bones.
What Therapeutic Options Are Available in Israel?
A range of both traditional and highly progressive treatments are used at Sheba Medical Center to treat patients with hematological disorders. Effective options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted (biological) therapy, bone marrow transplantation, and CAR T-cell therapy. Multidisciplinary experts design individualized treatment programs based on the type of cancer, the stage of the disease, patient’s age and other factors.
Are Any Special Therapies Offered for Patients with Hematological Disorders?
Yes, CAR T-cell therapy.
Sheba is one of the most experienced and efficient centers in Israel and Europe for treating patients using CAR T-cell therapy. When CAR-T is administered to patients at Sheba, all of the cell engineering is done on-site, enabling a quicker, more streamlined process. Also, Sheba’s CARs can be delivered for a wide range of illnesses, including various types of lymphoma (lymphocytic leukemia for patients over age 25, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia that expresses CD19), and several other illnesses for which commercial CARs are not approved for use.
Prof. Arnon Nagler, Director of Sheba’s Institute of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, is one of three board members of the organizing committee of the largest European conference on CAR-T therapy held annually, and he was the keynote speaker at last year’s conference.