News

July 2024

15 years of oncological care at the highest level

In 2009, German Cancer Aid awarded the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center - University Cancer Center (UCC) Hamburg of the UKE the title of Oncological Center of Excellence for the first time. Since then, the UCC Hamburg has introduced new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well as a wide range of support and counseling services. In this interview, its Board of Directors takes a look back and into the future.

In addition to 15 years of outstanding oncological care at UCC Hamburg, 50 years of German Cancer Aid were also celebrated on Wednesday with 170 network and patient representatives. The First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, the Chairman of the Board of the German Cancer Aid Foundation Gerd Nettekoven and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and UKE Board Member Prof. Dr. Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro gave welcoming speeches. Another reason to celebrate: German Cancer Aid had announced immediately before the event that the UCC Hamburg would receive further follow-up funding totaling 2.2 million euros over a period of two years.

In an interview to mark the anniversary, the Board of Directors of the UCC Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel and Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, look back on the past 15 years, describe the special achievements of the Center of Excellence in Oncology and give an outlook on the future of cancer medicine at the site.

What exactly is an Oncology Center of Excellence and how does it differ from other cancer centers? What makes the Hamburg site special?

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer: The centers of excellence funded by German Cancer Aid have a particularly high level of patient care, cancer research and the establishment of structures to bring cutting-edge medicine to a wider audience. This includes excellence in cooperation between the various specialist disciplines, such as in the tumor boards, the creation of a central point of contact for tumor patients, programs for personalized medicine, accompanying treatment, aftercare and prevention of cancer. Oncological centers of excellence are characterized by a high level of research activity, which should directly benefit patients. Also of great importance is a large network with specialist colleagues in the surrounding clinics and practices, with whom it is jointly achieved that patients receive access to tailor-made care and innovative study concepts. In recent years, there has also been an increasing focus on involving patient representatives in the decision-making bodies of the centers of excellence and on programs that see patients as equal partners in cancer treatment. Within the network of centers of excellence, our UCC Hamburg focuses on the treatment of prostate cancer, among other things. But the UCC Hamburg also plays a leading role nationally and internationally in the field of blood stem cell transplantation, the treatment of certain types of blood and bone marrow cancer, childhood brain tumors, urogenital tumors and pancreatic cancer, as well as in psycho-oncology and palliative medicine.

What have patients at UCC Hamburg benefited from most over the past 15 years? What have been exemplary improvements in care?

Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel: Patients have benefited above all from the extensive and standardized cooperation between the various specialist disciplines. This is evident in the many tumor conferences held every day, in which more than 18,000 individual patient cases are discussed each year, but also, for example, in the central contact point, which offers numerous interdisciplinary consultation hours. Another major advance is the close integration of clinical and research work, particularly in the field of personalized cancer medicine. At the UCC Hamburg, we offer a wide range of clinical trials that enable patients to gain access to innovative forms of therapy even before approval. In addition, there are the diverse programs of our top center in the accompanying treatment of tumor therapies, with a focus on nutrition, sports or naturopathy - at the UCC Hamburg we have one of the few chairs for complementary medicine in Germany.

Which research findings from the UCC Hamburg were particularly groundbreaking and quickly translated into applications for patients?

Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm: To name just a few examples: At our UCC Hamburg, we have particular expertise in detecting invisible tumor components in the blood. This liquid biopsy method can enable us to treat patients in a more targeted manner. Our leukemia working group has also uncovered mechanisms that cause leukemia cells to grow or keep them alive. Drug trials are currently underway to implement the results obtained with the aim of improving treatment options. A UKE-led Germany-wide study on the treatment of multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer, has contributed to improvements in therapy worldwide. Molecular analyses of childhood brain tumors have also contributed to better classification and more targeted treatment of patients, thus improving the children's chances of recovery.

What is the Center doing to ensure that as many patients as possible can benefit from cutting-edge medicine in oncology?

Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel: The cooperation between our center and our partners in outpatient oncological care and in the surrounding clinics is one of the central tasks of our daily work. Together with our network partners, we develop the treatment guidelines for the various cancers, organize joint tumour conferences, jointly facilitate an even larger and better coordinated range of clinical studies, and organize training courses and events. Collaborations with specialist clinics such as the LungenClinic in Großhansdorf form the basis for ensuring that as many affected patients as possible have access to cutting-edge oncological medicine. But we also enjoy an excellent partnership with more than 40 specialist practices and surrounding hospitals. These collaborations in particular help to ensure that patients remain under the care of their doctors while still being able to access the services of a top center.

What are the most important topics for you in the next five years and can you briefly outline your plans for the UCC Hamburg?

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer: We see a great responsibility to make cutting-edge medicine even more widespread in northern Germany - the UCC Hamburg is the only center of excellence in northern Germany funded by German Cancer Aid. In order to achieve this goal, we have continuously built up an ever-closer partnership with the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein with its Kiel and Lübeck sites since 2019. Over the years, many collaborations and joint activities have developed; our goal is now to jointly form a Comprehensive Cancer Center consortium. Another important project will be the further expansion of personalized therapy and special immune and cell therapy. Many innovative approaches are currently being developed here, which we want to make available to affected patients as quickly and safely as possible. Last but not least, we want to further expand our services in the prevention of cancer. As crucial as modern therapy is in cutting-edge oncological medicine, the prevention of cancer and early detection with a rapid cure remain major goals.

Photo (from left to right): Gerd Nettekoven, Chairman of the Board of the German Cancer Aid Foundation; Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director UCC Hamburg, First Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Prof. Dr. Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro, Dean UKE ; Prof. Dr. Hartwig Huland, Board of Trustees Hubertus Wald Foundation; Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, Deputy Director UCC Hamburg; Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel, Deputy Director UCC Hamburg

Recorded: UKE, Andreas Sibler

To the UKE press release (DE)

Greetings First Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher

Greetings First Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher
Greetings Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer

Greetings Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer
First Mayor Dr. Tschentscher, Dean Prof. Dr. Schwappach-Pignataro, Prof. Dr. Weisel

First Mayor Dr. Tschentscher, Dean Prof. Dr. Schwappach-Pignataro, Prof. Dr. Weisel
  Prof. Dr. Weisel, Nettekoven, Prof. Dr. Bokemeyer, Dean Prof. Dr. Schwappach-Pignataro

Prof. Dr. Weisel, Nettekoven, Prof. Dr. Bokemeyer, Dean Prof. Dr. Schwappach-Pignataro
  Prof. Dr. Nikolas von Bubnoff, Director of the University Cancer Center S-H (UCCSH)

Prof. Dr. Nikolas von Bubnoff, Director of the University Cancer Center S-H (UCCSH)
Prof. Dr. Felix Hilpert, Mammazentrum Hamburg at Jerusalem Hospital Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Felix Hilpert, Mammazentrum Hamburg at Jerusalem Hospital Hamburg
  Susanne Quante, Commercial Managing Director LungenClinic Grosshansdorf

Susanne Quante, Commercial Managing Director LungenClinic Grosshansdorf
 New branding UCC Hamburg

New branding UCC Hamburg

June 2024

2nd Hamburg Patient Congress of Cancer Medicine 2024

Supportive therapies and participating lectures: On 28 and 29 June, the focus was on lifestyle issues, psycho-oncological and palliative options for patients and their relatives. As a special highlight, all lectures were presented by a tandem of experts and patient representatives.

The Patient Congress was organised thanks to the support of the German Cancer Aid Foundation together with the University Cancer Centre Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH), the state cancer associations of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein and KISS, the contact and information centre for self-help groups. 180 visitors on both days experienced a wide range of topics in the historic rooms of the Erika-Haus.

The presentations on Friday about the influence of nutrition and exercise on health were followed by a market of opportunities with stands offering exercise and nutritional programmes. Finally, the participants listened with interest to the presentation by the Hamburg Cancer Registry and the day ended with a summerly get-together for networking over a buffet.

The question "What else can I do?" concerns many patients during the course of their cancer and was the subject of the second day of the congress. In addition to a practical exercise on mindfulness, a panel discussion with relatives and the presentation of self-help group work, the BMS Immuno-Oncology Foundation's Relatives Award "At your side" was presented with a very moving laudatory speech.

In addition to the presentations, the congress offered numerous information stands that provided information about various support services and self-help groups. Visitors were able to put their physical fitness to the test and get advice on nutrition.

The workshops on yoga, men's health and complementary medicine were very popular. Due to the beautiful weather, some of these could even be held outside. In addition, guided tours provided an exclusive look behind the scenes at radiotherapy and research laboratories on the UKE campus and in the immediate vicinity at the Hamburg Cancer Society.

The insights of the patient representatives on the individual topics were praised by all participants as very enriching, as they enabled an exchange of shared experiences and first-hand accounts of personal healing journeys.

At the end of the 2 days of the congress, everyone was certain: next year we will definitely be back!

Partners of the 2nd Hamburg Patient:innenkongress (from left to right)
Avin Hell, Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer (UCCH), Franziska Holz (HKG e.V.), Prof. Dr. Anne Letsch (UCCSH)
Proud patient ambassadors of the 1st and 2nd series
Around 180 participants over 2 days enjoyed the extensive programme
Truly involved: Experts and patient ambassadors in a tandem presentation
Panel discussion on the relatives' perspective
Winner of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation Immuno-Oncology Honour Award "By Your Side"
Yoga workshop in the historic rooms of the Erika House
Workshop on complementary medicine in the garden

June 2024

News from research

Battle of the molecules: Stacking mechanism can render cancer proteins harmless

Researchers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Hamburg have discovered a molecular mechanism to render cancer-promoting molecules harmless. The focus here is on the unstructured RAI2 protein, which can fix the molecules of the important cancer-promoting protein group CtBP by stacking and thereby inactivating them. The researchers investigated this process, known as polymerisation, using cancer cell lines and tumour cell samples from over 100 patients with prostate cancer. The scientists have published the results of their study in the journal Nature Communications.

In the course of their study, the researchers investigated the question of why some forms of prostate cancer develop into certain highly aggressive subtypes. "The process of polymerisation could delay the progression of metastatic prostate cancer to therapy-resistant variants", says Dr Nishit Goradia, first author of the study from the Institute of Tumour Biology at the UKE. "Since the corresponding binding sites for the cancer-promoting proteins also occur in viral proteins, for example, the newly discovered molecular mechanism could also play an important role in other diseases", says Priv.-Doz. Dr Stefan Werner, also first author of the study from the Institute of Tumour Biology at the UKE.

"The project is an example of the outstanding synergy effects for Hamburg as a growing research metropolis in the collaboration between the UKE and research organisations such as the EMBL in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld", concluded Prof. Dr. Matthias Wilmanns, Director of the EMBL Hamburg, and Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, Director of the Institute of Tumour Biology at the UKE.

Literature: Goradia, Werner, Mullapudi et al. Master corepressor inactivation through multivalent SLiM-induced polymerization mediated by the oncogene suppressor RAI2. Nature Communications. 2024. DOI: doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-49488-3

June 2024

Water from all directions: The Onkopirates were back on the Outer Alster Lake!

Despite windy and rainy weather, the ActiveOncoKids were once again out and about on Hamburg's blue water. The guests of the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) set sail full of enthusiasm and learnt the basics of sailing.

On 15 June, former children and young people with cancer had the opportunity to experience a special day on the Outer Alster at the invitation of the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) foundation as part of the ActiveOncoKids - Zentrum Nord network. Despite the rainy weather, the young oncopirates did not miss out on their sailing adventure and began the day with an introduction to knots. A bowline, cleating a cleat and the stern knot are essential parts of the sailing craft, which all participants learnt with enthusiasm.

Fortunately, the rain let up after lunch, and it was time to get everyone on board! The NRV's dedicated youth coaches helped the children and young people to familiarise themselves with the boats. Each crew consisted of an experienced sailing coach who provided safety and support. This meant that sailing skills could also be further developed on board.

The aim of the ActiveOncoKids network is to work together to provide exercise programmes and appropriate sports support for children and young people with and after cancer.

Individual sports science counselling and exercise programmes during and after the end of treatment help patients to get back into physical activity, resume previous sporting activities (leisure, club and school sports) or discover new sports. The sports team at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) is available for this as part of an aftercare programme.

Fun with exercise, but also great group and nature experiences take centre stage and promote self-efficacy.

The sailing day on the Outer Alster Lake was a great experience for everyone involved, which gave them courage and joy. The Onkopirates proved that they are not only little heroes on land, but also on the water.

To make sure you don't miss any future events organised by the ActiveOncoKids Nord network, send an e-mail to s.elmers@uke.de with the subject "Subscribe to ActiveOncoKids Nord newsletter" and you will be regularly informed about the latest network topics.

Weitere Informationen:
ActiveOncoKids North network
North German Regatta Club
Clinic for Paediatric Haematology and Oncology
Support association of the Children's Cancer Centre Hamburg e.V

June 2024

„You'll never walk alone!" – HPV campaign day in Hamburg

On 8 June 2024, the HPV campaign day of "UTA - Unterwegs trotz alledem", a project of Kopf-Hals-MUND. e.V., took place in Hamburg. The participants hiked together to raise awareness of the dangers of the human papillomavirus (HPV), particularly in connection with head and neck cancers, and to emphasise the importance of the HPV vaccination.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a widespread virus that can infect the skin and mucous membranes of various parts of the body. Areas affected include the mouth, throat, anus, cervix, penis, vagina and vulva. There are many different types of HPV, some of which are carcinogenic.

The incidence of HPV-related head and neck tumours in particular is increasing worldwide, with an estimated 45,000 new cases of head and neck cancer caused by HPV infections every year. HPV vaccines provide almost 100% protection against infection with the HPV types contained in the vaccines.

Under the motto "You'll never walk alone!" as part of the campaign month organised by Kopf-Hals-MUND. e.V. under the project management of Gunthard Kissinger, the participants hiked through Hamburg together with a city guide. The group consisted of former patients, relatives, doctors and supporters.

The HPV campaign day is an initiative of the self-help network Kopf-Hals-M.U.N.D. Krebs e.V. in cooperation with the Hamburg Cancer Society (Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft (HKG)), the Medical Society for Health Promotion (Ärztlichen Gesellschaft zur Gesundheitsförderung e.V. (äggf)), the Dysplasia Centre Hamburg at Jerusalem Hospital and the University Cancer Centre Hamburg (UCCH) at Hamburg-Eppendorf University Hospital.

The start was at the Landungsbrücken with Hamburg's most beautiful view over the harbour. In sunny weather, we travelled up Helgoländer Allee, past the Bismarck Monument and the Dancing Towers, all the way to Heiligengeistfeld. Historical backgrounds were explained at several stops and culinary insider tips were exchanged. The route continued through the Karolinenviertel district to Schanzenpark, where, after about 4 kilometres, various information stands and a goal wall shooting competition awaited the participants and visitors in the park. The Haus of Engagement in Eifflerstraße was the venue for lunch and presentations by the experts.

Dr. Annekaren von Beckerath presented the Spike-Programme of the German Medical Association for Health Promotion (äggf) for parents, guardians and teachers. Prof. Linn Wölber, Head of the Dysplasia Unit at UCCH and Head of the Dysplasia Centre at Jerusalem Hospital, presented the current status of HPV-associated gynaecological tumours. Dr Henrike Zech, Senior Physician at the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic at the UKE, reported on the current status of HPV-associated ENT tumours.

An open discussion afterwards focussed on the question of how to increase the HPV vaccination rate in Hamburg and thus prevent cancer cases. The joint discussion showed how important it is to raise awareness of the topic and organise further prevention events. All in all, it was a successful day with sporting activities and interesting discussions.

The association Kopf-Hals-M.U.N.D.-Krebs e.V.
Event tips - Kopf-Hals-M.U.N.D.-Krebs e.V.
Spike-Programme of the German Medical Association for Health Promotion (Ärztlichen Gesellschaft zur Gesundheitsförderung e.V.) HPV vaccination: protection against cancer
Dysplasia Centre Hamburg at Jerusalem Hospital

Pictures: Laura Lehmann

June 2024

Wael Mansour new W2 Professor for DNA Repair Mechanisms as Target Structures for Systems and Radiotherapy of Tumour Diseases

The University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) is pleased to announce the appointment of PD Dr. rer. nat. Wael Yassin Mansour to the W2 bridge professorship for DNA repair mechanisms as target structures for systemic and radiotherapy of tumour diseases. Prof. Mansour took up his new position on 1 May 2024.

The W2 professorship is part of the programme of the Mildred-Scheel-Nachwuchszentrum (MSNZ) at the UKE and is funded by German Cancer Aid. The UKE is home to one of 5 MSNZs in Germany. Established in 2019, these junior research centres aim to offer long-term prospects for young scientists in academic oncological research.

The appointment of Prof Dr Mansour followed a competitive review and appointment procedure based on the Heisenberg funding programmes of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and included both internal and external reviews.

Prof Mansour's research in the bridging professorship will bring the Department of Radiotherapy/Department of Radiobiology and Experimental Radiotherapy and the II. Medical Clinic, Clinic and Polyclinic for Haematology and Oncology at the UKE. Prof Manour's interdisciplinary research field of DNA repair mechanisms plays a central role in the treatment of cancer. These mechanisms significantly influence the success of treatment, as tumour DNA and its repair are the targets of effective therapy in radiotherapy and many system therapies.

Prof Mansour's career to date includes studying biochemistry at the Universities of Alexandria and Ain Shams in Egypt. With a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), he came to Hamburg in 2004 to complete his doctoral thesis at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Hamburg. He completed his practical project work in the Department of Radiobiology and Experimental Radiotherapy at the UKE.

After a postdoctoral phase, first in Hamburg and then in Marburg, he returned to the UKE in 2012 and founded his own research group. In 2020, Prof Mansour and PD Dr Christoph Oing were awarded a partner laboratory grant at the Hamburg MSNZ. Their joint project "DNA repair, hypoxia and genomic instability in metastatic prostate cancer (DRAGOON)" led to numerous publications and significant research results.

In future, Prof. Mansour plans to establish an exchange programme for young researchers between Hamburg and Newcastle and to further expand the preclinical platform for personalised oncology.

The UCCH congratulates him on his appointment.

Links:

Mildred Scheel Cancer Career Center Hamburg

Deutsche Krebshilfe

Gruppenfoto auf dem Amateurrasen
Blick in das Fussballstaion des FC St. Pauli
Mann mit T-Shirt von Hinten auf einem Fußballplatz
Detailaufnahme von Aufkleber des FC St. Pauli im Stadion

June 2024

#ActiveOncoKids as a guest of Hamburg's first division club FC St. Pauli

On 5 June 2024, the #ActiveOncoKids experienced a very special day at the Millerntor stadium on Feldstrasse. The traditional football club St. Pauli once again opened its doors to former children and young people with cancer for an afternoon of football with training, a tour of the stadium and an autograph session.

Under the guidance of two coaches from "FC St. Pauli Rabauken" (FC St. Paulis youth division), the participants in aftercare or retention therapy, aged 5-17, were able to improve their football skills. At the beginning, former professional footballer Jan-Philipp "Schnecke" Kalla took time for the kids to answer questions, take photos and sign autographs. Kalla, known for his long active career and close ties to FC St. Pauli, inspired the children with professional tips for their own football future: it is important not to commit to a position on the pitch too early.

In addition to the sporting programme, there was an exclusive stadium tour, during which the participants were taken up to the highest seats. Here, where the press usually broadcasts the football matches, they were able to enjoy an impressive view of the 29, 546-seat stadium.

Walking on the sacred turf at the Millerntor stadium is generally not permitted, but now the green needs extra care due to the confetti left over from the recent promotion celebrations. Instead, it was possible to sit in the players' dressing rooms on the edge of the pitch and take a look inside the changing rooms of the professional players.

The day offered former paediatric oncology patients from the University Cancer Centre Hamburg (UCCH) at the UKE a valuable opportunity to strengthen their motor skills through dexterity and mobility exercises. These activities, which were specially tailored to the needs of the young participants, not only promoted their physical fitness, but also their team spirit and enjoyment of exercise in the fresh air. In addition to a certificate of participation, they also received a sports bag with a water bottle as a souvenir of the football day at the Millerntor stadium.

This year, the ActiveOncoKids Nord network in Hamburg, Kiel and Lübeck will continue with its usual sporting activities: on 15 June 2024 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., children and young people can try out sailing on Hamburg's Outer Alster lake at the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein. On 28 September from 10:00 to 13:00, they can try out therapeutic riding at the Demeter Hof am Stüffel. Please register by e-mail to s.elmers@uke.de .

The offer is made possible by the support association Children's Cancer Centre Hamburg e.V. (Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V.), among others.

Links:
Network ActiveOncoKids North
Clinic for Paediatric Haematology and Oncology
Support association Children's Cancer Centre Hamburg e.V. (Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V.)

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Marianne Sinn
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Marianne Sinn

June 2024

Cancer aftercare:
Launch of the German Cancer Survivors Week 2024
Questions for... Priv.-Doz. Dr Marianne Sinn

Around five million people in Germany are living with or after cancer. On the occasion of German Cancer Survivors Week, which starts on 4 June as an initiative of the German Cancer Foundation and the state cancer societies, Priv.-Doz. Dr Marianne Sinn, Senior Physician at the University Cancer Centre Hamburg (UCCH) at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), explains what is important for patients during aftercare.

Who is considered a cancer survivor?

Priv.-Doz. Dr Marianne Sinn: The term "cancer survivor" or "cancer survivorship" is not strictly defined. It generally refers to patients who have completed treatment and are considered to be cured of the disease.

What happens after cancer treatment for the patients?

This depends very much on the type of tumour disease. Patients usually receive further outpatient care, for example in the outpatient clinics at the UCCH of the UKE or at its cooperation partners such as oncological specialist practices, clinics or other centres. Depending on their illness, patients have to see the doctors treating them approximately every three to six months. However, this can also be the family doctor. For young adults with cancer, we have a special consultation service at UCCH.

What exactly does aftercare mean in oncology?

Tumour aftercare is a comprehensive term. On the one hand, it refers to recognising recurrences, i.e. relapses, but also to the fact that those affected may have many other questions and problems. This includes, for example, various long-term side effects. At the same time, aftercare is there to discuss lifestyle issues such as a healthy diet and sufficient exercise with patients as part of secondary prevention. In summary, this refers to all measures that prevent cancer from recurring.

What are the most common (long-term) side effects that patients have to deal with after cancer treatment?

