Promising Trial in Palliative Care at Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer, Could Lessen Pain for Some Cancer Patients and Reduce Need for Addictive Opioids

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A pilot clinical trial, testing a new technique in palliative care, celiac plexus radio-surgery, has shown extremely promising results in lessening patient pain and reducing the need for addictive pain killers. The trial is coordinated at Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer, and due to the initial findings, is now expanding to additional academic medical centers in North America, Europe and the Middle East.

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We are thrilled with the results of this pilot and are eager to keep moving forward so we can help as many patients as possible find relief.

A promising trial at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center could bring much needed relief and less reliance on addictive opioids for patients who suffer from upper abdominal cancer.

The pilot phase of this trial saw such substantial results that it is now expanding to additional academic medical centers across North America, Europe and the Middle East.

With an urgent need for new pain management techniques outside the dangerous realm of opiate medications and nerve blocks, Dr. Yaacov Lawrence, Sheba’s Director of the Center for Translational Radiation Oncology and Dr. Tikva Meron, RN Ph.D. have entered into the second phase of a groundbreaking Celica Plexus Radiosurgery clinical trial funded by Gateway for Cancer Research.

The first phase of the trial proved to be quite successful with over 80% of participants reported significant improvement in pain. One-third claimed to have all pain resolved.

Sheba Medical Center is testing the efficacy and safety of a single dose of radiation directed towards the celiac plexus--nerves located behind the pancreas at the 12th thoracic vertebrae.

The Celiac Plexus Radiosurgery clinical trial is gaining traction. At Sheba Medical Center, over 23 patients enrolled within one year. Now, Dr. Lawrence and his Tel Aviv team, along with investigators from London, Philadelphia, Ohio and Toronto, are beginning this next phase of the study with an enrollment of 100 patients.

“Palliative care is so incredibly important for our patients,” said Dr. Lawrence. “It improves their quality of life and gives them tremendous hope. We are thrilled with the results of this pilot and are eager to keep moving forward so we can help as many patients as possible find relief.”

Dr. Yaacov Lawrence is available for interviews regarding his work with the Celiac Plexus clinical trial.

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: eng.sheba.co.il.

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