West German Proton Therapy Center in Essen (WPE) is one of the leading medical institutions in Germany and worldwide. WPE provides the most innovative and gentle radiation therapy for malignant and benign tumors in adults and children.
The West German Proton Therapy Center is part of the Essen University Hospital and the major West German Cancer Center (WTZ). WPE has the largest pediatric department in Europe, with more than 300 children treated with proton beams every year. Since the opening of this center in 2013, radiotherapists have already treated more than 3,000 patients, including foreigners.
At WPE, it is possible to get effective proton beam treatment for patients with tumors in the head region. Radiotherapists cure primary tumors of the brain, base of the skull, and facial skull. Proton therapy is also indicated for neoplasms of the spine and pelvis. You can contact the West German Proton Therapy Center in Essen with the following diagnoses:
Thanks to the advanced equipment of the center, the list of medical indications is constantly expanding. Proton therapy at WPE is performed by a team of doctors and nurses on an outpatient basis in 4 treatment rooms.
Proton therapy of tumors in children of any age is the main focus of the clinic. The leading German specialist in the treatment of children with proton therapy works at the West German Proton Therapy Center in Essen, the Medical Director of WPE, oncologist, radiotherapist, Prof. Dr. Beate Timmermann.
This center has accumulated extensive experience in the treatment of rare tumors in children such as ependymomas, medulloblastomas, rhabdoid tumors, neuroblastomas, and craniopharyngiomas. Also, radiotherapists have extensive experience in irradiating the entire central nervous system in children, including the craniospinal axis: the entire brain and spinal canal (spine).
Proton beam therapy of tumors in children can be radical (basic) or adjuvant (additional). Radical radiation therapy is prescribed when surgical removal of the tumor is not possible. Adjuvant radiation therapy is used after the surgical removal of the tumor. Psychologists are involved in the treatment of children.
Treatment at the West German Proton Therapy Center in Essen has several advantages:
In addition, the center features an Outpatient Nursing Unit. Qualified nurses help patients successfully complete the entire course of proton therapy. They help to avoid, detect at an early stage and quickly cure the side effects of therapy.
Leave a request on the Experts Medical website. The company's specialists help to properly prepare medical documents for WPE. A comfortable place of residence is selected for you for the duration of proton therapy, a coordinator-translator is provided, and tickets are booked for the selected date. They also help to get help from charitable foundations in the treatment of children.
I went to the West German Proton Therapy Center with my 5 year old son. After he had severe headaches for more than a month, we went to the doctor, did an MRI and it turned out that it was medulloblastoma. It could not be removed surgically and we were advised proton therapy. We were accepted only in this clinic, even in Britain they refused. We raised all our funds to complete these courses. Of course, Dima was afraid to go to another country when his sister, father, grandfather, grandmother stayed at home. The doctors at the medical center accepted us with understanding and supported us. As a result, the courses passed unnoticed and calmly, Dima had no side effects.
Hello, we have a 2.5-year-old daughter, she has a tumor in the brain stem, she underwent 2 surgeries and 6 chemotherapy treatments, the doctors advised proton therapy, at first they sent her to Vienna, but we put everything off. Now we are going to this center, we have already contacted the clinic, they explained everything to us. Hope it helps. All hope for this center in Essen!
I had my proton therapy for brain cancer exactly five years ago. I have never seen a more caring and professional team. They have always made me feel comfortable and safe during perhaps the most stressful part of my life. They took the time to answer any questions about my treatment and the potential consequences of it. If you need proton beam therapy, I can’t recommend a better place than here.
I can’t put into words how much they care about the kids, they are amazing and I thank Dr. Dalia Ahmed!!!!!!
Very competent and friendly staff! Everything is well organized, including accommodation. Of course, there may be changes in the schedule during treatment. It was at least for me when the proton mechanism failed twice. The only downside was that you had to walk far to eat.
|Proton therapy for brain cancer||82 000 €||Enquire price|
Prof. Timmermann is a specialist in radiotherapy and radio-oncology.
Brain tumors: meningioma, astrocytoma, glioma, glioblastoma, neuroblastoma, ependymoma, medulloblastoma, acoustic neuroma, pituitary adenomas, craniopharyngioma.
Tumors of bone and soft tissues (sarcomas) that are motionless during breathing: rhabdomyosarcoma, osteosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, chondrosarcoma, chordoma.
Progressive pelvic cancer with lymph drainage.
