Oncology Department

Innovation & Leadership

The Hospitals of Athens Medical Group have ultramodern Oncology Clinics, where International Medical Protocols for the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer are implemented.

Oncology Clinics are equipped with cutting edge Technology and staffed by distinguished scientists of all medical specialties, experienced and highly trained nursing staff, offering:

  • Quick and accurate diagnosis

  •  Valid staging

  • Holistic treatment through the cooperation of leading scientists (Oncology Board)

  • Cooperation with the world-renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center, US

  • Implementation of the latest therapeutic and diagnostic protocols

  • Wide range of treatment methods - Innovative treatments

  • Compliance with the strictest International Quality Protocols (ISO, TEMOS)

Holistic treatment

Holistic treatment (Multidisciplinary medicine) is the international standard for the best possible results for the benefit of the oncology patient.

It is achieved through the close cooperation of many medical specialties and departments.

Departments:

  • Pathological and Haematological Oncology
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Breast Centre
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Radiodiagnosis
  • Interventional Radiology - Oncology
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Pathologic Anatomy

Oncology Board'

The Oncology Board is the primary body for treatment decision making for each oncology patient. Ensures optimal oncological treatment through Oncology Committees per vital organ, so that to make good therapeutic decisions.

The patient may request the convening of the Oncology Board, patient record is presented by the treating physician, and the Board’s conclusions are an integral part of the medical record, to which the patient has constant access.

Participation, as applicable:

Surgeons, Oncologists, Radiologists, Radiotherapists, Pathologists, Cytologists, Geneticists, Psychologists, etc.

Medical specialties

Oncology Clinics are staffed by leading and specialised physicians with extensive experience in oncology patients, according to the optimal oncological intersectoral strategy:

In particular, the following specialties cooperate:

  • Internal Pathology Department Oncologists Pathologists, Haematologists, Pulmonologists, Gastroenterologists, Endocrinologists, Dermatologists
  • Surgery Department Surgeons Oncologists, Gynaecologists Oncologists, Neurosurgeons, Thoracic Surgeons, Urologists, Orthopaedists, Maxillofacial Surgeons, Maxillofacial Surgeons, Otolaryngology Surgeons, Plastic Surgeons
  • Radiology Department Radiodiagnosis Specialists, Interventional Radiologists
  • Radiotherapy Department Radiotherapists, Radiation Physicists
  • Laboratory Department Radiologists, Nuclear Medicine Physicians, Cytologists, Pathologists
  • Support - Rehabilitation Specialties Plastic Surgeons, Pain Specialists, Physiatrists - Physiotherapists, Psychologists and others

Distinguished Scientists with education and careers in leading Universities and Hospitals in Europe and the US, applying the latest therapeutic and diagnostic protocols such as, indicatively:

  • Pathological Oncology
    • Combination Chemotherapy for solid tumours
    • New drugs administered as part of international clinical trials
    • Application of 2nd line treatments
    • Combination chemotherapy & radiotherapy
    • Innovative treatments for lung, pancreas, breast and prostate, etc.
    • Immunotherapy for lung and urinary system
    • Treatment of soft tissue sarcomas
  • Haematological Oncology
    • Treatment of all haematological malignant diseases
    • Treatment of TTP/HUS syndrome with a COBE/SPECTRA plasmapheresis device
    • Bone and marrow biopsies
    • Autologous transplants from peripheral progenitor cells
  • Genetics
    • Clinic genetic counselling for inherited cancer
    • Targeted gene and biological treatments
    • Marrow immunophenotype and karyotype
    • FISH Molecular analysis

In the Group’s Hospitals all kinds of surgeries are performed, from minimally invasive (endoscopic) surgeries, to the most complex ones, as well as operations with the use of the Robot Da Vinci Si HD Single-Site. For instance:

  • Robotic General Surgery
    • Oesophageal Surgery
    • Gastrectomy for abdomen tumour removal
    • Colon Surgery
    • Pancreatectomy
  • Robotic Urology
    • Radical prostatectomy
    • Cystectomy and new cyst, in the place of the old one
    • Total and partial nephrectomy
  • Robotic Gynaecology
    • Cervical, uterine, ovarian cancer surgery
    • Pelvic lymph nodes dissection for endometrial and cervical cancers
  • Head & neck surgery
    • Full & partial laryngectomy
    • Radical neck dissection
    • Use of musculocutaneous flap from the pectoralis major muscle for covering significant head and neck deficits, after major surgery in that area
  • Endocrine gland surgery
    • Operations in all endocrine glands
    • Lymph nodes dissection where appropriate with intraoperative neuromonitoring
    • Adrenalectomy
  • Lung surgery
    • Bronchoplasty & Angioplasty in patients with limited lung function
    • Tracheal resection and reconstruction
    • Lung resection after neo-adjuvant radiotherapy
    • Video-assisted lung resection
  • Oesophageal Surgery
    • Oesophagectomy without thoracotomy
    • Total oesophagus replacement with small and large intestine and stomach
  • Rectum, intestine, stomach, liver surgery
    • Transanal total mesorectal excision (TaTME)
    • Transanal rectal excision without colostomy with the Pull-through method
    • Endoscopic surgery TEMS
    • Endoscopic surgery of early malignant digestive tumours
    • Hepatectomy ALPPS
  • Plastic restoration

Athens Medical Group Hospitals have specialised Breast Centres, offering modern and personalised treatment of breast diseases.

They cover a wide range of medical services, from prevention to treatment and rehabilitation, aiming to provide cure.

They adhere to the strict EUSOMA (European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists) standards and guidelines. Through the application of the “one stop clinic” process, ensuring faster diagnosis and avoiding the discomfort of repeat visits.

Radiotherapy departments of each Oncology Clinic are equipped with cutting edge technology, opening new horizons in cancer treatment.

A team of specialised scientists, including an Oncologist Radiologist, a Radiation Physicist, and a Radiation Technologist, designs and performs treatment, in collaboration with the attending surgeon and the Oncology Board’s guidance.

The Department has:

  • The most modern Synergy equipment of Elekta
  • Simulation system based on Computed Tomography
  • Radiotherapy planning systems (3D, IMRT, VMAT, IGRT)

With the IMRT technique the following are achieved:

  • Shrinkage/ elimination of tumours considered unresectable
  • Quality of life improvement and life expectancy lengthening
  • Significantly high success rates
  • Interstitial Brachytherapy System, performed

after 3D planning under ultrasound or CT guidance.

Focuses on cases of prostatic, breast and cervix

diseases. Includes Linear Accelerators with an integrated imaging system (cone beam CT). The system offers:

• Palliative treatment

• Maximum therapeutic effect

• Protection of healthy tissues

• Minimisation of side effects

• Avoidance of amputation operations

Radiodiagnostic Departments of the Group’s Hospitals are among the best-equipped departments in Europe, with ultramodern multi-slice Computed Tomography scanners of up to 128 slices/sec, Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanners of up to 3 Tesla, Angiographers and Ultrasonographers, enabling all the latest applications of radiology.

Computed Tomography - Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Diagnosis

  • CT colonography
  •  CT pyelography
  • Ultra-fast Magnetic Resonance Mammography
  • Detection of gynaecological cancer
  • Multiparametric prostate cancer detection
  • Magnetic resonance enterography enteroclysis / proctography
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of brain, breast, liver, prostate
  • Magnetic resonance arthrography
  •  Characterisation & Staging of brain tumours
  • Magnetic resonance tractography
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Quantification of vascularity and measurement of tumour response to chemotherapy
  • Whole-body MRI with diffusion sequences

Ultrasounds

  • Liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas examination through the injection of SONOVUE contrast
  • Certification of vascularisation and measurement of tumour response to chemotherapy
  • Intraoperative liver ultrasound with or without injection of SONOVUE contrast
  • FNA of thyroid, lymph nodes, neck
  • Targeted prostate biopsy
  • Transjugular liver biopsy
  • Diagnosis with percutaneous biopsy
  • Palliative/ symptomatic treatment through the transdermal approach
  • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography and biliary drainage with or without stent placement
  • Biliary drainage - Stent placement
  • Chemoembolisation of liver/ lung tumours
  • Tumour embolisation preoperatively
  • Radiofrequency ablation and Microwave ablation in inoperable primary or secondary liver, lung, kidney, bone tumours
  • Selective embolisation of bleedings or tumours of the liver, as well as gastrointestinal, respiratory and genitourinary systems
  • Venous blood sampling from various points of the venous system to identify benign or malignant tumours

In our laboratories, organ scintigrams and radioimmunoassay determinations in blood and body fluids (hormones, cancer markers, etc.) are performed.

  • Treatment with radioiodine (I-131) for thyroid cancer
  • Specific treatments for pain due to bone metastases

Pathologic Anatomy

The Pathologic anatomy department has certified, state-of-the-art equipment, and it operates according to international diagnostic protocols.

