“I consider ourselves to be a world leader in treating several types of tough-to-beat cancers such as appendix, colon and ovarian cancer. We are performing a growing number of these complex surgeries that many other hospitals would reject. Our high success rate in performing HIPEC surgery, which has extended the lives of our patients, has spurred other hospitals from different countries to consult with us on how to use HIPEC to save their cancer-stricken patients,” revealed Prof. Nissan.
Nissan, whose superlative surgical credentials include stints at Mount Sinai Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, New York, is proud of the fact that he is on the front lines of injecting new life into critically ill cancer patients.
He explained, “A little over a decade ago, HIPEC was considered to be an extremely complex surgery that took at least 14-15 hours, with a high mortality rate. Over the years, various teams around the world, including ours, have been able to do it faster, around six hours, safer and more efficiently. At Sheba, we have already performed over 400 HIPEC procedures with a dramatic drop in mortality.”
In a growing number of cases, patients have been totally cured by the innovative surgical procedure.
“It depends on how far the cancer has progressed,” Prof. Nissan admitted. “For instance, with cancer of the appendix we have reached a 50% cure rate. Most of our HIPEC cases revolve around colon cancer, which is quite common in the Jewish population. Two thirds of our patients are battling colon cancer. Of those who have the most advanced form of cancer, known as stage 4, 33% percent have been cured by HIPEC, 33% have been put into temporary remission, where the cancer might reappear in a few years but can be managed, while 33% didn’t benefit and the cancer reoccurred soon after and they could not be saved. Nevertheless, HIPEC provides a new lease on life for many people. As recently as a decade ago, these aggressive cancers that were diagnosed in patients and spread into the stomach lining were a no-way-out death sentence. Chemotherapy treatments and various other drugs maybe extended the lifespan of a patient by a year and a half. With HIPEC and cutting-edge cancer treatments such as immunotherapy, patients have a legitimate chance of being cured and living a relatively normal life.”
Prof. Nissan’s stellar international surgical reputation and engaging personality have become a catalyst for emerging countries such as India, Georgia and Ukraine to send their surgeons to Sheba, in order to learn how to perform the HIPEC procedure.
“The technology and know-how will continue to improve, which will allow us to save the lives of more and more patients from Israel and around the world. We have the talent and the ability to make a difference every single day,” boasted Prof. Nissan.
This article was written in cooperation with Sheba Medical Center.