The Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic team stands for excellence in medicine, advanced medical research background and high-standard medical care. To achieve best results possible, we focus on interdisciplinary medical collaborations worldwide.
Today’s health challenges demand 21st century solutions: Targeted and patient-focusedtreatment strategies. The Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic team is poised to discover, and design optimal solutions for all patients.
Cancer is characterized by abnormal cell growth with the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. A neoplasm or also called a tumor is a group of cells that have undergone unregulated growth and may form a mass, but can also be distributed diffusely throughout the body.
Tumor cells show a number of characteristics, including abnormal cell growth and division absence of programmed cell death, high number of cell divisions, promoting of blood vessel formation, invasion of tissue and metastasis.
How is cancer diagnosed?
For example – in case of skin cancer, a visual examination takes place, followed by a biopsy of suspicious skin areas, while e.g. a haemocult test is often offered for detection of occult blood in the stool, as well as a colonoscopy, for a prevention check-up of colon cancer. For breast cancer prevention, also, a mammogram is recommended for women at a certain age. Preventive check-ups are crucial to detect cancer as early as possible.
When abnormalities are found, other GPs, naturopaths or the patients themselves contact us for a second opinion or a general consultation about treatment possibilities. Often, we are asked to perform certain blood tests (at specialized laboratories) to determine the number of circulating tumor cells. It is known, that these tests have their limitations too. The cells are stained with a certain antibody e.g. EpCAM in order to count the number of vital tumor cells. But in case the tumor is EpCAM-negative, determining (EpCAM- positive) cancer cells will not be possible, leading to a false readout. So these tests may only be interesting for certain tumor types and are usually used for treatment response monitoring, after the diagnosis of cancer has been confirmed, and tumor characteristics have been identified. Once you know the (genetic) characteristics of your tumor, a specific test to count circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can be designed.
One important step in cancer diagnosis is a PET-CT-Scan, which helps to see whether and where tumor masses are located. It shows us whether the cancer has already spread to other tissues (metastasis). If a mass has been confirmed, it should be biopsied in order to determine the dignity of the tumor. A histopathological analysis can determine the exact (cell) type of the tumor. There are many different types of tumors, and each of them presents unique genetic characteristics.
Some tumors can be surgically removed, if they are found to be operable, localized (not metastatic). In some cases, a chemotherapy and/or radiation are recommended beforehand or even instead of the surgical procedure.
Important: What most patients do not know is, that when the first examination on the biopsy has been performed (to determine the tumor type), the tissue is kept and stored at the histopathology department of the hospital, where the biopsy has been performed. This stored tissue material can be used for thorough (genetic) tissue analyses and in-depth sequencing at the Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic. It is known that tumors show the accumulation of several genetic modifications, thus providing cancer cells with the selective growth advantage to initiate expansion. Now, sophisticated high-throughput technologies enable the identification of these mutated genes in cancers, leading to potent targeted immunotherapy.
It is important to know what your options are. In our experience, many laboratories offer genetic tumor analyses. But there are differences and limitations specific for every tumor analysis. When patients show their tumor analysis report to the medical team at the Hallwang Clinic, we often notice that, due to the country-specific regulations, only the markers and mutations known in the home country, are tested. This is because many drugs are not approved everywhere, or even not available in the patients country, or just available in trials. Thus not every therapeutically relevant mutation is tested. And then it can happen that patients are told by their physicians that immunotherapy does not make sense in their case, even though their tumor tissue has not been thoroughly analyzed. Often, the physicians simply do not have access to the therapies due to country-specific regulations. So it is most important to first find a laboratory that looks for all markers and mutations, and second, to find an oncologist who is willing to work with you in the best (and targeted) way possible.
Our aim is to carefully and thoroughly analyze your tumor tissue – We do know that e.g. some GI cancer patients or head and neck tumor patients are positive for a marker that is usually found in breast cancer patients. As the targeted therapy for this marker is only approved for breast cancer patients, it is often not analyzed in tumor tissues of patients with other cancer types, possibly missing an important treatment target in these patients. It is crucial to perform a thorough broad-spectrum screening so that the patient has a chance to explore all possibilities of a targeted treatment, may it be in a private setting or a clinical trial elsewhere.
Many patients indeed come to the Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic, because they have exhausted all treatment possibilities in their home country, or were not eligible for clinical trials, due to their age, treatment history, or other chronic diseases, etc. Importantly, clinical studies may use placebo as a control or some alternative, though possibly inferior, treatment protocol, in order to compare treatment responses between two groups of patients. It is important to bear in mind that many patients arrive at the Hallwang Clinic with life-threatening complications (e.g. sepsis, tumor-associated bleeding, bowel obstruction, leading to death in few days, if not treated). They did not receive treatment in their home country, but were sent back home because they have a progressive, metastatic tumour disease.
