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Oncology (Cancer Treatment) in Germany: Best Hospitals, Doctors, Options, & Cost

Cancer is prognosed to reach 28.4 million cases by 2040, marking a 47% increase from 2020; high-quality oncology care is more important than ever. A dedicated oncologist, well-versed in early cancer detection and advanced treatments, can significantly enhance a patient's longevity and quality of life.

Germany holds a strong position in the oncology cure, offering exceptional cures in the best hospital for cancer treatment. The country heavily invests in healthcare, fostering a robust network of specialized centers where each clinic is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and staffed by highly trained professionals. Prioritizing research, patient-centered care, and an integrated healthcare system, cancer treatment in Germany has earned global recognition. It gives hope and a path to recovery for countless patients yearly.

AiroMedical, a medical travel platform, has a deep understanding of oncology treatment in Germany and a vast network of hundreds of institutions in Germany where each hospital is high-reputable. Our commitment to patient care makes AiroMedical an invaluable partner in facilitating cancer therapy.

Update: Apr 17, 2024

Features & Facts

Investment and infrastructure
Germany is a leading country in Europe regarding healthcare spending, with 11.1% of its GDP annually allocated to it. Over 1,300 specialized centers and a clinic for cancer treatment are present in Germany, making it a prime destination for cancer treatments.
Cutting-edge technology
Germany's best hospitals and clinics for cancer cure employ state-of-the-art technologies in their oncology departments. Cancer treatment in Germany is enhanced by using advanced imaging equipment, radiation therapy machines, and over 150 Da Vinci robotic surgery systems, elevating the standard of cancer care in the country and increasing treatment success rates.
Expertise and support services
Highly skilled and internationally recognized oncologists offer comprehensive cancer treatment services in Germany. The oncology hospital in Germany provides "all-inclusive" care for cancer patients, including rehabilitation, pain management, palliative care, and psychological support.
Research and narrow specialization
The best oncology hospital in Germany doubles as a research institution, actively contributing to developing new treatments and therapies for cancer. This hospital for cancer treatment in Germany offers specialized expertise in various fields, such as neuro-oncology, pediatric oncology, and sarcoma, providing well-rounded cancer treatment.
Patient-centered care and integration
Each oncology hospital and clinic in Germany prioritize patient-centered care. The German oncology centers involve patients in decision-making processes and provide emotional support throughout cancer treatment. Diagnostics and cancer treatments in Germany are efficiently integrated within the same hospital team, enhancing the overall experience.

Best oncology clinics in Germany

How to choose the oncology hospital?

Choosing the most suitable hospital for cancer treatment in Germany involves multiple considerations. Selecting a hospital with specialized oncological expertise in your cancer type is essential. Prioritize clinics that facilitate a collaborative interdisciplinary approach, offer state-of-the-art technology, and provide unique treatments.

Also, seek hospitals focusing on patient-centered care and hold German Cancer Society (DKG) certification. Look at the oncology center's location, reputation, and pricing transparency.

The availability of the latest treatment technologies, like dendritic cancer vaccines and CAR T-cell therapy, can be a critical factor in your decision. With all these aspects in mind, AiroMedical can help guide your selection process.

Top doctors for cancer treatment in Germany

Prof. Dr. med. Tho­mas Vogl
Dr. med. Holger Heidenreich
Dr. med. Anett Tillmann, MBA
Prof. Dr. med. Markus Braun-Falco
Dermatology Centre Prof. Braun-Falco Munich
dermatology, aesthetic dermatology and oncodermatology
Prof. Dr. med. Roland Ladurner
Academic Hospital Martha-Maria Munich
general, abdominal, thoracic, endocrine, vascular and minimally invasive surgery
Dr. med. Nathan Kaminski
Prof. Dr. med. Stefan Hinterwimmer
ATOS Orthopedic Clinic Munich
knee orthopaedic surgery, orthopaedics and trauma surgery

A quick guide to choosing an oncologist in Germany

When looking for an oncologist in Germany, be mindful of their experience, constant professional advancement, qualifications, surgical prowess, and grasp of the newest technologies in diagnosis and treatment. Seek out those endorsed by respected associations, as these certifications affirm their skills in cancer surgery.

If a surgical oncologist is what you need, evaluate their additional training, frequency of performing specific surgeries, and their collaborative approach with other medical professionals. It's also essential that they stay updated with emerging surgical techniques and are actively involved in research. Patient testimonials and their availability should factor into your decision as well.

Your chosen oncologist in Germany will be an essential guide through your cancer journey. Thus, it's crucial that they provide a holistic, patient-focused approach, clear communication, and incorporate a multi-specialty perspective in the treatment plan.

