Prof. Michael Tamm performing a bronchioscopy


Cutting-edge medicine across all disciplines

With its combined expertise, experience and regular interdisciplinary conferences, the Lung Center can examine patients with lung diseases quickly and competently and suggest the best treatment for them.

Many years of experience and new scientific findings are incorporated into every treatment of patients with lung disease, as are the advantages of interdisciplinary consultations, which are held regularly at case conferences (IFC). This is where treatment decisions are coordinated between the specialist disciplines. For patients, this interdisciplinary exchange also means the certainty that their situation has been assessed from very different perspectives. Diseases that are not currently in the foreground are taken into account, as are the patient's resources and wishes.

The Lung Center consists of 8 segments, each of which includes different specialists depending on the area of expertise required. The Lung Center attaches particular importance to prompt information. Patients are informed of the recommendations of the interdisciplinary case conference, as are the family doctor and the follow-up doctors involved in the treatment process. In 2021, over 1500 complex cases were discussed at these interdisciplinary conferences. Registrations for interdisciplinary conferences are made via the doctors involved. Patient registrations for special consultations are made via the respective clinics.


Asthma and COPD are very common diseases, affecting hundreds of thousands of Swiss people. New biologics are now available for severe asthma. As nasal polyps and allergies often also play an important role in these patients, these patients are discussed in the presence of pulmonologists, allergists and ENT specialists. In advanced COPD, bronchoscopic and surgical methods of lung volume reduction are now available; the decision as to which method is most suitable for the individual patient is made together with pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, radiologists and nuclear medicine specialists.

The lung tumor segment of the Lung Center is also an important partner of the University Tumor Center. The combination of different specialist disciplines forms the Center for Lung Tumors, within which all patients with lung cancer and other tumors in the area of the chest are treated. Experts from pneumology, thoracic surgery, oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, radiology and nuclear medicine take part in the weekly tumor conference. The combined expertise of various disciplines from the diagnostic and therapeutic spectrum enables rapid clarification and personalized therapy. This also applies to patients from the rest of north-western Switzerland, including the Jura: experts from oncology and pneumology at the Hôpital du Jura in Delémont take part in the meeting every week.

The University Sleep Center is certified together with the University Hospital Basel (USB), the University Children's Hospital Basel (UKBB) and the University Psychiatric Clinics (UPK). The necessary sleep examinations are carried out at all three locations. Complex cases are discussed at the interdisciplinary conference, which is attended by pulmonologists, neurologists and psychiatrists from the various clinics.

Lung infections have not only been common since COVID-19, but also affect immunocompromised patients in particular. In addition to rapid diagnosis, interdisciplinary management plays an important role in protracted infections. Accordingly, pulmonologists, infectious disease specialists, thoracic surgeons and radiologists take care of the optimal treatment proposals.

Interstitial lung diseases are associated with an increase in inflammatory cells and connective tissue in the lungs. There are many different causes, such as sarcoidosis or rheumatic diseases. In addition to the diagnostic classification, the therapy concepts are often based on analyzed cells and lung tissue, which is why pathologists regularly participate alongside pulmonologists and radiologists. If necessary, rheumatologists, cardiologists, neurologists and ophthalmologists are also consulted.

The USB and UKBB are European-certified specialist centers for cystic fibrosis, which is the most common genetic lung disease. In addition to new therapies, lung transplantation is also an option for advanced cystic fibrosis. The most common other indications for lung transplantation are advanced COPD and pulmonary fibrosis.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (pulmonary hypertension) occurs when the blood experiences more resistance through the pulmonary vessels. In addition to investigating the cause, a right heart catheter is needed to determine the exact extent of the disease and initiate treatment. Close collaboration between pulmonologists is essential. As patients with rheumatic diseases often develop pulmonary hypertension, there is also close cooperation with rheumatologists.