The aim of the Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic is to find the best treatment strategy for each individual, and not exclude any patient from a treatment protocol because of the factors mentioned beforehand.
Of course we have noted that some patients consider the Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic as a „last resort“ because of the high cost. Treatment costs depend on the treatment intensity, duration and (life-threatening) complications that need to be treated urgently, sometimes in collaboration with other hospitals, in case of surgical interventions for example (which increase costs). It is important to know that the lower the tumor burden is, the better immunotherapeutic approaches work. So, in the case of a massively progressive metastatic disease with e.g. organ failure/infectious complications, treatment concepts and costs are clearly more intense. In most of these cases, the level of nursing care delivered by our nursing staff is also much higher.
Notably, innovative treatments are purchased by the clinic at high prices as well. 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.
The Hallwang Clinic does not publish any research papers or clinical trial statistics. Our clinic is too small and our patient population too heterogeneous in order to perform valuable clinical trials. The HPOC wants to offer all their patients the best treatment possible, and not deny patients a certain (possibly life-extending or even life-saving) treatment protocol because they do not meet clinical trial criteria due to e.g. age, certain previous treatments, specific chronic diseases etc.
At the Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic, we are able to provide the following tests on your tumor tissue:
Analysis for tumor-associated-antigens (TAA-Screening)
Analysis of DNA-repair/break-chain mechanism
Analysis of tumor mutational burden / immune predict
In some cases, should the biopsy taken no longer be sufficient to perform a comprehensive genomic profiling, and a new tissue biopsy is too hard on the patient (as it is painful, or even potentially risky for the patient), a non-invasive method – a liquid biopsy to determine for mutations and markers can be performed. It is still not fully established and comparable to analyses on the specimen itself, but it opens new doors and possibilities for patients in need.
At the Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic, our focus is on individualized treatment concepts for all patients, based on the specific information that we retrieve from in-depth diagnostic tumor tests. These tests provide information on surface markers and individual mutations presented by the patient’s tumor cells. Identification of these markers, mutations, translocations, amplifications, etc. allows us to specifically target them through a broad range of therapeutic options – depending on the outcome. 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.
Once we get to know you personally at the HPOC, we can work together on your individualized and personalized treatment strategy. You are unique, and so is your treatment. At HPOC.
Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic is situated in the lovely Black Forest of Southern Germany, and offers a range of personalised treatment strategies tailored to meet the patient´s individual needs as part of a comprehensive treatment program. The Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic is one of the leading establishments in integrated cancer therapy.
The mission of the Hallwang Clinic is to design a personalized treatment plan for every patient.
The Hallwang Clinic is a private oncology clinic specialized in personalized treatment strategies, especially in cancer medicine. A special focus is immunotherapy. Treatment concepts are based on comprehensive and modern diagnostics.
To find out more about the Hallwang Clinic, anyone interested can contact the clinic itself, visit the Hallwang Clinic home page http://www.hallwang-clinic.com/, or follow the clinic on Facebook and Twitter.
On the Hallwang private clinic Facebook page you will also find reviews of patients and news from the research.
We want to share with you Tracy’s (Mother 54 years of age) and Hannah’s (Daughter – 22 years of age) story …
“After my mothers diagnoses of Glioblastoma at 54 years old, I searched high and low for alternative treatments due to the UK having none and I came across the Hallwang Clinic. I contacted them and they got back to me straight away with a treatment plan and the next thing we knew, we flew out to the clinic for mums first treatment..
We were welcomed by some of the most friendly people I have ever met at the Hallwang Clinic and made myself and mum feel right at ease. In the next week mum had lots of treatment which included Immunotherapy to target her tumour, we knew how grave Glioblastoma was and the chances of anything working were low but we were determined to find something! Even though there was a lot of treatment, the doctors, nurses and admin staff were all incredibly helpful and lovely, they made you feel like family.
It has now been a year and we have been to the Hallwang Clinic three times. We got the extremely good news that mums tumour has shrunk which is incredible as the chances of that happening were so slim! My mother got a year and two months to survive…
Its now been a year and she is better than ever. We are fighting strong and we never wouldn’t of been able to be in our position without Hallwang. I urge anyone with a terminal illness to contact Hallwang, I will forever be grateful for what they have done for my mother.”
We are so happy for you, and hope that Christmas and 2019 brings you all you were hoping for, especially health and wonderful times with your family!
Mark, a 45-year old patient at our clinic, has been diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer with metastases in the liver and lung.
Mark was first diagnosed in 2016 and after chemotherapy and antibody treatment in the UK, he came to the Hallwang clinic in 2018 with progressive disease.
At Hallwang, a combined immunotherapeutic strategy was initiated – with success. His recent CT scan showed significant tumor burden reduction and Mark is now being evaluated for local ablation of the residual tumor
We received good news for one of our patients and are happy to share these with you on Bruce’s behalf.
