10 years high-end radiation therapy at UKHD – prospectively, irradiation with helium ions will be established -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine


Heidelberg University Hospital / Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg

10 years high-end radiation therapy at UKHD – prospectively, irradiation with helium ions will be established

Opened in 2009, the Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Center HIT at Heidelberg University Hospital is one of the most modern therapy centers for radiation therapy in the world. It enables the treatment of particularly malignant tumors with heavy ions or protons while simultaneously surrounding tissue is spared. Thanks to latest technology and extraordinary expertise in medical care, more than 5,000 patients have been treated at HIT until today.

A unique feature is the so-called heavy ion gantry, a 360-degree rotatable steel construction with an integrated raster scanning technology. This irradiation method allows a three-dimensional scanning using a focused ion beam, with which a very high spatial accuracy can be achieved in therapy. This is particularly advantageous for tumors that are located close to sensitive tissues, such as the skull base, the optic nerve or the intestine, as well as tumors of children and adolescents.

Another special feature of the Heidelberg site is the distinct interdisciplinary cooperation. Through the spatial and organizational integration of the HIT into the radiooncology and radiotherapy department of Heidelberg University Hospital and the close connection to the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), the UKHD is perfectly prepared to provide every patient with the best possible therapy for his or her disease.

In addition, this network is driving forward research and development to further improve treatment methods. A further step will be the irradiation with helium ions. These are heavier than protons and are therefore less laterally deflected in the tissue, which leads to a better protection of the surrounding tissue. Furthermore, patients with tumors in very critical areas or special patient groups such as pregnant women could also benefit from the accurate helium method.

Heidelberg offers a variety of state-of-the-art treatment methods and a wide range of innovative treatment concepts for all types of cancer. This high level of quality in medical care and the extraordinary expertise has been emphasized by this year’s certifications of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) as an „Oncological Centre“ by the German Cancer Society (Deutsche Krebsgesellschaft e.V.).

Visit the UKHD in Hall 15/L16!

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