Many patients report psychological problems, anxiety and depression. But there are also social problems: Returning to work can be just as much an issue as financial worries. Some patients have to deal with gastrointestinal complaints, loss of smell and taste or even sensory disorders in the hands and feet, known as polyneuropathy. Depending on the previous treatment, organ damage can also occur.

What aftercare services are available at UCCH?

A special "Life after cancer" consultation has been offered at UCCH for over ten years. Our focus is on young adults (18-39 years) who have been diagnosed with cancer. However, the consultation is generally open to everyone. We are currently launching a new aftercare programme for people over 60, which was developed together with patient representatives.

Depending on the respective symptoms, there are various programmes tailored specifically to cancer survivors, for example in relation to nutrition and exercise therapy. It is important to know that the services and the entire aftercare process are not firmly standardised in Germany. Therefore, there should always be consultation and counselling with the treating physicians.

There are also other counselling services, for example at the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. We also recommend that patients and, where appropriate, their relatives join a self-help group.

Further information:

Aftercare consultation at UCCH

Picture: UKE

Ein Mann mit dunklen kurzen Haaren lächelt
Priv.-Doz. Dr. David Krug

June 2024

New Medical Director of the Outpatient Center of the UKE

Priv.-Doz. Dr. David Krug (38) takes over as Medical Director of the UKE Outpatient Center at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and Head of the Department of Radiotherapy. The radiotherapy specialist will succeed Prof. Dr. Andreas Krüll, who is retiring on June 1. In addition, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Krug will take over as Deputy Director of the Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology at the UKE.

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Krug was most recently Deputy Clinic Director of the Clinic for Radiotherapy at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, as well as Head of the Saphir Radiosurgery Center Northern Germany. His clinical focus is on radiotherapy for breast cancer and high-precision radiotherapy for benign and malignant diseases. Born in Heidelberg, he is also active in national and international expert commissions on breast cancer and coordinates the updating of the radiotherapy chapter in the S3 guideline commission on breast cancer.

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Krug studied medicine at the University of Lübeck, where he obtained his doctorate in 2013. He completed his residency in radiation oncology and radiotherapy at Heidelberg University Hospital, where he also became a senior physician in 2017. One year later, he moved to the Department of Radiotherapy at the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel as a senior physician. His habilitation followed in 2022 at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. Priv.-Doz. Dr. Krug is married and has four sons aged between one and ten.

Photo: UKE

May 2024

"Really nice on the outside - really toxic on the inside" isis the motto of World No Tobacco Day 2024

World No Tobacco Day takes place every year on May 31. This year, German Cancer Aid is drawing particular attention to the health risks of e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are available in many flavors and are attractively advertised via social media, especially among young people. Although the sweet taste seems harmless, e-cigarettes contain nicotine and harmful substances that pose a significant health risk, including impaired brain development, cardiovascular and lung diseases and carcinogenic substances. Despite these risks, the popularity of e-cigarettes is growing rapidly, especially among young people in Germany. Almost a quarter of 14 to 17-year-olds have already tried e-cigarettes in 2023. German Cancer Aid is therefore warning against trivializing these products, and not just in the context of the campaign day.

The University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) runs the "Non-smoking is cool" program, sponsored by the Hamburg Cancer Society (HKG), which has been aimed at preventing schoolchildren from starting to smoke for years. As part of a lecture, doctors from the UKE explain the addictive nature of smoking in a child-friendly way. Over 100,000 schoolchildren in Hamburg have already taken part in the education and prevention program.

There is also a stop-smoking program for active cancer patients. It is important to stop patients from smoking even if they have been diagnosed, because even this is still effective. This can improve blood circulation in the body.

Image: German Cancer Society

May 2024

Presentation of the Wilhelm Warner Prize to Prof. Özlem Türeci and Prof. Rita Schmutzler

As part of this year's Wilhelm Warner Prize ceremony, two outstanding personalities in German cancer research were welcomed on May 3, 2024 in the Fritz Schumacher lecture hall at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). The prizes for 2021 and 2023 were presented at a ceremony.

Every year, the Wilhelm Warner Prize is awarded to renowned scientists in the field of cancer research. The foundation goes back to the Hamburg restaurateur Wilhelm Warner, who died of cancer in 1960, and was established in Hamburg in 1961.
Prof. Özlem Türeci, BioNTech SE and Helmholtz Institute for Translational Oncology Mainz (HI-TRON Mainz), received the award for 2021 in recognition of her work in the field of immunotherapeutic treatment of cancer using mRNA immunization. For a long time, mRNA technology was considered more of a niche, with the challenge that it was not clinically applicable on a large scale. Only the coronavirus pandemic and the development of the "Comirnaty" vaccine in cooperation with Pfizer created the economic basis for making the technology usable for patients in oncology. Ms. Türeci's immense perseverance and resilience make her a great role model for many young researchers.

Prof. Rita Schmutzler, University Hospital Cologne (UK Cologne) and National Center for Familial Tumor Diseases (NZeT), is the winner of the 2023 award. She received the award for her life's work in the field of research and care for familial, genetic breast and ovarian cancer. At the beginning of her research career in the 1990s, she was also said to be working on a niche topic. Today it is known that many cancers can have genetic and therefore hereditary causes. Ms. Schmutzler is working on the detection of genetic causes in breast and ovarian cancer and, above all, on the question of how to classify the results of genetic screens. In addition, risk-adapted prevention of cancer within a family has been established as a benefit of statutory health insurance. Ms Schmutzler has been Director of the Center for Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer since 2014 and Director of the NZeT at the Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO) at the University of Cologne since 2015.

In the run-up to the event, both prizewinners were available to the fellows of the Mildred Scheel Center for Young Researchers (MSNZ) at UCCH for a small and personal exchange. This offer was accepted with great enthusiasm and left a lasting impression on the young researchers. Both researchers impressively demonstrate the importance of basic research, even in marginal topics, and the opportunities that can arise for the future.

We warmly congratulate the prizewinners.

Photo (from left to right): Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Rita Schmutzler, Prof. Özlem Türeci, Carl-Jan von der Goltz and Diana von der Goltz (from left to right).

Shot: Inga Melzer

Symbol image

May 2024

News from research

Glioblastoma: New method for determining prognosis identified

An international research consortium led by the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) has identified a new method to more accurately predict the prognosis of patients with glioblastoma. To this end, the researchers identified a new so-called epigenetically-defined neural signature of glioblastomas, i.e. a form of genetic-neural fingerprint that is directly linked to the patient's prognosis. The scientists' findings could help to develop personalized treatment approaches for patients with poorer prognoses. The researchers have published the results of the study in the journal Nature Medicine.

Glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in adults. As part of the study, the scientists differentiated signatures of tumor cells that have either a low or high similarity to neural cells such as nerve cells. Tumors with high similarity to neural cells, called high-neural glioblastomas, have certain characteristics that are associated with a poorer prognosis: These cells can establish connections between nerve cells and the tumor, drive tumor growth and thus appear to be more difficult to treat. "Patients with this type of tumor often do not have a good prognosis. It is likely that highly neural glioblastomas require a different therapeutic approach to ensure the best possible outcome for patients - our results provide an important basis for this," says study leader Priv.-Doz. Dr. Franz Ricklefs, Clinic and Polyclinic for Neurosurgery at the UKE.

Literatur: Drexler, Khatri et al. A prognostic neural epigenetic signature in high-grade glioma. Nature Medicine. 2024. DOI: doi.org/10.1038/s41591-024-02969-w

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Two scientists - Mrs Struve and Mr Mynarek
Dr. Nina Struve and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Martin Mynarek

May 2024

Radiobiological research at the UKE receives 1.2 million euros

For the development of new therapies for malignant brain tumours in children: For the first time, an interdisciplinary research network from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the University Medical Center Essen has received funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for the radiobiological principles of the treatment of medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumour in children. The joint project ‘NeuStaRT’ aims to develop new targeted and innovative therapy concepts to improve the prognosis of medulloblastoma patients in the long term. The BMBF is funding the research network with a total of 1.8 million euros, with the UKE receiving 1.2 million euros.

The joint project NeuStaRT (New innovative strategies for radiosensitising medulloblastomas) aims to develop personalised therapies on a molecular basis that contribute to increasing the radiosensitivity of medulloblastomas. The aim is to increase the effectiveness of radiotherapy and reduce the risk of late effects in patients. Medulloblastoma is the most common highly malignant brain tumour in children. Even though the prognosis has improved significantly in recent years thanks to new treatment options, medulloblastoma survivors often suffer from significant late effects due to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In addition to changes in the hormone balance and the development of secondary tumours, these include neurocognitive deficits in particular.

"Our aim is to increase the survival rates of patients with medulloblastoma and at the same time minimise the late effects of the therapy. Personalised molecular targeting approaches can make an important contribution to this", says Dr Nina Struve, Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology at the UKE. Dr Struve leads the project together with Priv.-Doz. Dr Martin Mynarek, Clinic and Polyclinic for Paediatric Haematology and Oncology at the UKE, and Priv.-Doz. Dr Johann Matschke from the University Hospital Essen. Dr Struve and Priv.-Doz. Dr Mynarek are also part of the Mildred Scheel Junior Research Centre (MSNZ) Hamburg at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) of the UKE and have jointly headed an MSNZ partner laboratory funded by German Cancer Aid since 2021.

"A major challenge in establishing innovative targeting strategies for the treatment of medulloblastoma is the timely implementation in clinical trials. The interdisciplinary team of the NeuStaRT joint project brings together partners with diverse expertise and research approaches with the long-term goal of making the knowledge gained usable for patients with medulloblastoma", says Priv.-Doz. Dr Martin Mynarek.

Intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy

Every year, around 2,000 children in Germany are diagnosed with cancer. Brain tumours are the second most common cancer after leukaemia and the most common cause of cancer-related death in children. The standard treatment for medulloblastomas includes surgery on the tumour as well as intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Radiotherapy involves the entire brain and spinal cord in order to treat metastases in the cerebrospinal fluid spaces of the brain and spinal cord that are difficult or impossible to recognise by prophylactic radiotherapy of the entire central nervous system.

The interdisciplinary research network receives funding from the BMBF as part of the German government's 7th Energy Research Programme in nuclear safety research and radiation research in order to strengthen the promotion of young scientists and maintain expertise in radiation research.

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May 2024

News from research

What role do personality traits play in cancer prevention?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), up to 50 percent of all cancers are preventable. Early detection examinations are covered by health insurance in many countries - but the participation rate in Germany is still relatively low. A research team led by Prof Dr André Hajek from the Institute of Health Economics and Health Services Research at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) has investigated the role that personality traits play in cancer screening. The scientists analysed survey data from 132,298 participants with an average age of 53 years from the population-based NAKO cohort study to find out which cancer screening examinations they had attended in the past five years and which personality traits they assigned to themselves. The aim of the study was to use this data to investigate the connection between personality factors and the utilisation of screening. The scientists have published their findings in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports.

The researchers found that more extroverted, more neurotic and conscientious people were more likely to attend cancer screenings. ‘We hypothesise that the higher level of positive emotions in this group of people reduces anxiety that may be associated with screening. What was surprising was that people who describe themselves as generally curious and open to experiences attended fewer screenings,’ reports Prof Hajek. Among other things, these results can contribute to a better understanding of non-participation in cancer screenings from a psychological perspective and to adapting cancer screening programmes more specifically to this target group.

Literature: Hajek et al. Personality and the use of cancer screenings - Results of the German National Cohort. Preventive Medicine Reports. 2024. DOI: doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2024.102677

To the UKE press release

Dr. Matthias Serwe (Consultant, DKH), Dr. Inga Melzer (Scientific Coordinator, MSNZ), Prof. Dr. Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro (Dean, UKE), Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer (Spokesperson, MSNZ, Director, UCCH) (from left to right)
Photo of the event
MSNZ Fellows 2020-2024
MSNZ Fellows 2020-2024
New MSNZ Fellows Group 2024/2025
New MSNZ Fellows Group 2024/2025

April 2024

5 years of MSNZ career development at the UCCH

Tailor-made support for postdoctoral scientists and doctors paves the way for sustainable career development in science. The Mildred Scheel Nachwuchszentrum Hamburg (MSNZ) of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) has been doing this very successfully for 5 years with numerous offers - a reason to celebrate and an occasion to look back.

Developing research ideas, interdisciplinary collaboration, mastering everyday clinical practice and continuing their education: the demands on young scientists are numerous and varied. The MSNZ Hamburg, which has been funded by German Cancer Aid since 2019, aims to provide clinicians and scientists with long-term support in planning and building a scientific career in cancer research through start-up and structural funding, thus ensuring that highly qualified specialists remain in academic research in the long term. In addition, alternative career paths are identified and inter-institutional networks are strengthened.

There are 5 funding locations throughout Germany. In Hamburg (HaTriCS4: Hamburg Translational Research in Cancer: Stimulating, Shaping and Sustaining Scientific Careers), the focus is on "Dissemination and Metastasis".

The MSNZ offers various funding opportunities: in interdisciplinary partner laboratories, clinicians and scientists work together on various aspects of a common research topic; short-term funding for clinicians enables, for example the start-up of new projects or completion of applications and publications (6-12 months, 50% leave of absence); protected research periods of two to three years (CS) and funding for the inter-institutional networking of natural scientists (MS) in northern Germany offer the opportunity to build up their own research profile and thus qualify for a professorship or other advanced position. Within the funding programs, there are regular networking events, training courses and workshops with external speakers to train skills that are necessary for leading positions in science, networking, science communication or positioning in the field.

Particularly noteworthy are the support options in the context of parental leave, as these make it possible for researchers to reconcile work and family life.

5 years of MSNZ in figures:

  • 24 Short-Term CS Fellowships
  • 18 Long-Term Fellowships
  • 3 Interdisciplinary partner laboratories (CS & MS)
  • 8 Funding for joint research projects between the UCCH and the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)
  • 10 Subsidies to support parental leave
  • 1 W2 Professorship
  • 1 Appointment to a W1 professorship
  • 2 Promotions to senior physician positions
  • 7 Successful specialist examinations
  • 4 Fixed-term employment contracts
  • 5 Successfully completed habilitations
  • > 450 Publications with the participation of MSNZ Fellows
  • > 3 Mio € Funding acquired by the MSNZ Fellows

"It makes me very proud that we have such a successful career development project at UCCH and are thus both setting the course for successful scientific careers in oncology and making a significant contribution to the best possible care for our patients of tomorrow," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, spokesperson for the MSNZ and Director of UCCH.

Click here to visit the MSNZ website
Click here to visit the German Cancer Aid website

Pictures: Axel Kirchhof, Laura Lehmann

Dr. Matthias Serwe (Consultant, DKH), Dr. Inga Melzer (Scientific Coordinator, MSNZ), Prof. Dr. Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro (Dean, UKE), Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer (Spokesperson MSNZ, Director UCCH) (from left to right)

Training for the senses
Smell and taste training at home

April 2024

Smell and taste training for side effects at home

When the sense of smell and taste changes, it can be very stressful and this is a side effect that many cancer patients are confronted with. In the video for at home, our nutritionist Raika Mühlberg explains which exercises help to improve sensory impressions.

The training can be done comfortably at home with just a few ingredients, and can also be done together with your partner, family or friends. Regular exercise is important for success.

Nutritional counseling can also be helpful in dealing with side effects and lead to an improvement in quality of life. You can contact the UCCH nutrition team at ucch-ernaehrung@uke.de at any time.

Click here to watch the video.

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April 2024

Martini-Klinik: 20 years of robot-assisted prostate cancer operations

Questions for...Prof Dr Alexander Haese

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men: around 66,000 men are diagnosed with the disease every year in Germany alone. The Martini-Klinik at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) specialises in the treatment of prostate cancer and is a leader in the surgical removal of tumours using robot-assisted surgical systems, which have been in use for 20 years. Prof Dr Alexander Haese, Head Physician at the Martini Clinic, explains the advantages of this method for patients and how the new da Vinci single-port surgical system works.

Diagnosis of prostate cancer: when does treatment need to be started?

Prof Dr Alexander Haese: Prostate cancer is treated depending on its stage. In cases recognised at a very early stage, active monitoring is initially sufficient. We observe how quickly it develops and then, depending on how the tumour develops over time, initiate appropriate treatment. Localised tumours that require treatment can be completely removed by surgery. Alternatively, radiotherapy in various forms can also be a possible treatment option. In the case of an advanced tumour or a tumour that has already metastasised, the aim is to keep the tumour under control for as long as possible with a combination of medication and, if necessary, local therapy. This often works for years, sometimes for ten years or more.

What surgical options are available for malignant tumours?

There are two options for the surgical treatment of prostate cancer: the tumour can be removed using the classic incision approach (radical retropubic prostatectomy) or with the help of the robot-assisted surgical technique. Both procedures aim to remove the entire prostate with the seminal vesicles and any lymph nodes in order to rid the patient of the tumour.

The Martini Clinic has been using surgical robots for 20 years, why?

Surgical robots are the future of surgery for certain indications, especially for radical prostatectomy. The precision and accuracy of operations in the narrow male pelvic cavity, combined with tenfold magnification and maximum manoeuvrability in the smallest of spaces, which even experienced surgeons cannot achieve using the open approach, is what makes the robot-assisted surgical technique so successful. This leads to significantly gentler and less complicated operations with the aim of long-term tumour healing.

What are the advantages of the new da Vinci single-port surgical system?

The new single-port operating system, which we have used for the first time in Europe at the Martini Clinic, offers further advantages in addition to the familiar benefits of robotics, such as a tenfold enlargement of the operating field, scalability of hand movements and tremor-free hands of the surgeons. Instead of the usual six access points, which we distribute in a semicircle around the navel to reach the prostate, the operation is now performed via a single incision just below the navel, which is around two and a half centimetres long. This enables a high-quality operation with less pain and surgical trauma, faster mobilisation and convalescence for the patient.

What problems can occur after prostate surgery?

After prostate surgery, the usual problems that are possible with any operation can occur, such as bleeding, pain and wound healing problems. Specific to prostate surgery, however, are the possible changes in continence (ability to hold urine) and erectile function. It is therefore important that such operations are performed by experts who specialise in this type of surgery.

What happens after the operation?

Aftercare following prostate surgery is provided by both the referring urologist and the Martini Clinic. We monitor the healing process and the patient's quality of life by regularly sending them questionnaires on topics such as healing, continence, erectile function and any complications and analysing them. Based on our quality measurements and our experience with over 40,000 treated patients, we can offer the most suitable therapy for each individual patient.

What are the chances of recovery after removal of the tumour?

The probability of a long-term cure depends heavily on the stage of the tumour. Under ideal conditions, if the tumour is detected and operated on at an early stage and proves to be localised, the patient can expect an 80 to 90 percent chance of long-term recovery.

To the video Asked?! - Prostate cancer diagnosis: When does treatment need to be started?
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Illustration DESY

March 2024

New imaging method at PETRA III enables deeper insights into the composition of tumour samples in breast cancer

Researchers at the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Chalmers University in Sweden, the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland and the University Cancer Centre Hamburg (UCCH) at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) have jointly succeeded in developing a state-of-the-art multimodal imaging approach that significantly improves the examination of breast cancer tissue.

The interdisciplinary team has now published a study showing that a new imaging approach at PETRA III enables more information to be obtained on the characterisation of tumour samples. With more detailed information about the tissue of a tumour, it is easier to decide which treatment approaches are most effective.

Using this technique, researchers can simultaneously extract information about the nanostructure of the tumour and quantify the chemical elements present in a millimetre-sized sample in all three dimensions. A unique combination of research capabilities at PETRA III, one of the brightest storage ring X-ray sources in the world, and new analytical methods enables this high level of detail. Conventional experimental models often fall short because they rely on 2D cell cultures or animal models that do not fully reproduce the complex physiological patterns of human tumour environments.

Prof. Volkmar Müller, MD, Coordinator of the Breast Centre at UCCH, emphasises the importance of understanding the 3D architecture of the tumour microenvironment. Where the tumour is located in the patient's tissue and how it is embedded is a key to the development of further novel therapeutic approaches to interrupt the metastasis mechanism. One of the most striking features is collagen in the immediate vicinity and the concentration of iron and zinc.PD Dr Malte Mohme, Senior Consultant in Neurosurgery at the UKE and Head of CNS Tumour Immunology, explains: "The work of Conceicao et al. underlines the crucial role of metastasis in neuro-oncology, with a focus on the systemic spread of breast cancer. Through the use of advanced multimodal X-ray computed tomography, the study shows how changes in the extracellular matrix, particularly through zinc and iron accumulation, could influence metastasis.Insights into matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and collagen orientation provide a new understanding of cancer cell migration and brain tumour homing, a complex, multistep process in which cells travel to a tumour from a distance. This knowledge is crucial for neuro-oncology as it opens up avenues for targeted therapies to interrupt metastatic processes. The results emphasise the importance of the detailed composition of the extracellular matrix in understanding metastases, potentially leading to improved outcomes for patients with brain metastases."

Dr Sylvio Haas, Beamline Manager of the PETRA III Beamline P62, emphasises the unique experimental setup with small-angle X-ray scattering tensor tomography (SAXS-TT) and X-ray fluorescence computed tomography (XRF-CT). Higher resolution images will be possible in the future, especially with PETRA IV, the upgrade of PETRA III. In combination with machine learning, this offers the potential to speed up data acquisition and improve the 3D reconstruction process of tumour samples.

This research not only advances the understanding of breast cancer metastasis, but also emphasises the relevance of developing new therapeutic strategies in neurosurgical oncology.

Photo: DESY

Link to the publication
To the DESY NEWS

Picture of a Presentation
Presentation of the applications at the Dorint Hot
Picture of the event
Presentation of the applications at the Dorint Hot

March 2024

CONNECT Funding 2025 - Project funding for early career researchers in Kiel, Lübeck and Hamburg

Joint cross-location and interdisciplinary research: As part of the CONNECT initiative, four grants worth €50,000 each were awarded to teams of young scientists.

In August 2023, the "AG Early Career Scientists NORD" - a joint initiative of the University Cancer Centres Hamburg (UCCH) and Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH) and the Mildred Scheel Nachwuchszentrum Hamburg (MSNZ Hamburg) in Hamburg - hosted the 1st NORD Early Career Summit (NECSt) in Hamburg. Under the guidance of an experienced trainer, the event offered early career researchers from Hamburg, Kiel and Lübeck a platform to exchange ideas, develop joint ideas for oncological research projects and take the first steps towards submitting a joint application. These outlines could then be submitted as short, elaborated applications for review as part of the second call for proposals for CONNECT (Cooperative NORD-Networking for Early Career Teams) funding. The funds to be awarded for this are kindly provided by the Mildred Scheel Centre for Young Researchers/Deutsche Krebshilfe and the UCCSH.

