Research at Rambam: Will the Israeli start-up change the treatment of skin and oral cancer?
Rambam | Breakthrough technology and the first of its kind in the world is used to treat cancerous skin lesions
Over 11,000 Israelis are diagnosed each year with skin cancers of various types, including melanoma. Along with raising awareness of the importance of early detection, the medical world is working to develop new and effective treatments for the disease. Recently, the Rambam Medical Campus began implementing the use of a new, groundbreaking technology, the first of its kind in the world, used to treat cancerous skin lesions. The treatment is available to the patient public as part of a large-scale study currently underway in the radiation unit of the medical center.
Dr. Tomer Haras, Director of Oncology and Urology at Rambam’s Oncology Department and who leads the research at the hospital:
This is a technology, the product of the blue-and-white development of the Israeli company Alpha Tau, which is based on alpha radiation, which is considered very safe and effective, “explains Dr. Tomer Khars, Director of Oncology and Urology at Rambam’s Oncology Department. H, “The new technology allows the use of very powerful radiation in a targeted manner, with high capabilities of tumor destruction, without it penetrating the tissues near the tumor. Based on the experience gained so far in using the technology, we see excellent results with very few side effects.
Relatively short treatment
The innovative treatment is done by transplanting a small number of sources that contain a small amount of radioactive material, into or near the tumor. The treatment lasts about an hour, under local anesthesia, and is done once.
During the period of time that the implants are in the patient’s body, they emit powerful and focused alpha radiation within the tumor, which, as mentioned, damages and kills the cancerous tumor cells in a short period of time, without damaging the healthy tissues surrounding the tumor.
Dr. Salem Blanc, Director of the Radiation Unit at Rambam:
Most oncology patients need re-radiation therapy during cancer treatment. The use of alpha radiation in the radiation unit at Rambam should allow for increased killing of cancer cells, in a one-time transplant that will save patients prolonged treatments and repeat visits.
Effective and safe care
The implants are inserted in a way that allows them to be removed at the end of the treatment period, after only about two weeks. At the end of the procedure, a minor scar remains in the area through which the implants were inserted, which is expected to heal later.
The use of Alpha DaRT technology has been proven to be effective and safe in studies conducted and still conducted in leading centers in Israel and around the world. Rambam is expected to be a national center for the use of these treatments and in the future these treatments are also expected to be available for prostate cancer patients.
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Dr. Khars clarifies:
In every step we take therapeutically, we want to make sure that cancer treatment is effective while examining the implications for the patient. The new treatment significantly reduces the side effects to a minimum, and the standard radiation treatment time of about two months for a short and one-time session. The results are impressive both in terms of the treatment of the tumor and in terms of the visibility and function of the treated tissue even in more sensitive areas, such as: cheek, tongue, scalp, lip, facial skin, etc. There is a therapeutic revolution in the making here and we call on the relevant patient public to come to us, hear and take part in the research.