Irit Ben-Aharon, MD, PhD

Rabin Medical Center

Irit Ben-Aharon, MD, PhD MD, PhD

Rabin Medical Center

Irit Ben-Aharon, MD, PhD
Rambam Health Care Campus
ICRF Project Grant Recipient

Prof. Irit Ben-Aharon is the Director of the Oncology Division at Rambam Health Care Campus, affiliated with the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Her main research interests are the toxic effects of anti-cancer treatments on fertility and blood vessels.

Prof. Ben-Aharon and her research team have been unraveling how certain chemotherapy drugs damage blood vessels, which results in vascular problems later in life. She is now studying the role of vascular toxicity on cancer and pregnancy. Cancer associated with pregnancy represents a unique clinical scenario which requires a delicate balance of risks and benefits for both maternal and fetal well-being. The prevalence of cancer during pregnancy is expected to rise in developed countries due to the increase in average age at pregnancy and the increase in the cancer diagnosis rate in young patients, observed in the last decade.

According to Prof. Ben-Aharon, there is paucity of data regarding the short and long-term outcomes of in-utero exposure to chemotherapy. At present, there are also no evidence-based recommendations for risk reduction of obstetric and neonatal complications in pregnant patients diagnosed with cancer that are treated with chemotherapy. Prof. Ben-Aharon and her team plan to investigate the molecular mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced placental toxicity and vascular impairment, to study neonatal short- and long-term outcomes, and to apply protective measurements upon the studied mechanisms. She hopes that her findings may ultimately reduce gestational complications in pregnant cancer patients.

Prof. Ben-Aharon has recently been nominated as a senior member of the Israeli Health Basket Committee for 2020.

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