The short proposals submitted by the teams of doctoral students, postdoctoral bioscientists, physicians and research group leaders were evaluated by four independent reviewers. The evaluation criteria included:

  • "Innovation" - Does the project represent a new and innovative idea that has not been pursued before?
  • "Potential" - What is the potential of the project for follow-up studies and funding?
  • "Quality" - What is the level of excellence of the proposed research project?
  • "Feasibility" - How realistic is the realisation of the proposed project within the given timeframe?
  • "Added value" - How well do the partner sites complement each other or utilise shared cross-site resources (biobank, technologies, etc.)? A special focus was placed on a possible overall strategic benefit for the joint network of both Cancer Centres.

The following four applications were successful in the review process and were selected for funding from 13 applications submitted, all of which were of high quality in terms of content:

1. Dr rer. nat. Subbaiah Chary Nimmagadda / Dr med. Theo Leitner ; AG Khandanpour, Dept. for Haematology and Oncology, UKSH, Campus Lübeck and Dr med. Franziska Brauneck/ Dr med. Franziska Modemann; AG Acute Leukemia, Dept. of Oncology, Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, UKE: "Therapeutic exploitation of GFI1-induced vulnerabilities in macrophage phagocytosis for immunotherapeutic strategies in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)."

2. Dr rer. nat. Corinna Bang, Head of Microbiome Laboratory (IKMB, Kiel), Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel/ UKSH, Campus Kiel and Dr Joseph Tintelnot, Dept. of Oncology, Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, UKE: "MEGA-Response: Microbiota-based Response Prediction in Esophago Gastro Adenocarcinoma to Chemoimmunotherapy."

3. Dr Svenja Sonntag, Department of Ophthalmology, UKSH, Lübeck Campus/ Dr Eva Dazert-Klebsattel, Department of Haematology and Oncology, UKSH, Lübeck Campus and Dr Julian Kött, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, UKE/ Dr Isabel Heidrich, Department of Dermatology and Venereology & Institute of Tumour Biology, UKE: "Clarification of the multi-OMICS landscape of uveal melanoma for early detection". med. Isabel Heidrich, Department of Dermatology and Venereology & Institute of Tumour Biology, UKE: Elucidation of the multi-OMICS landscape of uveal melanoma for early detection and metastasis prevention".

4. M. Sc. Annika Brauer, Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, UKSH, Campus Kiel and Dr Christine Sophia Nitschke, Clinic for General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery, UKE/Dr. rer. biol. hum. Ayham Moustafa, Laboratory of Radiobiology and Experimental Radiotherapy/Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Section, UKE: "Identifying the appropriate organoid-based culture system for drug testing in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma".

A special feature of this year's call for proposals was that doctoral students were also eligible to apply, provided that the second (or third) partner in the team already had a doctorate. The projects will start on 1 March 2024 and run for a period of 12 months.

The projects funded in 2023 will be presented online in the NORD Seminar on 28 May 2024 and 11 June 2024, both at 5 pm. In summer 2024, the CONNECT call for proposals will be issued for the third time, then for the 2025 project year.

We congratulate the selected project teams and wish them much success with their research project!

Photo: Inga Melzer

UCCH Research
Mildred Scheel Cancer Career Center Hamburg
German Cancer Aid

February 2024

Nanobody research at the UKE to develop new cancer therapies receives 2.1 million euros

Researchers at the University Cancer Center (UCCH) at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO) at the University Medical Center Bonn (UKB) want to establish a national innovation center for drug development in order to bring new cancer drugs to the clinic. Specifically, the focus is on nanobody-based tumor therapy and diagnostics. Nanobodies are antibody fragments and are seen as a beacon of hope in the development of anti-cancer drugs. The THUNDER research project is being funded with around 4.2 million euros by German Cancer Aid as part of the Preclinical Drug Development funding program, of which the UKE is receiving around 2.1 million euros.

"Despite enormous progress in diagnostics and therapy, many cancers still cannot be cured. This results in an urgent need to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics. Nanobodies represent an innovative basis for new immunotherapeutics," says Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel, project leader and deputy director of the II. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic of the UKE. Due to their small size, nanobodies penetrate deep into the tissue and also reach tumors with poor blood supply. They are also highly soluble and can be easily combined and modified, which facilitates the development of innovative immunotherapeutics.

"At the moment, monoclonal antibodies are still mainly used in immunotherapy. They mark the cancer cells so that the immune system knows which cells to attack. However, this method is not suitable for every type of cancer. This is where we want to help with nanobodies, which are ten times smaller. They also bind to very specific molecules on the surface of tumor cells and mark them," says co-project leader Prof. Dr. Friedrich Koch-Nolte from the Institute of Immunology at the UKE.

"We will combine several nanobodies, each of which recognizes different tumour antigens, to form so-called dimers or trimers and thus prevent the tumors from escaping the immune system. The binding sites of the tumor cells sometimes change slightly and if the 'simple' nanobodies can no longer dock, the dimers and trimers are still able to effectively attack the tumor. We also want to couple the nanobodies with contrast agents so that even the smallest tumors or metastases can be detected and treated with the help of non-invasive imaging," says co-project leader Prof. Dr. Peter Bannas, Deputy Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the UKE.

Initially, the interdisciplinary THUNDER team wants to develop nanobodies against eight target molecules for various prototype tumors. The application and development of the most promising nanobody candidates will be investigated in previously harvested patient cells, organoid cultures and established tumor models. The transfer to clinical trials will be continuously planned during the nanobody development phase.

THUNDER builds on the success of a pilot project at the Institute of Immunology and the Clinic and Polyclinic for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the UKE. Antibodies for therapy concepts and imaging have already been produced there for several years. The resulting nanobodies are now being used for the THUNDER project, which the UKE researchers are carrying out together with the UKB team led by Prof. Dr. Michael Hölzel and Prof. Florian I. Schmidt.

UKE press release


Porträt von DR. Hartmut Zinke in Schwarz/Weiß

February 2024

Obituary: We mourn the loss of

Dr. Hartmut Zinke

Dr. Hartmut Zinke passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on February 9 at the age of 61.

Dr. Zinke had been a specialist in radiotherapy since 2008 and had worked at the UKE GmbH Outpatient Centre since April 1, 2009. He moved to us from the joint practice for radiotherapy at Bremen-Mitte Hospital. His clinical interests focused in particular on the radiotherapy treatment of lung cancer. He was a member of the core team of the Thorax Board of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH); this activity was very important to him and he carried it out with noticeable enthusiasm. Dr. Zinke was very committed professionally and was always willing to take on additional duties. He carried out important preparatory work for the facility's annual certifications and evaluated numerous medical records.

Outside of the clinic, music played a major role. Before becoming a doctor, he had trained professionally as a singer. His favorite musical styles included funk and soul. He was also a gifted dancer and particularly loved the tango, which he wanted to perfect even further with his wife Rosemarie. Another of his passions was surfing the highest waves possible. He always had to take his surfboard with him when he traveled, even if it was often very difficult. In recent years, he discovered his love for France and traveled there every year with his family. He was also attached to his old convertible, which he cherished and looked after.

We are deeply saddened by his sudden death. Our sympathy and heartfelt condolences go especially to his family. Together with his wife and his eight-year-old son, Dr. Hartmut Zinke was very happy; they provided him with the security he needed in his, occasionally hectic, everyday life. We wish them much strength and will support them whenever possible with any problems that may arise.

February 2024

News from research

Malignant melanoma: UKE involved in pivotal trial for personalized vaccination therapy

The University Skin Tumor Center at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) is one of the first centers worldwide and the first center in Germany to participate in a phase III approval study for a personalized mRNA vaccine therapy against malignant melanoma. As part of the so-called individualized neoantigen therapy, patients receive an individual mRNA vaccine in parallel with immunotherapy for a total of one year. A total of 1,089 patients with metastatic or high-risk melanoma will take part in the ongoing global study; in addition to the UKE, around 100 study centers are involved. If the evaluation is successful, approval of the vaccination therapy could be expected from 2025. The final results of the study are expected to be published in 2029.

As part of individualized neoantigen therapy, individual tumor mutations are identified for each patient using DNA sequencing of a tissue sample. The most important sequences for an immune response form the basis for the mRNA vaccine, which is administered to patients in parallel with antibody therapy over the course of a year. In the previous phase II trial, patients who received a corresponding combined therapy showed a 66 percent lower risk of recurrence of melanoma in the form of distant metastases compared to the control group. "The study results so far make us optimistic that individualized neoantigen therapy could make an important contribution to the goal of preventing the recurrence of melanoma disease and thus enabling a cure," says Prof. Dr. Christoffer Gebhardt, Head of the University Skin Tumor Center at the UKE.

Literature on the phase II study: Weber, Carlino, Khattak et al. Individualized neoantigen therapy mRNA-4157 (V940) plus pembrolizumab versus pembrolizumab monotherapy in resected melanoma (KEYNOTE-942): a randomized, phase 2b study. The Lancet. 2024 (online ahead of print). DOI: doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(23)02268-7

Contact for further inquiries: Prof. Dr. Christoffer Gebhardt, Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Venereology

To the UKE press release

Breast cancer: A healthier lifestyle can have a positive effect on the course of the disease

A healthier lifestyle can have a positive effect on breast cancer survival rates. In a study conducted jointly with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), researchers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) found that recommendations for cancer prevention also show positive effects even if breast cancer has already been diagnosed. Healthy lifestyle factors include abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, a healthy diet, sufficient physical activity and a healthy body weight. "Our message to all patients is therefore: it pays off in years of life to pay attention to a healthy lifestyle - even after a breast cancer diagnosis," says lead author Dr. Kathleen Gali Lo Conte from the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) at the UKE. The scientists have published their research findings in the journal Cancer.

The study analyzed data from the so-called MARIE study with more than 10,000 participants, which was originally conducted to determine possible risk factors for the development of breast cancer after the menopause. For post-menopausal patients, the researchers were now able to determine that there were significantly fewer deaths in the group with the healthiest lifestyle according to the recommendations of the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) during the follow-up than among the participants who had followed the WCRF recommendations the least. This applied both to overall mortality and to the proportion of deaths attributable to cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Literature: Gali, Orban, Ozga et al. Does breast cancer modify the long-term relationship between lifestyle behaviors and mortality? A prospective analysis of breast cancer survivors and population-based control. Cancer. 2023. DOI: doi.org/10.1002/cncr.35104

Contact for further inquiries: Prof. Dr. Jenny Chang-Claude , University Cancer Center Hamburg

Grand opening of the family counseling center
Grand opening of the family counseling center

February 2024

International Children's Cancer Day: New counseling service from the UKE

More than 2,000 children and young people in Germany are diagnosed with cancer every year.When a child or parent is diagnosed with cancer, this has an impact on their entire family life.The University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) has therefore set up a psychosocial counselling service for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer and their families.On the occasion of International Children's Cancer Day on February 15, Priv.-Doz.Dr. Gabriele Escherich, Senior Physician at the Clinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at the UKE, will provide information about the newly created service.

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Gabriele Escherich: Cancer is a radical change in family life. If a parent or child is diagnosed with cancer, everything changes from one day to the next: hospital stays, examinations and doctors' appointments suddenly determine the family's everyday life; work or school must be interrupted and social law issues must be clarified. Parents who are ill may want to protect their children from this stressful situation, but children often sense a change in mood. Families find themselves in an exceptional situation that is accompanied by enormous psychosocial challenges.

Why was the counseling center set up?

Children, young people and families are affected by physical, social or psychological consequences both during and after treatment, regardless of how long ago the illness occurred. Psychosocial aftercare is therefore an essential part of holistic care in the treatment of cancer. For this reason, the counseling center for families with a family member suffering from cancer was set up in Hamburg. Those affected can make use of the outpatient service free of charge and without a referral from a doctor.

What services are available at the advice center?

We see ourselves as advisors and companions, supporting those affected in coming to terms with and coping with their illness, in family communication or in parenting issues. We also provide support with social law issues, for example with application procedures for rehabilitation, but also with organizing a return to school, training or studies. We act as a guide and refer people to further services close to home and are well networked with the various survivorship projects at UCCH. Counseling can take place in person on site, but also by telephone, email or video call. Psycho-oncologists and social workers work at the counseling center. Who is the service aimed at and how can those affected benefit? In principle, our counseling center is available to those affected as well as people from their environment: children and young adults who are ill or in aftercare, parents, siblings, other family members, but also teachers or educators. The cancer counseling center is intended to offer a point of contact and prevent psychological, physical and social consequences. It is intended to support those seeking advice with psychosocial stress and offer concrete practical support with social law issues.

The counseling center is located outside the UKE campus at Falkenried 88, 20246 Hamburg (House C, 1st floor). More information is available at: uke.de/familienkrebsberatung (DE)

To the UKE press release (DE).

Photos: Laura Lehmann

February 2024

Awarding of the Dr. Martini Prize 2024 for outstanding medical research work

Germany's oldest medical prize was awarded today to the three scientists Dr. Joseph Tintelnot, Dr. Britta Zecher and Dr. Nico Gagelmann from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE).The awards, endowed with a total of 10,000 euros, were presented by Science Senator Katharina Fegebank and Prof. Dr. Ansgar W. Lohse, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dr. Martini Foundation and Director of the I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic of the UKE.

The first prize goes to Dr. Joseph Tintelnot, II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic, for his research work on understanding and overcoming therapy resistance in gastrointestinal tumor diseases. Dr. Britta Zecher from the I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic receives the second prize for her research work on a mechanism of immune cell activation in the rare liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). The third prize goes to Dr. Nico Gagelmann, Interdisciplinary Clinic and Polyclinic for Stem Cell Transplantation, for his research work on the molecular and personalized characterization of myelofibrosis in the context of allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

"By promoting young medical talent, we are shaping the medicine of the future. The three projects awarded the Dr. Martini Prize this year make significant contributions to research into cancer, liver and bone marrow diseases. The award-winning young scientists show us impressively how cutting-edge research at the UKE contributes every day to further sharpening our understanding of disease progression, diagnostics and therapy. In doing so, they make a lasting contribution to strengthening medical care far beyond Hamburg's borders. I would like to thank the prizewinners for their important work and congratulate them on this well-deserved award," says Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research, Equality and Districts. "It is a great pleasure to be able to honor our young scientists with the oldest medical prize in Germany. A prize that was founded in 1880 by medical colleagues and Hamburg merchants and which highlights and rewards the excellent research spirit and commitment of our three young scientists this year. A big thank you also goes to the donor of the prize money for the Dr. Martini Prize 2024, Eva-Maria Greve, for her generous support," says Prof. Dr. Ansgar W. Lohse, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dr. Martini Foundation and Director of the I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic of the UKE.

First prize for new research approach in the treatment of pancreatic cancer

Dr. Joseph Tintelnot was able to demonstrate a link between a metabolite (metabolite, indole-3-acetic acid) produced by intestinal bacteria and the response to chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer. Among other things, he found that this changes the metabolic function of tumor cells. This metabolic change halted the growth of tumor cells during therapy. He was also able to prove in preclinical models that the metabolic product can be influenced by dietary changes, thus improving the response to therapy. These results may contribute to a renewal of the research focus in order to develop new therapeutic approaches for pancreatic cancer.

Second prize for research into immune cell activation in the rare liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC)

Dr. Britta Zecher has decoded a mechanism that can lead to the development of the disease in patients with PSC. As part of her research, she discovered a new risk gene variant for the previously poorly understood development of this rare liver disease. People who carry this gene variant have an increased risk of activating immune cells as natural killer cells and, as a result, of chronic inflammatory reactions. A better understanding of how immune cells influence the course of PSC could contribute to the development of innovative therapeutic approaches for PSC.

Third prize for the molecular and personalized characterization of myelofibrosis in the context of allogeneic stem cell transplantation

Dr. Nico Gagelmann's four scientific papers deal with risk factors and therapeutic options for allogeneic stem cell transplantation as the only treatment option to date for patients with the rare bone marrow disease myelofibrosis. Based on data from a large international study, he was able to show for the first time that individual genetic changes have a significant influence on the prognosis after a stem cell transplant. On this basis, the intensity of the preparatory conditioning therapy and the aftercare following a stem cell transplant could be adapted according to the individual molecular genetics of the patient. In particular, this could help to minimize the risk of relapse of the disease.

Visionary support for young medical talent since 1880

The Dr. Martini Foundation was established in 1880 by friends and colleagues of the surgeon Dr. Erich Martini, who died in the same year. The Dr. Martini Prize - Germany's oldest medical prize - is endowed with 10,000 euros by the Helmut and Hannelore Greve Hamburg Foundation for Science, Development and Culture and is awarded annually.

Photo: (front, from left) Eva-Maria Greve, Dr. Nico Gagelmann, Dr. Britta Zecher, Dr. Joseph Tintelnot, Wolfgang Peter Greve, (back) Science Senator Katharina Fegebank and Prof. Dr. Ansgar W. Lohse

To the UKE press release (DE)

February 2024

UCCH cooperates with Beiersdorf AG on cancer prevention

Beiersdorf AG organized the Cancer Prevention Week for its employees on the occasion of World Cancer Day.In the Expert Panel, UCCH representatives offered on-site information on all aspects of cancer and are now cooperating to set up a consultation hour to identify Beiersdorf employees with a genetic predisposition to cancer.

Cancer prevention and early detection are central tasks of an Oncology Center of Excellence. A new concept has now been developed in cooperation with Beiersdorf AG - the UCCH is now supporting the company with cancer-related issues. Beiersdorf AG has been very committed to the medical care of its employees for many years. The company medical team, led by Dr. Jörg Busam (Occupational Medicine, Internal Medicine) and Nina Davison (Oncology / Haematology with further training in Occupational Medicine), takes care of employees' concerns in a direct and uncomplicated manner.

On World Cancer Day 2023, Beiersdorf was one of the founding partners of the #WorkingwithCancerPledge. This year, the plan was implemented and Beiersdorf presented the Global Critical Illness Policy: A policy that defines minimum standards for all employees worldwide and supports colleagues if they or a close relative are diagnosed with cancer or another life-threatening illness. This was accompanied by a week of cancer prevention offers and information on the topic for employees at the company's Hamburg headquarters.

Rebecca Goßmann, Head of Wellbeing and organizer of the week: "Throughout the week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., we released the screening offers in cooperation with DAK Gesundheitskasse for bowel cancer, testicular cancer, breast cancer and skin cancer screening for booking in 10-minute slots. The first offers were fully booked within 10 minutes. That really exceeded our expectations."

GOOD FOR ME - this is the name of Beiersdorf's internal program in which health management in the areas of medical, social and wellbeing is communicated to employees in a positive and motivating way. A new feature is the oncology consultation hour - Nina Davison, who previously worked at the UKE's Center for Oncology, will offer advice for affected colleagues as well as a service to identify employees with a possible genetic predisposition to cancer.

One of the central components is a questionnaire on hereditary cancers. In cooperation with the UCCH, further diagnostics and tailored surveillance will then be developed together with oncologists and human geneticists under the direction of PD Dr. Andreas Block - the success of this project will be evaluated jointly.

Photo: (courtesy of Beiersdorf AG / Henriette Pogoda) from left: Prof. Dr. Matthias Rostock, Prof. Dr. Isabelle Scholl, Rebecca Goßmann, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Andreas Block, Dr. Jörg Busam

February 2024

New Year's reception for Patient support groups

42 patient support and patient organizations cooperate with the UCCH on various levels.On the occasion of World Cancer Day, the tradition of New Year's receptions was resumed in order to exchange ideas in person after the long corona period.

A full house at the New Year's reception for patient support groups and patient organizations at the UCCH on 5 February: not only patient representatives, but also medical and therapeutic colleagues were happy to network.

After the welcome by Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel on behalf of the Board of Directors, the discussion began immediately - under the topic "What's on your mind right now?", the representatives reported on their current experiences, e.g. on addressing people with a migrant background who are ill, on the points of contact with newly ill patients, e.g. at information afternoons, on the different needs of those seeking advice and on the role of relatives.

Heide Lakemann from Frauenselbsthilfe Krebs e.V., who, together with Jürgen Martens from the Hamburg multiple myeloma patient support group, is the spokesperson for the patient support groups, spoke of her desire to found a cross-disease group for cancer patients with metastasis at the UKE.

Petra Diekneite from KISS Hamburg was not the only one to be pleased about the news that a new patient support group for sarcoma sufferers will soon be set up by the German Sarcoma Foundation in Hamburg for the whole of northern Germany.

The coordinator team for the patient support network at UCCH Avin Hell and PD Dr. Andreas Block also announced a new series of events - at the "Roof Top Get Together", which will take place quarterly, they will invite all participants to join them. After all, patient involvement depends on a cultural change among all those involved and this starts with getting to know each other.

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer said in his welcoming address at the New Year's reception: "We are very pleased about the lively participation of patients at our New Year's reception and around World Cancer Day. The University Cancer Center is currently in the process of reapplying for an extension of the award as a Top Oncology Center in Germany. This will further strengthen the center's important focal points, such as intensive collaboration with patients, clinical and translational studies, cancer research and, above all, interdisciplinary care.

The collaboration with patients at various levels within the UCCH, be it through patient support groups, at training courses, on the UCCH Board and on the Patient Advisory Board, helps us immensely to actively develop the Cancer Center in its many facets and to align research and care even better with the needs of our patients."

February 2024

FC St. Pauli visits the children's cancer center

More than 13,500 euros were raised from the donations at the FC St. Pauli Advent Calendar 2023.Professional footballers Marcel Hartel and Elias Saad have now presented this donation check to the Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V. and then visited children at the UKE Cancer Center.

In December, the FC St. Pauli Rabauken called for participation in the interactive Advent calendar 2023, with more than 1,400 Rabauken taking part. Not only were there exciting surprises waiting for them, such as signed jerseys, participation as a run-in child or fan articles, but there was also the opportunity to support the Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V. with donations.

Thanks to the great commitment of the members, the two Rabauken-Club sponsors Marcel Hartel and Elias Saad were able to hand over a donation check in the amount of 13,540 euros to the Fördergemeinschaft at the beginning of February. The non-profit association has been creating the conditions for optimal patient care at the Children's Cancer Center Hamburg since 1975 and enables targeted research into childhood cancer. The donations collected from the Rabauken-Club Advent calendar are used for sports therapy for patients on the ward, in the outpatient clinic or after treatment has been completed, which has been financed by the support association since 2020.

