Department of Radiation Therapy | Treatment in Hospital Cologne-Merheim | Departments. Germany | BookingHealth
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Department of Radiation Therapy - Hospital Cologne-Merheim

Hospital Cologne-Merheim

Cologne, Germany
Department id # 274440
Doctor photo
Dr. med. Michaela Hammer-Hellmig
Department of Radiation Therapy
Specialized in: radiation therapy

About the Department of Radiation Therapy at Hospital Cologne-Merheim

The Department of Radiation Therapy at the Hospital Cologne-Merheim carries out all types of modern radiation therapy at the highest technological level, strictly adhering to radiation protection standards. The department has two powerful Elekta Synergy linear accelerators and a GammaMed plus IX BrachyVision device for radiation therapy using the afterloading technique. An irradiation scheme is planned on a Toshiba Aquilion Large Bore CT scanner with a 90 cm gentry aperture. Combined chemoradiation therapy is also performed here in collaboration with relevant specialists. In most cases, radiation therapy is provided on an outpatient basis without a mandatory hospital stay. The key focus is on radiation therapy for patients with breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, prostate cancer, and head and neck tumors. The department's medical team also specializes in radiation therapy for patients with benign diseases. The health of patients is in the safe hands of a highly professional team of experienced doctors who develop a customized course of radiation therapy for each patient, provide detailed information about the peculiarities of the upcoming treatment and the expected results, and support patients during the therapeutic process. Close cooperation between the department's radiation therapists and surgeons, oncologists, and doctors from other related disciplines plays a crucial role in treatment success. The department is headed by Dr. med. Michaela Hammer-Hellmig.

The department offers all modern radiation therapies, including image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy, brachytherapy, and stereotaxy. The medical facility also performs respiratory-gated radiation therapy, for example, in cases of left-sided breast cancer. The wide variety of radiation therapy methods makes it possible to combine different types of irradiation and achieve optimal results.

Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is an innovative and highly effective method of irradiating malignant tumors. It allows the doctors to destroy more cancer cells with minor effects on healthy adjacent tissues. Prior to IGRT, the patient undergoes computed tomography (CT) scanning, based on the results of which radiation therapists create a 3D model of the tumor using a computer program and determine the optimal radiation dose and the beam trajectory. Image-guided radiation therapy is thus a highly precise method of radiation therapy that practically does not cause any side effects.

The department also conducts volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). This technique is an improved version of IGRT radiation therapy. This involves the continuous delivery of individually calculated radiation doses during a 360-degree rotation of the linear accelerator gantry. The main difference between volumetric modulated arc therapy and image-guided radiation therapy is that, due to the rapid rotation of the gantry, radiation is delivered at any angle, and the duration of a radiation therapy session lasts only a few minutes. VMAT and IMRT radiation therapies are performed for almost all types of cancer.

The doctors at the medical facility regularly perform brachytherapy, which is internal radiation therapy. During such treatment, the radiation source (as a rule, a tiny capsule with radioisotopes) is placed in close proximity to the malignant tumor or inside the neoplasm. As a result, a high dose of radiation is delivered to the oncological focus without harming adjacent healthy tissues. A minimally invasive intervention is required to place the radiation source in the target area. Brachytherapy is indicated for patients with uterine cancer, cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, prostate cancer, esophageal cancer, rectal cancer, etc.

The department has also accumulated impressive experience in stereotactic radiation therapy. This high-tech method allows doctors to destroy malignant cells through a single application of a high dose of radiation. Stereotactic radiation therapy is indicated for patients with hard-to-reach brain tumors when surgery is contraindicated. Prior to the procedure, the patient lies on a linear accelerator table and wears a special frame on their head, which securely immobilizes it in the required position because complete immobilization of the irradiated area is required for the effectiveness and safety of treatment. The next step of the procedure involves directing high-energy ionizing radiation onto the neoplasm from different angles, which is focused in the center of the tumor and destroys malignant cells.

The department's range of medical services includes:

  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
  • Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT)
  • Brachytherapy (internal radiation therapy) with a focus on high-dose irradiation
  • Radiation therapy using the Afterloading technique
  • Stereotactic radiation therapy
  • Chemoradiation therapy (in collaboration with oncologists)
  • Other types of radiation therapy

Photo of the doctor: (c) Kliniken der Stadt Köln gGmbH