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Centres of excellence:

  • Intensity-modulated radiotherapy
  • Volumetric modulated arc therapy
  • Image-guided radiotherapy
  • Stereotactic radiation
  • Intraoperative radiation
  • Prostate brachytherapy
  • Total body irradiation
  • Hyperthermia


Precise rays fighting breast cancer

Radiotherapy is – together with surgery and chemotherapy – the central pillar in the fight against cancer. In the meantime it is an integral part of the treatment plan for every second tumour patient. In 2001 University Hospital Mannheim was the first of approximately 60 therapy centres in Germany to introduce intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT), in which the “Intrabeam” irradiation device produced by the German medical technology manufacturer Zeiss is inserted via the wound into the tumour bed during surgical tumour removal.

In cooperation with the Gynaecological Department of the Mannheim University Teaching Hospital the Department of Radiotherapy and Radio-oncology utilises this innovative procedure in particular for cases of breast cancer – the most frequent type of cancer occurring in women. The direct irradiation of the tumour tissue shortens the time required for the treatment or can even in some cases replace other forms of therapy. In addition we can avoid radiation damage to the skin.

Pioneers in research

The fact that this method does not only result in less strain on the patient but is also more effective than conventional procedures is shown by the international, comprehensive TARGIT study (TARGeted Intra-operative Radiation Therapy), in which University Hospital Mannheim participated from 2001 to 2012: instead of the usual relapse quota of approximately 3 percent to 5 percent in the first five years following the operation the use of intraoperative radiation resulted in only 1.5 percent of the patients suffering from a tumour reoccurrence in the breast. We are constantly working on reducing the physical and psychological strain on the patients and on providing them with a higher quality of life overall together with optimal prospects for recovery.

Utilisation in spinal column surgery

Since its introduction the possibilities of utilising IORT have expanded: The Orthopaedic & Traumatic Surgery Centre of the Mannheim University Teaching Hospital uses “Intrabeam” to treat, for example, metastases on the spinal column, which can cause a painful collapse of the vertebral bodies and limited mobility. In combination with kyphoplasty, a method for stabilising the vertebral bodies, this procedure offers immediate pain relief as well as safe and focused treatment of the metastases.

360-degree view of Gamma-Knife and Linac irradiation device

Context Column

About the International Patient Office

The International Patient Office (IPO) welcomes patients from all over the world and assists with requests for medical treatment. Click here to read more about the IPO.