Editor’s note: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency recently published an extended article focusing on the Israel Cancer Research Fund and its support of cancer researchers in Israel who are focusing on mitigating treatment side effects to improve the lives of cancer survivors. Two of the researchers they spotlighted were from Hebrew University, and excerpts from the original article are reproduced below. Please click here to read the full story on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency website.
Dr. Yafit Gilboa, an occupational therapist at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Department of Medicine, is using her ICRF grant funded by the Brause Family Initiative to explore a novel approach to ameliorating the cognitive decline associated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. This new approach, tele-rehabilitation, provides for the remote delivery of courses designed to diminish the cognitive effects of cancer therapy. Gilboa’s strategy for treating patients with cancer-related cognitive impairment is comprised of 30-minute cognitive trainings several times a week using their home computer, supplemented by a weekly videoconference session with an occupational therapist.
Dr. Avi Priel of The Hebrew University’s School of Pharmacy is working on the problem of chronic pain among cancer survivors. While opioids are the most powerful tools for managing pain, they can have debilitating side effects and may be addictive for those requiring chronic relief. Priel’s research team is working to develop novel analgesics — painkillers — that will have a potency similar to opioids but with minimal side effects. The team is also investigating drugs that can be combined with opioids to reduce the frequency and amount of opioid required to achieve good pain control.