Pediatric Oncology, Hematology, and Immunology
at the Center for Child and Adolescent Medicine in Heidelberg
Around 100 children and young people who have been newly diagnosed with cancer or blood diseases are treated every year by our specially trained team at the Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology, and Immunology at the Center for Child and Adolescent Medicine in Heidelberg. This Department at Heidelberg University Hospital is thus one of the largest institutions of its kind in Germany.
Our physicians and specially trained nurses have many years of experience in the interdisciplinary treatment of malignant tumors and leukemia in children and young adults. More than 2,000 children with malignant tumors have been treated at the Center for Child and Adolescent Medicine, 85 percent of whom were discharged as permanently cured. Our active participation in an international network of children’s hospitals, including other children’s hospitals throughout Germany, guarantees our patients the best possible treatment strategy according to the latest scientific advances.
There is a wide range of therapy options available to our young patients, among them, the full range of conventional medication therapies using chemotherapy, stem cell and bone marrow transplants, radiation, and specialized pediatric surgery.
Specially trained pediatric radiologists
Specially trained pediatric radiologists in the pediatric radiology section treat our young patients from their precise diagnosis to their follow-up care. One particular concern is protection against excessive radiation coupled with the children’s maximum comfort. The pediatric radiology section at the Department of Radiology at Heidelberg University Hospital has been made a national referral center. All imaging examinations (ultrasound, X-ray, MRI) are performed here on patients who range from premature babies to young adults.
Stem cell transplantation and specialized radiation therapy
We conduct bone marrow or blood stem cell transplants in close cooperation with the team at the Department of Internal Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital, where this has been an established therapy for more than 25 years – a level of experience that can be matched by very few hospitals in Germany. For radiation therapy, we have Germany’s only heavy ion-beam therapy center (HIT) at our disposal.
Educational and psychological support
Educational and psychological support during hospitalization are also important for the children’s and adolescents’ healing process. We also support the families of our young patients during this difficult period: for example, to help parents cope, we offer childcare for healthy siblings, by qualified and loving caregivers, right here in our hospital.
In our cooperative research with other institutes and departments of the medical school at Heidelberg University and with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we concentrate on leukemia, bone tumors, and tumors of the nervous system including brain tumors.
Leading Worldwide: In Germany, children with leukemia have the best chance of survival
Leukemia is the most common malignancy of childhood and has been an invariably deadly disease until approx. 50 years ago. The BFM-network of German pediatric oncologists has conceptualized and pioneered effective treatment protocols which today are recognized as gold standard world-wide and offer cure to more than 90% of affected children and adolescents - clearly good news for families and patients and one of the major success stories in clinical medicine. These treatment protocols combine a carefully tested cocktail of different types of medication. The use of most specific high-end diagnostic tools that have been invented and systematically developed by Heidelberg scientists enables the identification of minuscule numbers of remaining leukemia cells in the bone marrow, which allows us to offer highly individualized treatment intensity.
As the CONCORD study just published in Lancet Hematology has shown, this highly collaborative and most successful work of three academic generations of clinicians and clinical scientists has resulted in children and adolescents with leukemia in Germany to have the best chances of cure worldwide.
The Lancet Hematology
We are happy to answer your questions in our special outpatient clinics, where you are welcome at any time. Please contact Ms. Jutta Mattern directly in my office (+49 6221 564555). You may also contact us by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), fax (+49 6221 564559), or through the International Office.