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עמוד בית
Wed, 12.06.24

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March 2022
Inbar Nardi-Agmon MD MPH, Alona Zer MD, Yuri Peysakhovich MD, Ili Margalit MD, Ran Kornowski MD, Nir Peled MD PhD, and Zaza Iakobishvili MD PhD

Background: No specific clinical or histological factors are recognized to be associated with the development of pericardial effusion in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) other than a metastatic disease.

Objectives: To assess whether specific clinical and histological features are associated with development of pericardial effusion in patients with NSCLC.

Methods: A consecutive cohort of patients with NSCLC who presented with symptomatic pericardial effusion 2014–2017 was compared to a control group of patients with advanced NSCLC without pericardial effusion.

Results: The 27 patients in the effusion group were generally younger, more often female, and with a higher percentage of never-smokers, compared to the 54 patients of the control group. Epidermal growth factor receptor/anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EGFR/ALK) mutation tumors were found in 48% of patients in the effusion group vs. 25% in the control group. In the multivariate analysis, the unadjusted odds ratio (OR) for the development of pericardial effusion in patients with somatic mutations was significantly higher compared to wild type tumors (OR 2.65, 95% confidence interval 1.00–7.00). However, a suspected association between pericardial effusion and mutation status was found to be confounded by age. While a high rate of recurrence was observed when pericardiocentesis was initially performed (9/17, 53%), no recurrence was documented when pericardial window procedure was performed (total of 17 patients).

Conclusions: Patients with EGFR/ALK mutations may be at higher risk for the development of pericardial effusion; therefore, attending physicians need to be aware and have a high index of clinical suspicion

July 2021
Moshe Y. Flugelman MD, Ruth Margalit MD, Ami Aronheim PhD, Omri Barak PhD, Assaf Marom MD PhD, Katya Dolnikov MD, Eyal Braun MD, Ayelet Raz-Pasteur MD, Zaher S. Azzam MD, David Hochstein MD, Riad Haddad MD, Rachel Nave PhD, Arieh Riskin MD, Dan Waisman MD, Robert Glueck MD, Michal Mekel MD, Yael Avraham BSc, Uval Bar-Peled BSc, Ronit Kacev MA, Michal Keren BA, Amir Karban MD, and Elon Eisenberg MD

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forced drastic changes in all layers of life. Social distancing and lockdown drove the educational system to uncharted territories at an accelerated pace, leaving educators little time to adjust.

Objectives: To describe changes in teaching during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We described the steps implemented at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology Faculty of Medicine during the initial 4 months of the COVID-19 pandemic to preserve teaching and the academic ecosystem. 

Results: Several established methodologies, such as the flipped classroom and active learning, demonstrated effectiveness. In addition, we used creative methods to teach clinical medicine during the ban on bedside teaching and modified community engagement activities to meet COVID-19 induced community needs. 

Conclusions: The challenges and the lessons learned from teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted us to adjust our teaching methods and curriculum using multiple online teaching methods and promoting self-learning. It also provided invaluable insights on our pedagogy and the teaching of medicine in the future with emphasis on students and faculty being part of the changes and adjustments in curriculum and teaching methods. However, personal interactions are essential to medical school education, as are laboratories, group simulations, and bedside teaching

December 2020
David Ovadya MD, Keren Bachar MD, Michael Peled MD, Maya Skudowitz MD, and Arie Wollner MD

Background: Patients diagnosed with coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) who deteriorate to respiratory failure and require mechanical ventilation may later need to be weaned from the ventilator and undergo a rehabilitation process. The rate of weaning COVID-19 patients from mechanical ventilation is unknown.

Objective: To present our experience with ventilator weaning of COVID-19 patients in a dedicated facility.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of 18 patients hospitalized in a COVID-19 dedicated ventilator weaning unit.

Results: Eighteen patients were hospitalized in the dedicated unit between 6 April and 19 May 2020. Of these, 88% (16/18) were weaned and underwent decannulation, while two patients deteriorated and were re-admitted to the intensive care unit. The average number of days spent in our department was 12. There was no statistically significant correlation between patient characteristics and time to weaning from ventilation or with the time to decannulation.

