New Radiation Treatment Offers Hope for Lung Tumors

For the first time in Israel, at Rabin Medical Center Stereotactic Body Radiation (SBRT) treatment is available for certain lung cancer patients using the Trilogy Linear Accelerator, the most advanced accelerator available today. This new linear accelerator is housed at Rabin Medical Center's Davidoff Center, an ultramodern state-of-the-art facility for the treatment of malignant diseases.

SBRT has been shown to provide control of early stage lung tumors on a level comparable to surgical resection, while sparing healthy tissues to an extent that was simply unimaginable a few years ago. During this type of treatment the radiation oncologist delivers between 1-8 high doses of radiation to small and very precisely defined targets. These radiation therapy sessions last a maximum of 40 minutes with no pain or discomfort and minimal side effects.

This novel treatment, used in only several leading cancer centers around the world, offers newfound hope to some of our patients with lung cancer, which remains the second most diagnosed cancer in both men and women and the number one cause of death from cancer in the western world. Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer while exposure to asbestos, radon, environmental factors and secondhand smoke can also cause lung cancer. In Israel 1500 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed annually, and 35% of these are suitable for this new treatment.

At Rabin Medical Center this treatment is being performed by Dr. Aaron Allen, a senior radiation oncologist and director of the thoracic radiotherapy services at Davidoff Center. Dr. Allen made Aliyah from Boston two years ago, where he was on staff at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Allen brought his years of experience to Rabin Medical Center, and today he is pleased at the progress that has been made in implementing this new technology in Israel. Dr. Allen said, "Thanks to the vision of Dr. Eyran Halpern, Rabin Medical Center's CEO, and Dr. Naftali Meydan, Director of the Davidoff Center, the vision of creating a top flight cancer center in Israel is being actualized. There is more work to do but with progress like this we are definitely heading in the right direction."

Dr. Naftaly Meydan noted: "This new linear accelerator represents a significant breakthrough in radiation treatment, and we look forward to treating other forms of cancer in the future as well. Yet it is important to remember that optimal cancer treatment requires a multifaceted comprehensive approach which includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Therefore the Davidoff Center includes an all-inclusive team made up of oncologists, radiotherapists, surgeons, radiologists, social workers, physiologists and in this case pulmonary specialists, in order to make the best diagnostic decision for each patient."

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