Progressive cancer in the ear, throat and nose: carcinomas of the paranasal sinuses, esthesioneuroblastomas, carcinomas of the salivary glands.
Tumors of the eye in adults and children.
– German Cancer Society (DKG);
– International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP);
– Particle Therapy Cooperative Group (PTCOG);
– German Society for Radiation Oncology (DEGRO);
– German Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH).
Has more than 7 scientific publications.
MD. She treats brain tumors, carcinomas, prostate and lymphomas.
– German Cancer Society (DKG);
– German Society for Radiation Oncology (DEGRO);
– European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO);
– Essen Association of Cancer Clinics (OKW);
Specialization: radiotherapy, proton therapy.
Dirk Geismar – MD.
Senior Physician at the West German Proton Therapy Center Essen (WPE).
Responsible for drawing up plans and forecasts of treatment.
He specializes in radiation and proton therapy for brain tumors, prostate and sarcomas.
He regularly publishes in specialized journals.
Barbara Winkler-Saleske – MD.
Specialist in the field of radiation therapy.
He is engaged in the treatment of ENT tumors, prostate cancer at the West German Center for Proton Therapy. Provides palliative care to patients.
Additional qualifications: Environmental Medicine, Naturopathy.
Check the cost of treatment and get 20 000 € from international foundation
Get financial help up to 20 000 € for your child treatment
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Proton beam therapy is more sparing for the human body.
To receive ionizing radiation, protons are used, which release maximum energy only at the location of the tumor.
Therefore, healthy tissues surrounding the tumor are practically not irradiated. Patients, in most cases, have no or minimal side effects, and there are no long-term complications. They tolerate such radiation treatment well even when using the maximum therapeutic doses of radiation for inoperable cancer.
Proton therapy is preferred in the treatment of oncology in children as well as malignant neoplasms of the eye (allows you to save the eye and vision), tumors at the base of the skull, in the neck, and spine.
On the first day at WPE, a radiotherapist from the proton therapy team examines the patient and develops a treatment plan. During a conversation with the patient (if it is a child, then with his family), which lasts at least an hour, the radiooncologist discusses in detail all issues related to the upcoming treatment. The doctor informs about the goals of treatment, possible risks, expected results, and treatment algorithms. During the examination, a coordinator-translator who is responsible for all organizational issues during your stay in Essen will assist you.
On the second day, a team of specialists begins preparing the patient and equipment for therapy. This process includes CT and MRI, taking measurements from the patient for devices that will ensure immobility during the radiation procedure. These can be masks for the head and neck, plaster overlays, and vacuum pillows.
The specialist performs planning using a computer 3D model of the patient. He is developing an algorithm for delivering proton beams to a tumor in order to obtain a certain dose of radiation. Children under 5-6 years old are examined by an anesthesiologist who provides sedation (drug sleep) during the treatment procedure. The doctor appoints a date for the start of the course of treatment. In many patients, therapy begins the next day.
Proton therapy is performed only on an outpatient basis. The patient comes daily for the procedure 5 times a week, except on weekends. The entire therapy session lasts 40-60 minutes, and the direct irradiation of the tumor takes only 2-5 minutes. The course of proton therapy, depending on the diagnosis and goals of treatment, lasts from 2 to 7 weeks. The patient lives in comfortable conditions near the clinic.
The most famous and authoritative specialist at the West German Proton Therapy Center in Essen is the Medical Director of WPE, radio-oncologist Prof. Dr. Beate Timmermann.
In one of her interviews in 2022, she said: “For more than 20 years I have been doing radiation treatment of brain tumors and sarcomas. My scientific and clinical interests also include bone and soft tissue tumors in children and adults, the long-term health effects of proton therapy, and the quality of life of patients during treatment. Another area in which I have been working for a long time is proton beam therapy for childhood cancer. Proton therapy is already included in many protocols for the treatment of various tumors in children in the guidelines of the German Association for Pediatric Radiation Oncology (APRO), the Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH), and the International Society for Pediatric Oncology (SIOP).
As part of our pediatric program, we provide proton beam therapy to 300 children each year. Most of them have tumors of the brain or spinal cord, sarcomas, neuroblastomas, lymphomas, and retinoblastomas. Proton therapy for children at WPE is delivered by a multidisciplinary team that includes physicians, medical physicists, radiologists, nurses, medical professionals, and technicians. Proton beam therapy requires a high level of expertise, which specialists of WPE can provide. We are involved in scientific projects aimed at optimizing pediatric radiotherapy, such as, for example, EU Horizon Harmonic, which studies the long-term effects of proton irradiation in children. We currently treat patients from all over Europe and from other countries where there are no specialized centers.”