Tests are conducted with fast, highly accurate results:

  • Histological exams
  • Frozen section
  • Molecular diagnostic techniques
  • Enzymatic techniques
  • Genetic methods
  • Histochemistry
  • Immunohistochemistry

The Oncology Clinics of Athens Medical Group are pioneering technologically and are distinguished throughout Greece for their ultra-modern equipment.

They include among others:

  • Tomography PET/CT camera
  • Linear Accelerator systems
  • Two Robotic da Vinci Si HD Systems
  • CT scanners of up to 128 slices/sec
  • MRI Scanners of up to 3 Tesla
  • Digital Angiography
  • Digital Mammography
  • Stereotactic beds
  • Breast ultrasonographers
  • Endoscopy laboratories

PET/CT concerns the simultaneous Positron Emission Tomography and computed tomography (CT) for full:

  • Diagnosis of neoplasias at an early stage
  • Investigation of primary site of unknown origin
  • Assessment of cancer stage
  • Investigation of surgical treatment option
  • Detection of disease relapse
  • Control of treatment response

Multislice CT scanners SOMATOM of up to 128 sections/sec

The Group’s multi-slice CT scanners are advanced computed tomography systems. They marked a new era in the diagnosis and treatment of heart, blood vessel, brain, liver, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal diseases.

They convert computed tomography to preventive routine examination!

The Group’s SOMATOM CT scanners are ideal for the following, among others:

  • Real time tumour biopsy
  • Small tumours identification
  • Fast full body imaging

MRI scanners of up to 3 Tesla

Offering high-intensity magnetic field, resulting in:

  • Examination time reduction
  • higher resolution imaging of even very small lesions or tumour sites

Therefore, the following are achieved:

  • Detection of very small tumours
  • Breast MRI for early diagnosis of small tumours
  • High-definition diagnosis of inner genital organ tumours
  • Special techniques for studying prostate tumours
  • Early diagnosis and preoperative mapping of CNS tumours
  • Preventive Ultra - Fast ​​Magnetic Mammography, Ultra - Fast Breast MRI, in 3 minutes!

Preventive Ultra - Fast ​​Magnetic Mammography (Ultra - Fast Breast MRI) detects cancer at an early stage in a higher proportion than mammography and ultrasonography, it has no ionising radiation, it only lasts 3 minutes, it does not cause the unpleasant feeling of breast compression, and it is significantly cheaper than conventional magnetic resonance mammography.

Working in combination with mammography, Preventive Ultra - Fast ​​Magnetic Mammography increases significantly the chances of early detection of breast cancer.

Digital angiography

The Group’s Hospitals have modern angiography scanners for the diagnosis

and invasive treatment of tumours through:

  • Chemoembolisation
  • Embolism
  • Transjugular liver biopsies
  • Drainages

Digital mammography

Digital mammography scanner increases significantly the ability to detect small tumours, and the ability to detect microcalcifications.

At the same time, it reduces the radiation dose by 25 - 30% as compared to conventional mammography, or 40% to breasts with high fat density, while it contributes to the marking of lesions (hookwire) preoperatively.

Stereotactic beds (Mammotome)

With the stereotactic bed the following are achieved:

  • Bloodless percutaneous needle biopsy (core-biopsy)
  • Innovative suction biopsy without surgery

Breast ultrasonographers

The breast ultrasonographer offers:

  • High resolution imaging
  • 3D-4D mass reconstruction
  • Elastography with volume elasticity measurement
  • Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytology and histological biopsy
  • Ηοοk – Wire positioning

Endoscopy laboratories

Oncology Clinical have ultra-modern endoscopic towers for conducting digital endoscopy with numerous applications, including:

  • Laryngoscopy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Endobronchial ultrasound, diagnostic biopsy - EBUS
  • Gastroscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Enteroscopy (Double balloon)
  • Cystoscopy
  • Rectum, stomach, pancreas, liver, oesophagus EUS
  • ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography) and palliative stent placement for jaundice/ bile duct obstruction in cases of cholangiocarcinoma or pancreatic cancer
  • Cytological material collection from cholangiocarcinoma with stent placement
  • Cholangioscopy
  • Possibility of narrow band imaging endoscopy and optical zoom
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection or submucosal resection

They are Centres of Reference for endoscopic education

People-oriented!

In the Oncology Clinics of Athens Medical Group’s Hospitals, following faithfully our Chairman’s vision, we offer over the last 32 years, with respect and commitment to the patient, superior medical services in accordance with the strictest international medical standards and certifications, having Health restoration as our sole objective for each and every person who trusts us.

