Sheba has joined forces with CAPS Medical to evaluate a novel treatment for bladder cancer, which could offer patients an effective alternative to current treatment methods.

Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) is found in the tissue that lines the inner surface of the bladder, excluding the bladder muscle. NMIBC is more common in men, and the risk of developing the malignancy increases with age. It is characterized by a high recurrence rate of up to 80%, meaning that in most cases of NMIBC, the cancer is not eliminated by conventional therapies.

Transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) is a surgical procedure meant to remove the cancer and is the standard treatment approach for NMIBC. The procedure is followed by a series of intravesical (within the bladder) instillations, namely the administration of medication or irrigation fluid directly into the bladder via a urinary catheter, which may damage or scar the bladder, and have life-altering side effects.

With the objective of providing a new, non-invasive solution for bladder cancer treatment, CAPS Medical, an Israeli start-up, develops non-thermal atmospheric plasma (NTAP) devices, which use streams of low-ionized gas to selectively destroy cancer cells and encourage the body to heal itself.

However, until recently, the high energy required for existing non-thermal plasma applications necessitated using very large devices, which rendered using non-thermal plasma to treat cancerous tumors as part of a minimally invasive procedure impractical.

In order to resolve this obstacle, CAPS Medical has created an innovative device for NTAP delivery that uses minimally invasive methods and avoids surgery. CAPS’ technology uses a small diameter endoscopic probe to allow patients with cancerous tumors to undergo a procedure to destroy their tumor without damaging healthy surrounding tissue, resulting in a better prognosis and outcome.

Study on Bladder Cancer Treatment

As part of the evaluation of NTAP’s safety and technical performance in the treatment of NMIBC, CAPS Medical partnered with Sheba’s Urology Department, which treats approximately 23,000 inpatients each year, and participates in a variety of cancer research studies. This was the first ever worldwide study of non-thermal plasma use for minimally invasive treatment of bladder cancer.

According to Harel Gadot, Executive Chairman of CAPS Medical and Company Group Chairman of MEDX Ventures Group: “With our NTAP system, CAPS Medical is overcoming a real barrier within the cancer treatment ecosystem. The NTAP procedure selectively targets cancer cells with greater precision-which should lead to fewer side effects than many current treatment options. We look forward to seeing the company progress through its clinical trials.”

As a leading global healthcare organization, at Sheba, we see it as our duty to promote breakthroughs in personalized medicine, thereby elevating healthcare standards worldwide. This collaboration is yet another step towards that goal.

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