Conclusions: Despite the high mortality of COVID-19 patients who require mechanical ventilation, most of the patients in our cohort were weaned in a relatively short period of time. Further large-scale studies are necessary to assess the cost effectiveness of dedicated COVID-19 departments for ventilator weaning.

Michael Peled MD, Jair Bar MD, Liat Avni MD, Sumit Chatterji MD, Dafna Somech MD, Addie Dvir MD, Lior Soussan-Gutman MD, and Amir Onn MD

Background: Guidelines recommend testing for multiple biomarkers in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors. Blood-based liquid biopsy analyzing cell-free DNA (cfDNA) could be used in addition to tumor biopsy genotyping, especially if tissue/time are limiting.

Objectives: To investigate the clinical utility of early cfDNA analysis (Guardant360® CDx) in treatment-naïve NSCLC patients.

Methods: A prospective cohort of treatment-naïve patients with metastatic NSCLC who underwent tumor and cfDNA analysis between 12/2018 and 2/2019 were included.

Results: Ten patients were included: 6 males, median age 70.5 years (range 48–87), 8 prior smokers. Liquid biopsy was sent when cancer cells were detected in the biopsy specimen. Median time from diagnosis to receiving the report on the last biomarker from the tumor biopsy was 20 days (range 9–34); median time from blood draw to receiving the cfDNA findings was 9 days (range 7–12). The median difference between the cfDNA and the tumor analysis reports was 20 days (range 9–28). Actionable biomarkers were identified in four patients by both the biopsy analysis and the cfDNA analysis (2cases with EGFR mutations, one with ROS1 fusion, and one with EML4-ALK fusion for whom the biopsy analysis also identified an EGFR mutation not detected in the cfDNA analysis). Overall, eight patients received treatment (2 died before treatment initiation). Three patients received biomarker-based treatment (1 osimertinib, 1 alectinib, and 1 crizotinib).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that cfDNA analysis should be ordered by the pulmonologists early in the evaluation of patients with NSCLC, which might complement the tumor biopsy.

September 2020
Eilon Ram MD, Jacob Lavee MD, Leonid Sternik MD, Amit Segev MD and Yael Peled MD

Background: In 2006, the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation amended the guidelines for the upper age limit of heart transplantation (HTx) from 55 years to 70 years and older for carefully selected patients. However, the relation of age to outcomes following of HTx has not been well studied.

Objectives: To investigate the impact of recipient age on the occurrence of rejections, vasculopathy, and mortality after HTx.

Methods: Study population comprised all consecutive 291 patients who underwent HTx between 1991–2016 and were followed at our center. Patients were categorized by age tertiles: < 46 years (mean 31.4 ± 11.7, range 16–45, n=90), 46–57 years (mean 51.4 ± 3.2, range 46–56, n=92), and ≥ 57 years (mean 61.6 ± 3.4, range 57–73, n=109).

Results: Patients aged ≥ 57 years were more often males and had more pre-HTx co-morbidities including hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and history of smoking (P < 0.05) compared to the younger age groups. Kaplan-Meier analysis by age tertiles showed the rates of major rejections and vasculopathy at 15 years were similar among the three age groups. Mortality rates at 15 years were directly related to the age groups (39%, 52%, 62% log-rank, P = 0.01). However, the association between age and mortality was no longer statistically significant after multivariate analysis (hazard ratio 1.01, 95% confidence interval 1.00–1.03).

Conclusions: In a contemporary cohort of patients undergoing HTx, recipient age does not significantly impact the risk of major rejections, vasculopathy, and long-term mortality.



May 2020
Yael Peled MD, Eilon Ram MD, Jacob Lavee MD, and Zohar Dotan MD

Background: Heart transplantation (HT) success rate is limited by a high incidence of cancer post-HT. Data on kidney cancer following solid organ transplantation, especially HT, are limited, and only a few cases have been reported.

Objectives: To report a unique case series of detected kidney cancer following HT.

Methods: Between 1997 and 2018, 265 patients who underwent HT were enrolled and prospectively followed in the HT registry of the Sheba Medical Center.

