Modern cancer therapy in the heart of Cologne
Our clinic has its own laboratory and is located in the center of Cologne, Germany. Our extensive treatment center consists of examination and consultation rooms, conference rooms, offices and modern laboratories of the highest standard.
Every year, around 60 dedicated, specialized employees care for hundreds new patients from Europe, Asia, Africa, America and the Middle East. Our team of physicians has extensive experience in immunological cancer therapy, and our leading scientists have spent decades researching the topic and publishing their findings.
Our facilities meet the highest quality standards – we have five local hyperthermia machines, one transurethral hyperthermia machine and two whole body hyperthermia machines.
In our diagnostic laboratory, we conduct specialist diagnostics and immunological tests. In addition, we have a state-of-the-art GMP manufacturing laboratory to produce a personalized vaccine. Our specialized and highly qualified team works in accordance with the provisions of the German Medicines Act and European GMP guidelines. Our laboratory is the only laboratory in Europe that has received regulatory approval to produce a personalized dendritic cell cancer vaccine using oncolytic virus and patient tumor material.
When is the best time to apply our immunotherapy?
Our immunotherapy can be performed at any time after cancer diagnosis. Current findings indicate that immunotherapy in the early stages of cancer gives the best long-term results.
The best time to contact the clinic is before the first operation. Preferably, the patient’s own tumor material is used to produce the antigens.
There are indications that immunotherapy is the more effective the smaller the tumor mass, i.e. in the early stage or after surgery. However, there is an increasing number of successes in patients in more advanced stages.
In principle, our immunotherapy can be combined with any conventional treatment method. However, immunosuppressive therapies (e.g. cortisone, radiotherapy, chemotherapy) may temporarily suppress the functioning of the immune system, which makes it important to timely coordinate different therapies.
How much does therapy cost? Is it covered by health insurance?
The costs of therapy depend on the individual expenditure on the production of the vaccine, the appropriate scope of treatment and the course of the disease. The medical team decides what activities are appropriate for the patient at a cancer conference. Treatment options and related costs are discussed individually with the patient in each case.
The cost level is due to the huge amount of personnel and technology involved: an individual drug is produced for each patient in strict accordance with the legal requirements of the German Medicines Act (AMG).
The cost of the first two treatment cycles, including diagnosis, vaccine production and therapy, is approximately €55,000.
The cost of treatment is borne by the patient, regardless of the reimbursement from the insurance.
The costs of diagnosis and therapy may possibly be reimbursed by private health insurance (depending on the concluded contract).
Immunotherapy is not covered by German or Polish statutory health insurance.
Many of the patients use crowfunding’s help to pay for their treatment. We offer assistance in contacting the foundation and starting a fundraiser.
What is the usual course of treatment and how long does it take?
The course of treatment below can be an example of the shape and duration of our immunotherapy. It includes two vaccination cycles and lasts about 5 weeks.
1. First consultation
During the first consultation at the clinic, the patient’s medical history is studied, as well as existing research results are checked and all possible conventional and immunological treatment options are considered. This is followed by blood samples that will be used to assess the immune system and tumor activity. The results are available after about two weeks.
2. Developing a treatment plan
Our team of experts meets to discuss the results and, based on the patient’s history, develops an individual treatment plan.
3. The first course of treatment
Duration: 8 days. The treatment plan is discussed in detail with the patient. At the beginning of therapy, a blood sample is taken from the patient, which will be used to produce a personalized cancer vaccine. The production process takes 8 days. During this time, the tumor area and the immune system are treated on an outpatient basis with modulated electrohyperthermia, Newcastle Virus (NDV) administration, and vitamins and micronutrients are given as needed. On the eighth day after blood sampling, the first vaccination is given.
4. Second course of treatment
Duration: 8 days. Three weeks later, another blood sample is taken for the production of a second vaccine. Further treatment with hyperthermia and virotherapy is applied. On the 8th day of the second cycle, the second vaccination takes place.
5. Analysis of the immune system and the effectiveness of vaccination
After another three weeks, the analysis of the patient’s blood provides information about the state of the immune system, as well as the effectiveness of the vaccination. Using the ELISpot assay, T Lymphocytes are tested for antitumor response against specific antigens. If immune function and T cell responses are good then further monitoring will be done approximately every three months. If the immune function is weakened or the response to vaccination is insufficient, further treatment with virotherapy and hyperthermia is used and additional vaccination is considered.