TIL Therapy: Revolutionizing Metastatic Melanoma Treatment in Israel

In the realm of cancer treatment, especially for metastatic melanoma, Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) therapy has emerged as a groundbreaking approach. This technique harnesses the patient's immune cells to combat cancer effectively. The process of TIL therapy involves several critical steps:

  1. Tumor Removal: Initially, the patient undergoes surgery to remove the tumor.
  2. Cell Isolation and Growth: From the extracted tumor, TILs - immune cells that have invaded the tumor - are isolated. These cells are then cultivated and multiplied in a laboratory environment, often with the aid of growth factors that accelerate their proliferation.
  3. Preparatory Chemotherapy: Before reinfusing the TILs, the patient is treated with non-myeloablative, lymphodepleting chemotherapy. This prepares the body to better accommodate the TILs.
  4. TIL Infusion and Immune Support: The patient receives an infusion of the expanded TILs. Subsequently, high doses of interleukin-2 (IL-2) are administered to promote the activity and growth of these immune cells.
  5. Post-Treatment Care: The treatment is followed by comprehensive supportive care, including transfusions and management of side effects to facilitate recovery.

At Sheba Medical Center in Israel, TIL therapy has been a beacon of hope for patients with metastatic melanoma, especially those who have not seen success with traditional treatments. The center's experience with TIL therapy spans over 18 years, making it one of the largest and most experienced centers globally for treating metastatic melanoma. With more than 200 melanoma patients treated, Sheba Medical Center's approach not only offers a chance for improvement but also potential cures, as evidenced by a substantial number of patients experiencing significant benefits or being cured.


Sheba Medical Center's methodology with TIL therapy is a testament to the potential of adoptive cell transfer immunotherapy. By leveraging the body's own immune response against cancer, TIL therapy represents a significant advancement in the fight against metastatic melanoma. The center's commitment to this innovative treatment is supported by a vast collection of patient samples and clinical data, underscoring its role as a leader in melanoma research and treatment.

Senior doctors at Sheba’s Ella institute for Melanoma

Prof Jacob Shachter (Publications)
Dr. Ronnie Shapira
Dr. Guy Ben-Betzalel

What is the success rate of TIL therapy?

The success rate of TIL (Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes) therapy at Sheba Medical Center for treating metastatic melanoma is quite significant. Approximately half of the patients treated with TIL therapy at Sheba Medical Center show positive improvements. Furthermore, a notable proportion of these patients — around 25% — are effectively cured of their melanoma. This data underscores the potential efficacy of TIL therapy in treating advanced stages of melanoma, especially in cases where conventional treatments have not yielded significant results.

What is the cost of TIL melanoma treatment?

The cost of the medical bill varies among patients, but the average is $120,000 USD.

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