Thoracic trauma is defined as an injury to the chest and/or lungs. In addition to the diagnosis, which requires a computer tomogram, surgical rib fixation options are now available.

Courses for patients

A cancer diagnosis can feel like being thrown out of a familiar reality. Many of those affected react with shock and uncertainty. They have to deal with unfamiliar feelings, reprioritize, make complex decisions and learn to cope with unpleasant side effects. This is not always possible. And not always alone. The support of family and friends is very important during this time. At the same time, it can be helpful to seek professional support.

How to deal with the diagnosis of cancer, the stress, the symptoms and the consequences? One option is to seek professional help. The University Hospital Basel offers patients psycho-oncological support. Individual discussions with psychologists can help patients to get their feet back on the ground. The Basel Cancer League also offers further support. With topic-specific courses and information material on how to cope with cancer in a relationship, for example. Or how to deal with fatigue - constant tiredness. What diet is good for me? Which sport suits me?

on psycho-oncology at the University Hospital Basel
Cancer League of both Basel
Topic-specific courses offered by the Basel Cancer League
Libraries for cancer patients
Brochures and information material

The lungs at the center

Patients with chronic or acute lung diseases are treated and monitored by specialists at the Lung Center. From a suspected diagnosis to a confirmed diagnosis and treatment. Regardless of whether the patient's treatment is carried out on an outpatient or inpatient basis: Everyone suffering from a lung disease is in the right place here.

Everything under one roof

Because the University Hospital unites all specialist disciplines under one roof, patients can be referred quickly to other specialist areas or for examinations, and the path to these is short.

A comprehensive network

Patients can also feel supported with their worries about their illness. Psychological support is available to them in the form of psycho-oncology . Furthermore, a close-knit network ensures - where necessary and desired - follow-up care or rehabilitation in order to guarantee a good recovery.

Today, the treatment of complex lung diseases is a team effort. The Lung Center therefore offers interdisciplinary case conferences on all lung diseases. This service is open to external colleagues as well as in-house doctors. Anyone who wants a well-founded and broad-based recommendation on diagnosis or treatment options can register the patient's case for the case conference. One phone call to the Lung Center is enough and the case is listed for external doctors. Colleagues receive the minutes a few days after the case conference in their practice. There is no question about it: GPs remain GPs, inform patients, treat them or organize further examinations with them.

The interdisciplinary lung tumor case conference takes place every Tuesday from 4.30 to 5.30 pm. The case conferences are also recognized as further training by various specialist associations.

Secretariat Lung Center:
+41 61 265 44 22

for information on the case conferences:

Respiratory and sleep disorders
Cystic fibrosis
Arterial hypertension
Lung infections
Lung tumors
Interstitial pneumopathy and sarcoidosis

  • Discussion of X-ray images, computer tomograms, PET/CT, histology and cytology at any time on request
  • Interdisciplinary case conference on lung tumors every Tuesday at 4.30 p.m.
  • Interdisciplinary case conferences on asthma/COPD, interstitial pneumopathies and sarcoidosis, lung infections, pulmonary hypertension and breathing and sleep disorders monthly
  • Special outpatient consultation hours: Pneumology, thoracic surgery, oncology, radiation oncology
  • Short inpatient clarifications with optimally coordinated clarification processes
  • Outpatient and inpatient assessment and treatment
  • Nursing, care and support of patients according to the latest nursing science findings. Interdisciplinary cooperation with all professional groups involved in the treatment process
  • In emergencies: direct availability of the duty doctor 24 hours a day for the following specialist areas: Pneumology, thoracic surgery, oncology and nuclear medicine

  • Therapeutic video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS) up to the extent of a lobectomy
  • Minithoracotomy/thoracotomy with lobectomy/pneumonectomy with lymph node dissection
  • Tissue-sparing sleeve resection
  • Metastasis surgery with laser
  • Pleuropneumonectomy for mesothelioma
  • Lung volume reduction (LVRS)
  • Tracheobronchoplasty
  • Thymectomy
  • Resection of mediastinal tumors
  • Sympathectomy
  • Resection of soft tissue tumors (sarcoma)
  • Surgery of the thoracic wall (tumors, malformations)