After the symbolic handover of the donation, the Rabauken Club sponsors made children's eyes light up with joy and provided some unforgettable moments: they visited patients in aftercare and on the ward, who were delighted to interact with the players. Many questions were answered, autographs handed out, footballs signed, photos taken and lots of laughter!

The FC St. Pauli Rabauken would like to take this opportunity to thank all participants of the Advent calendar who supported the Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V. with their generous donations. If you would like to find out more about the work of the Fördergemeinschaft and support it with a donation, you can find all the relevant information on the organization's website .

Click here for the video of the donation handover -> Surprise for the UKE: Elias Saad and Marcel Hartel hand over donation check to children with cancer

Photo: Ronald Frommann (from left: Natalie von Borcke, Elias Saad, Marcel Hartel, PD Dr. Gabriele Escherich, Simon Elmers and the children of the Children's Cancer Center)

Asked ?! - Video for world cancer day (DE)

February 2024

World Cancer Day: Personalized medicine in oncology

More than 500,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Germany every year.Thanks to continuous research, major advances have been made in the treatment of many types of cancer in recent years.Personalized cancer medicine in particular is playing an increasingly important role: on the occasion of the 24th World Cancer Day on 4 February, Priv.-Doz.Dr. Maximilian Christopeit, Senior Physician at the Center for Oncology at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), explains what is meant by personalized medicine in oncology and how it benefits patients.

What is personalized medicine in oncology?

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Maximilian Christopeit: Basically, every cancer treatment is personalized. All therapies are based on the specific characteristics of the tumor disease. Factors such as the patient's age and concomitant diseases also have an influence on all - and therefore individualized - treatment recommendations. Personalized medicine in the narrower sense, however, describes the particularly in-depth, molecular analysis of the individual tumour. A specific therapy is derived from this if standard therapy options have been exhausted or extremely rare tumor diseases are present. For example, personalized therapy is standard for metastatic lung cancer, one of the most common cancers, where so-called driver mutations are often found.

How does personalized cancer medicine work?

Tailor-made cancer therapy is based, among other things, on molecular-genetic examinations of tumor tissue or tumor cells found in the blood. In contrast to healthy cells, these cancer cells often exhibit changes in the genetic material - the DNA. These lead to the activation of signaling pathways in the tumor cells that promote their growth. There are now many drugs that can specifically inhibit these signaling pathways activated in tumor cells in a targeted manner. As a result, therapy is becoming increasingly personalized. This is because a different, specific drug is effective against each change in the patient's tumor tissue. This approach is already fully established in the treatment of lung cancer in particular and is becoming increasingly important for many other tumor diseases as new findings are made. Today, we find such targetable molecular changes in the tumor cells of around 15 to 20 percent of all patients.

Which methods are used?

The method that has revolutionized diagnostics is the so-called deep sequencing of tumour DNA (next generation sequencing). Today, such analyses can be carried out more and more broadly and precisely, up to the examination of the complete genetic material (so-called whole genome sequencing). The resulting huge amount of information must be interpreted jointly by clinical oncologists, molecular pathologists and bioinfomatologists in a molecular tumor board. The experts then make appropriate therapy recommendations. The therapies used in personalized cancer medicine often involve long-term therapies with tablets and sometimes also infusions with antibodies against so-called surface antennae of cancer cells or to activate the body's own immune cells.

Where can patients find appropriate services?

We offer personalized cancer medicine as a certified Center for Personalized Medicine-Oncology (ZPM-Oncology) at our cancer center, the UCCH, in collaboration with our network partners in clinics and practices in order to give many patients access to this new form of therapy. We are also working on this important topic as part of two national networks - the German Network for Personalized Medicine (DNPM) and the National Network for Genomic Medicine in Lung Cancer (nNGM) - in order to ensure and help shape the transfer of knowledge and knowledge gain in this innovative field.

To the UKE press release (DE)
Click here for the "Ausgefragt?!" video (DE)

Feierliche Preisverleihung
Award ceremony for Prof. Dr. Inge Marie Svane
with members of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation
Lecture by the award winner
on the development of immunotherapy
Meet & Greet
with young scientists from the MSNZ
Musikalische Untermalung mit Studierenden der Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg
Background music
with students of the Hamburg University of Music and Drama

January 2024

Cancer researcher Prof. Dr. Inge Marie Svane receives Hubertus Wald Prize for Oncology

Cancer researcher Prof. Dr. Inge Marie Svane, University Hospital Copenhagen, has been awarded the Hubertus Wald Prize for Oncology 2023 for her many years of commitment and outstanding achievements in the field of tumor immunotherapy. The prize is endowed with 10,000 euros and is awarded every two years by the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH).

"In the treatment of malignant melanoma, or malignant melanoma, immunotherapies have proven to be a decisive medical advance in recent years. The targeted strategy of activating the body's own immune cells, known as T lymphocytes, against cancer cells has great potential to improve therapy even further and is also highly relevant for the treatment of other types of tumors. Professor Svane is a leader in this field and has made a decisive contribution to this development with her scientific and medical research. Some of her studies have also been carried out in cooperation with colleagues in dermatooncology at the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center. We warmly congratulate Professor Svane on this award," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center of the UCCH and the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic of the UKE.

Prof. Svane is head of the National Center for Cancer Immune Therapy (CCIT-DK) at the University Hospital in Copenhagen. In the course of her diverse clinical and research work, she has been the initiator of many European studies that have led to improved immunotherapeutic treatment strategies for patients with skin cancer.

The Hubertus Wald Tumor Center is significantly supported by the Hubertus Wald Foundation. In addition to awarding research prizes, the foundation focuses on the clinical care of people with cancer. The Hanseatic entrepreneur Hubertus Wald (1903-2005) and his wife Renate had dedicated themselves to the promotion of culture and medicine for decades; the Hubertus Wald Foundation emerged from this in 1993.

UKE press release

Photo: Avin Hell, Laura Lehmann

Prof. Neumann, Prof. Otto and Dr. Molwitz (from left to right)

December 2023

Werner Otto Prize 2023 for new possibilities in the treatment of childhood brain tumors

The Werner Otto Prize 2023 for outstanding medical achievements in basic and clinical research was awarded to Prof. Dr. Julia Neumann and Dr. Isabel Molwitz.

Prof. Dr. Neumann, Senior Physician at the Institute of Neuropathology and Head of Junior Research at the Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH), was honoured for her pioneering work in the field of malignant brain tumors in children. This research provides new insights into the pathogenesis and molecular phenotype, which can lead to improved therapeutic approaches.

Dr. Molwitz, a specialist in radiology at the UKE, received the award for the development of new imaging biomarkers that enable early detection of reduced muscle status.

The award was presented at a ceremony hosted by Prof. Dr. Michael Otto, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Otto Group. Prof. Dr. Otto emphasized the important role of medical excellence and the promotion of comprehensive research, especially against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic.

The Werner Otto Prize is awarded every two years and recognizes commitment to new treatment options in medicine. The prize is endowed with prize money of 10,000 euros.

Wir gratulieren den beiden Preisträger:innen herzlichen zu dieser Auszeichnung und wünschen viel Erfolg für das weitere Forschungsvorhaben.

Further information:
Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH)
Werner Otto Foundation

Photo: Werner Otto Foundation

November 2023

World Pancreatic Cancer Day: early diagnosis is crucial

Pancreatic cancer is one of the third most common tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. In Germany, almost 17,100 people are diagnosed with it every year. The motto of this year's World Pancreatic Cancer Day on November 16 is "Hello Pancreas!" and aims to highlight the importance of early diagnosis. Prof. Dr. Thilo Hackert, Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), explains what diagnostic and therapeutic options are available.

What function does the pancreas perform in the human body?

Prof. Dr. Thilo Hackert: The pancreas is one of the central metabolic organs in our body. It produces many fluids that are crucial for the digestion of fats, proteins and sugar, for example. The pancreas also has a very important hormonal function, as it produces insulin, the central hormone for blood sugar regulation in our body.

What are the common diseases of the pancreas?

Inflammation of the pancreas is called pancreatitis, and a distinction is made between acute and chronic pancreatitis. Excessive alcohol consumption often plays a role here. In addition to inflammatory diseases, there is also pancreatic carcinoma, i.e. pancreatic cancer. This malignant tumor disease is unfortunately on the increase and is one of the third most common tumors of the gastrointestinal tract.

How does pancreatic cancer develop?

The risk factors that can lead to pancreatic cancer have not yet been conclusively clarified. However, we do know that smoking and high alcohol consumption increase the risk. Pancreatic cancer can develop due to chronic inflammation, so patients with chronic pancreatitis have an increased risk. Pancreatic cancer is also rarely hereditary. If there is a family history of pancreatic cancer, appropriate preventive examinations should be carried out under certain circumstances.

What are the symptoms?

The tricky thing about the disease is that there are often no symptoms or they are very unspecific. Symptoms can include fatigue, weight loss and back pain. In rare cases, pancreatic cancer can manifest itself very early through jaundice or digestive disorders.

What treatment options are available?

Pancreatic cancer is a serious disease, but treatment has improved greatly over the last 20 years. Surgical removal of the tumor can be performed on around 20 percent of patients at the time of diagnosis. In the case of advanced tumors, chemotherapy may be necessary before surgery. The latter may also be necessary if the tumor is growing aggressively or the patient's condition does not allow direct surgery.

News from research

This year, two major international research projects on the early detection and monitoring of residual tumor disease were launched. Both research projects are led by Prof. Dr. Claus Pantel, Director of the Institute of Tumor Biology at the UKE.

In the PANCAID ("PANcreatic CAncer Initial Detection via Liquid Biopsy") project, which is funded by the EU until 2027, the scientists involved want to collect blood samples from patients with pancreatic cancer as well as from healthy individuals and those with an increased risk of developing the disease. Computer analyses and artificial intelligence will be used to identify the key cellular markers responsible for the development of pancreatic cancer.

The project "GUIDE.MRD - GUIDing multi-modal thErapies against Minimal Residual Disease by liquid biopsies" will receive a total of around 17.6 million euros in EU funding over a period of five years. The consortium aims to collect reliable data on the use of liquid biopsies for the detection of minimal residual oncological disease. Minimal residual disease (MRD) can be the starting point for cancer metastases occurring at a later stage.

Hörsaalbild
16.11. GIST - Opening
Prof. Casrten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH
Fritz Schumacher Lecture Hall
MRI images to visualize the disease
with Dr. Lennart Well, Radiology
17.11. Sarkom - Eröffnung
PD Dr. Anna Duprée, Head of the Sarcoma Center at UCCH
Morphology and pattern recognition of sarcomas
Role of pathology with PD Dr. Andreas Lübke

November 2023

Kick-off of the German Sarcoma Foundation's road tour: two patient afternoons on GIST and sarcoma in Hamburg

On 16.11.2023 and 17.11.2023, everything revolved around sarcomas, a very rare form of cancer that can occur in many different forms. The German Sarcoma Foundation started its Germany-wide road tour at the UKE with two patient afternoons, held jointly with the UCCH Sarcoma Center.

Sarcomas, malignant soft tissue and connective tissue tumors, can develop anywhere in the body and, with around 2000 new cases every year in Germany, are among the rarer forms of cancer. Moreover, the manifestations are very different. This makes interdisciplinary cooperation in the treatment of patients and a comprehensive range of information to provide support during and after treatment all the more important. The German Sarcoma Foundation is committed to improving the situation for sarcoma patients in Germany in the long term.

The events offered participants a unique opportunity to share their personal experiences and ask questions directly to experts. Intense discussions about treatment recommendations, the latest medications and improving quality of life characterized both days of the event. Representatives of the German Sarcoma Foundation and experts from the UKE and the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH) were on site.

A central focus of the speakers was on the interdisciplinary cooperation between different medical fields and the patient's journey through the hospital, from the first symptoms to treatment. The presentations covered various therapeutic approaches, including surgery, radiotherapy and drug therapies.

Particular highlights were the insights into the work of plastic surgery and the central role of pathology. While pathology brings together all the information needed to diagnose and classify over 100 types of sarcoma, plastic surgery offers highly complex solutions to improve quality of life after tumor removal.

Both events were supported by the active participation of all visitors, who challenged the experts with their questions. A complete success that underlines the importance of knowledge transfer and joint exchange in oncological care.

Further information:
German Sarcoma Foundation
Sarcoma Center at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH)
Interdisciplinary sarcoma consultation at the UCCH

Photo: Laura Lehmann

November 2023

5th Cancer Careers Day: Careers in science communication

Following on from the last event, the 5th Cancer Careers Day once again focused on the topic of science communication. This time, the online event organized by the Mildred Scheel Center for Young Scientists Hamburg (MSNZ), the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) and the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH) focused on job profiles and possible career paths.

Journalism, science publishing or communication for research clusters and consortia - the career paths and opportunities are diverse. On November 10, 2023, four experts were guests to report on their paths from "traditional" research into fields of work in science communication. They gave insights into the "how tos" and "pitfalls" of their career paths.

Dr. Andreas Mehdorn (Thieme Group), Dr. Theresa Schredelseker (Fuel Cell Center ZBT and University of Duisburg-Essen), Dr. Claudia Taubenheim (Coordinator KFO CATCH-ALL, UKSH Kiel, Medical Writer & Coach in Training) and Dr. Christina Bernd (Süddeutsche Zeitung, freelance author) were invited as guests.

In the panel discussion, the participants had the opportunity to ask the speakers questions. The central questions here were about incentives for entering the field of professional science communication and the necessary skills and any further specialist training required. The guests all agreed that a love of science in combination with a passion for questioning and explaining things is what makes them unique. In contrast to science itself, which likes to go into detail, the strength of communicators lies in generalization and a "broad view" of topics, said Christina Berndt in the interview. In addition to a second degree in journalism, entry opportunities are traditionally offered through internships/volunteering at newspapers, publishing houses, radio or television; however, it is good to have a small portfolio of your own work samples when applying for such jobs. Such initial text and media samples can be acquired, for example, by writing your own blog, creating your own podcast or small review articles for magazines. Voluntary work as an editor for scientific journals is also a good way to get started.

The highs and lows of working at WissKom were also discussed; one advantage, according to Claudia Taubenheim, is of course the flexible choice of work location, especially if you have family responsibilities. The exchange with many different people can also be very enriching and expand your own network in a meaningful way. On the negative side, depending on the employer (or even as a self-employed person), there could be a lower income or greater financial insecurity. In general, however, the demand for competent communicators is currently on the rise, especially in the context of larger research networks, so that there is certainly an attractive alternative field of work for people with a research background.

The "Cancer Careers Day" event series provides an overview of career opportunities within and outside the academic world and takes place twice a calendar year. In discussions and interviews with experts from a wide range of fields, from classic (but also unconventional) "university jobs" to the pharmaceutical industry to communications, law, PR and others, participants gain an insight into what all these careers actually look like and what skills are required to be successful.

Further information:
Mildred Scheel Cancer Career Center Hamburg

Photo: Pexels

Palliative medicine research network meeting at th
Lecture Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle
Palliative medicine research network meeting at th
Integrative exchange on future research questions

November 2023

Annual palliative medicine research network meeting at the UKE - back in person for the first time

On November 9, 2023, almost 30 participants met for the annual palliative care research network meeting at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) - finally in person again. It was a successful meeting of palliative and hospice care providers in the greater Hamburg area and palliative medicine researchers at the UKE.

Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle, Head of Palliative Medicine at the UKE, reported on the three major research projects currently underway involving relatives: ScreenAng (funded by German Cancer Aid (DKH)), CCC-PalliAng (funded by the Hamburg Cancer Society (HKG)) and ImTeamAng, including the current status of collaborations and recruitment in each of these projects. The current palliative medicine research team at the UKE now consists of 17 people, who are currently actively supported by 12 medical doctoral students.

The research network meeting was also used to reassess the questions formulated when the network was founded in 2017 in light of the research findings to date and to formulate future questions on this basis.

In addition, Dr. Aneta Schieferdecker, senior physician and researcher, presented the initial results of the Innovation Fund-funded study on improving end-of-life care in hospitals (Stik-OV). It showed that there is a great need to improve end-of-life care in hospitals on hospital wards that do not specialize in palliative care. The results also suggest that it is possible to develop suitable measures to improve end-of-life care using the bottom-up principle in multi-professional working groups on the individual wards. The extent to which these are effective is currently being evaluated on a multimodal basis.

Dipl.-Soz. Anneke Ullrich, lead researcher, presented various "flashes of results" from the various relatives research projects currently being evaluated or published. These included the needs of relatives during the illness of the loved one as well as in the mourning phase after their death.

All in all, it was a successful research network meeting with a high level of active participation and trend-setting results for future research development.

Further information: Palliative medicine at the UKE

Photo: Nikolas Oubaid (picture 1), Karin Oechsle (picture 2)

Handing over the keys to the new Martini Clinic

November 2023

Ceremonial handover of the keys to the Martini-Klinik

On Wednesday, November 8, in the presence of Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research, Equality and Districts, the ceremonial handover of the keys to the new Martini Clinic of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) took place. After around four years of construction, the seven-storey prostate cancer center with a gross floor area of 17,000 square meters and 100 beds spread over four wards has been structurally completed.

This marks another milestone on the way to commissioning: clinical operations are scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2024 once the medical equipment has been installed. The Martini Clinic will then be able to treat even more patients with prostate cancer, from early diagnosis through to advanced stages of the disease.

Around 200 guests accepted the invitation to the ceremonial handover of the keys, including three former patients, guests from politics, the companies involved in the construction and numerous employees of the Martini-Klinik and the UKE. Prof. Dr. Markus Graefen, Medical Director of the Martini-Klinik and Prof. Dr. Hans Heinzer, Deputy Medical Director of the Martini-Klinik, accepted the symbolic key to the new clinic building from Senator Katharina Fegebank, Prof. Dr. Christian Gerloff, Medical Director and Chairman of the Board of the UKE, and Feridun Bircan, Managing Director of KFE Klinik Facility-Management Eppendorf of the UKE.

"The Martini-Klinik is the world's number one in the treatment and research of prostate cancer. At the same time, it is a mainstay of healthcare here at the UKE. I am delighted that cutting-edge medicine now has a new home at the Martini Clinic - with the best treatment options and the latest technology. A good day for Hamburg as a center of science and medicine. And a good day for all patients who come from all over the world to be treated here," says Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research, Equality and Districts.

"The treatment of prostate cancer has developed rapidly over the past three decades, and the Martini-Klinik has played a major part in this: with its pioneering medicine and caring care as well as innovative surgical and treatment concepts. The new building now provides the basis for the further development of this medical excellence and is also associated with a contemporary ambience and more comfort for patients. I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the planning and implementation of the project: from the architects to the construction managers and tradespeople to the employees of the Martini-Klinik, the UKE and, in particular, the KFE. Each and every one of them has made a valuable contribution to the success of this construction project," says Prof. Dr. Christian Gerloff.

"It has been shown that the strategy of medical care for a disease pattern is the best way to achieve global excellence in the quality of treatment for our patients. Our quality management works, and our clinical studies and research make a significant contribution to offering patients with prostate cancer the best possible treatment while maintaining their quality of life as much as possible. In addition, we have optimized processes through good patient management, which not only means greater efficiency, but also a high quality of service for our patients," says Prof. Dr. Markus Graefen.

"In recent years, we have treated an increasing number of patients from all over Germany and abroad at the Martini-Klinik. Added to this is the data from the Federal Statistical Office, which states that the group of 50 to 70-year-olds will comprise more than 10.7 million men by 2040. In 2015, we therefore decided together with the UKE Executive Board to build a new building with a significant increase in bed and operating theater capacity. We will be able to treat the first patients in the new building from the second quarter of 2024. I would like to thank everyone involved in the planning, design and construction of the new building," says Dr. Detlef Loppow.

Martini-Klinik: Specialist clinic for the treatment of patients with prostate cancer

The Martini-Klinik offers all options for the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and, together with the UKE, treats around 5,000 outpatients and 2,700 inpatients every year at the Prostate Cancer Center. With over 2,500 prostate cancer operations per year, they perform the most complete (radical) surgical removal of the prostate worldwide. The aim is to maximize the patient's quality of life in terms of cure rate, continence and potency. These factors have been recorded for many years using the so-called Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROM); these results are incorporated into research and the continuous improvement of surgical therapy. For example, the precise dissection and preservation of the urethral sphincter has helped significantly more patients to maintain their continence. The nursing team at the Martini-Klinik is specially trained to meet the needs of cancer patients and cares for them with great empathy and a high level of nursing care.

Martini-Klinik: on course for expansion since its foundation

Founded in 2005, the specialist clinic, which started operating with just eight beds, quickly grew to 72 beds in the following years. The new seven-storey building with a gross floor area of 17,000 square meters now has space for 100 beds spread over four wards, numerous function and treatment rooms, for example for outpatient chemotherapy, as well as eight operating theatres equipped for the use of robot-assisted surgical systems and focal therapy techniques (selective treatment of prostate cancer). The new prostate cancer center is characterized by spacious patient rooms designed with high-quality materials and floor-to-ceiling windows, bright operating and recovery rooms with skylights, inviting lounges and examination rooms, short distances for staff and patients and state-of-the-art medical technology.

"For the first time, KFE took over the complete construction planning and coordination of the 80 or so construction companies involved. This allowed us to act flexibly and more economically and complete the construction in around four years despite the generally volatile situation," says Feridun Bircan.

Link to UKE press release

October 2023

Obituary: We mourn the loss of Maren Fendt

Maren Fendt, who had been working at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf since February 2023, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on October 29, 2023 following a sports accident.

The directors, board and staff of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) mourn the loss of their esteemed colleague.

Maren Fendt, born in Flensburg in 1995, began her studies in applied health sciences in Furtwangen in 2015 and later continued her studies at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW). After working at Cochrane and the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, she joined the University Cancer Center Hamburg at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf as a research assistant and project manager in February 2023. As project manager, Ms. Fendt has supervised and coordinated major funding projects on the topic of outreach both at UCCH and in the national network of Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

In her private life, Maren Fendt was interested in many things - she was always drawn to the sea, whether to the German or various coasts of the world. She was an experienced kite surfer, loved to dance and had just completed her sailing license on Hamburg's Outer Alster lake.

We are deeply saddened and stunned by her sudden death.

We mourn and miss a kind and life-affirming young colleague who actively and joyfully contributed to our work here at UCCH over the past few months.

Hamburg was her second home, she had built up a large circle of friends and felt well received in the Hanseatic city.