Diagnoses of cancer in Germany

Germany has many ways to find out if someone has an oncology disease. It often involves multiple diagnostic tests. Some of them are:

Routine tests

Imaging tests
Some examples are X-rays, CTs, MRIs, and PET scans. These tests make detailed pictures of what's happening inside the body, which can help doctors find tumors and other abnormal growths and provide appropriate cancer treatment in Germany.
Endoscopic tests
The inside of the body is looked at with a thin, lit tube called an endoscope—for example, a colonoscopy for cancerous growths inside the colon. A bronchoscopy is used to look for lung cancer in the airways.
In a biopsy, a small piece of tissue from the growth that might be cancerous is taken under a microscope. Different biopsies in oncology include fine-needle aspiration (FNA), core needle, and excisional biopsy. These are used in the following cancer treatment in Germany.
Blood tests
Looking at the blood can find some types of malignancies. For example, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is specific to finding prostate cancer and checking if the oncology therapy help.
Cytology tests
Examinations like the Pap smear look at cells from the cervix to look for changes in the cells that could be a sign of cervical cancer.
Tissue analysis
Tissue samples can be checked for genetic mutations, which can be signs of some cancer types.

Doctors in Germany will also use different diagnostic tests and exams to stage cancer after finding it. It helps them determine how much a malignant tumor has grown or spread and find the best treatment.

Latest diagnostic options

Germany is at the forefront of innovative diagnostic options for oncology, ensuring that cancer treatment in this country is precise and effective.

PET CT scans with different modifications
In cancer detection, German clinics use advanced technologies such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) CT scans with DOTATATE and PSMA tracers. These options significantly improve the accuracy of cancer diagnosis, making the subsequent cancer therapy more targeted.
Fusion and liquid biopsies
These studies, performed in every large German oncology center, enhance the accuracy of diagnosis and the monitoring of cancer treatment response. Combined with the latest oncology biomarkers, these approaches contribute to high-quality cancer treatment in Germany.
Oncology biomarkers
They are unique substances that often emerge in the body when cancer is present. These biological markers provide crucial information to medical professionals, assisting doctors in diagnosing the type and stage of cancer, thereby helping to strategize a more effective and personalized treatment plan. Thus, the use of oncology biomarkers enhances the precision and efficacy of cancer treatment.
Next-generation sequencing (NGS)
It is a technology used in Germany's oncology clinics to understand better and treat cancer. NGS decodes the DNA or RNA of cancer cells, detecting genetic mutations that can reveal why cells became cancerous, how they might behave, and if they would respond well to specific treatments. This understanding allows doctors to create a personalized treatment plan for each patient, which can lead to better outcomes.

The patient may only need some of the above tests. It all depends on the type of neoplasm and the person who has it. A diagnosis usually takes more than one round of tests, evaluations, and talks with specialists.

A cancer diagnosis can be unexpected and overwhelming. Use the advice of the AiroMedical team to be informed when choosing a treatment strategy. Selecting the best oncologists is an important decision.

Advanced cancer treatment solutions in Germany

Germany is known for its therapy options, including various cutting-edge technologies. Some of the most notable advanced treatment solutions for cancer include:

The best convention approaches

Itremains a foundational element of cancer treatment and is extensively used in every German oncology clinic. More than 50% of all cancer patients in Germany, like the rest of the world, undergo chemotherapy as part of their treatment. Germany's healthcare infrastructure facilitates using the latest chemotherapy drugs, such as Tyrosine Kinase inhibitors for treating lung cancer and Immune Checkpoint inhibitors, employed in treating melanoma and lung cancer.

Furthermore, newer-generation chemotherapy drugs like Abraxane (for breast, lung, and pancreatic cancers) and Jevtana (for prostate cancer) are utilized. This level of advancement in chemotherapy increases the effectiveness of cancer treatment in Germany and significantly improves patients' comfort and overall quality of life.

Cancer immunotherapy
It is a method that uses the body's immune system to fight malignant cells. Different types of immunotherapy, such as checkpoint inhibitors, TIL therapy, and vaccines, can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.

Precision medicine, or personalized medicine, is a treatment approach considering a patient's genetic "makeup" and medical history. It can help doctors choose the most effective therapy for a particular patient and identify new drug targets.

Latest therapies in radiation oncology

This technique uses high doses of radiation in a single or a few treatments, focusing directly on the tumor while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. In Germany, cutting-edge technologies such as the CyberKnife and Gamma Knife are widely used for radiosurgery, making it possible to treat tumors even in difficult or dangerous-to-reach locations. For example, many brain tumors in Germany are treated with radiosurgery.
Image-guided RT
This method uses frequent imaging during radiation therapy to improve the precision and accuracy of the cancer treatment delivery. IGRT is extensively used in German clinic practice as part of the country's commitment to adopt the latest advancements in radiation oncology. It is especially beneficial for tumors near essential organs and structures and shows success rates close to 90% for some cancer locations.
Proton therapy
Radiation therapy uses beams of protons rather than X-rays to treat oncology diseases. This therapy is more precise than traditional radiation therapy and can reduce the side effects and collateral damage to healthy tissue. Germany is well known for its several proton centers attached to university hospitals.
This therapy uses radioactive substances to treat cancer, particularly effective in certain types of cancers that are hard to treat with other methods. Germany is at the forefront of utilizing radiopharmaceuticals in cancer treatment, with widespread use of isotopes like Lutetium-177, Radium-223, and Actinium-225. These treatments are especially effective for specific cancers like neuroendocrine tumors and prostate cancer (70% positive response for Lu-177).

