Nationally and internationally, the University Hospital Cologne is a pioneer in minimally invasive lamellar transplantation of the cornea. More than 80% of all transplantations are partial transplantations (DMEK, DSAEK and DALK), which are less stressful for the patient. These techniques have been further developed and refined so that greater improvement in visual acuity is achieved more gently and more quickly. This hospital performs more transplants than almost any other in Germany.
The new concept for anti(lymph)angiogenic treatment of transplants to improve transplant survival was largely developed at the University Hospital Cologne. The pathological blood and lymph vessels of vascularised high-risk eyes are sclerotised before the actual transplant. The resulting reduction in immune reactions improves the survival of the transplant. The Eye Hospital is also involved in the development of new topical angiogenesis inhibitors.
Since 2015 the German Research Foundation DFG supports a special translational research unit on new treatments for inflammatory and (lymph)angiogenic diseases at the eye. More information about this unique research environment at www.for2240.de
As part of an EU project, the University Hospital Cologne is a leading light in the development of artificial corneas for seriously diseased eyes. The Boston Keratoprosthesis, the most frequently used keratoprosthesis in the world, is implanted in a co-operation with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary/Harvard Medical School.
The University Hospital Cologne carries out more glaucoma surgeries than any other hospital in Germany. This is another area where new treatment concepts, including the patient-friendly combination of a number of surgical procedures in a single session, have been developed and established.
One main aspect of the research carried out at the University Clinic of Cologne is the constant further development and optimisation of breast cancer treatment.
With regard to surgical therapies, following years of research, scientist Dr. Stefan Krämer of Cologne has developed a concept that combines drug therapy with the use of new, customised substances and innovative surgical methods. This means that when treating breast cancer, the breast can be conserved without the need for extensive plastic surgery.
Radiotherapy is used in breast-conserving cancer treatments to kill off any tumour cells that might still be present in the tissue after the operation. Previously, radiotherapy was used above all after the operation (postoperatively). With the innovative intraoperative radiotherapy that has been carried out at the University Clinic of Cologne since 2010, the tissue of the tumour bed is targeted with radiotherapy during the operation after removal of the tumour.
Between 5 and 8% of all mothers-to-be will develop pre-eclampsia during their pregnancy, a condition that is potentially life-threatening. In order to protect both mother and baby, it used to be that the baby was born by Caesarian section weeks before the due date as there were no other alternative forms of treatment.
However, working in collaboration with researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston, scientists in Cologne managed to achieve a real breakthrough. Prof. Dr. Peter Mallmann and Prof. Dr. Thomas Benzing discovered the suspected protein "sFlt-1", the level of which is increased in the blood of a woman with this condition. Based on this finding, a blood-washing process was developed that removes this risky substance. The treatment means the birth can be delayed, leaving the baby in the womb to continue growing and developing for important days and weeks.