CAR T Cells - Cancer immunotherapy in Israel | Tel-Aviv Medical Center Ichilov Hospital

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A REVELATION FOR LYMPHOMA AND LEUKEMIA PATIENTS
CAR-T-CELLS IMMUNOTHERAPY FOR CANCER – AN INNOVATIVE TREATMENT TO FIGHT AGAINST THE CANCEROUS GROWTH - IS AVAILABLE NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME OUTSIDE THE USA - AT THE TEL-AVIV MEDICAL CENTER (ICHILOV HOSPITAL)
The new promising technology for lymphoma and leukemia patients 
using the cutting edge technology of CAR-T-Cells, empowering the immune system to fight against the tumor, is available now for the first time outside the USA, at the Tel-Aviv Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital).
CAR T Cells - cancer immunotherapy in Israel
The CAR-T-CELLS treatment relies on the most advanced technology, which recruits the immune system to fight against the tumor: a small number of the patient’s own immune system cells are collected from his blood, undergo genetic engineering abroad by commercial companies approved by the European, American, and Israeli authorities to perform this process, and then are infused into the patient in a single treatment with the objective of destroying the cancer cells.  The Tel-Aviv Medical Center is the first center outside of the United States that has been providing this treatment since February 2016.
 

What is CAR T Cell Therapy and how does it work?

T cells are an important component of the human immune system – these cells react to infections and eliminate them.  Theoretically, T cells can also fight cancer cells, but malignant cells often suppress T cell activity and can thus evade the immune system. This is why a “re-education” process is necessary, which gives the T cells the ability to specifically kill tumor cells. 

The treatment relies on a novel technology that was initially developed by Prof. Zelig Eshhar, Director of the immunotherapy lab at Ichilov Hospital. The alteration of the genetic code of the patient’s T cells enables them to “learn” to specifically attack the tumor cells.

What types of cancer are amenable to T cell therapy?

After years of clinical trials, the health authorities in the USA, Europe, UK, and Israel have approved the use of CAR-T cells therapy in the following situations:
  • Adult patients diagnosed with DIFFUSE LARGE CELL LYMPHOMA that has relapsed or did not show an adequate response despite 2 previous lines of treatment
  • Young patients (up to the age of 25) with a relapse of B cells in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Course of therapy 

  • The patient undergoes a procedure for collecting lymphocytes from his blood (apheresis). 
  • The collected cells are sent to a designated commercial company approved by European, American, and Israeli authorities for the preparation of this treatment.
  • The cells undergo a controlled genetic modification (a process that usually takes several weeks), enabling them to attack the specific tumor cells.
  • When the CAR T cells are ready for use, they are sent back to the hospital.
  • Prior to the infusion, the patient receives a short chemotherapy treatment aimed at attenuating the immune system and facilitating the successful absorption of the CAR T cells in the patient’s body.
  • The infusion of T cells is quick and will typically take less than an hour. After the infusion, the patient stays at the hospital for 10-15 days for observation and follow-up.

The Tel-Aviv Medical Center as a center specializing in CAR-T treatment

  • The Division of Hematology has vast experience in using the most advanced treatments of leukemia, lymphoma and bone marrow transplants.
  • The Division of Hematology team specializes in CAR-T treatment and is experienced in this therapeutic procedure and the management of possible side effects. 
  • The Division of Hematology has accumulated the greatest expertise in CAR-T CELLS treatment.  
  • The Division of Hematology of the Tel-Aviv Medical Center was the first outside of the USA to participate in clinical trials of CAR-T cells therapy and the first to receive the regulatory approval for the commercial application of the T-cells treatment.

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