Published on 14. July 2015

Cancer immunotherapy center opened at Vivantes Spandau Hospital

A cancer immunotherapy center has now been established at Vivantes Spandau Hospital. Here, oncologists, dermatologists, gastroenterologists and pulmonologists work together on an interdisciplinary basis.

The aim of cancer immunotherapy is to mobilize the patient's own immune system to fight his tumor disease. The so-called immune checkpoint inhibitors (PD-1, PD-L-1 and CTLA-4 inhibitors) can be used to support the body's own immune system in fighting cancer. Recently, the first PD-1 antibody was approved for Germany, initially for the treatment of black skin cancer (malignant melanoma), and since a week ago also for a certain form of lung cancer. The first patients with these diseases have already been treated accordingly at the Cancer Immunotherapy Center at Spandau Hospital. Several patients with lung cancer have been treated for some time with PD-1 and PD-L-1 antibodies as part of studies.

Treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors requires special expertise, since in individual cases severe immunological side effects can occur as a result of this treatment. For this reason, various specialists from the departments of oncology, dermatology, gastroenterology and pneumology as well as specialized nursing staff work together at Vivantes Spandau Hospital to provide professional care during treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors. The new cancer immunotherapy center is headed by Prof. Dr. Späth-Schwalbe (cancer specialist) in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Harth and Dr. Henschel (skin cancer specialists).

The approval of immune checkpoint inhibitors for other cancers is expected later this year or in the course of next year.

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