Further information

Thoracic surgery

  • Bronchoscopic laser therapy, stent insertion and implantation of emphysema valves
  • Pleural drainage
  • Therapeutic medical thoracoscopy

Further information

Pneumology at the University Hospital Basel

  • Chemotherapy and antibody therapy
  • Neoadjuvant, adjuvant and palliative therapy concepts
  • Access to national and international studies
  • Second opinions
  • Coordination of palliative medical and pain therapy measures

Further information

  • percutaneous hypo- and hyperfractionated radiotherapy
  • intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
  • stereotactic radiotherapy in the area of the trunk of the body and the brain (SBRT, SART, SRT)
  • radiosurgery
  • biological therapy planning
  • endoluminal brachytherapy

Further information can be found at

Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SART) enables precise irradiation of tumour tissue with very high individual doses in a very short time. An additional check using computer tomography, which is carried out on the irradiation machine directly before treatment, enables this millimetre-precise targeting of the tumour (image-guided radiotherapy = IGRT). In this way, the healthy tissue is spared as much as possible and the tumor is irradiated with maximum force.

Whereas 30 to 40 sessions over six to eight weeks used to be necessary, today the therapy only takes three to five sessions and is completed within a week. In over 90% of cases, the cancer in the lung disappears for good. This procedure doubles the chance of a cure compared to conventional radiotherapy. Metastases in the lungs or liver can be treated just as effectively using SART.

  • Therapy of neuroendocrine carcinomas

Further information

The cell surface of neuroendocrine tumors contains a particularly large number of receptors that are receptive to the body's own hormone somatostatin. This fact is exploited with the DOTATOC procedure and patients are administered radioactively labeled somatostatin. This somatostatin, which is labeled with the radionuclide yttrium-90, is absorbed by the tumor cells and their receptors and is thus destroyed by radiation.

Yttrium-90 radiation has a very short range, which protects healthy tissue from damage. To protect the sensitive kidneys from radiation exposure, patients are given a solution of amino acids as a precaution.

DOTATOC therapy is extremely well tolerated by patients. A few react with short-term nausea, but most do not feel anything from the treatment.

As a rule, DOTATOC therapy lasts three days. After about ten weeks, during which the patient is at home, the treatment is repeated.

  • Whole-body plethysmography
  • Electromagnetic navigation
  • Sleep medical examinations
  • Diffusion capacity, blood gas analysis, oxygen titration
  • Bronchoprovocation test and measurement of exhaled NO
  • Respiratory mechanics, pulse oximetry
  • Spiroergometry, 6-minute walk test
  • Diagnostic fiberbronchoscopy with fine needle aspiration and biopsies
  • Pleural sonography, pleural puncture and drainage
  • Medical thoracoscopy
  • Endobronchial ultrasound with fine needle cytology/histology

At the Clinic for Pneumology, we deal with the diagnosis and treatment of all diseases of the respiratory tract and lung tissue. As the largest pneumology clinic in Switzerland, we are able to offer the entire spectrum of the most modern diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the field of lung disease.

We use the most advanced and body-friendly technologies in the field of lung and chest endoscopy. In the sleep laboratory, we clarify breathing disorders during sleep and enable the use of individually adapted ventilation methods during the night. The Department of Pulmonology works closely with the Department of Internal Medicine and the Head of Pulmonology heads the Lung Center of the University Hospital Basel and the UKBB.

In addition to clinical work, the Clinic for Pneumology trains doctors in further training to become specialists in pneumology. In addition, the Clinic for Pneumology regularly conducts further training courses for practicing specialists. The Pulmonary Academy offers doctors throughout Switzerland a unique opportunity to learn practical pulmonary function techniques. The Department of Pulmonology makes a significant contribution at national and international level to expanding knowledge in the field of lung disease through clinical studies and basic research.

  • Diagnostic video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS)
  • Video mediastinoscopy
  • Parasternal mediastinotomy
  • Biopsy/excision of lymph nodes and tumors
  • Pleural sonography, pleural puncture and drainage

Since November 2007, the University Hospital Basel has had its own Clinic for Thoracic Surgery under the direction of Prof. Dr. med. Didier Lardinois. Since then, decisive conceptual innovations have been introduced, particularly in the areas of minimally invasive thoracic surgery and the treatment of patients with lung cancer.

The treatment of lung cancer is becoming increasingly complex, and the University Hospital Basel's Lung Center is a center of excellence that brings together specialists from various disciplines. Here they plan the optimal treatment for each individual patient and also carry it out in accordance with the latest international guidelines.

Surgery plays a central role in the treatment of lung tumors. Alone or in combination with other forms of therapy such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Surgery is an essential pillar in the treatment of lung cancer, especially in cases where a cure is possible.

An absolute prerequisite for surgical interventions in the area of the lung is extensive training and years of experience in the very special surgical techniques required for this. This is the only way to ensure a high quality of treatment and a low surgical risk for the patient. Thoracic surgery at the University Hospital Basel offers the entire spectrum of lung resections, including extended resections, i.e. the removal of the thoracic wall (ribs) or a vertebral body, partial resection of an atrium of the heart or other structures affected by tumors. The great advantage of the University Hospital Basel is the possibility of performing such technically demanding procedures in collaboration with other surgical disciplines such as cardiac surgery, visceral surgery, ENT and others.

Trachea and mesothelioma surgery is performed at the highest European level, as is metastasis surgery, the removal of metastases from other tumors, e.g. colon cancer from the lungs. The removal of metastases is carried out at the University Hospital Basel using laser-assisted procedures (special neodymium:YAG laser), which is particularly gentle on the lung tissue.

In addition to tumor surgery, the focus of thoracic surgery is on the application and further development of minimally invasive surgical procedures (keyhole surgery). Video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS) has established itself as the standard procedure for a whole range of operations within just a few years. The advantages for patients who undergo keyhole surgery are obvious: early mobilization, significantly less pain after the operation, a short hospital stay and a very attractive cosmetic result.

At the University Hospital Basel, around 40% of thoracic surgical procedures are performed endoscopically, i.e. video-assisted.

In addition to the "classic" indications (e.g. pneumothorax, sympathectomy for excessive sweating), the Department of Thoracic Surgery, as a specialized center, also competently performs more complex procedures using minimally invasive techniques. Thymectomy (removal of the thymus gland, e.g. for myasthenia gravis), lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) for patients with terminal emphysema and thoracoscopic lobectomy (removal of a lobe of the lung) are just a few examples.

In addition to a number of benign, mostly inflammatory diseases and malformations (e.g. sequestration), early-stage lung cancer is also an established indication for thoracoscopic lobectomy. The operation is technically demanding, but can be performed with few complications in experienced hands. Our results to date are comparable with data from international reference centers. This with a very short hospitalization time of 4 days on average, excellent cosmetic results and a low need for painkillers postoperatively.

On this basis, we offer our patients thoracic surgery treatment options at the highest level.

We support, advise and treat cancer patients individually and according to the latest scientific findings. As part of our university mission, we are involved in teaching and research.

In our Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radiooncology, we offer you modern radiotherapy for malignant and benign diseases at a high medical and technical level. This includes the techniques of image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT/VMAT) and stereotactic radiation treatment for all tumor diseases. By working closely with all other oncological disciplines in diagnostics and therapy under one roof, we guarantee optimal interdisciplinary care for all patients.

