Metastatic Cancer Treatment in Germany
When at least one of the trillions of normal cells in the body is reborn into cancer, the trigger is triggered, and the tumor grows. As the disease progresses, some cancer cells form metastases — secondary tumors. And often, even timely removal and postoperative therapy cannot cause remission. It is believed that 90% of cancer deaths are associated with metastasis. Nevertheless, there are successes in the treatment of metastatic cancer and considerable ones. In clinics in Germany, Israel, Turkey, and the USA, all modern techniques are used for this.
Why do many people search for metastases treatment?
Currently, most patients have been initially diagnosed with stage III-IV cancer. That means that the patients have distant metastases. Therefore, they need treatment to improve their condition and increase their life expectancy. In clinics abroad, complex therapy is used, considering the general state of the patient's health, the localization of cancer, and metastasis activity. Doctors offer a personal metastases treatment regimen and select the most suitable drugs, depending on the stage and the damage to healthy tissues.
What are cancer metastases?
Cancer can be primary when a tumor forms in an organ and metastatic when tumor cells infect other organs. The word "metastases" originates from Greek and means "displacement."
Some primary tumor cells enter the blood or lymph flow and travel through the vascular system. So, cancer cells spread throughout the body, settling in various organs. There they begin to divide rapidly and form secondary metastases.
Metastases can be located in different places. Every type of cancer has its own "favorite" localization. Secondary tumors often appear in the liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, bones, and ovaries.
The metastasis rate depends on many factors:
- blood supply to the organ;
- the degree of malignancy;
- the state of the immune system;
- patient's age.
The intensity of metastasis is also affected by viral infections, intoxication, alcohol consumption, and poor nutrition. Chronic stress also weakens anticancer immunity.
What is the danger of metastases?
If a patient has metastases, this indicates that his body cannot fight the disease. Resources are exhausted. Metastases disrupt the work of all organs and worsen the general condition.
Treatment for metastatic cancer abroad
Metastatic cancer often does not show any unusual symptoms. Therefore, patients seek medical help in the last stages. Unfortunately, this is the leading cause of a large number of this disease.
Radical operations are not carried out. Most often, treatment goals are to prolong the patient's life, ensure healthily–being, and eliminate painful symptoms.
Fortunately, over the past 20 years, medicine has stepped far ahead. Stage IV of cancer can often be treated as a chronic disease (for example, arterial hypertension and diabetes).
The health and the patient's life depend on the quality of therapy. Therefore, when choosing a clinic, it is essential to consider all possible options (including metastases treatment in Germany) and choose the best one.
Where to get metastases treatment?
Benefits of cancer therapy in Germany
Medical care in Germany is famous for its efficiency and comfort. Highly qualified specialists can cope with most health problems. Treatment in Germany is provided in municipal hospitals and private and university clinics. Professors and doctors with academic degrees actively participate in rounds and clinical discussions in large multidisciplinary medical institutions.
Patients who have successfully been treated in German clinics note the main advantages:
- Social equality and accessibility. A high level of funding and a developed network of private and public clinics will create favorable conditions for medical tourism.
- Individualization of metastasis therapy. Doctors make treatment plans for a patient, not for the organ or system's diseases.
- Short diagnostic and treatment time. Diagnosis of metastasized cancer symptoms takes no more than 3-4 days. Then therapy methods are selected, taking into account the patient's characteristics.
- Modern diagnostic equipment. In the case of metastasis, it is essential to determine the cause. Clinics with innovative equipment successfully cope with this task.
- New methods of treatment. Cancer therapy in Germany is carried out using modern techniques. A positive result is achieved in 95% of cases.
Germany is the birthplace of leading pharmaceutical companies: BASF, Bayer, and Hoechst GmbH (Sanofi). They produce modern chemotherapeutic and immunotherapeutic drugs that meet all certification standards.
Equipment manufacturing companies play an essential role in the development of medicine. A significant part of modern equipment is manufactured in Germany: Siemens Healthcare and B.Braun Melsungen AG. That allows clinics to treat cancer patients with the most modern methods and periodically update all equipment.
New methods of metastases treatment in Germany
The choice of therapy depends on the tumor type, previous treatment, effectiveness, number of metastases, and location. It is worth noting that surgery, chemo, and radiation therapy are still effective. However, modern variants are more accurate and less toxic.
German clinics have the latest and most current treatment for metastatic cancer.
- Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). А minimally invasive procedure used to treat inoperable cancer and metastases. The method treats tumors with good blood supply, such as liver cancer and some types of metastases (neuroendocrine tumors). Small particles (for embolization) get directly into the tumor through the artery. As a result, tumor ischemia develops, and cancerous cells get a significantly higher dose than traditional chemotherapy.
- Transarterial chemotherapy (TACP) is a minimally toxic chemotherapy for metastases. The primary importance is the delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs to the tumor (for example, cytostatics). Firstly, it destroys malignant cells or prevents their growth. The doctor inserts a catheter into the arteries that supply the tumor with blood to deliver the drugs precisely to the cancerous tissue. This process takes about an hour.
- Pressurised Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC). The blood supply to the surface of the peritoneum is limited. Therefore, the treatment of metastases in the abdominal cavity after the surgery is a difficult task. The new spraying method effectively combats metastases. Medications cover the entire surface of the abdomen and destroy cancer cells.
- Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a modern method of treating metastases. In this therapy, the doctor injects a concentrated therapeutic solution directly into the abdominal cavity. Heating the solution improves the absorption of chemotherapy by tumors and destroys microscopic cancer cells that inevitably remain after surgery.
- Percutaneous tumor ablation is a minimally invasive procedure for treating cancer and metastases without complex surgery. Various technical methods are widespread: they destroy malignant cells either by heat or cold.
- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) heats the tumor tissue with a high-frequency electric current.
- In contrast, microwave ablation (MWA) uses high-frequency radio waves.
- Cryoablation uses tissue freezing to destroy a target. Ablation is a milder alternative to classical surgery, primarily due to the absence of a wound surface and a lower complication rate. In addition, the postoperative period is only about three days. Each of the methods has its advantages and features that doctors take into account when planning treatment.
- The dendritic cell cancer vaccine is another progressive step in the fight against metastases. The vaccine consists of dendritic cells isolated from the patient's blood and combined with cancer cells from the tumor in the laboratory. The doctor injects the patient with this mixture under the skin. As a result, dendritic cells activate the immune system to destroy metastases.
- Immunotherapy. For the discovery of this method, its creators were awarded the Nobel Prize. Oncologists in many countries have successfully used various types of immunotherapy. The essence of therapy is to activate the patient's immune system to fight malignant cells.
- Lutetium-177 PSMA. It is a creative method to fight metastatic cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and prostate. In addition, it is used as an alternative to chemotherapy if it does not help or is poorly tolerated. Lutetium 177 operates on the principle of a "homing missile." The drug finds the tumor, attaches to it, and irradiates it. The radiation extends only a few millimeters. After therapy with lutetium 177 PSMA in Germany, cancer cells stop growing, and the tumor size decreases.
The effect of treatment of metastases on the prognosis of the disease
Treating cancer with metastases is a difficult task. In rare cases, when there are single foci, they can be removed, as well as the primary tumor. Unfortunately, in most cases during the examination, it turns out that there are already many metastases, and they are in different organs. In this case, the patient is prescribed systemic therapy. The doctor can combine other techniques.
A big problem in treating metastatic cancer is the development of resistance from the tumor side. Over time, the most persistent cancer cells remain, new mutations occur in them, and the drugs that helped before cease to work, and the disease begins to progress again. In such cases, the doctor may change the appointment. Molecular genetic studies help to choose the optimal therapy for a particular patient. A tumor sample is sent to the laboratory to determine which mutations have occurred and which drugs will be most effective.
Most often, five-year survival rates are used to assess the prognosis in oncology. They indicate the percentage of patients who survived for five years after they were diagnosed with cancer. Average five-year survival rates for certain types of cancer with metastases:
- Breast cancer - 29%;
- Colon cancer - 14%;
- Lung cancer - 6%;
- Melanoma - 23%;
- Stomach cancer - 5%;
- Rectal cancer -15%;
- Ovarian cancer - 30%;
- Prostate cancer - 30%.
These indicators are not an accurate prognosis for each patient. However, yearly new medicines and treatment methods appear. And with some types of cancer, the five-year survival rate has increased.
Proper therapy helps prolong patients' lives and relieve painful symptoms. As a result, some patients may maintain an active lifestyle despite a malignant tumor in their body.
An important measure of prevention of metastatic cancer is early diagnosis of oncological diseases. Screening studies are used for this. Pay attention to unusual, long-lasting symptoms, and consult a doctor on time.
Best clinics for metastases treatment in Germany
Goethe University Hospital Frankfurt-am-Main
It is the leading clinic in Germany that perfectly combines therapeutic, rehabilitation, and research fields. The latest developments and methods of treatment of various diseases are used here. The Tumor Center is one of the country's largest and most famous medical institutions that treat metastases. The University Hospital is equipped with Gamma Knife, robot DaVinci, spiral and positron emission tomography, etc.
Helios Hospital Berlin-Buch
The largest clinic in Berlin. According to Focus magazine, it was a leader in the ranking of the best hospitals in Germany in 2019. The clinic specializes in oncology, orthopedics, neurosurgery, and the treatment of obesity. The German Cancer Society has awarded the hospital the status of an oncological center. Doctors use the latest and most effective treatment methods in addition to standard procedures (chemotherapy and radiotherapy). All of them have successfully passed clinical trials.
University Hospital Rechts der Isar in Munich
A well-known multidisciplinary clinical center with deep historical roots located in the northern part of Munich. The Department of Oncology uses advanced methods and technologies to diagnose and treat metastatic cancer. In addition, the hospital staff is engaged in research work. The University Hospital employs an incredible team of highly qualified specialists with academic degrees and professors.
TOP German oncologists for online consultation
Professor Harald-Robert Bruch of the Oncology and Hematology Clinic Bonn is a Doctor of Sciences (DSc) in medicine and a Professor of Medical Sciences. Dr. Bruch specializes in gastroenterology, oncology, and hematology. He has a long-term medical practice and publishes works in Germany, Europe, and the USA.
Dr. Elke Jager is the Chief physician of the Department of Oncology, Hematology, and Bone Marrow Transplantation at Nordwest Hospital. Dr. Jager is a member of the American Society of Cancer Immunology and provides modern immunotherapy to treat the most complex cases.
Professor Markus Gorshluter is the Head of the Oncology department at the Beta Clinic in Bonn, with more than 22 years of medical practice. Hematology and oncology are the main specialties of the doctor. Professor Markus is also a lecturer at Bonn University and a member of the German Society of Oncology and Hematology.
Dr. Peter Reichardt is the medical director and the cancer center's head at the Helios Berlin-Buch Clinic. An honorary member of American, European, and German cancer societies, he specializes in cancer immunology, oncology, and hematology.
Dr. Stefan Eber is the Director of Hemato Oncology at the Pediatric Clinic of the University of Zurich. In addition, he has 40 years of experience in pediatric oncology, hematology, hemostasis, and neonatology.
Find treatment in Germany with AiroMedical
The international company AiroMedical provides services for the organization of medical care abroad. The company's specialists have accumulated extensive experience organizing diagnostics and treatment in the best clinics abroad. The purpose of our company is to provide patients with high-quality medical care. That is possible thanks to cooperation only with professional, reliable clinics and first-class specialists in Germany.
Established and time-tested relationships with medical partners based on the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and ethics allow us to achieve the desired result for each patient. In addition, the AiroMedical team does everything possible to help in the most challenging cases:
- We will find a specialized doctor for online consultation if the patient cannot travel for any reason.
- Depending on the situation, we ensure а second opinion with several oncologists.
- Access to statistical indicators allows AiroMedical specialists to choose the most optimal clinic and doctor with the best success rates.
- Our specialists will prepare the necessary documents for obtaining a treatment plan with various options.
- We will arrange a patient meeting at the airport.
- The patient will be accompanied by a doctor and an interpreter if necessary.
The path to recovery for many patients depends on the material issue. But thanks to direct contracts with clinics and cooperation with charitable foundations, we save your finances and make foreign medicine affordable.
The intensive work of scientists and doctors allows us to hope that the time of victory over metastatic cancer is already close.
Patients who go abroad for metastases treatment can optionally participate in clinical trials of innovative anticancer drugs, thus receiving the most advanced treatment with no analogs.
Please contact us for high-quality and effective treatment of metastases in Germany.
- American Cancer Society: Understanding Advanced and Metastatic Cancer
- Cancer.Net: Coping with Metastatic Cancer
- National Cancer Institute: Metastatic Cancer: When Cancer Spreads
- Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis): Social statistics
- German Federal Committee: Hospital Quality Reports