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III Department of Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy

prof. Rafał  Tarnawski, PhD, MD





Secretariat: +48 32 278 86 13


III Department of Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy is a tertiary referral center for treatment of central nervous system malignancies (brain and spinal cord) and women’s cancer, including gynecological and breast cancer.  We cooperate closely with other units of the Institute, especially in the treatment of endocrine malignancies and brain metastases.  The clinical team comprises 10 physicians who are accredited in radiation oncology, clinical oncology, and gynecology, as well as a psychologist and 15 nurses.  The staff also include five medical secretaries and necessary support personnel.
We perform radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and combined treatments (radiochemotherapy) in an in-patient setting.  Radiation treatment is carried out at the Institute Department of Radiotherapy under the direct supervision of the Clinic’s team of physicians.  We apply the most sophisticated and state-of-the-art methods of radiation therapy planning and delivery, including image-guided radiotherapy, stereotactic radiotherapy, radiosurgery by CyberKnife and Tomotherapy.  In this way, we can design a more effective and faster treatment which contributes to cutting the patient’s hospital stay short.
Chemotherapy utilizes all the available cytotoxic and biological drugs, and uses a wide spectrum of treatment-monitoring imaging modalities.  In-patients requiring combined treatment chemotherapy have it administered sequentially or concurrently with radiation.  Uniquely in the field, we specialize in cancer treatment of young adults (between 18 and 40 years of age, the so-called Young Adult Oncology, YAO), to whom we offer comprehensive supportive care which addresses the unique needs of this special population.


Central nervous system tumors


Male human head with skull and brain in ghost effect, side view. — Zdjęcie stockoweGlioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).
In cooperation with the Neurosurgery Clinics and immediately after surgery, we treat patients with combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy with temozolomide.  We also handle relapses by applying radiosurgery and stereotactic radiotherapy, where necessary, and by chemotherapy

Gliomas (low-grade Gliomas, Anaplastic Gliomas).
The combined treatment of glioma aims at maintaining the patient’s best quality of life for as long as possible, since the disease is typically of a chronic nature.  The optimum treatment usually results in tumor stabilization over several years.  We continue tumor radiation therapy with maximum effort aimed at limiting the radiation necrosis occurring during therapy.  When planning the initial surgery, the Institute of Oncology closely cooperates with the Department of Neurosurgery (teleoncology solutions) in order to spare as much of the brain critical structures as possible; the same principle is later followed for radiotherapy planning.  The Clinic’s team has extensive experience in the so-called re-irradiation, i.e. radiotherapy in patients previously receiving brain radiation.

Primary central nervous system lymphoma. 
We offer fast-track diagnosis and therapy for patients presenting solitary lymphoma lesions of the brain.  In the case of patients in good condition, we apply methotrexate-based chemotherapy, either alone or sequentially with radiation therapy treatment; in other patients, the treatment usually starts with radiotherapy.  The treatment is carried out in cooperation with hematology and transplantology consultants from the Clinic of Transplantology and Oncohematology.

Breast cancer

Breast palpation — Zdjęcie stockowePreoperative intensive chemotherapy/chemoradiotherapy. 
We perform preoperative chemotherapy on patients presenting a so-called locally advanced breast cancer, or in patients with a large operable breast cancer who are willing to undergo breast-conserving therapy.  The treatment is especially recommended for patients under the age of 40 together with treatment under clinical trial protocols with extensive monitoring of the chemotherapy effects using state-of-the-art imaging methods.  Patients with insufficient response to the initial chemotherapy undergo intensive combined radiochemotherapy treatment.

HER2-positive breast cancer. 
Patients with HER2-positive tumors receive adjuvant treatment with trastuzumab regimens, where the therapy, if necessary, includes breast adjuvant radiation treatment.  We work with the Silesian Center for Heart Diseases to closely monitor patients with a co-existing heart disease.

Breast-conserving therapy with accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI).  
In cooperation with the Department of Brachytherapy, patients with low-stage breast cancer receive limited breast irradiation (so-called accelerated partial breast irradiation [APBI]).

Oligometastatic breast cancer treatment.  
We follow the latest protocols for radical treatment of the so-called oligometastatic breast cancer (breast cancer in patients presenting only a single distant metastasis, and sometimes in patients with 2-3 metastases).  The treatment usually starts with chemotherapy and, when satisfactory tumor response is observed, the treatment is continued in order to eradicate all tumor foci – usually by applying combined methods of surgery, radiation therapy, and medical oncology.

Breast cancer treatment in patients requiring fertility sparing and in pregnant women. 
The Clinic’s team closely cooperates with obstetrics and fertility reference centers to provide optimum chemotherapy treatment for pregnant women and/or patients requiring a fertility sparing surgery.

Female genital tract cancer (gynecological cancer

Anatomy female reproductive system, cutaway. — Zdjęcie stockoweCombined radiochemotherapy of cervical cancer.  
In advanced cases of cervical cancer, we apply the optimum image-guided radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy.  Image guidance is possible thanks to some most advanced methods, ie. positron-emission tomography (PET/CT) and magnetic resonance imaging.  The treatment includes brachytherapy following chemoradiation treatment.  The treatment could be successfully used to eradicate the condition in patients with metastatic lymph nodes in the retroperitoneum.

Adjuvant postoperative treatment of cervical and uterine cancer.
Radiotherapy is often used as an adjuvant treatment following surgery.  This treatment is often applied in an out-patient setting; however, but in the case of patients requiring hospitalization this treatment is carried out at the clinic.