 

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French patient of the oncology department

German patient with prostate cancer

Athens Medical Center

Dr. Isam Bankousli

Director of the Dept. of Medical Oncology

  • Fellow in the Clinical Research in Oncology, Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo, New York
  • Member of American Society of Clinical Oncology

Dr. Nikolaos Bontozoglou, MD, Fellowship, PhD

Head of CT / MRI / PET / CT Dept

  • Fellowship CT, MRI, PET/CT Ohio State University
  • More than 50 publications in peer-review journals
  • More than 150 lectures at International and Local conventions

Dr. Eleni Chandrinou

Director of the Clinical Hematology Dept., of the Immunohematology and Transfusion Medicine Dept. and of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit

 

Georgios​ ​ Doundoulakis​ ​ MD,​PhD,ENT​

Georgios​ ​ Doundoulakis​ ​ MD,​ ​​ ​ PhD,​ ​​ ​ ENT​ ​ Surgeon Director​ ​ of​ ​ ENT​ ​ and​ ​ Head​ ​ &​ ​ Neck​ ​ Surgical​ ​ Oncology​ ​ Clinic​ ​ of MEDICAL​ ​ CENTER​ ​ OF​ ​ ATHENS

Dr. Anna Efremidis, MD, FACP

Pathologist – Oncologist

  • Lecturer Dept. Medical Oncology, State University of New York, USA
  • Former Associate Professor University of Crete & Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Fellow of American College of Physicians (FACP)

Christos J. Markopoulos

He qualified from Athens University Medical School in 1979 and he specialized in general surgery (1985)

 

SGerassimos Alexander Pangalis, MD

Oncologist

    Professor K. Sirigos

    Oncologist

    • Visiting Professor of Thoracic Oncology, Yale School of Medicine, CT, USA
    • Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA
    • Manuscript reviewer for 84 international scientific journals
     

    Spiliotis John MD, PhD

    Oncologist

      Dr. Dimitrios Tzaninis

      Director of Medical Oncology Dept.

      • Fellowship in Medical Oncology and Hematology at Northwestern University (Chicago Illinois)
      • Licensed to practice in the USA

      News By Page

      12.07.16
      Athens Medical Group: Signature of Memorandum of Collaboration with the MD Anderson Cancer Center

      The Athens Medical Group, faithful to its commitment of always being a step ahead in the provision of high quality medical services, signed a Memorandum of Collaboration with the internationally renowned University Cancer Center of America MD Anderson Cancer Center.

      The Athens Medical Group shows once again its commitment to developing partnerships with leading scientific, research and educational centers of the world, contributing in this way to the improvement of the provision of medical services in Greece.

      The aim of this collaboration includes the development of joint actions, which will contribute to a better understanding of cancer and improvement of cancer patient care with actions that include issues such as the exchange of medical knowledge on cancer treatment, conduction of research programs and the development of educational programs.

      Through this cooperation Greek oncologists will be able to pioneer enriching their knowledge and experience in treating cancer, using advanced international protocols with their participation in joint conferences, workshops and training programs to be organized between the Athens Medical Center and MD Anderson.

      “Our goal is not simply to monitor medical developments but to always be one step ahead. This new collaboration of the Athens Medical Group is for us a crucial alliance, since it allows us the ability to acquire greater knowledge about cancer and equips us for to confront it” stated Mr. said. Christos G. Apostolopoulos, Vice President of the Athens Medical Group.

      15.11.15
      The most effective weapon in early diagnosis of breast cancer: Preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography

      Written by Bondozoglou Nikolaos MD,PhD, Radiologist, Clinical Director of CT, MRI, PET/CT Department,  Athens Medical Center , Athens Medical Group

      The Need for Better Presymptomatic Screening of the Breasts

      Modern medicine requires individualized treatment, beyond therapy, both in the diagnosis and in the prevention of breast cancer. The treatment of breast cancer is determined by the individuality of each person and especially the degree of risk of that person for a specific disease. However, with regards to the early diagnosis of breast cancer, all women are treated to date in the same way: regular screening with mammography and ultrasound. The only thing that varies is the recommendation for the start and regularity of preventative screening for breast cancer. Although the benefit of mammography is proven, breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in woman, and generally the first cause of death in women aged up to 50 years.

      For this reason in recent years a public discussion has begun on the actual value of the method of early diagnosis of breast cancer. Although most experts agree that primarily mammography and to a lesser extent ultrasound saves lives from breast cancer, they do acknowledge the disadvantages of these tests. That they lose, that is, a significant number of early-stage cancers and lead some women to unnecessary treatments.