We offer every form of percutaneous radiation treatment that can be carried out with modern linear accelerators:

  • 3-dimensional radiotherapy
  • intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT)
  • dynamic intensity-modulated radiotherapy (VMAT)
  • image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT)
  • Radiosurgery and stereotactic radiotherapy for malignant and benign tumors of the head and trunk of the body
  • Whole and half-body irradiation

We also offer

  • Radiotherapy with conventional X-ray therapy devices for
  • superficial tumors of the skin (e.g. basal cell carcinoma)
  • Arthrosis and arthritis
  • heel spurs
  • Scarring in the tendons of the palms of the hands and feet (Dupuytren's disease, Ledderhose's disease)
  • tennis elbow
  • Acute and chronic joint changes in rheumatic diseases

  • treatment using brachytherapy in the reloading procedure for gynaecological tumors and cancers of the bronchi and oesophagus

The focus is always on the individual consultation of each patient. In the detailed consultation and information sessions, we address the individual medical and social concerns of those affected. Due to our internal structure, these consultations can be held in German, English, French, Greek, Italian, Kurdish, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese at a high professional level. The educational talks are supported by detailed information brochures, some of which we have designed ourselves.

  • PET/CT (combination of positron emission tomography (PET) and computer tomography (CT) in one device)
  • Ventilation and perfusion scintigraphy
  • Pulmonary embolism diagnostics
  • SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) and SPECT/CT
  • Diagnostic use of radiopeptides, especially for neuroendocrine tumors

We offer the full range of diagnostic and therapeutic services of modern radiology and nuclear medicine, including minimally invasive interventional and endovascular procedures as well as radionuclide therapy. Our clinic is involved in the hospital's treatment centers and has several outposts. It is networked with the University of Basel in research and teaching. It is divided into four organ-specific departments as well as the Departments of Interventional Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, Radiological Physics and Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry.

  • Analysis of histological and cytological samples
  • Bronchoalveolar lavages (cell distribution, pathogen diagnostics, H/S quotient)
  • Rapid section - diagnostics during surgery
  • Wide range of immunohistochemical markers
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)
  • Predictive EGFR analyses (mutation analysis, FISH and immunohistochemistry)
  • KRAS mutation analysis
  • Laser microdissection methods
  • Reference pathology for clinical studies of the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK)
  • Cancer Research (SAKK)

The diagnostic spectrum of pathology includes the specialist areas of histopathology, neuro- and ophthalmopathology, cytopathology, molecular pathology and cytology as well as post-mortem diagnostics (autopsy). The Institute is also home to the Bone Tumor Reference Center and the Reference Center for Malignant Lymphomas.

Continuous further training of all employees, the use of the latest technology and constant monitoring of work processes guarantee the highest quality in all areas. Pathology USB is accredited by the Swiss Accreditation Service SAS.

Detect lung cancer early

The study on the early detection of lung cancer at the Lung Center of the University Hospital Basel is based on a study published in 2011, which was carried out on a risk group of 53,454 smokers. The patients were examined using either low-dose computed tomography (CT) or conventional chest X-ray. The group examined with low-dose CT showed a 20% lower mortality from bronchial carcinomas.
The Lung Center has adopted the inclusion criteria of the study and, in addition to early detection, offers a smoking cessation program that is open to all interested patients regardless of whether they register for low-dose CT. The following points characterize the offer as unique in Northwestern Switzerland:

  • optimal CT quality with minimal radiation exposure (approx. 1/5 of a normal CT)
  • state-of-the-art technology with double diagnosis by two specialists
  • clearly defined algorithms for pathological findings
  • Accompanying smoking cessation program with a high success rate
  • Interdisciplinary expertise at the lung center

Anyone who resolves to stop smoking has a good chance of successfully keeping their resolution with the Lung Center's smoking cessation program. Quitting smoking is not an easy path, but no one goes it alone in the University Hospital Basel's smoking cessation program. Personal, intensive support is part of the program. It increases patients' chances of sticking with it.