Our immune system is a protective system that patrols inside the body and monitors various substances inside the body. If the immune system recognizes any substance which does not belong to the body and maybe harmful, the system activates itself and attack that substance. The cells of the immune system work through a complex mechanism. It protects from various diseases, including infection and cancer. However, in some cases of cancer, the immune cells are unable to recognize the cancer cells and thus, do not destroy them. It is when the doctor uses CAR T-cell therapy. It is a type of immunotherapy and has various advantages over conventional therapy. It has fewer side effects and offers more precise treatment.
The CAR T-cell therapy is completed in different steps. A highly experienced team comprises hematologists, oncologists, pediatricians, and paramedical staff. The steps for performing CAR T-cell therapy are:
1. T-cell collection: In this process, the doctor collects the T-cells from the blood. This procedure is known as leukapheresis. The doctor performs this procedure with the help of a machine. The machine has two IV lines. The blood flows through one IV line into the machine and returns through the second IV line after removing the T-cells or white cells. The procedure may take around 2-3 hours.
2. Genetic Engineering: The staff sends the T-cells to the laboratories where they undergo genetic engineering process for adding the Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) on the cell surface. This protein on the cell surface helps the T-cell to identify the cancer cells.
3. Cellular Multiplication: A large number of T-cells are required to be injected into the body. Thus, the genetically engineered T-cells undergo a multiplications process in the laboratory. This may take a few weeks to complete the process.
4. Lymphodepleting chemotherapy: This step is also known as conditioning. During this process, the patient receives chemotherapy. This reduces the number of other cells of the immune system to allow the space for proliferating the CAR T-cells. The patient undergoes conditioning a few days before the infusion of CAR T-cell.
5. CAR T-cell infusion: Approximately 3 days after the chemotherapy, the doctor infuses the CAR T-cells in the bloodstream. It may take around 10 to 30 minutes for infusion.
After the infusion, the patient must stay in the hospital for a few weeks. The doctor monitors the efficacy of CAR T-cell therapy and its side effects. Even after the discharge, there are chances that the patient may be re-admitted due to complications. The patient should visit the hospital for a follow-up that may last for months. During the long-term recovery, the patient may have tests, such as blood tests, physical examination, and imaging tests.
CAR-T package cost in Switzerland has different inclusions and exclusions. The CAR-T package cost usually includes all the expenses related to pre and post surgery expenses of the patient. The CAR-T cost in Switzerland includes the cost of anesthesia, medicines, hospitalization and the surgeon's fee. Stay outside the package duration, post-operative complications and diagnosis of a new condition may further increase the CAR-T cost in Switzerland.
There are many hospitals that perform CAR-T in Switzerland. The top hospitals for CAR-T in Switzerland include the following:
While the speed of recovery may vary from patient to patient, they are still required to stay for about 30 days after discharge. This period is important to conduct all the follow-up tests to ensure that the surgery was successful and the patient can go back to the home country.
While Switzerland is considered to be one of the best destinations for CAR-T owing to the standard of Hospitals, and expertise of doctors; there are a select few destinations which provide comparable quality of healthcare for the procedure Some of the other destinations that are popular for CAR-T include the following:
Apart from the CAR-T cost, the patient may have to pay for additional daily expenses such as for guest house after discharge and meals. The extra charges may start from USD 50 per person.
The following are some of the best cities for CAR-T in Switzerland:
The average duration of stay at the hospital after CAR-T is about 2 days for proper care and monitoring. The patient is subjected to several biochemistry and radiological scans to see that everything is okay and the recovery is on track. After making sure that patient is clinically stable, discharge is planned.
There are more than 1 hospitals that offer CAR-T in Switzerland. The above listed hospitals are approved to perform the surgery and have proper infrastructure to handle CAR-T patients. These hospitals comply with all the rules and regulations as dictated by the regulatory bodies and medical association in Switzerland
Some of the best doctors for CAR-T in Switzerland are:
There are many top-class multispecialty hospitals in Switzerland, such as:
The country has more than 500 hospitals and boasts of some of the biggest private hospitals in the world. Around 12 hospitals are accredited and they adhere to international standards. With an increasing number of hospitals, healthcare has become more affordable and accessible in Switzerland. The hospitals have evolved into centers of competence for outpatient diagnostic and therapy. The multispecialty hospitals in Switzerland provide world-class treatment with the help of high-tech equipment, the latest medical technologies, and state-of-art infrastructure.
Healthcare systems in Switzerland are bound to sign contracts on the quality of medical care as per international standards. Healthcare accreditation is based on the model of the International Standards Organization. The country has a very stringent process for awarding healthcare accreditation. Adherence to standard EN 45001 is compulsory for accredited healthcare facilities to ensure quality care. Healthcare standards act as a quality framework to effectively evaluate, control, and improve the standards of quality healthcare.
Switzerland is one of the most popular medical tourism destinations in the world because of several reasons like its highly qualified trained staff, traditional values of quality, and research-focus. Backed with state-of-art infrastructure and exceptional research institutes, Switzerland offers quality medical care of international standards. Switzerland is popular for its excellence in new treatments and healthcare innovations. The country is flocked with several famous research institutes that focus on developing new medical technology. Some other reasons why Switzerland is preferred for medical tourism are quality and safe treatments, high level of privacy, and a wide range of treatment specialties.
Hospitals in Switzerland generally accept health insurance but always connect with your insurance company to check whether the treatment you want to undergo is covered at the hospital in the country. In case of an approved insurance provider, the hospital can start cashless treatment once it receives the Guarantee of Payment from the insurance. You should know that the expense of many treatments and processes are not covered by insurance plans, such as cosmetic surgery, pregnancy and abortion, and diagnostic tests. You need to pay for your treatment if your insurance plan is not approved in Switzerland and can ask for reimbursement once you are back in your country.
The most sought-after procedures in Switzerland are:
These procedures are performed with high precision and accuracy at high-standard clinics and hospitals backed by advanced technology, and well-trained doctors. A lot of people visit Switzerland for cosmetic surgery performed by highly trained surgeons with high precision and accuracy. The increasing popularity of IVF in Switzerland is mainly attributed to highly trained fertility experts, a large number of clinics, and personalized care.
Top destinations for medical tourism in Switzerland are Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, Zurich, Lucerne, Bern. These cities have modern infrastructure, world-class hospitals, and highly trained doctors which contribute to providing quality treatment. Zurich and Geneva attract most of the medical tourists due to their excellent public transportation system, availability of cheap accommodation, and connectivity through airlines. Some other reasons why these cities have become the world’s epicenter of medical tourism are a large number of quality hospitals, rich culture, scenic value, and availability of translators, and safety of tourists.
Vaccination is highly recommended or required for Switzerland. WHO and CDC recommend the following vaccines
Some parts of Switzerland have recently had routine disease outbreaks. Make sure your MMR and other routine vaccinations are up-to-date. The recommended vaccinations for travelers to Switzerland vary according to the traveler's age, immunization history, and existing medical conditions. Before a trip to Switzerland, you should get pre-exposure vaccination against rabies and yellow fever.
A candidate needs to apply for a Schengen Visa for traveling to Switzerland to seek treatment. This visa allows a patient to stay in the country for a period of 90 days. If your treatment is foreseen to last longer, you should apply for a National Visa for Medical Treatment. Here is a list of documents that you will require for applying for a medical visa:
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