      The Meaning of “Dense breast” in Mammography

      The main reason why detection of an early cancer in mammography may be missed is the so-called dense breast. In mammography, dense breast appears as diffuse white. The tumor is also white, so it is difficult to detect.

      In the US, at least 21 States apply today a specific law (Breast Density Notification Law), which states that women with dense breasts should be informed in writing of the reduced value of mammography and discuss with their doctor the benefits of a complementary examination for detection of breast cancer.

      It is note that dense breast has no relation to the appearance or feel of the breast but is discovered only by specialists in mammography. It is important that women know the density of their breasts. In women with dense breasts, mammography may miss early-stage cancers. This is also evidenced by the fact that the highest percentage of cancers not detected in mammography are found in women aged 40-50 years, in whom dense breasts prevail. This category includes women that must be screened preventively for breast cancer, before undergoing IVF.

      High Risk Groups for Breast Cancer

      There are however other groups of women, for which existing traditional mammography and ultrasound screening do not suffice. This concerns women of high-risk for breast cancer based on family history or the presence of genes predisposed to the development of the disease. These women in particular should begin preventive screening earlier, since it has been established that breast cancer affects them earlier. Since 2009, it is recommended that screening of these women be supplemented with an annual MRI mammography, but in practice this is done only in a small number of women.

      Another high risk group for breast cancer are women with breast prosthesis. The prostheses hide parts of the mammary gland on mammograms, leading to loss of significant pathologies through the application of conventional tests. However, these women may be also be effectively screened with MRI mammography.

      Preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography

      Today, a new application of MRI, preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography, aims to change the current preventive practice as it appears to be the test of maximum sensitivity in the early detection of breast cancer.

      Aiming at the broader application of MRI mammography in the pre-symptomatic screening of breast cancer, in recent years Ultra-fast MRI Mammography has been tested, proposed and its application begun. Compared with mammography, with Preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography the detection of breast cancer is not based only on anatomical, but mainly on functional characteristics, and is not affected by the presence of dense breast. This results in the increased capacity of the detection of breast cancer and particularly in the early stages.

      A publication in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, in 2014, showed that if 1000 women of moderate or slightly increased risk with a normal mammography and ultrasound of the breasts, are subjected to preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography 18 incipient, clinically significant breast cancers will be detected. If this additional preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography screening was not done the cancer would be detected later and probably in a more advanced stage.

      A recent publication in the European Journal of Radiology, 2015, also showed significant sensitivity of detection of breast cancer with preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography. In the MRI department of the Athens Medical Centre we studied the effectiveness of this new Preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography examination, compared with conventional MRI mammography, in 100 women. The results were impressive as we proved that the Ultra-fast MRI Mammography examination detects breast cancer with the utmost sensitivity and there is consensus of the diagnosis between experienced specialists. Our results were announced at the 2015 European Congress of Radiology held in Vienna.

      Bearing in mind our experience and the to date published data, we developed an examination that lasts for a few minutes, containing the sequences that detect breast cancer with the greatest sensitivity, but also limit recommendations for unnecessary biopsies.

      Compared to conventional mammography, which is time consuming - it lasts for about half an hour - and requires, after it is done, analysis of hundreds of images by specialists, Preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography contains those sequences that detect breast cancer with maximum sensitivity in only three minutes. Essentially, we shorten the examination taking only the most important images that international experience has shown can reveal the image of breast cancer. Necessary, of course, conditions for the successful application of the new Preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography examination is the use of the latest MRI technology and, especially, medical experience in the field of MRI mammography.

      Important advantages of Preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography is that it detects twice as many cancers compared to other tests, detecting breast cancer in the early stages, has no radiation, does not cause the unpleasant feeling of the pressure on the breasts, as is the case with classical mammography, while the huge reduction in examination time results in a significant reduction to its cost, which is at a similar level to other breast examinations.

      In conclusion, Preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography has a much higher sensitivity of detection of breast cancer compared with other tests. The time and cost of Preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography is now at levels that allow for wider application. Preventive Ultra-fast MRI Mammography is the best complement to mammography in women with dense breasts, in woman with moderate and high-risk for breast cancer and in women with implants, while it is an examination of choice in younger women.

      We can therefore say that we now have in our hands a new weapon to overcome the disadvantages of the past of regular monitoring for the treatment of breast cancer.