FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
In general, our observation is that many patients that come to our clinic have unfortunately not been offered a follow-up therapy in their home country, even though a precision-based therapy would have been available also outside Germany based on the patient’s biomarker profiling. Currently, the German health system seems to be more patient-focused and can provide patients a better individualized therapy evaluation and obviously a better access to new treatments for difficult cases. Too many patients face limitations in their home country health system. Patients, who would most likely benefit from a precision-based therapy have been denied a precision-based medicine approach, because e.g. the trial has already stopped recruiting, or the patients do not meet all eligibility criteria from the clinical trial, etc. Sometimes patients tell us that their tumors are too small for particular clinical trials, or they need to be off any treatments for a longer time before they can enter a prospective trial. And so several patients unfortunately deteriorated significantly while waiting for a clinical trial, developing i.e. brain metastasis, and then got excluded from the further evaluation of the clinical trial. And these patients feel then mislead by their oncologists in their home country.
Medical colleagues elsewhere persist on chemotherapeutic regimens and protocols that have been established years ago. These protocols may achieve a “good overall result“ – but they do not think about whether it would be possible to achieve even better or more durable results for those patients. While some patients respond well to a certain chemotherapeutic protocol, and do not experience severe side effects, others need to discontinue the standard protocol due to terrible side effects, or they progress under the standard protocol. Alternative protocols for these patients, that did not tolerate the standard chemo regimen, are limited. And if the patient then develops complications on the alternative chemo protocol, options become really scarce. In contrast, worldwide there are so many ongoing clinical trials with cancer drugs, showing amazing results in advanced clinical phases. But as long as these drugs are not approved, or only available if you pay for them privately, these drugs will not be provided to other patients who have already exhausted all available standard treatment strategies and are in immediate need for further options, as they are rapidly progressing. But the problem is that these new clinical trial drugs do not even come into question for these kind of heavily pre-treated and further progressing patients and are therefore not discussed with the patients due to country-specific limitations and laws, thus depriving patients of possibly life-extending or even life-saving treatments.
Very often we are asked which tumor diseases we treat. As a specialized clinic in the field of hemato-oncology, we treat any kind of hemato-oncological diseases at all stages. But please keep in mind that the lower the tumor burden, the better the immunotherapeutic approaches work.
Patients are often told by their physicians, that immunotherapy does not make sense in their cases. In most cases, due to country-specific regulations, the physicians simply do not have access to various immunotherapeutic therapies. Fortunately, the Hallwang Clinic has access to most advanced immunotherapies and is therefore able to design a personalized and tailored treatment protocol, based on individual information that we retrieve from a number of diagnostic tests. These specific diagnostic analyses give us information on surface markers expressed on tumor cells, individual tumors´ mutations, amplifications, translocations etc. Identification of these tumor characteristics allows us to specifically target them through a broad range of therapeutic options based on your individual test results. You have to look at the tumor itself to understand what targeted treatment the patient needs. A treatment that might work for one cancer patient does not necessarily work for another patient, even though they have both the same type of cancer.
Innovative treatments are purchased by the clinic and as we do not have contracts with statutory or private health insurance companies, and are not supported by charities, foundations, etc., treatment costs need to be settled by the patients. Patients that are interested in fundraising appeals for treatment at our clinic may contact us for further information of how we can help you with your fundraising campaign.
Every patient is unique and so is his or her treatment plan designed. Once our medical team has obtained any information available regarding your case, and had a chance to talk to you by phone, we are able to provide you with a personalized treatment offer and cost estimate.
In general, right away – depending on room availabilities.
Our medical team is staffed 24 hours, seven days a week, thus, treatments on weekends are of course given.
We provide towels, hair dryers and shower items. The only thing you perhaps need to take with you (if not provided in advance), is your latest medical report, including details of your medical history, your medication and allergy list, as well as scan images on discs, if available.
Of course. Our pharmacy is staffed Monday to Friday and can organize for the medication needed.
As you understand, every patient is unique, and so is his or her response to treatment. While some patients respond fast without any side effects, others need more intense treatment protocols to ensure treatment success. Also, some people need more time to recover between different treatments, or develop a complication which will lead to a treatment break. It is unfortunately most difficult and inaccurate, not to say unprofessional, to determine beforehand how a patient responds and what results he or she will achieve. In the field of medicine, we always have to consider individual changes.
We are eager to assist you in any way possible, but unfortunately we do not publish any research papers or clinical trial statistics- thus we cannot provide you with exact numbers and perspectives. Please bear in mind, we are a small private clinic and not a (university) clinical study site. Our clinic is too small and our patient population very heterogeneous, so clinical trials are not possible, since obviously, we want to offer all our patients the best treatment possible, and not based on some criteria they might not meet, but would have to be met in order to be included in a trial. Many patients indeed come to us, because they were not eligible for clinical trials, due to their age, treatment history, or other chronic diseases, etc. Our aim is to find the best treatment strategy for you, and not exclude any patient from a treatment protocol because of the factors mentioned beforehand. Also, clinical studies often use placebo as a control or some alternative, though inferior, treatment protocol, in order to compare treatment response in two groups of patients. Naturally, at the Hallwang Clinic, you will always receive the treatment we think is best for you after thorough discussion of state-of.-the-art, possible side effects and complications of this treatment. We always recommend strategies that best target your tumor cells based on a broad range of diagnostics, so our patients are treated with very individual treatments. We always advise patients who are interested in receiving treatment at our clinic to visit our Facebook page, since some of our patients were happy to share their experience at our clinic on our Facebook page.