Our sympathy and special condolences go to her family, relatives and friends.

UCCH team at the annual meeting of the DGHO 2023 in Hamburg

October 2023

Huge turnout at this year's DGHO annual conference with award winners from the UCCH

The DGHO was a guest in Hamburg: from October 13 to 16, 2023, the annual conference of the German, Austrian and Swiss Society for Hematology and Medical Oncology (DGHO) was all about the latest developments in the treatment of blood diseases and cancer. With record numbers of participants at the largest congress in this specialist field in German-speaking countries, the event was able to build on the visitor numbers from before Corona.

Under the joint patronage of Prof. Dr. med. Claudia Baldus, Director of the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH) and Prof. Dr. med. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH), the latest research findings were presented and discussed at the exhibition grounds of the CCH - Congress Center Hamburg. With more than 6,000 participants, 1,400 presentations, almost 800 abstracts and 380 scientific posters, a program full of thematic breadth and depth was presented in 36 sessions with 265 sessions.

Immunotherapy continues to be one of the most important drivers of innovation in modern cancer treatment. "The possibilities in our field have never been as promising, never as extensive in terms of content and never as rapidly changing as they are today," said Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer. As an example, he cited the number of drugs that were newly approved or approved for new indications in 2021: "There were 50 - practically one a week." The daily clinical implementation of these innovations is a constant challenge. The knowledge required for this is also constantly growing. "Haematology and medical oncology are at the heart of the most innovative disciplines in modern medicine. We should do everything we can to continue to actively shape new developments in cancer medicine for our patients."

A special highlight was the keynote speech by Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Mojib Latif, meteorologist at GEOMAR - Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel. He impressively demonstrated the enormous effects of climate change and the enormous challenges facing humanity, as health impacts will also increase.

Traditionally, awards are presented to scientists and young researchers at the DGHO and special attention is paid to students. This year there was a special student day, which was well attended by around 100 students.

Award winners from the UCCH:

The Vincenz Czerny Prize was awarded toDr. med. Joseph Tintelnot for his publication entitled "Microbiota-derived 3-IAA influences chemotherapy efficacy in pancreatic cancer", which was published in the renowned journal Nature. The prize is awarded annually and honors outstanding scientific work that deals with clinical, experimental or theoretical questions in the field of oncology.

Dr. med. Lisa Leypoldt also receives the Young Investigator Award. This is awarded to young scientists under the age of 35 who have submitted the best abstract. Dipl.soz. Anneke Ullrich was honored for the best abstract of the annual conference.

We would like to congratulate them on these awards and wish them continued success in their future research projects.

The next congress of the specialist societies will take place in Basel from October 11 to 14, 2024.

Further information: To the DGHO's final press release

Photo: Avin Hell

October 2023

Research Training Group "Innovative Technologies in Cancer Diagnostics and Therapy": Final retreat at the Nochtspeicher in St. Pauli

Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Gunhild von Amsberg, PD Dr. Malte Kriegs and Dr. rer. nat. Natascha Kömm, the final retreat of the interdisciplinary research training group "Innovative Technologies in Cancer Diagnostics and Therapy" (GRK InTechCanDiTh) was held on 13.10.2023 in a festive setting. At the Nochtspeicher in Hamburg's Kiez district, the doctoral students' research projects were presented in the form of a science slam and a poster presentation for guests from the group, family and friends, and the doctoral students were also presented with certificates for successfully completing the curriculum. The defense of the doctoral theses is still pending.

In addition to working on scientific research projects, the RTG InTechCanDiTh focuses on training highly qualified young researchers in the field of cancer research through a doctoral training and qualification program.

The Research Training Group comprises 12 interdisciplinary research and doctoral projects involving scientists from 14 different research institutions at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) and is funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and Equal Opportunities (BWFG) as part of the Hamburg State Research Funding Program (LFF).

We congratulate all doctoral candidates on the successful completion of the accompanying curriculum and wish them every success in the upcoming defense of their doctoral theses and for their future careers!

  • Marie Wegner
  • Debayan Bhattacharya
  • Lina Bergmann
  • Patrick Kleinschnittger
  • Ayham Moustafa
  • Alicia Eckhardt
  • Ruth Rietow
  • Sarah Greimeier
  • Ann-Kristin Afflerbach
  • Nikhil Kalra
  • Diana Schweizer

Further information:
Interdisciplinary Graduate School „Innovative Technologies in Cancer Diagnostics and Therapy“

Photo: Malte Kriegs

Ceremonial presentation of the prize
Prof. Trieu und Dr. Venegas-Rojas
Die drei Preisträger im Rahmen der Promotionsfeier
Manfred Jücker, Dr. Venegas-Rojas (Summa cum laude) & Prof. Trieu

September 2023

"Tumor-on-a-Chip": Michael Zajadacz Prize 2023 for microbioreactor for the cultivation of tumor tissue

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hoc Khiem Trieu and Dr. Daybith Venegas-Rojas from the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) and Prof. Dr. Manfred Jücker, Center for Experimental Medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), have successfully developed a microbioreactor in which tumor tissue can be cultivated. The "Tumor-on-a-Chip" project has now been awarded the Michael Zajadacz Prize 2023.

In the search for ways to combat tumor cells, cancer cell models are used time and again. One challenge of modern cancer research is that classic 2D cell cultures behave differently in the laboratory than in reality.

The tumor-on-a-chip is a bioreactor that allows tumoroids, i.e. human tumor cells, to grow in a microfluidic chip with a continuous supply of nutrients, thus mimicking the real 3D situation of cancer cells in a living state. This model can be used to study the different effects of various cancer drugs on tumor growth.

Dr. Venegas-Rojas worked on the project as part of his doctorate and his dissertation was awarded summa cum laude.

The Michael Zajadacz Prize 2023 is endowed with prize money of 20,000 euros.

In the future, Dr. Nadya Popova's microbioreactor at the UKE will be used to investigate the spatial distribution of FOLFOX in CRC tumoroids in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Florian Grüner, Institute of Experimental Physics at the University of Hamburg (UHH), using X-ray fluorescence studies.

We would like to congratulate the prize winners and wish them every success in their future projects.

Photo: Manfred Jücker

September 2023

Center for Personalized Medicine-Oncology (ZPM-O) successfully certified as first in Northern Germany

At the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) there are new possibilities for cancer therapy: The Center for Personalized Medicine-Oncology (ZPM-O) of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH), as a member of the "German Network for Personalized Medicine" (DNPM), offers customized diagnostics and therapy. As a result of special quality standards, the ZPM-Oncology of the UCCH was successfully certified according to the strict OnkoZert criteria of the German Cancer Society. ZPM-Oncology is the first certified facility of its kind in Northern Germany.

Patients benefit from the great expertise of an interdisciplinary team consisting of clinically active physicians from various disciplines, but also basic researchers, human geneticists, computer scientists and pathologists. As early as 2016, UCCH was one of the first German university hospitals to establish a molecular tumor board, which has since been continuously adapted to new findings and requirements. Here, the physicians of the Oncology Center of Excellence, which has been continuously supported by German Cancer Aid since 2009, are increasingly integrating molecular parameters into the therapy proposals for their patients. Together, the tumor to be analyzed is deciphered in ever greater depth in order to make the weak points of the tumor usable for a targeted therapy.

In principle, a good quarter of all therapeutic decisions in cancer therapy are already made on the basis of molecular characteristics of the tumor. The "Molecular Tumor Board" (MTB) is the heart of the ZPM-O. Precision oncology expertise is bundled in this board. "Nowadays, we clinicians need the diagnostician more intensively than ever. The more an individual therapy decision is based on molecular characteristics of the tumor, the more parameters have to be taken into account. This requires a concentrated discussion in a concerted translational action with all participants of a multidisciplinary tumor conference," says private lecturer Dr. Maximilian Christopeit, the spokesman of the ZPM-O.

The MTB has been continuously developed since its inception under the leadership of the expert:ing staff of the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic (Oncology, Hematology, Bone Marrow Transplantation with Pneumology Section) as well as the Institute of Pathology and the Institute of Human Genetics of the UKE under the joint umbrella of the UCCH. "The initiation of the MTB was the foundation stone for ZPM-Oncology," explains Professor Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic and of the UCCH.

Personalized Medicine generates its added value from an acceptance of the diversity of tumors that were previously mapped as the same. Sequencing provides a genetic fingerprint of the tumor. This is supplemented by further analyses as needed, for example protein profiles or kinase profiles. "Our analyses are constantly evolving," explains PD Dr. Christopeit, "because science is constantly in flux. For this purpose, too, it is helpful to archive and systematically evaluate tumor material and also treatment data." The drugs selected in the MTB for the treatment of a:r patient:in and the tumor are also procured individually - often an application has to be made to a health insurance company for this. The team of specialists also takes care of this.

A good three quarters of the patients who present themselves via the "Precision Oncology Consultation Hour" at the UKE thus receive a modern therapy recommendation based on the expertise of all oncologists at the UCCH. This creates the opportunity to push back the disease more strongly and to control it in the long term.

The ZPM-Oncology of the UKE is part of the project "German Network for Personalized Medicine" (DNPM), which is supported by the Innovation Fund of the GBA and which is exchanging the further centers for Personalized Medicine that are being established in the Federal Republic of Germany with the aim of guaranteeing comprehensive quality-assured comparable care for all patients. The high quality standard of the ZPM-O at the UCCH has been proven by obtaining the certificate of the DKG.

September 2023

UKE study achieves better prognosis for patients with high-risk myeloma

A novel combination of four drugs has significantly improved the prognosis of patients with high-risk myeloma, a malignant disease of the bone marrow. A clinical study initiated at the UCCH, in which 20 German treatment centers participated, showed that almost 80 percent of patients up to 70 years of age and more than 60 percent of patients over 70 years of age were still relapse-free two years after completion of therapy. For a long time, the median survival time of high-risk myeloma patients was only about two years. The UKE scientists have now published the study results in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Multiple myeloma is the second most common hematological systemic disease with about 6700 new cases per year in Germany. One quarter of patients are diagnosed with high-risk myeloma, which is characterized by genetic alterations that lead to a more aggressive course. "The therapy of multiple myeloma has undergone lasting changes over the past two decades, accompanied by a steady improvement in prognosis. In standard-risk patients, the median survival has improved from three to more than ten years, but in high-risk patients, the median survival was only about two years until recently," explains lead investigator Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel, Deputy Director of the II Medical Clinic and the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) of the UKE. "The study initiated by the UKE is one of the first clinical trials ever to focus specifically on the treatment of high-risk patient:ing."

Treatment goal: no more disease activity detectable

Standard therapy for multiple myeloma is high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous blood stem cell transplantation. The aim of the UKE study is to improve the maximum regression of the disease by combining the most effective and innovative drugs in an intensified therapy regimen to such an extent that no disease activity can be detected in as many patients as possible. The aim is to avoid early relapses in high-risk patients, which are usually difficult to treat, and to improve their lifetime prognosis. "A combination of four drug classes is used for treatment, consisting of the monoclonal antibody isatuximab, the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib, the immunomodulator lenalidomide, and the glucocorticoid dexamethasone. This quadruple combination was used for the first time worldwide at the time the study started in 2017," explains the first author of the scientific publication, Dr. Lisa Leypoldt, also from the II Medical Clinic of the UKE. First promising results of the study with 153 treated patients were already presented in December 2022 at a congress in New Orleans. The current analysis of the study, which has now been published, now presents the relapse-free survival as well as the overall survival. "The high effectiveness of the therapy is demonstrated by the fact that 78.3 percent of the younger patients up to 70 years of age and 62.6 percent of the older patients were still relapse-free after two years. Overall survival - 83.9 percent of younger patients and 71 percent of older patients were alive after two years - also continues to develop positively," said Dr. Leypoldt.

The study is a multicenter phase II trial for the initial treatment of high-risk patients, initiated by the UKE and involving 20 hospitals in Germany, including the Charité in Berlin and university hospitals and clinics in Tübingen, Heidelberg, Cologne, Essen and Chemnitz, among others. Biometric analysis of the study was performed at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. The study results were presented by Dr. Leypoldt on September 27 at the annual meeting of the International Myeloma Society and simultaneously published in the digital edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Prof. Weisel: "We now know how important optimized combination therapy is for the treatment of multiple myeloma, and with our results we were able to show that under this therapy the prognosis of high-risk patients approaches that of standard-risk patients. This is very encouraging. Nevertheless, there is room for further optimization. With the follow-up study planned at the UKE, we want to further improve the treatment results.

Very gratifying - Dr. Leypoldt also received one of the Young Investigator Awards from the IMS - we congratulate !

Literature:
Leypoldt, Weisel et al. Isatuximab, Carfilzomib, Lenalidomide, and Dexamethasone for the Treatment of High-Risk Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma, JCO 2023.
DOI: 10.1200/JCO.23.01696

Link to press release

Photo: Katja Weisel

September 2023

Newsweek Ranking: Cancer Medicine at UKE among the TOP 25 worldwide

In the annual ranking of the U.S. magazine "Newsweek" on the international 300 best oncology institutions, the treatment quality of the University Cancer Center Hamburg is also shown in an international comparison. In the 2024 list compiled with the support of the data portal Statista, the UCCH is ranked 23rd and has risen another 10 places compared to the previous year.

The "World's Best Specialized Hospitals" - under this title, the U.S. magazine "Newsweek" compiles a global ranking of the best hospitals listed in the various disease fields every year. In the field of oncology, such renowned representatives as the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas or the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York can always be found among the top 3.

We at UCCH are very proud: in the 2024 list compiled with the support of the data portal Statista, UCCH is ranked 23rd and has moved up another 10 places from the previous year. This makes UCCH one of the world's most renowned institutions for oncology care; from Germany, only the Berlin Charité is ranked higher.

Newsweek Ranking

September 2023

North German networking of cancer centers

Representatives of the newly founded Comprehensive Cancer Center Mecklenburg-Vorpommern at the Rostock and Greifswald sites visited the UCCH: The focus was on the exchange of networks and best practice models.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Hamburg - two federal states that could not be more different: An area state, where distances have to be overcome, and a metropolitan region with all its facets. However, both regions have one thing in common: They now each have a Comprehensive Cancer Center - newly established in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania at the Rostock and Greifswald sites.

Prof. Dr. Christian Junghanß, spokesperson of the CCC-MV at the Rostock site, and his colleagues Prof. Dr. Brigitte Vollmar and Dr. Carolin Gabler visited the UCCH as representatives of the CCC-MV to get to know the structures of the UCCH and to network with the representatives of the UCCH board. This included a tour of the Center for Oncology and the Central Outreach Clinic.

More information about the CCC-MV

From left: Dr. Maike Täger, Prof. Dr. Christian Junghanß, Dr. Carolin Gabler, Rainer Bredenkamp, Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, Prof. Dr. Cordula Petersen, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Brigitte Vollmar, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Minna Voigtländer

Photo: Avin Hell

September 2023

Palliative Medicine Day at the UKE: Multiprofessional exchange with large participation from Hamburg

September 16, 2023 was all about palliative medicine. In the Fritz-Schumacher lecture hall on the grounds of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), more than 110 participants from many hospice and palliative care facilities in Hamburg, Hamburg practices and various departments of the UKE came together for an exchange.

The topics of palliative care are diverse and this was also reflected in the program of the event: from dealing with wishes for dying, relaxation techniques in everyday care, the transition between pediatric and adult palliative care to a panel discussion on the changes in palliative care from a small specialty, which was often built up with a lot of enthusiasm but was hardly taken seriously for a long time, to a "full-fledged" medical specialty, which, however, is now also subject to standardization, evidence-based, structural limits and economic efficiency.

A central point of the program was the plenary lecture by Kathleen Boström, staff member at the Center for Palliative Medicine at the University Hospital Cologne. In her lecture, she highlighted the various forms of dying wishes in the context of the current discussion about assisted suicide. Ms. Boström emphasized the need to talk about this topic more comprehensively with those affected and to understand that this is about much more than just the wish for suicide.

Another important aspect covered in the event was the role of family members in the palliative care of patients. The challenges and opportunities that can arise from this support role were discussed in detail. The involvement of family members in the care process was highlighted as critical to the holistic care of patients and is one of the fundamental principles of palliative care, even outside of specialized palliative care.

In addition to the focus on care, the situation of doctors and nurses was also discussed. This was not only about dealing with professional grief, but also about the problem of young professionals in palliative care due to a lack of specialists, but also unfavorable training and continuing education structures.

A highlight of the event was the moving moment when Marie Waibel, the music therapist, performed a song composed by a deceased patient about the value of life from the perspective of a patient at the end of life. This musical contribution created a wonderful and almost magical atmosphere.

Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle "We are very happy about the great interest in our event and the valuable exchange with our colleagues. It was a very wonderful atmosphere and the lectures were consistently excellent and very well received."

The next date for Palliative Medicine Day at UKE is September 14, 2024.

Further information:

Friends of Palliative Medicine at the UKE e.V.
Coordination Office Hospice & Palliative Work
Palliative medicine consultation hours at UCCH
Palliative care unit at the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic at the UKE

Photos: Niklas Oubaid, Anneke Ullrich

September 2023

Successful 40th Working Meeting of the Forum of University Working Groups for Naturopathic and Complementary Medicine

The 40th working meeting of the Forum of University Working Groups for Naturopathic and Complementary Medicine took place for the first time on September 14 and 15, 2023, at the Teaching Campus of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). With numerous new members and a wide range of topics, the anniversary meeting also marked the 25th anniversary of the event.

In terms of content, the forum presented current topics from the field of complementary medicine of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH), the Martini Clinic and the Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine at the UKE. Special emphasis was placed on the applications of complementary medicine in oncology, including discussion of current guidelines, the KOKON website, which presents specific treatment instructions for both practitioners and patient:s on the Internet, and opportunities for continuing education and training in this field.

Special attention was given to "Work-in-Progress", where current research projects from Berlin, Tübingen, Witten, Bern, Hannover and Freiburg were presented. The discourse of these research projects, which are still ongoing or have just been completed, serves to stimulate the scientific work in this special field of medicine in its development, to advance new research approaches and thus to promote complementary medicine as a whole in its scientific development.

The Forum also provided space for a résumé after 25 years of Forum meetings: "With a dynamic mix of established experts and up-and-coming young scientists, we were able to gather and critically discuss current developments and opportunities in complementary medicine. The meetings of the Forum, which take place once or twice a year at different university locations, reflect the expertise and great commitment of the participants and lead to a continuous improvement of the therapeutic offer in this field," said Prof. Matthias Rostock, MD, Endowed Chair of Complementary Medicine in Oncology at UCCH.

The 40th working meeting of the Forum of University Working Groups on Naturopathic and Complementary Medicine was a great success and once again demonstrated the importance of this interdisciplinary gathering for the further development of complementary medicine and its integration into university research and practice.

Photo: Alena Krause

September 2023

Aktionsbündnis Patientensicherheit honors PallPan project

The research project "Palliative Care in Times of Pandemic" of the Network University Medicine (NUM) was awarded the Patient Safety Award (3rd place) by Action Alliance Patient Safety on September 7. UCCH's palliative medicine department is involved in the project.

With the German Patient Safety Award, the German Coalition for Patient Safety (Aktionsbündnis Patientensicherheit e.V.) each year promotes and recognizes players in the healthcare sector who are committed to improving patient safety with special ideas and projects. They are supported by the cooperation partners Ecclesia Versicherungsdienst, Inworks GmbH, MSD Sharp & Dohme GmbH and the Thieme Group.

Prof. Dr. Steffen Simon (Center for Palliative Medicine, UKK) and Prof. Dr. Claudia Bausewein (LMU Clinic Munich) accepted the EUR 3,500 prize on behalf of the entire PallPan consortium at the BIG BANG HEALTH Festival in Essen on September 7.

The PallPan consortium (palliative care in times of pandemic) had dedicated itself to the special care situation in the Corona pandemic with the project of the University Medicine Network and published a platform with www.pallpan.de, on which simple and clearly listed recommendations for action give support to those affected and their relatives as well as caregivers and political decision-makers. We congratulate the entire project, in particular of course the palliative team at UCCH under Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle.

To the PallPan project
To the University Medicine Network

September 2023

With the #activeoncokids to the therapeutic riding

The ActiveOncoKids visited the Gärtnerhof am Stüffel e.V. as an end-of-summer activity. The six children were allowed to groom and decorate the horses and later take a short ride through the "magic forest". For some of them it was one of the first bigger excursions after their stationary stay.

The two horses Nugget and Brynja were already waiting for the children in the paddock, in the shade of course due to the great heat. After a short acquaintance and sniffing, the children were allowed to groom the horses with a brush and familiarize themselves with the handling of the animals. The team around the therapeutic riding instructor Lisa Motullo had all the ingredients with them: After the grooming, the children painted great decorative pictures with finger paint on the coat, the mane was braided and decorated with flowers from the farm's own flower garden. The animals went along with this good-naturedly - they are used to dealing with children in groups. According to the therapists, they are really looking forward to it, the hanging lower lip is a sign of absolute relaxation.

The children approached the animals curiously but also cautiously - a relaxed calm ensued, everyone was focused on the beautification action. When asked who would like to be the first to do the riding round, all fingers went up at the same time. Accompanied by the team of riders, each child went on horseback through the small patch of forest - affectionately called the Magic Forest - directly behind the farm. The accompanying parents and families followed the action from the shade of the apple trees and could enjoy the silence and tranquility of nature.

Simon Elmers, who as a sports scientist and exercise therapist has already cared for the children as in-patients, was very pleased: "It is so nice to see how the children find their way back into everyday life after such strenuous hospital stays in some cases and can enjoy a little piece of nature with the horses here. At the same time, we are out in the fresh air and moving around. This should be a small incentive to get back into sports in everyday life. We also deliberately include the whole family along with siblings - after all, they are very important motivators."

When the children and their families said goodbye, it was clear: "That was a great day! We would like to sincerely thank the team around Lisa Motullo for their volunteer work!

The ActiveOncoKids network has made it its mission to lead children who have gone through an oncological illness back to activity and sport. The northern network of Hamburg, Kiel, Lübeck and Sylt offers activities for affected families here in the north all year round, be it surfing, SUP riding, sailing, playing soccer or even gliding. If you are interested, please contact Simon Elmers by mail.

The work of Simon Elmers is mainly financed by the Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V.. We cordially invite you to support the work of the Fördergemeinschaft with donations (see link below).