Bruce was diagnosed in May 2013 with stage IIIC malignant melanoma of his right foot with a micrometastastic disease in 1/7 lymph nodes from the right popliteal and groin area. In July of the same year, a dissection took place and Bruce decided to not receive the adjuvant interferon treatment, before he underwent a new biopsy in October 2013, confirming progressive disease. A few of the skin metastases were resected, and he underwent hyperthermic limb perfusion therapy. Unfortunately, in February 2014, the disease progressed even further.
Analysis of Bruce’s tumor biopsy showed a BRAF-V600E mutation. So he started on the BRAF/MEK inhibitor dabrafenib and trametinib, which he took for nearly a year and a half. In July 2015, a restaging scan was unfortunately suggestive of disease progression, so Bruce started checkpoint-antibody treatment with nivolumab. Unfortunately, three months under this treatment, Bruce developed a grade III colitis (inflammation of the colon), that needed to be treated with corticosteroids. Disappointingly, Bruce was no longer able to continue the treatment. Once he fully recovered, he started on vemurafenib and cobimetinib (a different BRAF/MEK-inhibitor) treatment in January 2016, and searched for further options – and contacted our team at the Hallwang clinic.
At the Hallwang Clinic, we started with a thorough diagnostic approach and first screened Bruce’s tumor tissue for tumor associated antigens in order to identify potential therapeutic targets. Bruce’s tumor tissue was tested positive for expression of Melan-A and Survivin. When Bruce visited us in April 2016 for the first time, we discussed a treatment with a so called trifunctional antibody approach – targeting anti-GD2. GD2 is a marker which is expressed on tumors of neuroectodermal origin, and thus often found in melanoma patients, as well as in patients with neuroblastoma and different kinds of sarcomas. To evaluate Bruce’s eligibility for this treatment, a blood analysis for circulating-GD2 positive cells was performed, showing that his tumor was highly GD2-positive (3+).
Having completed all diagnostic steps and after careful evaluation, Bruce started on a combined immunotherapeutic approach targeting TAA’s in combination with anti-GD2 treatment and the BRAF/MEK-inhibitor. Since then, Bruce is visiting us every three months for three days, continuing his treatment strategy. Bruce has now achieved and maintained a “no evidence of disease“ status (NED) for about 2 and 1/2 years now, and 5 years since diagnosis!!
Triple negative breast cancer has a worse prognosis and often relapses early compared with other subtypes of breast cancer. It is characterized by the lack of expression of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2. Several agents are currently being investigated as potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of TNBC. A promising treatment strategy in breast cancer is the use of immunotherapy. See here Alice, she had a very agressive relapse of TNBC before she came to our clinic. She received a combined immunotherapeutic treatment approach and is now almost in complete remission! We are so happy for you!
• Nous sommes venus à la clinique d’oncologie Hallwang car Alice était traitée en France pour une récidive
très agressive d’un cancer du sein triple négatif en Avril 2016. Malheureusement le traitement de
chimiothérapie entrepris en France n’a donné aucun résultat et il était impossible d’entreprendre une
immunothérapie en France soit dans un essai clinique soit directement. Après 8 semaines de traitement
de l’immunothérapie ciblée à Hallwang, combiné avec une chimiothérapie en France, Alice s’est
trouvée en rémission presque complète.
• We came to the Hallwang oncology clinic because Alice was treated in France for a very agressive relapse of
a triple negative breast cancer in April 2016. Unfortunately the chemotherapy treatment given in France
gave no result and it was impossible to have an immunotherapy in France either in a clinical trial or directly.
After 8 weeks of targeted immunotherapy treatment in Hallwang combined with a chemotherapy
in France, Alice has been in a almost complete remission
See the happy couple Robert and his lovely wife at our Hallwang clinic, shortly after receiving the latest PET Scan results!
Robert was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2015 and came to our clinic for further treatment. After identification of treatment targets on his tumor cells, he was treated with combined immunotherapy, targeting his cancer cells. His most recent PET scan shows no evidence of active, hypermetabolic tumor anymore.
Robert still needs follow-up treatment, but we are so happy about these interim results!
Many of our patients come to us because they were sent home with neither hope nor treatment options in their home countries. But our patients do not want to give up.
They travel far to get treatment, and we feel honored so many choose our clinic and achieve incredible results though personalised cancer immunotherapy, one of the most promising and novel treatments strategies in cancer medicine.
Specific diagnostic tests on tumor tissue and targeted, patient-tailored treatment approaches are still costly and unfortunately not covered by any insurance, especially compared to non-specific cancer treatments that have been around for many decades, but we are happy to see the impressive results these new immunotherapies produce.
Read here about one of our patients in the Manchester news – we are so happy we can help and are looking forward to meeting you back at the clinic!