Information About IOZK - Immuno-Oncological Centre Cologne
- Systemic advice and care for cancer patients
- Immunological tumour therapy (antibody therapy)
- Autologous tumour vaccination
- Hyperthermia procedures
- Tumour-specific immune system activation
- Adjuvant tumour-specific immuno-modulation
Range of diagnostic services
- Systemic advice from experienced doctors in the field of immuno-oncology
- Determination of the individual immunological status
- Tumour staging
Range of therapeutic services
- Immunological oncology
- tumour vaccination
- Antibody therapy (immuno-oncology)
- Supporting measures to strengthen the patient’s own immune system
- Supplementary hyperthermia (e.g. locoregional radiofrequency hyperthermia, transurethral radiofrequency hyperthermia, and moderate whole-body hyperthermia)
About IOZK - Immuno-Oncological Centre Cologne
The IOZK in Cologne specialises in individual cancer therapy with specific activation of the immune system. The team of supervising physicians and experienced scientists work together in a multidisciplinary manner. Here, findings from basic immunological research are directly implemented to treat cancer patients. The IOZK thus offers important therapy options that supplement and carry forward conventional therapies of tumour treatment.
Specialists in personalised cancer therapy
Since 1985, the immuno-oncological centre has been working extensively on the role of the immune system in the context of tumour diseases. For the first time in Europe, doctors and scientists have been able to obtain the authorisation to manufacture an autologous (the patient’s own) tumour vaccine in combination with these viruses in accordance with the Medicinal Products Act for “innovative therapies”. The use of the vaccine is often combined with further innovative therapies. For example, hyperthermia is used at the IOZK. The tumour vaccine can generally be used for all solid tumours (e.g. glioblastoma, prostate carcinoma, colon cancer, liver tumours, lung cancer, and partially also leukaemia). The form of therapy most suitable for the patient depends on individual factors. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the specialists at the IOZK.
Targeted tumour therapy
The patient receives a customised therapeutic agent; the preparation of the individual vaccine is directed precisely at the patient’s cancer cells in order to attack and destroy them. The IOZK is among one of the pioneers in the field of personalised medicine. The tumour vaccine is based on autologous dendritic cells loaded with tumour antigens from the patient as well as a tumour-destroying virus. Through vaccination, the immune system is stimulated to fight against the tumour cells. Dendritic cells are part of our immune system and are responsible for presenting it with foreign substances (antigens) and thereby activating it. The side effects of tumour vaccination are comparatively low. In the days after vaccination, some patients notice a slight flu-like infection indicating that the immune system has been activated. The specialists at the IOZK strengthen and activate the patient’s defence system so that it can combat tumour growth.
Improvement of lifespan and quality of life
The novel treatment method of the IOZK was initially used mainly in patients with advanced tumour lesions for whom other treatment options had already been exhausted and a complete cure was seldom possible. New studies show that especially the very early use of the tumour vaccine offers the possibility to slow the course of the disease, thereby extending the lifespan and improving the quality of life. It is therefore helpful if patients turn to the IOZK as early as possible on their own initiative.
Until only a few years ago, tumour radiation or chemotherapy were the only alternatives if surgical removal of the tumours was not possible. These methods are associated with severe side effects. This novel form of immunotherapy has led to the discovery of a treatment approach that is primarily directed against the tumour cells and causes significantly fewer side effects. The specialists at the IOZK have many years of experience in the field of immuno-oncological therapy and continue to develop it – to the benefit of the patients.
Combination with Checkpoint Inhibitors
The treatment structure offered by the IOZK creates better conditions for the new checkpoint antibody immunotherapies, which are now generally available. A prerequisite for these new treatment options is the immune system’s own reaction against tumour growth - which most patients actually lack. This is where IOZK’s specific immunotherapy comes in: It ensures a corresponding immune response, which finally allows the fight against the tumour cells.
- Dr Wilfried Stücker
Pharmaceutical biology, neuropathic practitioner, focus on immunology/translational oncology, management
- Prof Dr Volker Schirrmacher
Scientific management, tumour immunology
- Dr Stefaan Van Gool MD, PhD
Specialist in paediatric haemato-oncology, immunologist, medical management of translational oncology
- Dr med. Katharina Sprenger
Specialist doctor in general medicine, doctor responsible for transfusions, qualified person for pharmaceuticals, pharmacovigilance
- Dr med. Karin Ehlert
Specialist doctor in general medicine, haemostaseology
- Dr med. Tobias Sprenger
Specialist in general practice, medical expert assessments
- Dr Montassar Cherif, MD
Doctor, practice areas: integrative oncology
- Certified Biologist Gisela Feldmann
Biologist, head of the GMP laboratory, pharmaceutical quality and biological safety officer
- Yadigar Genc, MD
Doctor, practice areas: Immuno-onkologie
- Margret Kubella
Head of patient team
Focus on personalised medicine
Video, length 3:21
Focus on personalised medicine: an autologous tumour vaccine
Quo Vadis Cancer Therapy?
Video, length 3:55
IOZK Prof Schirrmacher: "Quo Vadis Cancer Therapy?" Book Introduction
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