The Gärtnerhof am Stüffel e.V. operates a social and solidary agriculture - the non-profit association in Hamburg-Bergstedt has been offering people with special needs a professional perspective in ecological horticulture, especially in vegetable and herb cultivation, for more than 30 years. If you live nearby, you can buy great wildflower bouquets and special vegetable plants in the farm store.

To the ActiveOncoKids network
To the support association Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V.
To the gardener's yard at the Stüffel e.V.

Photos: Avin Hell

September 2023

Skin Cancer Congress in Hamburg

The Skin Cancer Congress was held this year at the CCH in Hamburg. One of the congress presidents was Prof. Dr. Christoffer Gebhardt, head of the UCCH Skin Tumor Center at the UKE. The latest scientific findings in therapy, prevention, diagnostics and basic dermato-oncological research were the focus of the congress.

The German skin cancer congress of the ADO (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dermatologische Onkologie) met for the 33rd time from September 6-9, this time at the CCH in Hamburg with about 900 participants.

Despite the immense medical progress made in recent years, skin cancer is still the most common cancer in Germany with the highest rate of increase. According to the latest data from the Schleswig-Holstein Cancer Registry, the number of new cases has more than doubled in the last ten years to around 308,800 per year. Dr. med. Peter Mohr, Buxtehude, conference president on the current developments: "The trend is unbroken. We have an increase in all areas, both black and light skin cancer of about 4 percent per year. Efforts to produce a reversal trend have not yet been fulfilled. Prevention is one of the most important measures for this. Unfortunately, we have suffered a setback here as a result of Corona. As a result, the prognosis in patients has become worse. Within dermatology, we have estimates of up to 450,000 to 500,000 cases. That means skin cancer is a common disease."

Skin cancer rates are on the rise, and UV radiation is the most important risk factor. Everyone is at risk, but especially outdoor athletes, occupational groups with outdoor activities and people over 70. The consequence: malignant tumor diseases such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma or malignant melanoma, the most frequently fatal form of skin cancer. Professor Dr. Carola Berking, Erlangen, 2. chairmen of the ADO, demands more campaigns and intensified clearing-up work: It is to be protected from childhood against UV. People should remember to apply sunscreen 50+, avoid the midday sun and seek out shady places, and not expose themselves to the sun even more than they already do during leisure activities. To do this, conditions need to be created so people can protect themselves, such as more shaded areas in public places, outdoor pools or schools."

Light skin cancer develops over decades. Prof. Dr. med. Ralf Gutzmer, Minden, 1st Chairman of the ADO, explains: "Within the framework of early detection screening, attention is therefore paid not only to lesions in the sense of black skin cancer, but also in the sense of light skin cancer. If detected early, the majority of tumors can be cured."

Another big topic is mRNA vaccination. "The goal is to activate the patient's own immune system and its fight against tumors. In a Phase II study in melanoma patients, it was shown for the first time that an mRNA cancer vaccine based on individual mutations in the patient's tumor can effectively prevent recurrence of the disease," as Prof. Christoffer Gebhardt, MD, Hamburg, conference president, points out. Already in December a large permission study is to start also in Germany with Melanompatienten, an individualisierte Neoantigentherapie. Approval could then be expected in two to three years.

The Fleur Hiege Center for Skin Cancer Research at the UKE Hamburg, which incorporates the joint research efforts of the Skin Tumor Center and the Institute of Tumor Biology under the umbrella of the UCCH, can look back on a successful year.

(Press release of the ADO)

To the Working Group of Dermatologic Oncology
To the Skin Tumor Center at the UKE
To the Fleur Hiege Center for Skin Cancer Research

Photo: Avin Hell

September 2023

Interdisciplinary exchange on clinical studies

At the invitation of the Dean's Office and the UCCH, the UCCH study officers exchanged views on clinical studies - the guest was Prof. Dr. Christof von Kalle from the Berlin Institute for Health Research at the Charité. In his keynote speech, he explained current aspects of clinical-translational research.

Involving patients in research questions is sometimes a complex and not easy undertaking. Are there forward-looking approaches for a research-based, university hospital to include each patient per se as an active participant in research programs? Can study designs be made efficient enough to facilitate inclusion in concrete research projects? And how can information, education and consent be provided in a way that convinces and motivates research participants to actively participate?

In his keynote speech, Prof. Dr. Christof von Kalle brought many aspects and experiences to these questions from Berlin. Prof. von Kalle is Chair for Clinical Translational Sciences at the Berlin Institute for Health Research at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin as well as scientific founding director of the Clinical Study Center jointly established by both institutions.

The exchange was very lively, e.g. structural issues such as consent procedures and digitization strategies were discussed.

Further information about the Berlin Institute of Health

Photo: Avin Hell

September 2023

Rowing against cancer 2023
Rowing against cancer 2023
 Ceremonial opening
Ceremonial opening
Sebastian Franke (RGHansa), Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer (Direktor UCCH), Christoph Holstein (State Councillor HH), Avin Hell (UCCH), Volker Zaehle (Foundation )
Boat of the UCCH Board
Boat of the UCCH Board
Anne Hutmacher (RG Hansa), Anne Overlach, Prof. Kai Rotkamm, Prof. Katja Weisel, Prof. Cordula Petersen
Award ceremony of the opening race
Senate boat, Asklepios Tumor Center Hamburg management boat and UCCH board boat
One of the patient boats
Katrin Wemheuer, Karsten Wemheuer, Kai-Uwe Parsons-Galka und Laura Versemann
Team of the UCCHanseflitzer
Simon Elmers, PD Dr. Maximilian Christopeit, Anni Rosenberg, Maren Fendt - Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer congratulates to the 7th place
Rowing boat in front of boathouse of RG Hansa
Award Ceremony of the Eights' Stock Race
Junior men's eight (1st place) and national rowing league women's eight (2nd place)
Award ceremony for the beginners
Presentation of the medals by Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH
The winners of the expert class
Team Ökoprofit der copy-druck GmbH (2), Team Herzschlag (1), Team GigaNetz Sculling Gents der Deutschen GigaNetz GmbH (3)

On the water for a good cause: Rowing against Cancer Hamburg 2023

With a record participation of more than 100 boats, the charity regatta "Rowing against Cancer" took place on the Außenalster on September 3, 2023. Rowing enthusiasts came together from all over the north to compete in speed and muscle power on Hamburg's water.

The 13th edition of the charity event of the Foundation Living with Cancer in cooperation with the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) and the Rowing Society HANSA e.V. was held under the patronage of Senator of the Interior Andy Grote last weekend.

In rowing for a good cause, the proceeds benefit the sports and exercise program of the University Cancer Center. Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH: "Every year we are pleased to be able to promote the topic of cancer and sport more actively. There are numerous studies that show that sport and exercise therapy has gained in importance in recent years, both in the prevention of cancer, in the accompaniment of patients during the therapy phase, and in aftercare to prevent recurrences and reduce late effects."

Traditionally, the regatta starts with an opening race - this year between the Senate boat, the management boat of the Asklepios Tumor Center Hamburg and the UCCH board boat. This year, the boat of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg won. In good spirits, State Councillor for Sport, Christoph Holstein, as captain of the Senate boat, had himself "baptized" for the gold medal with a throw into the Alster. Fortunately, the Alster had a warm 20°C, which was no problem for the experienced sportsman and surfer.

With over 600 visitors and numerous races, the event was a complete success. In addition to sausages, cake and a bouncy castle, there was once again an ergometer stand where spectators could measure each other's strength in the dry. A special highlight was the naming of the individual teams: from Unsink-Bar, die wilden Waschlappen, Oar-some Scientists, Leitungswasser, Alsterchaoten to UCCHanseflitzer, there were no limits.

After the preliminary heats, the women's rowing national league eight showed against the junior men's eight "Jugend trainiert für Olympia" how fast the professionals are on the water. With about 30Km/h both boats delivered an exciting race - this year the men won.

Among the participants also several patients rowed and could be pleased about their remarkable placements.

The gold medal in the final of the beginners was won by "Die Herceptin Helden" of the Asklepios Tumorzentrum Hamburg with a speed of 01:00.1 min on the 300m. Second place went to the "HCOB Crablogger" team from Hamburg Commercial Bank AG, and third place to the "PHOnomenal" team from the UKE Children's Oncology Department.

In the expert class, the victory went to the team Herzschlag of the Universitären Herz- und Gefäßzentrum am UKE with a time of 00:55.0 min. The silver medal went to the team "Ökoprofit" of copy-druck GmbH, and bronze went to the team "GigaNetz Sculling Gents" of Deutsche GigaNetz GmbH.

The Rowing Against Cancer team is already looking forward to next year with anticipation - the provisional regatta date is September 8, 2024.

Further information:

Foundation Living with Cancer
Rowing Society HANSA e.V.
All results of the regatta

August/September 2023

Handover of the Hubertus Wald doctoral research awards and scholarships 2024

On August 30 and September 6, the Hubertus Wald Research Awards and Scholarships of the Hubertus Wald Foundation were awarded at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) by the UCCH Board of Directors in a festive ceremony. The aim is to support and promote young scientists in particular.

The Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Oncology Research and the Junior Investigator Award in Psychosocial Cancer Research recognize a special research achievement of young investigators at UCCH. The Hubertus Wald Poster Prize, on the other hand, recognizes a special scientific poster that is used to present research results. The UCCH Research Fellowship is aimed specifically at doctoral students and is intended to enable them to focus on the content of their doctoral thesis for at least one year.

During the XV UCCH Research Retreat 2023 on July 7/8, 2023, the awardees:inside have already been announced. We sincerely congratulate the award winners and wish them every success for their upcoming research/doctoral project.

Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Oncology Research 2023: (Image 1)

  • Ann-Kristin Afflerbach
  • Nikhil Kalra

Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Psychosocial Cancer Research 2023: (Image 2)

  • Dr. Mareike Thomas

Hubertus Wald Poster Prize 2023: (Image 1)

  • Annabelle Lobermeyer

UCCH Research Fellowship 2024: (Image 1)

  • Dr. Joao Gorgulho
  • Julius Röhrle
  • Piet Sonnemann

Photo: Avin Hell

September 2023

Participatory Decision Making in Oncology: Influencing Factors for Implementation Investigated

In a study, researchers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) have identified various factors that are responsible for the successful implementation of participatory decision-making in oncology.

In medicine, participatory decision making (PEF) describes the active interaction between patients and physicians on an equal footing, which should enable an agreement based on shared information for which both sides are equally responsible. PEF has not yet been widely implemented in oncology care. In this context, the researcher:s have developed and implemented a program to promote PEF in oncology. The researchers have published the results of the evaluation of this program in the journal BMC Health Services Research.

The factors influencing the implementation of PEF in everyday clinical practice relate to different levels, which are also interrelated. From an individual perspective, for example, personal relevance or the willingness of physicians and nurses to change are important for implementation, while at the hospital level, for example, the commitment of managers and resources such as time and workload are important. At the level of the health care system, cost-effectiveness plays a role, among other things; in the context of the concrete implementation of the support program, the benefit for the individual person and compatibility with everyday hospital life are central influencing factors. At the level of implementation, the question is, among other things, to what extent PEF can be integrated into existing structures. The results of the evaluation form, among other things, a basis for planning PEF implementation studies in other clinics and departments.

Literature: Hahlweg, Lindig et al. Key factors influencing routine implementation of shared decision making in cancer care: Qualitative process evaluation of a staged cluster randomized trial. BMC Health Services Research. 2023. doi: 10.1186/s12913-023-09778-w .

Contact for queries: Dr. Pola Hahlweg ; Dr. Anja Lindig , Institute and Polyclinic for Medical Psychology.

To the article "News from the research UKE"

August 2023

1st NORD Early Career Summit (NECSt) - Supporting oncology researchers in the early career phase

Network, develop project ideas together and exchange ideas on their own research: On August 25, 2023, the 1st NORD Early Career Summit (NECSt) of the "AG Early Career Scientists NORD" took place with the participation of the Mildred Scheel Nachwuchszentrum Hamburg (MSNZ Hamburg) at the Dorint Hotel Hamburg - Eppendorf and enabled exactly this for our early career scientists:in Hamburg, Kiel and Lübeck.

The NORD Early Career Summit (NORD = Northern Oncology Research and Development) pursues the goal of strengthening young scientists in the field of oncology at the beginning of their career and to network between the three locations. With almost 90 participants, this was a complete success. The event was aimed at PhD students, post-docs, medical students, young physicians and research group leaders from the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH) at the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH).

In the morning, participants were able to present their own projects on the topics of Biomarkers & Liquid Biopsy, Dissemination & Metastasis and Patient Avatars in short presentations. During the first coffee break, the participants had the opportunity for a first exchange of ideas.

For the afternoon, the invited speaker, Prof. Dr. Leonie Ringrose, Professor of Molecular Biology at the Humboldt University of Berlin and independent trainer for topics such as "scientific writing" or "proposal writing" ( www.science-kitchen.net ) had designed a special workshop format for networking and jointly writing grant proposals for new research ideas. In small groups, the young researchers had the chance to get to know each other and their research topics and methodological strengths, and to develop ideas for research projects that could potentially be implemented together.

At the end of the day, the research ideas were compared in short presentations ("pitches"), and the best three "pitches" were selected and awarded prizes by the participants. The participants particularly praised the varied format of the event: "The combination of scientific presentations in the morning and the practical part in the afternoon was super chosen. The usual listening to countless scientific lectures during a conference can be very tiring and lead to disinterest. Here, the number of scientific lectures was just right and it was nice to do something practical in the afternoon to maintain concentration. The workshop topic was also really valuable to me!"

Until November 2023, the young researchers can continue to refine their project ideas and submit them, for example, in the course of the current CONNECT (Cooperative NORD-Networking for Early Career Teams) call for proposals. Within the framework of this funding, up to four joint research projects with the participation of young researchers from the Hamburg, Kiel and Lübeck sites will be supported for 1 year with up to 50,000 euros each.

We are looking forward to a successful event and to the further development of the research ideas developed there.

The event was supported by the German Cancer Aid as part of the Mildred Scheel Young Investigators Center as well as by the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein.

Further information:

Mildred Scheel Young Investigators Center Hamburg

German Cancer Aid

Bilder: Laura Lehmann, Inga Melzer

August 2023

Patient education starts in the 2nd season

Giving patients a voice - this is the goal of the UCCH together with the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein. Last year, the Patient Competence Center NORD was founded and 13 Patient Ambassadors were trained. In the newly started 2nd season, almost 20 patients are participating who would like to learn more about the disease cancer in order to be able to better use their experience when participating in research projects, committees or congresses.

Involving patients in all phases of research and care is one of the declared goals of the National Decade against Cancer. Particularly in oncology, taking into account the patient's perspective is fundamental to aligning research and care with the needs of patients in the long term and thus ensuring improved compliance, e.g. adherence to medications and therapies. The integration of the knowledge gained from the experience of those affected contributes to increasing the quality of life in everyday life and also, in the long term, the survival time of patients.

In order to be able to participate as a patient in the development of research and care, various competencies and a certain expertise are required. For this reason, the UCCH, in cooperation with the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, founded the Patient Competence Center NORTH last year in order to train interested patients and their relatives to become so-called "Patient Ambassadors". The term "ambassador" was chosen by the participants of the competence center themselves, as the name is supposed to reflect that the ambassadors act on behalf of a larger collective and try to act as representatives from the "WE" perspective.

The first season was completed at the beginning of the year - 13 Patient Ambassadors successfully completed the training (we reported). Since then, they have participated in focus groups in the development of research projects, are involved in project advisory boards, give lectures at congresses or collaborate on publications.

Almost 20 people have now applied for the second season - the training series, which will run until February, started on August 18. When asked about their motivation for taking part in the training, they gave a wide variety of answers - most of them already reported on activities and have the desire to become even more involved by acquiring knowledge and continuing to network with each other.

We wish all participants a good start into the training - we are glad that you are part of it!

Photo: Laura Lehmann

Further information:

Patient Competence Center NORD

National Decade Against Cancer - Patient Involvement

August 2023

Brain tumors in children: International study tests gentler therapy concepts

Federal funding for UKE research project: Childhood cancers can often lead to late effects due to surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, especially in very young patients. An international research team led by the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) is investigating the neurocognitive effects of two chemotherapy procedures for medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children. The scientists' goal is to further improve the treatment standards of cancer therapies in children and to minimize therapy-related long-term consequences. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is initially funding the project with around 1.7 million euros.

"Pediatric cancer research at the UKE is making an important contribution to the development of modern, efficient and at the same time gentle therapy methods that have already significantly increased the chances of cure for affected children. This also includes using personalized concepts to reduce the long-term consequences of cancer therapy as far as possible. The international research project led by the UKE can provide important new insights into sustainably gentler treatment options in the treatment of medulloblastoma - and thus further improve the long-term survival prospects of the young patients. I congratulate the scientists involved on the significant federal funding!" says Prof. Dr. Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and UKE Board Member.

"This is the world's first study in children with malignant brain tumors to compare therapy concepts with regard to the resulting late effects. For this purpose, standardized cognitive tests are performed two and a half and five years after diagnosis. The study also addresses important issues such as quality of life after the end of therapy or tumor biology aspects," says Prof. Dr. Stefan Rutkowski, head of the study and Director of the Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at the UKE.

Study in 18 countries on therapy concepts without radiation.

The international research team wants to compare two established chemotherapy concepts for medulloblastoma (MB) with regard to the late effects. The scientists are investigating the question of which of the chemotherapy concepts can most gently replace radiation in affected infants and young children in a certain risk group. Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood. About 40 percent of the patients are younger than five years. Patients with medulloblastoma who have a very good prognosis for recovery even without radiation therapy are included in the study. They will receive either intensive and high-dose chemotherapy, after which the patient's own bone marrow stem cells will be transplanted, or intravenous chemotherapy, which directly targets the affected brain chamber. The study, initially funded by the BMBF for four years, will be conducted in a total of 18 countries in Europe, North America and Australia and will be managed by the HIT-MED study center. The total duration of the study is approximately 13 years, and the BMBF has pledged total funding of 4.8 million euros.

The international research team intends to test two established chemotherapy concepts for medulloblastomas within the scope of the study.

Brain tumors are the most common childhood and adolescent cancer in Germany, with approximately 500 new cases per year. They are also the most frequent cause of death among cancers in children and adolescents, even though more than two thirds of patients are now cured. Treatment usually consists of a multimodal therapy of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Many survivors suffer from the late effects of the therapy, especially when radiation is administered at a very young age.

The HIT-MED study center at the UKE

On behalf of the Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH), the HIT-MED study center accompanies the treatment of children and adolescents with medulloblastoma, ependymoma and various aggressive brain tumors on a scientific level. The most important tasks of the study group are the optimization of treatment concepts by scientific investigations, standardized co-assessments of the most important diagnostic examinations in established reference centers as well as consultations of the participating hospitals. Since March 2009, the Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology of the UKE is the seat of the study center.

Link to UKE press release

August 2023

Combining expertise to fight lung cancer

World Lung Cancer Day on August 1 provides an opportunity to look at the latest developments in lung cancer therapy. With 50,000 people diagnosed with lung cancer each year, thoracic tumors are among the most common malignant tumors. Molecular characterization of cancer cells now offers the opportunity for novel immunological and targeted personalized therapies.

Thanks to intensive research, the treatment options for patients with lung tumors have improved significantly in recent years. Today, lung tumors represent an important model for the analysis of genetic cancer alterations. They are the basis for targeted treatment with specialized growth inhibitors. Additionally important therapeutic pillars are novel immunotherapies, often used in combination with chemotherapy. The variety of these therapeutic options is determined individually for each patient in consultation with experts in tumor boards. The LungClinic Grosshansdorf and the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) work closely together in this area and are investigating the optimal therapy concepts for patients in various studies. Immunotherapy in particular has shown significant improvements in advanced stages of the disease. International studies, led in part by Prof. Dr. Martin Reck at the LungClinic Grosshansdorf, have now produced long-term survival rates of 20-40% of patients treated in this way.

"Chemotherapy, radiation and/or immunotherapy, and targeted drugs are our 'new weapons' in the fight against lung cancer. Which combination of drugs has to be given over what period of time depends on the tumor profile of the individual patient," explains Prof. Dr. Martin Reck, head physician of oncology at the LungClinic Grosshansdorf. The certified lung cancer center conducts joint research with the UCCH on the causes and treatment of lung cancer. Lung cancer is one of the cancers for which the main cause has been established. The most effective prevention against lung cancer remains abstaining from tobacco. "It's never too late to quit smoking. At UCCH, we've been trying to prevent smoking initiation for years with our 'No Smoking is Cool' lecture for school children. And with our stop-smoking program for active cancer patients, we try to dissuade patients from smoking when they are diagnosed with cancer, because even that is still effective," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH. These activities are complimented by the new approaches in studies on the early detection of lung cancer, in this case pioneered by the LungenClinic Grosshansdorf as part of the Hanse screening study. Prof. Dr. Martin Reck: "Early detection of lung cancer is another opportunity to significantly improve cure rates. That's why we are actively participating in this screening program in a North German network."

Today, genetic analyses of tumor cells are of outstanding importance for the selection of therapies for patients with lung cancer. The corresponding tumor samples from the LungClinic Grosshansdorf and the UCCH are jointly analyzed within the framework of molecular pathology at the UKE and form the basis for therapy concepts. These findings are discussed in joint tumor boards on lung cancer and on molecular therapies (Molecular Tumor Board). But together with UCCH, the LungClinic is also conducting a project to determine biomarkers: "The analysis of blood samples from lung cancer patients should provide information about which therapy options are most suitable and enable individual recommendations," says Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel, Deputy Director UCCH.

"Modern therapy is interdisciplinary," says Prof. Dr. Cordula Petersen, Director of the Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology at the UKE, and emphasizes: "The various specialties and clinics work together for the benefit of the patient. Particularly in the case of lung cancer, the continuous respiratory displacement of the organ is a challenge in radiation therapy. In recent years, we have been able to gain very good research results for this and incorporate them as technical innovations in the treatment of our patients."

The regular exchange between experts of the UCCH and the LungClinic Grosshansdorf about the latest study results and the close interaction in a joint network with cooperation partners (oncologists in private practice in Hamburg and the surrounding area as well as hospitals) is an integral part of the care of patients in the region. This also opens up the possibility for physicians in the outpatient and inpatient sector to have their own patients participate in the corresponding concepts for the respective study in question.

"The joint exchange among experts and professional colleagues is indispensable for promising treatment, as the demonstrably improved survival rate of lung cancer patients in recent years has shown. Together, we can make much faster progress with the variety of diagnostic and therapeutic options. The collaboration between the LungClinic Grosshansdorf and the UCCH at the UKE has established itself as an excellent model," says Prof. Dr. Martin Reck.