Results: The series included 5 patients, 4 men and a woman (age range 35–50 years at HT). The patients were diagnosed with kidney tumors 6–11 years after HT (age range at diagnosis 40–72 years). Two of the men were identical twin brothers. At HT four patients received induction therapy with anti-thymocyte globulin and all received an initial immunosuppressive regimen based on cyclosporine. All male HT recipients had a history of heavy smoking. Two male patients developed allograft vasculopathy, but all had preserved heart function. The 72-year-old woman developed a kidney tumor of the native kidney 5 years after re-HT and kidney transplantation. Two patients had features of multifocal papillary renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and eventually underwent bilateral nephrectomy, while another patient underwent left partial nephrectomy with preserved renal function.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case series study describing kidney tumors following HT. With the improving outcomes and life expectancy of HT patients, a better understanding of the factors that determine cancer risk is of the utmost importance and may have a major impact on the non-cardiac surveillance.

April 2020
Yael Peled MD, Eilon Ram MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MACR

The innovation that has taken place in medicine, combined with state-of-the-art technological developments, provides therapeutic options for patients in conditions that were previously considered incurable. This promotion at the same time presents us with new ethical challenges. In this article, we review the journey through life of an advanced heart failure patient, covering a variety of potential clinical and ethics subjects in the field of heart failure treatment. We review the ethical principles of the Hippocratic Oath against the background of the realities of practicing medicine and of the enormous advances in therapeutics.  

January 2020
Elizabeth Dudnik MD, Aaron M. Allen MD, Natalia Michaeli MD, Aleksandra Benouaich-Amiel MD, Tzippy Shochat, Nir Peled MD PhD FCCP, Inbar Finkel MD, Alona Zer MD, Ofer Rotem MD and Shlomit Yust-Katz MD

Background: Prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) exclusion in favor of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) staging and surveillance in the management of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is controversial yet accepted by some centers. The use of MRI suggests performing stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) treatment for limited brain metastases. Data regarding SRS efficacy in this setting is limited.

Objectives: To assess intracranial objective response rate (iORR), progression-free survival (iPFS), intracranial failure patterns, overall survival (OS) and time-to-whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT)/death, whichever occurred first (TTWD) with SRS in SCLC.

Methods: The study comprised 10 consecutive SCLC patients with brain metastases treated with SRS and followed-up at Davidoff Cancer center between Aug 2012 and March 2019. Brain MRI images were reviewed by a neuro-radiology specialist.

Results: iORR was 57% as assessed by response assessment in neuro-oncology brain metastases. Intracranial progression developed in 8 patients. Median iPFS was 4.0 months (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.7–7.2). In-site, off-site and combined pattern of intracranial failure was seen in 0, 5, and 3 patients, respectively; median number of new brain lesions following SRS was 4 (range, 1–12). SRS was performed 10 additional times in 6 patients (median number of lesions irradiated per round was 1, range 1–5). WBRT was administered in 3 patients. Median TTWD was 20.9 months (95% CI, 1.9–26.8). Median OS since SRS administration was 23.2 months (95% CI, 4.2–not reached).

Conclusions: MRI surveillance with multiple rounds of SRS may serve a reasonable alternative to PCI or therapeutic WBRT in SCLC. 

June 2019
Margarita Makarov, Nir Peled MD PhD FCCP, Tzippy Shochat MD, Alona Zer MD, Ofer Rotem MD and Elizabeth Dudnik MD

Background: The main acquired resistance mechanism to first- and second-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in EGFR mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the propagation of T790M clones, which can be detected in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA).

Objectives: To analyze osimertinib outcomes according to T790M testing method.

Methods: The study comprised 33 consecutive patients with advanced EGFR mutant NSCLC who were diagnosed with a T790M mutation after progression on first- or second-generation EGFR TKIs and treated with osimertinib. The patients were divided into groups A (diagnosed by tumor testing) and B (by ctDNA testing). Osimertinib outcomes were compared between the groups.