Like photon radiation therapy (conventional radiotherapy), proton therapy is most commonly used as part of an interdisciplinary treatment protocol that includes surgery and chemotherapy. For example, in sarcomas, proton therapy is used before surgery (neoadjuvant therapy), especially for large tumors in order to shrink them, and after surgery (adjuvant therapy) to destroy the remaining tumor cells in the body.
In some cases, it is possible to irradiate the tumor once (radiosurgery) instead of surgery. For example, it is useful in the case of the operation cannot be performed due to contraindications or the hard-to-reach location of the tumor.
Since proton therapy has few side effects, it is often given at the same time as chemotherapy. This possibility exists in this proton center as well. Patients receive chemotherapy at the Cancer Center of the Essen University Hospital, which also includes WPE
Proton therapy has practically no side effects, so it is successfully performed on an outpatient basis. If a side effect occurs, then this is a local reaction, for example, irritation of the skin or mucous membranes on the irradiated area of the body. There may also be a lack of appetite, general weakness, and fatigue. Treatment of the prostate may cause burning when urinating. However, these side effects are easy to control and disappear within 2-3 weeks.
In WPE, doctors inform patients about the possibility of these reactions, tell them how to avoid side effects, and, if necessary, quickly heal. All patients are supervised by nurses from the outpatient nursing department, who provide all the necessary assistance and psychological support.
Specialists such as pediatric anesthesiologists and psychologists necessarily participate in the treatment of children. This is due to the fact that children during radiation therapy do not follow all the instructions of the staff, for example, they do not lie still during the therapy session. Therefore, doctors perform irradiation in children under 5 years of age under sedation, in a state of light drug-induced sleep (similar to an MRI examination at the same age). In WPE, sedation is performed by anesthesiologists with relevant pediatric experience. Specially trained specialists in the field of pedagogy and psychology help to motivate children to participate in therapy. They successfully relieve their fear of the procedure through a variety of proven pedagogical techniques.
The entire radiotherapy team works closely with the parents of the children to make radiotherapy as comfortable as possible for the child and family.
The center has accumulated extensive experience in the treatment of intracranial tumors. Tumors that can be successfully treated with proton therapy, according to WPE radiooncologists, include:
Also, with the help of proton radiation, the following tumors (including benign ones) can be cured: acoustic neuroma, atypical neurocytoma, craniopharyngeoma, hemangiopericytoma, pilocytic astrocytoma, pituitary adenoma.
You can also contact WPE with rare tumors, the treatment of which has been denied at other proton therapy clinics.
In this center, a unit specifically designed for radiation therapy of eye tumors in adults and children has been operating since 2021. Not all proton therapy centers have such equipment. To date, proton therapy is considered the best treatment for tumors located near structures important to vision, such as the optic nerve and the center of the retina.
Due to the physical properties of protons, radiation is delivered to the tumor without affecting neighboring tissues. Another advantage is that the Essen University Hospital, of which WPE is a part, has a large ophthalmological center. The specialists of this center are involved in the treatment of patients with melanoma of the eye in WPE. Therefore, the chances of curing uveal melanoma while preserving not only the eye but also the vision are very high. Patients with malignant tumors of the eye come to WPE for proton therapy not only from Germany but also from other countries.
In the case of prostate cancer in low- and intermediate-risk patients, proton beam therapy is a possible alternative. The advantage of proton therapy compared to traditional radiotherapy is that the tumor can be treated with high precision without affecting healthy tissue.
Therefore, a high dose of radiation can be applied, which increases the chances of a complete cure without harm to the tissues of the rectum and bladder, which are in close proximity to the prostate gland. Proton therapy minimizes the risks of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction almost to zero.
For a remote consultation in WPE, you must provide a package of documents in English or German:
After reviewing these documents, doctors in each case decide on the possibility of proton therapy. They invite the patient and his relative (parents of the child) to a face-to-face consultation in WPE.
Leave a request on the Experts Medical website. The coordinator-physician will arrange for remote consultation with WPE. In case of receiving an invitation for treatment, the specialist will organize a trip and comfortable accommodation in Essen. He will also provide a coordinator-interpreter for the entire period of treatment. For children, Experts Medical helps to pay a certain part of the cost of treatment at the West German Proton Therapy Center in Essen with the help of charitable foundations.