Further information:

LungClinic Grosshansdorf

July 2023

XV. UCCH Research Retreat 2023: (Young-) Scientists in Interdisciplinary Exchange

On July 7 and 8, the XV UCCH Research Retreat brought together more than 130 scientists from various departments of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) for an interdisciplinary exchange at the Heide Hotel Reinstorf.

The one and a half day retreat consisted of overview lectures on new developments in skin cancer and liquid biopsy research, 12 scientific lecture sessions and one poster session on different cancer types and cross-sectional topics from experimental and translational cancer research as well as psychosocial oncology. In addition to the presentation of the latest research results, the participants:had the opportunity for interdisciplinary dialogues and networking between the different research disciplines and departments.

"Especially for our young scientists in oncology, it is a great opportunity to gain congress experience and present their own work in short talks or scientific posters," says Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, scientific director of UCCH.

The promotion of young researchers is a top priority at UCCH. One of the highlights of the congress is the announcement of the Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Oncology Research, the Junior Investigator Award in Psychosocial Cancer Research and the Poster Award for 2023. In addition to the recognition of research results already achieved, the UCCH Research Fellowships for 2024 were also announced. Here, clinically active junior fellows will get the opportunity to gain new experience at the "bench" for 12 months in a different department and implement new research projects.

"We are very pleased about the huge interest from all areas. Again, not only the excellent research work is to be emphasized, but also the collegial, familiar atmosphere, which makes the event very special. We sincerely congratulate all award winners and are looking forward to the upcoming research results", says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, speaker and director of the UCCH.

The event is sponsored by the Hubertus Wald Foundation and, within the framework of the Mildred Scheel Young Investigators Center, by German Cancer Aid.

The following award winners have been announced:

Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Oncology Research 2023:

Ann-Kristin Afflerbach (PhD student in the research training group InTechCanDiTh)
Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology / Research Institute Children's Cancer Center Hamburg (AG Prof. Dr. Schüller)
Project: "Classification of brain tumors by nanopore sequencing of cfDNA from CSF".

Nikhil Kalra (PhD student in the research training group InTechCanDiTh)
Institute of Tumor Biology (AG PD Dr. Joosse)
Project: "Investigating potential circulating tumor cell release following breast cancer biopsy"

Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Psychosocial Cancer Research 2023:

Dr. Mareike Thomas (Scientist, Deputy Head of WG)
Institute and Polyclinic for Medical Psychology (WG Prof. Isabelle Scholl)
Project: "Cancer patients' most burdensome problems - An analysis of routine data in a psycho-oncological outpatient facility"

Hubertus Wald Poster Prize 2023:

Annabelle Lobermeyer (PhD student)
Institute of Tumor Biology (AG PD Dr. Joosse)
Project: "The role of circulating tumor cells in the course of disease and therapy of high-grade-serous ovarian cancer patients"

UCCH Research Fellowship 2024:
Funded by donating and receiving department and deanery funds (1/3 each):

Dr. Joao Gorgulho (assistant physician)
Departing clinic: II. medical clinic and polyclinic (Prof. Bokemeyer)
Host clinic: I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic (Dr. von Felden)
Project: "SIMPLE PETUNIA - Soluble Immune Mediators in the Prognosis of diverse maLignanciEs and the PErsonal anTitumoral immUNe surveIllance Ability"

Julius Röhrle (Resident)
Departing clinic: Department of Otorhinolaryngology (Prof. Betz)
Host clinic: Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Experimental Radiation Oncology (Prof. Rothkamm / PD Dr. Kriegs)
Project: "Double Trouble: Identifying optimal combinations for the IAP-inhibitor Debio 1143 for the radiosensitization of HNSCC cell lines and tissue slices"

Piet Sonnemann (Resident)
Departing clinic: II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic (Prof. Bokemeyer)
Host clinic: Institute of Tumor Biology (Prof. Pantel / PD Dr. Joosse)
Project: "Interactome of ASXL family proteins"

Photo: Britta Fritzsche

July 2023

PaSaGeRO: New study on patient safety in radiotherapy to set standards for routine care

The aim of the PaSaGeRO (Patient Safety in German Radiation Oncology / "Development of an Assessment Instrument for Patient Safety") study funded by German Cancer Aid is to develop an assessment instrument for patient safety in the field of radiation therapy. This is intended to enable all radiation therapy facilities to perform a self-assessment and, based on this, to make targeted improvements to the processes and structures of their own department.

In recent years, there have been many advances in the treatment of cancer through the use of radiotherapy. Technical advancements and the increasing availability of additional drug therapies mean that ever more complex therapy concepts can be implemented. When radiation is used, it is ensured that the therapy is safe and effective by following oncology guidelines and the Radiation Protection Act. Although patient safety is of great importance in radiation therapy, no instrument currently exists to assess it in a structured way in a radiation therapy facility.

The current so-called safety indicators are not suitable for evaluating the processes in radiotherapy for various reasons; for example, there is no dedicated recording of outpatient care, although approx. 80 % of radiotherapy patients are cared for on an outpatient basis. Therefore, the selection of safety-effective measures is the responsibility of each facility. Due to the lack of central standards, each facility must expend considerable resources to establish individual solutions to increase patient:ing safety. This poses the risk that important aspects of patient:ing safety may remain underrepresented, resulting in under- or overdoses and undetected and untreated side effects.

To address these issues, this current study aims to develop a questionnaire that can measure patient:inside safety in radiation therapy settings. This questionnaire will include specific patient:inside safety indicators that are tailored to the requirements of radiation therapy and that can be used in practice. With this tool, radiation therapy facilities will be able to systematically assess their patient:inside safety and take specific actions to increase patient:inside safety.

The project is led by the Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology and the Institute and Polyclinic for Medical Psychology of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in collaboration with cooperation partners.

A topic that is noticed - the Working Group Radiological Oncology (ARO) of the German Society of Radiation Oncology e.V. awarded the ARO Study Prize for the project during this year's annual congress. We congratulate the award winners!

Further information:
Department of Radiotherapy and Radiooncology
Institute and Polyclinic for Medical Psychology

from left: Maximilian Grohmann and Dr. Andrea Baehr (both Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology), Prof. Dr. Isabelle Scholl and Eva Christalle (both Institute and Polyclinic for Medical Psychology).

Photo: Dr. Andrea Baehr

July 2023

Best sailing weather for the #activeoncokids on the Alster

The ActiveOncoKids were allowed to get a taste of sailing air again. In bright sunshine, the North German Regatta Association (NRV) invited the children and young people with cancer to the Onkopiraten action on the Außenalster

Summer, sun, sunscreen: that was the motto of this year's #activeoncokids visit to the NRV on July 8. In perfect weather, the calm waters with light winds provided the ideal setting for an unforgettable sailing experience.

Exercise in the fresh air was the top priority for the former children and young people with cancer, as well as their friends and siblings. With three boats of the Y70 boat class and one experienced sailing professional from the NRV in each case, they took to the water. Not only the reflecting blue, but also the view of the panorama of the city was wonderful for all participants.

After a joint lunch, the participants went out on the water again - this time with parents and accompanying persons. All around a nice day for all participants.

The ActiveOncoKids North network of the Hamburg, Kiel and Lübeck sites will continue its sporting activities this year:On September 10, 2023 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., children and young people can discover riding as a sporting activity during therapeutic riding at the Gärtnerhof am Stüffel e.V. in Hamburg.

Registration is requested by e-mail to s.elmers@uke.de.The work of Sport-Wiss. Simon Elmers is supported by the Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V..

Further information:
North German Regatta Association
Network ActiveOncoKids North
Children's Cancer Center at the UKE
Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V.

Photos: Courtesy of Peter Kähler, NRV

Full house at the 1st Hamburg Patient Congress
Politics, medicine and patient representatives united
from left: Joachim Prölß, Avin Hell, Katja Weisel, Markus Wartenberg, Katharina Fegebank, Heide Lakemann, Carsten Bokemeyer
Pleased with the lively participation
Carsten Bokemeyer (UCCH), Senator Katharina Fegebank and Anne Letsch (UCCSH)
Emotional highlight: "By Your Side" award ceremony
Award winners and representatives of the BMS Immuno-oncology Foundation
The BMBF's National Decade against Cancer together with the UCCH against Cancer
Alexia Parsons, Avin Hell, Carsten Bokemeyer
Panel discussion on the topic of "Patient:ing Participation in Research
from left: Avin Hell, Holger Schulz, Carsten Bokemeyer, Heide Lakemann, Conni Holsten, Markus Wartenberg
Speed Dating.....
Guided tours in the laboratory

June/July 2023

Successful 1st Hamburg Patient:inside Congress Cancer Medicine 2023

On June 30/July 1, 2023, the UCCH organized the 1st Hamburg Patient:inside Congress Cancer Medicine 2023 in cooperation with the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein, the Cancer Societies Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein e.V. and the Contact and Information Center Hamburg (KISS). In addition, the "By Your Side" prize was awarded on the initiative of the BMS Immuno-oncology Foundation.

Under the motto "Perspectives" the UCCH invited for the first time to two days of Patient:inside Congress. The aim was to create an exchange and information platform for the participation of patients and their environment. Whether as a patient, family member, patient representative, physician, nurse or researcher - the perception of the "glasses" of the other person broadens the horizon and contributes in the long term to improved care and research in oncology. The various forms of patient participation are also a central theme of the National Decade against Cancer.

Approximately 120 participants accepted the invitation to the Erika-Haus of the UKE. Science Senator Katharina Fegebank, UKE Board Member Joachim Prölß and Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, opened the event. After all, Senator Fegebank, together with Education Minister Karin Prien (Schleswig-Holstein), is also patron of the Patient Competence Center NORD and gladly supports the training of patients to become ambassadors. Alexia Parsons, Head of Unit of the National Decade against Cancer of the BMBF, traced the perspective of the Decade and made clear how important participation in cancer research and therapy is for the future from a patient:inside perspective. Markus Wartenberg from the Sarcoma Foundation showed his way in participation in research and science.

What is the basis of patient:inside participation in research and care and what structures are there? This was presented in lectures and taken up in the panel discussion. The participants agreed on the following guiding principles: Successful patient:ing participation needs accessibility, respect, curiosity, communication and education.

On the second day, participants were able to learn about the current state of research in personalized medicine, shared decision making and surgical cancer therapy.

The emotional highlight was the presentation of the "By Your Side" award at the initiative of the BMS Foundation for Immuno-oncology - the laudation brought tears to the eyes of many. For more information on the award winners, see below.

Afterwards, the participants were given guided tours of the laboratory and the radiotherapy department, where they were able to take a look under the microscope or learn about the technology of radiotherapy.

At the same time, experts in the fields of oncology/hematology, prostate cancer, complementary medicine, breast cancer, gynecological cancer and skin tumors were available for discussion. Cancer and skin tumors were available for speed dating - an offer that was used by many for a one-on-one exchange.

In the following workshops, the participants got to talk about the different levels of patient participation and were able to review the 2 days together.

One thing was certain - there will be another Patient:innenkongress next year!

If you are interested in becoming a patient ambassador, you can find more information here:
Patient Competence Center NORD

Greetings from politicians and cancer societies:
Under the tab Greetings-DE

News about the award "An Deiner Seite" on pages of the BMS Foundation Immunoncology:
News "On Your Side

June 2023

Residual tumor cells: Standardized liquid biopsies to improve cancer therapy

International research project under scientific coordination of the UKE

An international consortium coordinated by the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) aims to develop reference standards for the use of liquid biopsies in cancer therapy. Validated and standardized methods for detecting traces of cancer that remain in the body are intended to promote forms of therapy tailored to the specific clinical picture and thus increase the success of cancer therapy. The "GUIDE.MRD" project will receive a total of around 17.6 million euros in EU funding over a five-year period.

The scientific leadership of the project "GUIDE.MRD" - "GUIDing multi-modal thErapies against Minimal Residual Disease by liquid biopsies" lies with Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, Director of the Institute for Tumor Biology at the UKE. The consortium aims to collect robust data on the use of liquid biopsies (liquid biopsy) for the detection of minimal residual oncological disease. So-called minimal residual disease (MRD) can be the starting point for later cancer metastases. In this context, reference standards for the detection of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) will be developed and promising diagnostics will be clinically validated in studies on colorectal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer. The goal of GUIDE.MRD is to provide a detection tool on this basis that can identify the risk of metastasis at an early stage and prevent it through subsequent targeted multimodal treatment options.

"I congratulate all the institutions involved on this great success, which will strengthen Hamburg as a health and cancer research location. Over the next five years, this pioneering project will help find solutions for many people in coping with serious diseases. I am very pleased that the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf is working intensively with international partners and industry representatives on this groundbreaking initiative. My great thanks go to Prof. Klaus Pantel, the UKE and all those involved!", says Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research, Equality and Districts.

"The standardized use of liquid biopsies in oncological MRD diagnostics can make an important contribution to tailoring cancer therapies even more precisely to the individual clinical picture and thus providing patients with the best possible therapy. The significant EU funding for this important research project is also a tribute to the UKE's outstanding expertise in oncology research. I warmly congratulate all those involved on this success in project funding," says Prof. Dr. Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and UKE Board Member.

"Early detection of metastases is one of the most important goals in cancer research, as metastases are the main reason for the aggressiveness of cancer. Earlier diagnosis using a blood test should open up the possibility of timely therapeutic intervention through liquid biopsy, which is a central research topic at UCCH," says Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, Director of the Institute of Tumor Biology at UKE.

One challenge in oncological treatment is to determine which patients need additional treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. These cells have already spread before tumor surgery and therefore remain in the body as MRD after surgery. The cells cannot be detected by radiological methods; however, they release small fragments of tumor DNA into the patient's bloodstream. These fragments are called circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). There are already tests for the detection of ctDNA in blood samples, whose detection capacities vary so far. Through intensive collaboration with patients as well as industry, regulatory authorities and payers, the GUIDE.MRD consortium therefore aims to advance the use of ctDNA diagnostics with high sensitivity and specificity in the clinical MRD setting.

3.4 million euros for the UKE

The European Union is funding the project, which involves 24 partners from 13 countries, as part of the "Horizon Europe" program in the area of " Innovative Health Initiative Joint Undertaking " (IHI JU). The total EU funding amounts to around 17.6 million euros, of which around 2.3 million euros will go directly to the UKE. The industrial partners contribute another 16.8 million euros, of which the activities in the UKE are supported with an additional 1.1 million euros. The objectives of GUIDE.MRD are also in line with the European Plan to Fight Cancer and the European Commission's " Mission on Cancer - Implementation Plan ".

Link to press release

June 2023

#ActiveOncoKids at the Millerntor Stadium

On June 7, 2023, the #ActiveOncoKids were hosted by Hamburg soccer club FC St. Pauli for the second time. The children of the UCCH Children's Cancer Center were able to let off steam with skill and agility exercises while strengthening their motor skills around soccer.

Climbing, rowing, riding, gliding or canoeing - the range of activities offered by the ActiveOncoKids Center North is wide. This time, the kids aged 4 to 13 had a great time on the "amateur turf" of the second division club. After an initial relaxed training session, the participants and their families had the opportunity to take an exclusive tour of the famous Millerntor Stadium. The tour started at the North Stand and was followed by one highlight after the other: Tryouts on the substitutes' bench, a look inside the players' dressing rooms, the players' tunnel, the ballroom, and plenty of time for questions in between.

After a small final tournament, the kids were able to take home a certificate for their successful participation - all in all a successful event.

In the ActiveOncoKids North network of the Hamburg, Kiel and Lübeck locations, there will be more sports this year:On July 7, 2023 from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., children and young people can try their hand at sailing on the Außenalster at the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein. Registration is requested by e-mail to s.elmers@uke.de .

The offer is made possible, among others, by the Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V..

ActiveOncoKids North Network

Clinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Support Association Children's Cancer Center Hamburg e.V.

Photo: Laura Lehmann

May 2023

UCCH University Breast Center reopened - rooms shine in new splendor

The UCCH University Breast Center hosted the grand opening of the renovated rooms in the Center for Oncology (O24) on May 24. In addition to viewing the new rooms, the focus was on networking with all partners.

The goal has been achieved: After several months of construction, the UCCH University Breast Center now presents itself in bright and airy rooms on the first floor of the Center for Oncology. There is plenty of space for patients and their relatives to make use of counseling sessions, therapy and other services offered by the breast center team.

"I am very grateful to all patients and their relatives, and of course to our staff, for the patience with which they endured the construction phase during ongoing operations," thanked Prof. Barbara Schmalfeldt, Head of Gynecology at the UKE, "I am very pleased that we can now once again present all functions from a single source."

During the reopening, the team members of the Breast Center introduced themselves to the guests, first and foremost Dr. Lisa Steinhilper, new Head of the Breast Center, as well as Prof. Volkmar Müller, Deputy Clinic Director and Head of the Day Clinic.

The various cooperation partners from plastic surgery, breast diagnostics, radiation oncology, the Center for Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer (FBREK) and the complementary services offered by UCCH also spoke about their work.

The organizers were particularly pleased that Franziska Holz from the Hamburg Cancer Society and Hayriye Oguz as the patient representative of the BRCA network were also present, as this underscored the consistently good cooperation in recent years.

Prof. Katja Weisel, Deputy Director of the UCCH: "In the treatment of our oncological patients, the focus is not only on professional excellence, but above all on empathy, and I am sure that the aura of the new rooms will contribute a great deal to the emotional basis. We at UCCH wish the team a great start to their new routine."

Photo: Avin Hell

May 2023

Outdoorgym - new equipment on UKE grounds allows exercise in fresh air

Outdoor fitness equipment is popular in the green spaces and parks here in the north. Thanks to a donation to UCCH, three pieces of equipment have now been inaugurated on the UKE grounds for fitness-loving patients, visitors and staff. The goal for the oncologists at UCCH is clear: exercise, exercise, exercise.

Ms. Schäfer is undergoing follow-up care after her cancer and is pleased with the new exercise offerings: "It was important to me to stay active even during my therapy. I take part in various fitness programs and move around a lot in the fresh air. When I see equipment like this, I always incorporate it into my program right away."

Three different pieces of equipment are now available for free use on the green lawn next to the cab stand across from the main entrance, whether for leg muscles, strengthening arm and neck muscles, or balance.

"There are now many studies showing that physical activity has many positive effects both during therapy and in the aftercare of cancer," says Dr. Wiebke Jensen, a sports scientist at UCCH. "It can help to reduce side effects such as fatigue or sensitivity problems in the hands and feet. In addition, it can also make patients mentally stronger when they exercise in the fresh air - not to mention the booster for the immune system."

"I am very grateful for this donation from the Playfit company - it means that our patients can expand their activities and get moving when they visit the outpatient clinics or wards," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, who immediately tried out the equipment himself.

Margit Budde-Cramer and Inclusion Ambassador Daniela Möller handed over the equipment to the UCCH exercise team on behalf of the Playfit company "As a manufacturer of outdoor fitness equipment, our primary goal is to get people moving. Through our participation in Rowing Against Cancer, we became aware of UCCH's exercise program and jumped right into action with this fundraiser."

Happy about the new equipment: Daniela Möller, Margit Budde-Cramer, Britta Schäfer, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Dr. Wiebke Jensen (from left).

Photo: Laura Lehmann

May 2023

Rowing against cancer: check presentation for the exercise program of the UCCH

The Foundation Living with Cancer recently handed over the check from the proceeds of the "Rowing against Cancer" benefit regatta 2022 to the University Cancer Center Hamburg. 16,000 EUR will benefit the UCCH's exercise program for the benefit of cancer patients.

The team of the charity regatta "Rowing against Cancer" in Hamburg is happy about the result: The Foundation Living with Cancer, which is responsible for the nationwide Rowing against Cancer regattas, could recently hand over the proceeds of the last Hamburg regatta in summer 2022 to the UCCH.

"More than 60 double four teams participated last year for the good cause," says Volker Zaehle, the representative of the Foundation Living with Cancer, "It is really great to see how many rowers:inside participate again every year and thus also donate to the good cause. I am very happy to be able to hand over this amount to UCCH on behalf of the foundation for its exercise program. I thank all the sponsors and donors who made this possible."

Rowing Against Cancer is a tradition in Hamburg - last year the regatta was held for the 12th time. Under the patronage of our Senator of the Interior, Andy Grote, representatives of the city, hospitals and various Hamburg companies and associations compete against each other in friendly competition.

The donation will benefit the exercise program for oncology patients at the UCCH: "Exercise and sport are indispensable in the therapy of our cancer patients - many studies prove the positive effects of a life rich in exercise," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the University Cancer Center Hamburg at the UKE, "When I see that patients also participate in the regatta, my heart always swells - after all, I can see that our exercise program works. I am glad and happy to have built up such a sustainable network in the city on this topic here with our partners - first and foremost the Living with Cancer Foundation and the HANSA e.V. rowing society - and all the sponsors, and I thank everyone for their commitment."

The venue on the Alster at the Ruder-Gesellschaft HANSA e.V. (Schöne Aussicht) is a place that is well known to many Hamburg residents and visitors: "For us as a club, it is an absolute highlight in the rowing year when we can host this regatta," explains RG HANSA Chairman Sebastian Franke, "In addition to training and practice in the sport of rowing, it is a special concern for us to be involved with all members on this special day. Over 60 double fours - a good 300 rowers:inside - there is everything from beginners to professionals, a wonderful day with a really good atmosphere."

Rowing Against Cancer will take place again this year - on 03 September 2023 the regatta will be held on the Außenalster. If you are interested in participating, please feel free to contact us at uke.de/ruderngegenkrebs .

Picture: Avin Hell, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Sebastian Franke, Volker Zaehle, Dr. Wiebke Jensen (from left to right).

Photo by Laura Lehmann

May 2023

Award of the Wilhelm Warner Prize 2022 to Stefan Pfister

On May 12, 2023, Prof. Dr. Stefan Pfister received the Wilhelm Warner Award 2022 from the foundation of the same name. The prize was presented by Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Head of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) and board member in the Wilhelm Warner Foundation, in the Fritz Schumacher Lecture Hall at the UKE.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Pfister is Director of the Hopp Children's Tumor Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), Head of Department at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and pediatric oncologist at Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and receives the award for his outstanding contributions to research into molecular genetic characteristics of childhood brain tumors. His studies provide previously undiscovered insights into genetic alterations that lead to the development of brain tumor types. In addition, new information on hereditary factors could be obtained. His results are also an essential basis for new personalized study concepts in childhood brain tumors.