Results: Objective response rate with osimertinib comprised 54% and 62% in groups A and B, respectively (P = 0.58). Median progression-free survival (PFS) with osimertinib was 8.9 months (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.8–17.5) and 9.1 months (95%Cl 5.3–12.6) in groups A and B, respectively (log-rank test 0.12, P = 0.73). Median overall survival (OS) was 13.8 months (95%CI 4.9–25.5) and 13.8 months (95%Cl 7.7–27.7) in groups A and B, respectively (log-rank test 0.09, P = 0.75). T790M testing technique did not affect PFS (hazard ratio [HR] 1.16, 95%CI 0.50–2.69, P = 0.73) or OS (HR = 1.16, 95%CI 0.45–3.01, P = 0.76). The proportion of patients diagnosed by ctDNA grew from 56% in 2015 to 67% in 2016–2017.

Conclusions: Our study provides a ctDNA validation for the purpose of T790M testing in EGFR mutant NSCLC.

September 2018
Yael Peled MD, Dov Freimark MD, Yedael Har-Zahav MD, Eyal Nachum MD, Alexander Kogan MD, Yigal Kassif MD and Jacob Lavee MD

Background: Heart transplantation (HT) is the treatment of choice for patients with end-stage heart failure. The HT unit at the Sheba Medical Center is the largest of its kind in Israel.

Objectives: To evaluate the experience of HT at a single center, assess trends over 3 decades, and correlate with worldwide data.

Methods: Between 1990 and 2017, we reviewed all 285  adult HT patients. Patients were grouped by year of HT: 1990–1999 (decade 1), 2000–2009 (decade 2), and 2010–2017 (decade 3).

Results: The percentage of women undergoing HT has increased and etiology has shifted from ischemic to non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (10% vs. 25%, P = 0.033; 70% vs. 40% ischemic, for decades 1 vs. 3, respectively). Implantation of left ventricular assist device as a bridge to HT has increased. Metabolic profile has improved over the years with lower low-density lipoprotein, diabetes, and hypertension after HT (101 mg/dl, 27%, and 41% at decade 3, respectively). There has been a prominent change in immunosuppressive treatments, currently more than 90% are treated with tacrolimus, compared with 2.7% and 30.9% in decades 1 and 2, respectively (P < 0.001). Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) rates have declined significantly (47% vs. 17.5% for decades 1 and 2, P < 0.001) as have the combined endpoint of CAV/death. Similarly, the current incidence of acute rejections is significantly lower.

Conclusions: Our analysis of over 25 years of a single-center experience with HT shows encouraging improved results, which are in line with worldwide standards and experience.

August 2018
Anan Younis MD, Dov Freimark MD, Robert Klempfner MD, Yael Peled MD, Yafim Brodov MD, Ilan Goldenberg MD and Michael Arad MD

Background: Cardiac damage caused by oncological therapy may manifest early or many years after the exposure.

Objectives: To determine the differences between sub-acute and late-onset cardiotoxicity in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) recovery as well as long-term prognosis.

Methods: We studied 91 patients diagnosed with impaired systolic function and previous exposure to oncological therapy. The study population was divided according to sub-acute (from 2 weeks to ≤ 1 year) and late-onset (> 1 year) presentation cardiotoxicity. Recovery of LVEF of at least 50% was defined as the primary end point and total mortality was the secondary end point.

Results: Fifty-three (58%) patients were classified as sub-acute, while 38 (42%) were defined as late-onset cardiotoxicity. Baseline clinical characteristics were similar in the two groups. The mean LVEF at presentation was significantly lower among patients in the late-onset vs. sub-acute group (28% vs. 37%, respectively, P < 0.001). Independent predictors of LVEF recovery were trastuzumab therapy and a higher baseline LVEF. Although long-term mortality rates were similar in the groups with sub-acute and late-onset cardiotoxicity, improvement of LVEF was independently associated with reduced mortality.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that early detection and treatment of oncological cardiotoxicity play an important role in LVEF recovery and long-term prognosis.

April 2018
Joseph Menczer MD, Osnat Elyashiv MD, Erez Ben-Shem MD, Ofri Peled MD and Tally Levy MD MHA

Background: Uterine carcinosarcoma (UCS) is a rare tumor with a poor prognosis. An elevated thrombocyte count and thrombocytosis were found to be associated with poor prognosis in several gynecological tumors. Data regarding an elevated thrombocyte count and thrombocytosis, particularly in UCS, are scarce.

