Organ preservation is close to our hearts.

The diagnosis of rectal cancer and the possible need for a stoma – an artificial intestinal outlet – are very stressful for those affected. The GITZ is strongly committed to improving the quality of life of colorectal cancer patients. The preservation of organs is therefore our main priority.

Organ preservation is teamwork

Organ preservation requires an extraordinarily high level of interdisciplinarity: a team of experts from different specialisms work closely together and must know exactly what is important. Although organ preservation receives little attention in many hospital structures, we place the patient at the centre and are intensively committed to this method.

The potential of organ preservation is far from exhausted and we are learning more every day. Discussions about organ preservation are an essential part of our tumour board. Our aim is to continuously keep our network at the highest and most up-to-date level of knowledge, which is why we organise regular training courses for specialists free of charge.

In addition, our network offers an interdisciplinary organ preservation consultation for patients with rectal cancer.

What is Papillon?

Our network offers an alternative treatment method, Papillon contact radiotherapy, which can help avoid an operation and its potential consequences in certain cases. Papillon 50 is a device that is only available twice in Switzerland and which enables contact-based radiotherapy. According to the Papillon method, soft X-rays are applied directly on the surface of the tumor. This technique allows precise dosing with minimal side-effects on the surrounding tissue. Studies show that the Papillon technique offers better healing rates and causes fewer side-effects than conventional methods.

What are the benefits?

The previous gold standard in the treatment of rectal cancer was often a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, followed by surgery. Potential disadvantages are a higher radiation dose and thus potential damage to surrounding tissue, as well as a temporary or permanent stoma. The Papillon treatment avoids the need for a stoma, which significantly increases patients’ quality of life.

For whom is Papillon suitable?

This form of therapy is generally aimed at all patients with deep rectal cancer. However, it is advantageous if the tumor was detected early. This increases the chances that a Papillon treatment will be considered and an operation can possibly be avoided.

  • Organerhalt bei Mastdarmkrebs – ein Gespräch mit einer betroffenen Patientin.

    In diesem Video spricht eine betroffene Patientin, wie sie ihre organerhaltende Behandlung des Rektumkarzinoms (umgangssprachlich Mastdarmkrebs) erlebt hat. Gemeinsam mit den Experten Dr. med. Michael Montemurro und Dr. med. Cristina Picardi, wird das Geschehene nochmals reflektiert.

The «Organ Preservation» project is supported by: