Ukranian Doctors undergo Training at Hadassah in Advanced Cancer Treatment


Hadassah supporters can feel proud that your donations have made it possible for two Ukrainian doctors and a nurse from Kyiv’s 600-bed National Cancer Institute to undergo training in advanced cancer treatment at Hadassah.


Their training has been under the guidance of Professor Polina Stepensky, Head of the Bone Marrow Transplant and Immunotherapy Department. Stepensky was born in Ukraine and made Aliyah as soon as the USSR opened its gates. The current images of her childhood home being bombed horrify her. She feels a personal commitment to reach out and volunteer her help in the area in which she is a world expert.


A month into the three-month training programme, Iryna Sacyk, an oncology nurse, has been impressed by the patient-centered approach at Hadassah and the flexibility in treating bone marrow transplantation patients.


“In Ukraine, we put the patients in deep isolation, but here I learned that flexibility actually lowers the rates of infection,” she says.


Dr. Anisiia Luchkiv is internalizing the process of treatment which makes use of multi-disciplinary experts from other fields. Dr. Nazar Shokun admires the holistic approach.


“At our hospital we concentrate on the disease and don’t ask about mental status—how the patient feels. I see that building trust with the patients helps in implementing treatment,” says Dr Shokun.


Stepensky’s team members have all chipped in to show the visitors “the Hadassah way” and to highlight treatment modalities. These include the development of Hadassah’s own CAR T therapy to treat multiple myeloma, a method that was previously only available in the United States and China because of the high cost. The Hadassah version is much less expensive. It’s already saving lives in Israel and has the potential to save thousands of lives around the world.


Editor’s Notes:

Prof. Polina Stepensky is Hadassah’s Head of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cancer Immunotherapy,  and in partnership with Bar Ilan University, Hadassah has successfully developed an immunotherapy treatment for Multiple Myeloma, a bone marrow cancer, by “reprogramming the immune systems” of cancer patients. Read more about this revolutionary new treatment.


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