Objectives: To assess the frequency of a preoperative elevated thrombocyte count and of thrombocytosis in UCS patients and their association with clinicopathological prognostic factors and survival.

Methods: The preoperative thrombocyte count of 29 consecutive verified USC patients diagnosed in our medical center from January 2000 to July 2015 was recorded, and clinicopathological data of these patients were abstracted from hospital files. 

Results: Thrombocytosis was found in two patients (6.8 %) and both died of the disease. An elevated thrombocyte count was found in nine patients (31.0%). The percentage of patients with the poor prognostic factors who had a preoperative elevated thrombocyte count was not statistically different from those without these risk factors. The cumulative survival of patients with an elevated count was 22.1 months and that of those without an elevated count was 31.1 months. This difference was statistically not significant (P = 0.85). There was also no difference between the groups regarding the progression free survival.

Conclusions: No association between an elevated thrombocyte count and prognosis was found. Larger studies are needed to clarify this issue.

June 2016
Michal Fertouk MD, Shahar Grunner MD, Zvi Peled MD, Zvi Adler MD, Oz M. Shapira MD and Gil Bolotin MD PhD
July 2014
Michael Arad MD, Tamar Nussbaum MD, Ido Blechman BA, Micha S. Feinberg MD, Nira Koren-Morag PhD,Yael Peled MD and Dov Freimark MD

Background: Contemporary therapies improve prognosis and may restore left ventricular (LV) size and function.

Objectives: To examine the prevalence, clinical features and therapies associated with reverse remodeling (RR) in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Methods: The study group comprised 188 DCM patients who had undergone two echo examinations at least 6 months apart. RR was defined as increased LV ejection fraction (LVEF) by ≥ 10% concomitant with ≥ 10% decreased LV end-diastolic dimension.

Results: RR occurred in 50 patients (26%) and was associated with significantly reduced end-systolic dimension, left atrial size, grade of mitral regurgitation, and pulmonary artery pressure. NYHA class improved in the RR group. RR was less common in familial DCM and a long-standing disease and was more prevalent in patients with prior exposure to chemotherapy. Recent-onset disease, lower initial LVEF and normal electrocardiogram were identified as independent predictors of RR. Beta-blocker dose was related to improved LVEF but not to RR. Over a mean follow-up of 23 months, 16 patients (12%) from the 'no-RR' group died or underwent heart transplantation compared to none from the RR group (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Contemporary therapies led to an an improvement in the condition of a considerable number of DCM patients. A period of close observation while optimizing medical therapy should be considered before deciding on invasive procedures. 

May 2014
Lior Koren MD, Adi Barak RN, Doron Norman MD, Ofer Sachs MD and Eli Peled MD
Background: Proximal hip fractures in the elderly are common and have serious implications for health resources. Researching the timing of these fractures could contribute to diverting resources towards peaks in incidence and investing in prevention at certain times.

Objectives: To examine the effect of seasonality, weather and holidays on hip fracture incidence in older adults. The study population comprised 2050 patients aged 65 years or more who sustained a proximal hip fracture.

Methods: The computerized files of the patients were reviewed for trends in incidence by season, precipitation, minimum and maximum temperatures, day of the week, and certain Jewish festivals.

Results: Hip fractures were more likely to occur in the winter than in the summer (P < 0.0001). Factors that significantly correlated with hip fracture were the maximum daily temperature (r = -0.746, P = 0.005) followed by the minimum daily temperature (r = -0.740, P = 0.006) and precipitation (r = 0.329, P = 0.02). There were fewer fractures on Saturdays (the Sabbath) as compared to other days of the week (P = 0.045). Researching the incidence on Jewish festivals, we found an elevated incidence on Passover (P < 0.0001) and a reduced incidence on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) (P = 0.013).

Conclusions: In older people there is an elevated incidence of proximal hip fractures during the winter and on the Jewish festivals. On weekends and on the Day of Atonement the incidence of proximal hip fractures was reduced.

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