Marien Hospital Duesseldorf
Department of Radiation Therapy (448526)
Karl Axel Hartmann
Specialized in: radiation therapy
About the Department of Radiation Therapy at Marien Hospital Duesseldorf
The Department of Radiation Therapy at the Marien Hospital Duesseldorf offers the full range of modern types of irradiation for the treatment of malignant diseases of various localization. Along with surgical treatment and chemotherapy, radiation therapy is one of the most effective methods of treating oncology. The department's specialists also successfully carry out chemoradiotherapy. Regular tumor boards are held in interdisciplinary cooperation with the specialists from related medical fields, during which the most appropriate time for radiation therapy (before or after surgery), as well as its combination with other treatments (for example, chemotherapy) is selected. The medical facility keeps pace with innovations, and therefore it uses advanced irradiation methods that targetedly affect malignant cells and practically do not affect healthy tissues. In addition, the department deals with the treatment of benign diseases such as arthrosis, tennis elbow, heel spurs and others. Doctors accurately plan the dose of radiation and the duration of the course of therapy in order to achieve the best result. The Head Physician of the department is Prof. Dr. med. Karl Axel Hartmann.
Before starting the course of radiation therapy, the department's doctors carry out 3D planning of the upcoming treatment using the cutting-edge CT scanner. Such an approach ensures maximum accuracy and safety of irradiation. The preparatory stage takes about 2 weeks. The course of radiation therapy is usually carried out for 5-7 weeks, at certain intervals between procedures. The irradiation session lasts only 2-5 minutes, but additional time is also required for the correct positioning of the patient. The treatment regimen is developed for each patient individually, taking into account the specific diagnosis and stage of cancer. During the therapeutic process, the doctor can adjust the treatment regimen, if necessary.
One of the important areas of the department's specialization is brachytherapy for prostate cancer treatment. Brachytherapy is a highly effective method of contact radiation therapy. This type of irradiation involves the introduction of radioactive "seeds'' directly into the pathological focus. The manipulation is performed under general anesthesia, using special needles. When placing radioactive "seeds" inside the prostate gland, the attending physician is guided by previously made CT scans. Depending on the severity of the clinical case, doctors can perform either low-dose or high-dose brachytherapy. The difference lies in the fact that high-dose brachytherapy uses a radioactive source of higher power. In addition, the high-dose form of irradiation is often combined with external beam radiation therapy, which enhances its effect. When dealing with prostate cancer treatment, brachytherapy is usually performed on an outpatient basis. In rare cases, it may be necessary to stay in a hospital under the supervision of doctors for 1-2 days. Brachytherapy demonstrates high efficiency. In addition, the risk of developing severe complications such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence is significantly lower as compared to other therapeutic procedures.
The department offers another modern type of irradiation – intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). The technique allows the doctors to adjust the radiation dose in different areas of the radiation field, as well as accurately adjust the delivery of radiation to each individual point of the tumor. The main advantage of this type of radiation therapy is the high-precision irradiation of the oncological focus and the maximum protection of the adjacent tissues and organs. In addition, intensity-modulated radiation therapy can be used repeatedly to treat local cancer recurrences. IMRT is of particular value in the treatment of head and neck malignant tumors, prostate cancer, soft tissue sarcomas and other tumors.
The department also carries out afterloading therapy, which is a method of short-term high-dose irradiation. As a rule, the technique is used in combination with a course of external beam radiation therapy for the treatment of locally advanced cancer.
A special focus of the work of the department's doctors is radiation therapy for benign diseases: tennis elbow, heel spurs, inflammation of the Achilles tendon, shoulder-hand syndrome, arthrosis and other pathologies. In such cases, radiation therapy can effectively eliminate pain, especially chronic pain in the joints and tendons. The painful area is usually irradiated several times a week, while the session lasts about 30 seconds. The procedure is absolutely painless. Due to the low dose of radiation, side effects are extremely rare, which is a great benefit.
The department specializes in radiation therapy for the following benign and malignant diseases:
- Malignant pathologies
- Brain tumors (for example, glioblastomas)
- Head and neck tumors
- Esophageal cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Soft tissue tumors
- Benign pathologies
- Tennis elbow
- Heel spurs
- Inflammation of the Achilles tendon
- Steinbrocker shoulder-hand syndrome
- Osteoarthritis of various localization
- Flexion and extensor contracture of fingers and toes
- Soft tissue calcification (including prevention before surgery or prevention after injury)
- Prevention of gynecomastia in men (for example, before hormone therapy for prostate cancer)
- Abnormal scarring
- Penile curvature
- Other diseases
The department's main therapeutic options include:
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
- Brachytherapy for prostate cancer
- Concurrent chemoradiotherapy
- Afterloading therapy
- Other therapies
Curriculum vitae of Prof. Dr. med. Karl Axel Hartmann
- 1982 - 1983 Study of Physics and Evangelical Theology at the University of Marburg.
- 1983 - 1984 Civil service at the University Hospital Marburg.
- 1984 - 1990 Study of Human Medicine at the Philipps University of Marburg.
- 1990 - 1991 Continued studying Human Medicine in the RWTH Aachen and at the Queen’s Medical Center, University of Nottingham, Great Britain.
- 13.05.1991 3rd State Medical Examination.
- 05.11.1992 Doctoral thesis defense at the Philipps University of Marburg (magna cum laude).
- 03.12.1992 Admission to medical practice.
Medical and Scientific Activities
- 1991 - 1996 Department of Radiation Therapy at the University Hospital Duesseldorf.
- 12.1996 Examination for board certification.
- 1996 - 1998 Scholarship of the Dr. Mildred Scheel Foundation, a study on tumor oxygenation in the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam.
- 05.1998 Senior Physician, Department of Radiation Therapy at the University Hospital Duesseldorf.
- 01.07.1999 Habilitation, preclinical research on the application of 250 kV x-rays and hyperoxygenation in patients with rhabdomyosarcoma R1H.
- 2000 - 2002 Managing Senior Physician, University Hospital Duesseldorf.
- 02.09.2002 Head Physician of the Department of Radiation Therapy at the Marien Hospital Duesseldorf.
- 14.12.2004 Extraordinary Professorship at the Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf.
- 2004 - 2008 Board Member of the German Society for Radiation Oncology (DEGRO).
- Since January 2006 Medical Director.
Memberships in Professional Societies and Teaching Activities
- European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO).
- American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO).
- German Society of Radiation Oncology (DEGRO).
- Professional Association of German Radiation Therapists.
- German Cancer Society.
- Member of the Physician Selection Commission (RöV and StrlSchV), Medical Association of North Rhine-Westphalia.
- Member of the Ethics Committee, Medical Association of North Rhine-Westphalia.
- Teaching activities at the University Hospital Duesseldorf.
Photo of the doctor: (c) Marien Hospital Düsseldorf
Department of Radiation Therapy.
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