During our time in Germany (March-April) as guests of Dr Ursual Jacob’s clinic, we were introduced to many outstanding cancer specialists. Many patients travel to Germany hoping that there is an alternative medicine cure for their cancer and many are disappointed to discover that it is the conventional medicine offered in Germany that forms the majority of the treatment plan. Complementary adjunct treatments are used to assist the body to tolerate some treatments and while helping to build resistance to recurrence of cancer. However just as we have innovators in medicine here in Australia, so too does Germany and from my personal experience; the Netherlands is out there in innovative medical techniques. Where these innovators differ from our conventional medicine is that chemotherapy is often delivered to a patient via different way. The German Clinics have many different techniques to obliterate and control tumours; here are some of them.
For the purpose of this blog I will focus on liver cancer; secondary liver from primary bowel cancer primary liver cancer and breast cancer that has spread to the liver. Because the outcomes of liver cancer are often poor the public perception is that there is little that can be done. This is likely why so many of the liver cancer patients we see; have taken the route of alternative medicine, meditation and dietary approaches; abandoning conventional medicine. Patients will often say they feel well while practising these lifestyle approaches; but they come to see me because their tumours continue to grow and they need a solution….quickly.
We have already discussed the value of hyperthermia/oncothermia as a part of clinical treatment for cancer including liver cancer. If you missed these blogs then here is the link: Select each linked heading on the page – there are a number of excellent videos embedded in each blog for your interest.
So – here are a few of the German Cancer Treatments that are being effectively and successfully used for liver cancer.
At the University of Frankfurt, we are introduced to Prof Vogl. He welcomes us to his section of the university then it’s down to business. Everything about his demeanour gives an air of precision, excellence, efficiency and when we see him performing his crafts – Chemoperfusion and chemoembolisation – we are suitably impressed!
Gowned up in lead aprons we film the day procedures. We watch on a screen as the chemo is delivered directly in to the tumour as Chemoperfusion is performed via entry into the femoral artery of the patient with a special catheter guided to the liver. We are told that application of chemotherapy through the major arteries into the liver arteries allows one to achieve a concentration 100 times higher than by systemic approach with only minimal adverse effects.
Transarterial Chemoembolisation TACE Embolising (blocks) the branches of the hepatic artery which supply the tumour causing starvation of blood supply and death of the tumour while the normal liver tissue will retain its blood supply through the portal vein. The washout of the concentrated chemotherapy is also delayed when using this method. The half-life of chemotherapeutic agent is increased by hours to weeks through the stoppage of blood supply.
In TACE, the knowledge of difference in blood supply to the tumour and liver tissue is used. Up to 75% of the normal liver tissue is perfused by the portal venous system and only 25% is supplied by arteries. On the contrary, liver tumours are supplied up to 95% by arteries. Hence chemoembolization of liver arteries lead to development of ischemic necrosis in the tumour region while the remaining normal liver tissue is spared by sufficient perfusion through the portal venous system.
Then there is another armoury that can be used for liver (and other cancers)
LITT – Laser induced interstitial thermotherapy.
Development of LITT
The present form of laser therapy has been developed by Prof. Vogl and Prof. Dr. Mack in close co-operation with Dr.Roggan from Laser and Medicine Technology GmbH (LMTB), Berlin, Germany. The procedure is continuouslyoptimised and used routinely in clinical practice with greatsuccess.
How it works: In practise a temperature of about 60 to 110° C is achieved in the tumour tissue. This differentiates LITT from the classical hyperthermia.
The use of local thermal effect in the tumour region forms the basis for this new minimal invasive therapeutic procedure. The energy of laser light is absorbed, which causes heating of the tissue. The heat causes coagulation (destruction) of tumour tissue and the edge around it. LITT can be effectively used in may cases of unresectable cancer (by surgery) or for patients who failed a liver resection.
According to the professor, it is scientifically proven that local resection or destruction of liver metastases prolongs the life of patients and chemotherapy is then to be preferred.
LITT can also be tried as an alternative therapy for patients who refuse surgical resection and systemic or local chemotherapy.
If any of this information interests you, The Grace Gawler Institute is personally escorting patient groups to Dr Ursula Jacob’s clinic -Dr Jacob refers patients to her associate Prof. Vogl. These treatments mentioned above are often a part of a clinical treatment plan for the best results. We caution patients not to travel to germany self-referred and ill prepared – we have heard of many disatrous results when patients go in desperation. Such a decision needs a well composed plan and follow up when patients return to Australia. We have pioneered our guided patient tours believing it is the most responsible and ethical way to support cancer patients who need these therapies. With Thanks to Professor Vogl for some of the material used in this blog.
More on German cancer treatments, the specialists we met and their techniques in my next blog.
Please visit www.germancancertreatments.com to read more and to watch some inspiring patient experiences on video.
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