Targeted and minimally invasive options

Gene therapy
It is a treatment approach that involves modifying cancer cells’ genetic “makeup” to destroy them. It can include introducing new genes into cancer cells to make them more vulnerable to chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Transarterial chemoembolzation (TACE)
This technique, frequently used in Germany's oncology clinic practice, introduces chemotherapy drugs directly into the blood vessels to perform complex and delicate procedures with greater precision, control, and stability than the human hand effects. Approximately 50,000 liver cancer patients in Germany undergo TACE during 2010-2019.
Radioembolization (SIRT)
Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) is another innovative, targeted cancer treatment in Germany. It uses tiny radioactive beads delivered directly to the tumor via the blood vessels, offering a high-precision approach to treating liver cancers. It is safe and has low adverse effects. Around 12,000 liver cancer cases in Germany have been managed using SIRT.
Tumor ablations
Techniques like radiofrequency, microwave, or cryoablation are frequently used in Germany to destroy tumors using heat or cold without invasive surgery. These techniques are prevalent in treating kidney and liver cancers, with specific cancer survival in close to 100% of these cases using ablation methods in their treatment protocol.
Dendritic cancer vaccines
These are forms of immunotherapy where dendritic cells are harvested from a patient, loaded with cancer-specific antigens. Then they returned to the patient to stimulate an immune response. Germany is one of the leading countries in developing and applying this cutting-edge therapy, offering new hope for patients with certain types of cancer.

Best options in surgical oncology

Robotic surgery
Some German cancer centers have invested in advanced robotic surgical systems like Da Vinci robots. They can help perform complex and delicate procedures with greater precision, control, and stability than the human hand.
Reconstructive surgery
Each reputable oncology hospital in Germany is renowned for its advanced techniques in reconstructive surgery, integral to restoring function and appearance post cancer surgeries. Last year after breast cancer surgeries, for instance, over 70% of patients in Germany opted for immediate reconstructive procedures, supporting both physical recovery and psychological well-being.
Interventions for previously-inoperable patients
German clinics are renowned for treating complex cancer cases deemed inoperable elsewhere. Leveraging state-of-the-art technologies and a multidisciplinary team, they perform intricate surgeries in cases of advanced-stage cancers. For instance, German surgeons treat liver or pancreatic cancers, which are usually considered "borderline resectable" due to their locations. Studies indicate these surgical interventions in German hospitals have significantly improved survival rates.
HIPEC and PIPAC for cancer metastases
In Germany, Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) and Pressurized Intraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC) are innovative techniques for treating peritoneal carcinomatosis. In this condition, cancer has spread to the lining of the abdomen. By delivering heated chemo directly to the abdominal cavity, these cancer treatments allow for higher drug concentration and minimal systemic side effects. Reported zero hospital mortality using PIPAC with around 70% success rate.

It's important to remember that hospitals can offer different advanced treatments. Not all hospitals have the same expertise in these. Other types of malignancy will respond differently. A doctor looks at your case and determines the best options.

Advantages of medical tourism

Traveling to another country for medical treatment can offer several benefits for cancer treatment in Germany, including:

Why do cancer patients prefer Germany?

Access to advanced techs
Germany is known for its advanced oncology treatment options, including precision medicine, immunotherapy, and proton therapy, which may need to be more widely available or fully covered by insurance in some other countries. It allows for exact and accurate diagnostic processes and cancer treatments in Germany.
Experience and specialization
German oncology centers have a long tradition of cancer treatment, and they are known for their expertise in specific areas such as interventional radiology, radiation oncology, or NETs.
Lower costs
The price of cancer treatment in Germany can be significantly lower than in other countries, especially for treatments that insurance companies do not cover. Additionally, the standard of cancer care in German hospitals is very high, meaning patients can receive world-class care at a lower cost than in other countries.
Short waiting times
In some countries, patients may have to wait a long time for cancer treatment due to a shortage of medical resources or a high demand for treatment. For cancer treatment in Germany, the waiting times are generally shorter, which can be especially important for patients with severe or advanced stages.
Multilingual staff
Many German hospitals have multilingual staff and offer translation services, making it easier for international patients to communicate with their doctors and understand their treatment options.
Top-quality care
German cancer hospitals are known for their high-quality care, experienced medical teams, and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Diagnostics and treatments are coordinated with the same hospital and teams.
A patient-centered approach
It is widely used to involve patients in treatment decisions and give them all support, including emotional and psychological help.

Considering all these factors carefully before deciding on cancer treatment in Germany is essential. Having proper research and planning for traveling is also necessary. AiroMedical will help with all these needs.

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