Hadassah preserves vision in malignant eye tumors

“In almost all cases, whereas other clinics would not be able to avoid removing the eyes, Hadassah onco-ophthalmologists were able to treat successfully the problem avoiding any such action” (From an interview with the head of the Center for Eye Oncology, Hadassah Medical Center, Prof. Jakov Peer).


The Hadassah doctors are world-famous for their vast experience in treating lymphoma and retinoblastoma of the eyes, as well as one of the highest levels of treatment of other types of malignant eye tumors.

Our oncophthalmologists have three priorities: saving lives, saving the eyes, and saving vision. In 95-98% of cases, they manage to completely cure a child with retinoblastoma (the most common malignant eye tumor in children). 70% of young patients treated at the clinic preserve the affected eye.

iMER (International Medical Evaluation and Referrals)

iMER is a Worldwide Health Services Provider and the exclusive representative of Hadassah University Hospital in Greece and Cyprus since March 2007.

 

This is a very high percentage of successful treatment, which is achieved due to the highest skill of doctors and the use of the latest techniques, such as intravitreal and intraarterial chemotherapy, brachytherapy and other state-of-the-art means.

For more complete information about the advanced methods of eye cancer treatment at the Hadassah Clinic, as well as for making an appointment with Prof. Jacob Peer or another leading oncophthalmologist at the clinic, please contact our staff.

  

Diagnosis and treatment of malignant eye tumors are carried out in the clinic as part of the Eye Oncology Center, officially recognized by the Israeli Ministry of Health as the National Oncophthalmology Center.

Therefore, the vast majority of Israeli patients and children from abroad suffering from various eye tumors are referred hereto.

A unique specialist, the world-famous oncophthalmologist Prof. Jacob Peer provides diagnosis and treatment in the clinic. Professor Peer, who was the founder of the eye oncology field in Israel, has been involved in oncophthalmology for 38 years. In 2017, for his contribution to the fight against blindness, the professor received a prestigious award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Eye-preserving methods

The revolution in chemotherapy

It involves the latest methods of chemotherapy using the thinnest catheters. In this case, chemotherapy drugs are delivered directly to the retinal tissue (intravitreal chemotherapy) or to the ophthalmic artery (intraarterial chemotherapy). Since a small amount of the drug is used that bypasses the bloodstream, the doctor can seriously increase its concentration, which makes the procedure much more effective and eliminates side effects.

Since 2011, when these new methods were first applied in Hadassah, the number of eye removal surgeries has dropped by more than 3 times; only 30% of children with retinoblastoma had to undergo such an unfortunate procedure. Dozens of babies have been completely cured.

Brachytherapy

This is a rather traditional, although in many cases excellent way of treating retinoblastoma: an ophthalmologist surgeon penetrates under the conjunctiva (the shell of the eye) and places a tiny plate covered with a radioactive isotope directly above the tumor. After some time, the plate is removed. Targeted irradiation practically does not affect healthy tissues; due to close proximity of the radiation source to the neoplasm, such therapy is very effective.

Eye removal and prosthetics

Eye removal (enucleation) is carried out in Hadassah only in 30% of cases when the patient’s life is at stake. After enucleation, irreversible loss of vision is guaranteed, but the aesthetic appearance is restored using prosthetics.

It is important to note that the diagnosis and treatment of eye tumors is carried out in the clinic very quickly and in most cases begins within a few days after the patient arrives.

How to prevent eye cancer in a child?

The Hadassah doctors are required to perform molecular genetic analysis to detect mutations in the gene in children suffering from a malignant eye tumor, usually retinoblastomas. There is a need to know their future, whether there is a danger of other tumors. It is very important for parents to know whether they will have children with eye cancer in the future. If one of the parents is a carrier of a defective gene, the chance that a child with a similar mutation is born is 50%.

Parents are offered the opportunity to receive a prenatal diagnosis or even a preimplantation molecular genetic diagnosis of embryos (PGD).

PGD is carried out as follows: during the IVF procedure, the maximum possible number of oocytes (female germ cells) is extracted. They then are fertilized and placed in an incubator for three days. When the embryo develops up to 8 cells, one or two of them are removed for examination. An embryo free of genetic mutations is then implanted in the uterine cavity.

To make an appointment for genetic testing or consult with a leading Israeli geneticist, please contact our staff.