Israel’s Sheba Medical Center and International Research Partners Conquer New Cancer Frontier

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Renowned for its collaborations with international partners in the advancement of medical innovation, Israel’s Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer has surpassed another medical frontier, this time in the fight against cancer. Sheba and six other research partners succeeded in conducting the WIN Consortium’s WINTHER clinical trial, resulting in the improvement of personalized therapies for advanced cancer patients through the combination of RNA profiling and DNA alterations testing.

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The success of this clinical trial’s application of RNA to create personalized treatments for a greater number of advanced cancer patients shows great promise for the future.

An international elite medical collaboration is paving the way for a groundbreaking cancer treatment. Prof. Raanan Berger, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Oncology at Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer, is one of the lead researchers contributing to the first-ever successful clinical trial using genomic and transcriptomic (RNA expression testing) profiling to expand precision cancer medicine.

Created by the WIN Consortium, the WINTHER trial reveals that the combination of RNA profiling and DNA alterations testing successfully matches more patients suffering from advanced cancer with personalized therapies than relying on DNA profiling solely for tumor mutations.

During the maiden clinic, the WINTHER trial customized precision medicine in oncology to an increased number of patients by applying transcriptomics based upon a greater expression of RNA in tumors than normal tissues.

“This international collaboration has conquered a new medical frontier in the realm of precision oncology,” said Prof. Berger. “The success of this clinical trial’s application of RNA to create personalized treatments for a greater number of advanced cancer patients shows great promise for the future.”

The WINTHER trial treated 107 advanced cancer patients who had already undergone heavy treatments, with about 25 percent having received at least five previous types of therapies. During the trial, 69 patients were administered DNA mutation profiling treatment, and 38 patients received treatments based on RNA profiling. Upon conclusion of the trial, 35 percent of the patients were successfully matched with personalized therapy. Previous studies did not match as high of a success rate.

In addition to Dr. Berger, the team of skilled researchers who contributed to the success of the WINTHER trial and this promising medical breakthrough include: Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology - VHIO (Spain); Gustave Roussy (France) (Jean-Charles Soria); Centre Léon Bérard (France) (Pierre Saintigny); Segal Cancer Centre, McGill University (Canada) (Wilson H. Miller); UT MD Anderson Cancer Center (USA) (Jordi Rodon and Apostolia-Maria Tsimberidou); and University of California San Diego, Moores Cancer Center (USA) (Razelle Kurzrock).

About Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer
Born together with Israel in 1948, Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer is the largest and most comprehensive medical center in the Middle East. Sheba is the only medical center in Israel that combines an acute care hospital and a rehabilitation hospital on one campus, and it is at the forefront of medical treatments, patient care, research and education. As a university teaching hospital affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel-Aviv University, it welcomes people from all over the world indiscriminately. In 2019, Newsweek magazine named Sheba one of the top ten hospitals in the world. To learn more, visit:

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