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Experimental cancer treatment in Israel records 90% success rate

Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem begins testing CAR-T therapy treatments against myeloma

Illustrative image (Photo: Shutterstock)

Israel's Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem announced it has developed an experimental treatment for multiple myeloma cancer with a 90% success rate.

Medical experts previously believed the disease, which constitutes 10% of all blood cancers, is incurable. The innovative Israeli treatment could therefore potentially revolutionize the global treatment of multiple myeloma cancer patients.

Prof. Polina Stepensky, the head of the department at the Hadassah-University Medical Center, is optimistic that the treatment can eventually enhance both life expectancy and quality among cancer patients.

“Now, in light of the impressive results of CAR-T (Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell) therapy treatments, it seems that they have many more years to live – and with an excellent quality of life,” Stepensky said.

Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of the plasma cells. Plasma cells are white blood cells that make antibodies that protect us from infection. In myeloma, the cells grow too much, crowding out normal cells in the bone marrow that make red blood cells, platelets, and other white blood cells, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Given the high success rate of therapy, the senior researcher revealed that many Israeli and international cancer patients wish to be treated by the reputed Jerusalem medical center.

“We have a waiting list of more than 200 patients from Israel and various parts of the world at any given time,” said Stepensky.

However, she said, they are only able to treat one patient per week during the experimental stage because of the complexities involved in producing and administering the treatment itself.

The groundbreaking medical treatment will also be a more affordable alternative. For example, in the United States, Stepensky explained, “it can cost as much as $400,000 for a patient to receive this life-saving treatment. This is why it was so important for us to develop something in Israel. Not only was it not always available, but it was costly."

The Jewish state has continued to play a prominent role in global medical research.

In March, a team of Israeli researchers from Hebrew University of Jerusalem reportedly discovered a treatment method to potentially cure pancreatic cancer, currently one of the most lethal forms of cancer, as fewer than 10% of pancreatic cancer patients survive more than a few years.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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