Prof Pfister also has a long-standing collaboration with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in the context of his research projects, in particular with the working groups led by Prof. Dr. Stefan Rutkowski from the Department of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schüller from the Institute of Neuropathology.

The Wilhelm Warner Prize is awarded each year to renowned scientists in the field of cancer research. The foundation goes back to the Hamburg restaurateur Wilhelm Warner, who died of cancer in 1960, and was established in Hamburg in 1961. Its aim is to promote cancer research by awarding the Wilhelm Warner Prize annually to renowned German scientists.

We sincerely congratulate the laureate and wish him every success for his future research project.

Link:
KiTZ Heidelberg

Photo: Diana von der Goltz, Prof. Dr. Dieter K. Hossfeld, Prof. Dr. Stefan Pfister, Carl-Jan von der Goltz,Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer (left to right).
Pictured: Laura Lehmann

May 2022

13th "International Symposium on Minimal Residual Cancer" - a complete success in Hamburg

At the beginning of May, physicians and researchers exchanged the latest findings in oncology, immunology and liquid biopsy in Hamburg. The invitation of Prof. Klaus Pantel from the Institute of Tumor Biology at UCCH and Prof. Catherine Alix-Panabieres from the Laboratoire Cellules Circulantes Rares Humaines (LCCRH), University of Montpellier, was accepted by 420 delegates from 26 countries.

The ISMRC meetings were established in 1996 to focus specifically on research and clinical applications of liquid biopsy ("liquid biopsy") in cancer patients. After a break due to COVID-19, the symposium returned to its place of origin, Germany, and was held as an in-person event from May 2-4, 2023.

The international high-profile meeting provided a great opportunity to come together for three days and exchange ideas on the latest developments in the fields of oncology, immunology and liquid biopsy. The congress included presentations on circulating nucleic acids (DNA, miRNA), circulating tumor cells (CTCs), exosomes, and other liquid biopsy analyses with a focus on clinical and translational studies and an emphasis on immunotherapy.

The 2023 Symposium in Hamburg was supported by the European Liquid Biopsy Society (ELBS), a large consortium of institutions from academia and industry with a vision to bring liquid biopsy assays into clinical practice.

Plenary lectures were given by leading international experts in the field of liquid biopsy, cancer immunology, metastasis research and immunotherapy, including Nobel Laureate Tasuko Honjo from Kyoto, Japan.

The ISMRC also supports young investigators - outstanding presentations were recognized with the "Young investigator Award."

Members of UCCH were represented in all sessions - exchanges continued at a brisk pace over the 3 days.

More information about the ELBS: European Liquid Biopsy Society Network

Photo: Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, Prof. Dr. Catherine Alix-Pannabieres, Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel and Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer (from right).

Pictured: Avin Hell

Bachsteinhaus

April 2023

New cooperation partners in the UCCH network

The competence network of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) continues to grow.

We welcome two new cooperation partners: The specialist practices Onkologische Tagesklinik im Heidekreis - Praxis für innere Medizin Hämatologie Onkologie and the Kinderwunschzentrum Altonaer Strasse im Gynaekologicum Hamburg (Medizinisches Versorgungszentrum GbR) are now in mutual exchange with our oncological center of excellence.

We are looking forward to the cooperation for the optimal care of our patients.

Links:

UCCH Cooperation Partner

Kinderwunschzentrum Altonaer Strasse Hamburg - Gynaekologicum

vier Läuferinen

April 2023

#TogetherstrongagainstCancer - UCCH runners give it their all

Last Sunday, April 23, 2023, several UCCH colleagues successfully participated in the 37th Hamburg Marathon.

The runners completed the 42.195 kilometer course as a relay team with enthusiasm and team spirit. The Hanseatic city provided an excellent backdrop in sunny weather and with numerous enthusiastic spectators.

We congratulate the runners and are happy about their successful participation.

Photo: Inga Melzer

Junge Nachwuchswissenschaftler tauschen sich aus

April 2023

4th Cancer Careers Day : How to communicate your science

On April 21, 2023, the 4th Cancer Careers Day as a joint online event of the Mildred Scheel Junior Research Center (MSNZ), the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) and the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH) was dedicated to the question of how good science communication can be implemented.

Science communication takes place almost everywhere: Between project partners in an interdisciplinary collaboration, in the exchange between physicians and patients or in the private sphere in stories about work. Knowledge is communicated everywhere and must be so comprehensible that the most diverse addressees can understand a highly complex topic, usually without prior knowledge. It is therefore crucial that young scientists learn how to communicate their research results in an understandable and appealing way.

The introductory talk by Jens Foell, editor at maithink Media and trainer at NaWik, highlighted the communication channels in science communication on social media and explained what to look for when communicating science topics. Avin Hell, Referent:in for Communication and Patient:Involvement at UCCH, presented the framework and formats for communicating science topics.

As another highlight of the event, actively communicating scientists were also interviewed in a panel discussion, including Marisa Kurz, physician at LMU Klinikum Großhadern and freelance editor at Spektrum.de and Spektrum Gesundheit, and Lorenz Adlung, junior research group leader at UKE and podcast co-host at bugtales.fm. Both reported on their personal experiences from everyday life as communicators.

The participants of the event thus gained valuable insights into the different aspects and approaches of science communication in order to communicate their own research results to different target groups in the best possible way.

The event series "Cancer Careers Day" provides an overview of career opportunities within and outside the "classical" academic world and takes place twice per calendar year. Through discussions and interviews with experts from a wide range of fields, from classic (but also unconventional) "university jobs" to the pharmaceutical industry, communications, law, PR and others, participants:inside gain insight into what all these careers actually look like and what skills are required to be successful.

Link:

Mildred Scheel Young Scientists Center Hamburg - MSNZ Hamburg
National Institute for Science Communication (NaWik)

Photo: Pexels

Team von "Nicht rauchen ist cool"

April 2023

Non-smoking is cool - UKE prevention event for pupils started again in presence

On 13.4. it was time again - 150 pupils: inside of the 6th classes from 3 different schools from the Hamburg area came to be trained in smoking prevention.

The initiative Non-Smoking is Cool is carried out jointly by the University Cancer Center Hamburg and the German Center for Addiction Issues of Children and Adolescents. Given the current alarming figures on children and adolescents who smoke, the relaunch of the series after the Corona break comes at just the right time.

When asked if they had learned anything new today, many students nodded in agreement: "My dad smokes, I'm going to tell people at home today that he has to stop," said one student. After all, not smoking is cool, as the 150 students who had gathered in lecture hall W30 at the invitation of UCCH and the German Center for Addiction Issues in Childhood and Adolescence together with their teachers learned.

In the course of the Non-Smoking is Cool story, more than 100,000 Hamburg schoolchildren have already taken part in the education and prevention program. So far, the numbers have confirmed the success - many children and young people have refrained from smoking.But recently the trend has reversed - according to a new study by DEBRA , the number of smoking children and adolescents aged 14 to 17 has almost doubled from 8.7% in 2021 to 15.9% in 2022. In addition to cigarettes and shisha smoking, there are also the new e-cigarettes, which are often sold at gas stations and kiosks in violation of the Youth Protection Act and are considered a possible gateway drug.

The UKE doctors explained the addictive dangers of smoking in a way that was appropriate for children and took plenty of time to answer the children's questions. They did not gloss over anything and pointed out the potential consequences, such as cancer or severe lung damage. The fact that, for example, one smoked shisha is the equivalent of 100 smoked cigarettes generated astonished murmurs among the children. In a film, the children experienced first-hand the examinations and interviews with the patients.

Mr. Rohwerder, accompanying teacher from Gymnasium Süderelbe, says about Non-Smoking is Cool: "As a teacher, I see a high effect in this event. We go right into the middle of the action, directly into the clinic. The fact that doctors are teaching the subject here gives smoking prevention a very professional and therefore particularly credible perspective. I also think it's good that students in the 6th grade are invited here; we see a lot to be gained from starting so early."

Non-smoking is cool goes again in series - immediately the prevention meeting is offered up to the summer all 2 weeks. Interested Lehrer:innen can direct their questions to Andrea Lentfer in the secretariat of the German center for addiction questions of the child and youth age under alentfer@uke.de .

Further information:
Not smoking is cool
German Center for Addiction Issues in Childhood and Adolescence

Photos: Anne Marie Asemissen and Avin Hell

from left: Representing the lecturing team of physicians: Dr. Anne Marie Asemissen, Dr. Sören Galow, Maximilian Kirchner, Martin Ansgar Horn (all II. Med. Clinic)

Teilnehmende Referenten

March 2023

Innovations in Visceral Oncology - First Networking Event at UCCH

On March 29, 2023, medical representatives of the different disciplines around visceral oncology came together to exchange information about the latest diagnostic and therapeutic developments. The event was organized in cooperation with the UCCH network partners.

The symposium was interdisciplinary in nature and aimed to provide participants with an overview of the latest developments in visceral oncology. This included innovative diagnostic procedures such as liquid biopsy, but also new therapeutic options such as immuno-oncology and personalized medicine.

The first part of the symposium focused on visceral surgery in transition to the latest surgical techniques. Prof. Dr. med. Thilo Hackert, new director of the Department of General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), took the opportunity to introduce himself and explain the possibilities and limitations in surgery for pancreatic cancer. He also spoke about the importance of robotically assisted surgery using surgical robots.

The second part of the event focused on precision medicine in radiation and systems therapy of gastrointestinal tumors. In addition, the latest approaches in personalized medicine were presented, in which the tumor profile of individual patients is analyzed in order to develop an individually tailored therapy. All in all, the training event was a great success, which will be repeated in the coming years. The participants were able to gain insights into the latest developments in visceral oncology and discuss them with their professional colleagues.

Photo: Avin Hell

Logo der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Palliativmedizin

March 2023

German Society for Palliative Medicine - new working group on relatives founded

In order to address the needs of relatives in palliative care more specifically, the German Society for Palliative Medicine founded its own WG "Relatives" on March 7. One of the speakers is Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle, head of palliative medicine at the UKE.

The DGP comments: "The topic of accompanying and caring for relatives in the context of palliative care is a multi-professional issue, where there is still a great need for action both in the area of care, but above all in the area of research as well as in the education, training and continuing education of various professional groups. Relatives, like the sick people themselves, belong in the focus of palliative care, since they have various unmet support needs, a limited quality of life, a significant psychosocial burden, and numerous psychological morbidities."

In addition to Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle, other speakers include: Prof. Dr. rer. medic. Stephanie Stiel from the Hannover Medical School and Denise Kirsch from the Palliativnetz Hamburg-West e.V.

Further information from the German Society for Palliative Medicine

Contact Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle

Prof. Dr. Stefan Rutkowski

February 2023

International Children's Cancer Day: "Children are not small adults"

Questions for... Prof. Dr. Stefan Rutkowski

More than 500,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Germany every year - among them about 2,200 children and adolescents. When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the shock is deep. The good news is that the chances of curing children with cancer have improved enormously in recent years thanks to advances in research and therapy. On the occasion of International Children's Cancer Day on February 15, Prof. Dr. Stefan Rutkowski, Head of the Children's Oncology Center at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), talks about current developments in cancer medicine and therapy.

Which types of cancer are particularly common in children and adolescents?

Prof. Dr. Stefan Rutkowski: The diagnosis of cancer is always a shock, especially when it hits children. In the age group up to 15 years, we see leukemias, i.e. blood cancer, particularly frequently, with a share of over 30 percent. Tumor diseases in the brain and spinal cord are in second place with around 24 percent, followed by diseases of the lymphatic tissue with 14 percent (lymph node cancer). In this age group, tumor diseases are particularly aggressive because cancer cells multiply rapidly.

Why is this so?

Prof. Rutkowski: Children are still developing, they are growing. Growth always means cell division. Cancer is particularly common in children where cells divide and grow more frequently, for example in the lymph nodes. Bone cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in adolescents during puberty because they grow particularly quickly during this phase. Children are not small adults. The cancer, the therapy and the course of the disease differ in many respects from those in adults.

How does cancer manifest itself in children?

Prof. Rutkowski: Symptoms that can indicate cancer in children include persistent pain and fever, headaches, vomiting, and an unusual bulge in the abdomen. Unexplained bleeding or night sweats and a gleam in the eyes may also be signs. If such symptoms, even non-specific ones, become increasingly noticeable, parents should take action and have them clarified by a doctor.

Is cancer more curable in childhood?

Prof. Rutkowski: Nowadays, thanks to advances in research and therapy, more than 80 percent of cancers diagnosed in children and adolescents are curable. That is very good news! Nevertheless, a diagnosis of cancer in children remains a life-altering event that is associated with enormous organizational and emotional challenges.

What treatments are available?

Prof. Rutkowski: The treatment options depend on many factors, primarily on the type of cancer, the course of the disease, its extent, tumor biology and other individual factors such as the age of the patient. In general, surgical therapy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are available, but new, so-called targeted forms of therapy are also increasingly being used. Even though the chances of cure are very good for the majority of patients, the care of seriously ill children and adolescents must be ensured, and the need for research remains very high.

Photo: UKE

February 2023

UCCH participates in Youth research - Jury

"Make ideas big" - under this motto, students presented their scientific projects at the regional competition Jugend forscht at the UKE. The UCCH participated in the jury with several members - all to promote the next generation.

Approximately 120 students presented 52 projects in 7 subject areas at the regional competition at the UKE. This was preceded by an intensive discussion of their scientific research questions and experiments at the schools. The Jugend forscht jury, made up of UKE employees and teachers, among others, judged the written projects in advance. On Valentine's Day, February 14, the time had come: the projects were presented live to the respective jury members at the UKE.

It was a matter of honor for the UCCH to support young scientists as jury members:Prof. Dr. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke, Deputy Director of the UCCH, Dr. Catarina Schlüter, Head of the Clinical Cancer Registry, Dr. Britta Fritzsche, Coordinator of the UCCH Biobanks, and Avin Hell, Officer for (Science) Communication, happily participated in the jury.

Photo: Avin Hell

February 2023

Dr. Martini Award 2023: MSNZ researchers among the first-place winners

On February 13, Germany's oldest medical prize was awarded to five UKE researchers by Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science and Second Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, and Prof. Dr. Ansgar W. Lohse, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dr. Martini Foundation and Director of the I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic of the UKE. Two researchers from the Mildred Scheel Young Investigators Center were among the first-place winners.

The first prize was awarded twice: It went to Dr. Anastasios Giannou from the I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic and Clinic for General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery, and Dr. Jan Kempski, I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic, for their evidence that the human immune system is a driver in cancer metastasis. (Second, the first prize was awarded to Anne Mühlig, M.D., and her doctoral student Johanna Steingröver, Ph.D., from the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, for their research on a new understanding and treatment options for severe childhood kidney disease).

The second prize was awarded to Dr. Michael Bockmayr, Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, for his innovative research on risk assessment of spinal cord tumors by molecular biological and bioinformatic methods.
Dr. Kempski's and Dr. Bockmayr's oncology research topics have been significantly advanced in this effort through funding from UCCH's Mildred Scheel Young Investigators Center.

"We have been awarding the Dr. Erich Martini Prize here in Hamburg as a center of science for 140 years - that is truly remarkable. I am very pleased that this year we are honoring five outstanding young scientists:in the UKE. If we want to help shape the future of medicine, we need to provide targeted support for our young medical talent. This year, the young scientists have advanced their work in the field of severe childhood kidney disease and cancer research. Thanks to the cutting-edge research at the UKE, we are learning more every day about diseases and possible therapies that will make a lasting difference to all our lives. I warmly congratulate all the award winners on this important distinction," says Katharina Fegebank, Minister for Science, Research, Equality and Districts and Second Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

"With your excellent research spirit and your commitment, you have all contributed to providing new approaches to solving highly complex medical problems. I congratulate you warmly on this on behalf of the Foundation. At the same time, I would like to thank the donor Eva-Maria Greve for her generous support," says Prof. Dr. Ansgar W. Lohse, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dr. Martini Foundation and Director of the I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic of the UKE.

Photo: UKE, Axel Kirchhof, Text: Anja Brandt, Avin Hell

Prof. Dr. med. Klaus Panel
Prof. Dr. med. Klaus Panel

February 2023

EU funding to enable blood test for early detection of pancreatic cancer

9.8 million euros for international research project led by UKE - Major success for cancer research at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE): A project for the early detection of pancreatic cancer led by the UKE will receive 9.8 million euros in EU funding

The research consortium with partners from eight countries has set itself the goal of developing a blood test for the early detection of pancreatic cancer over the next five years. On the German side, the consortium includes the University Cancer Center in the UKE, the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH) and Heidelberg University Hospital.

In the PANCAID project ("PANcreatic CAncer Initial Detection via Liquid Biopsy"), which is funded by the EU until 2027, the scientists involved aim to collect blood samples from patients with pancreatic cancer as well as from healthy individuals and those at increased risk of developing the disease. Computer analysis and artificial intelligence will be used to identify the key cellular markers responsible for the development of pancreatic cancer. "At the end of the process, we want to have developed the design for a clinical trial in which the new blood test will be simultaneously tested for its effectiveness in many European treatment centers," says Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, director of the Institute of Tumor Biology and head of the international research consortium.

"We are very pleased to receive outstanding funding from the EU for this important project in cancer medicine. It is one of only five funded projects out of 78 applications submitted to the EU in the 'Mission Cancer' program. Congratulations to Prof. Pantel's team, who will take cancer research at the University Cancer Center Hamburg in the UKE a big step forward with this project," says Prof. Dr. Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro, Dean of the Medical Faculty and UKE Board Member.

Blood test could improve treatment chances for pancreatic cancer

Cancer of the pancreas usually only causes symptoms such as weight loss, pain in the abdomen or back, loss of appetite or nausea when the disease is already advanced. "Most patients die within a year of diagnosis. That's why there is a great need for action here," explains Prof. Pantel. "If we succeed in developing a meaningful blood test in the coming years, it could enable earlier diagnosis and thus more promising treatment." About 19,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Germany every year. Smoking, obesity or high alcohol consumption increase the risk of the disease, as do type 2 diabetes, chronic pancreatitis or a family history of pancreatic cancer.

Kick-off event in Hamburg from February 13 to 15

The EU is funding the project, which involves 18 partners from eight countries (Germany, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Belgium, France, England and Israel), as part of the "Horizon Europe" program in the "Mission Cancer" area. The total funding amounts to 9.8 million euros, of which 1.8 million euros will go directly to UKE. The project started on January 1, 2023, with the first meeting of all participating scientists from February 13 to 15 in Hamburg now marking the joint launch.

Further information:

pancaid-interim ( pancaid-project.eu )

Photo: UKE

February 2023

The first patient ambassadors are trained

The two University Cancer Centers at the University Hospitals UKE and UKSH jointly founded the Patient Competence Center North in August last year. After 6 months, the first Patient Ambassadors have completed their training.

No less than 13 Patient Ambassadors happily hold their certificates in their hands - they have successfully completed the training at the Patient Competence Center North after 6 months.

The Patient Competence Center North was founded by the two Cancer Centers in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein at the University Hospitals UKE and UKSH in August with the aim of training those affected by a cancer disease for active participation and competent collaboration in research questions, networking and strategic orientation. The new Patient Ambassadors bring the important perspective of their own experience to the future dialogue with physicians, researchers and health policy makers.

The concept of the Patient Competence Center North follows the demands of the National Decade against Cancer and is also supported by the state politics of the two federal states Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.
The patient ambassadors will start their work on research topics, committee work and projects in the next weeks and report about their work in the following link.

Who is interested: The next training course will start in the 2nd half of the year. Please contact Avin Hell at a.hell@uke.de for more information.

Further information about the Patient Competence Center North.

Photo: Laura Lehmann

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer
Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer

February 2023

World Cancer Day: Innovative therapies in the fight against cancer

Questions for... Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer

Cancer - every one of us has probably come into contact with it at some point: In Germany alone, around 500,000 people receive this diagnosis every year. Although cancer medicine has developed in recent years, cancer is the second most common cause of death after cardiovascular disease. On the occasion of World Cancer Day on February 4, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Head of the Center for Oncology and Hematology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH), talks about current developments in cancer medicine and therapy.

What exactly is cancer and where can it occur?

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer: First of all, cancer is a terrible diagnosis for those affected. From a medical point of view, cancer is a multitude of different forms of disease with very different organ origins. But they all have one thing in common: the malignant development of the body's cells. While healthy body cells grow in a controlled manner and fulfill a specific task, cancer cells grow uncontrollably and have a destructive effect. Cancer can occur throughout the body and affect all organs.

What is the most common form of cancer?

Prof. Bokemeyer: The most common cancer in men is prostate cancer, in women breast cancer, followed by lung and colon cancer in both sexes. The chances of cure often depend on the time of diagnosis and qualified therapy. Although it is not yet clear in detail how cancer develops, we know that there are some risk factors, for example smoking, obesity or lack of exercise, and viral influences. About 40 percent of tumor diseases are due to lifestyle and corresponding external influences. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid risk factors and to take advantage of regular preventive examinations.

What are the greatest achievements in cancer medicine?

Prof. Bokemeyer: There has been considerable progress in cancer treatment in recent years, but two major developments in particular. One is immunotherapy, in which the body's own immune system is trained to fight cancer cells. The other is targeted, personalized cancer therapy. Here, an analysis of the DNA of the cancer cells is carried out in order to be able to give exactly the right medication based on this and thus achieve the greatest possible effect.

What will cancer medicine look like in the future?

Prof. Bokemeyer: We know that not everyone responds to a therapy in the same way; each person has their own unique disease history and specific conditions. This is precisely where the cancer medicine of the future comes in, because it will be increasingly individualized and tailored more precisely to the tumor disease of the individual patient. This makes it not only much more effective, but also less side-effective and better tolerated, in order to ultimately increase the chances of cure with the least possible side effects and long-term consequences.

What role does patient involvement play?

Prof. Bokemeyer: In order to improve cancer medicine even further, it is extremely important to involve patients' perspectives in research, treatment and therapy. That's why we train patient ambassadors at the UKE: Former cancer patients are trained in medical issues and procedures so that they can contribute the perspective of those affected. After all, patients themselves know best how therapy and treatment can be made even more patient-oriented.
Photo: UKE

Krebschleife Orange

January 2023

Social Media Week on the occasion of World Cancer Day on February 04, 2023

The motto of this year's World Cancer Day is "Close the care gap". We at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) would like to draw attention to the topic of cancer and the numerous facets of the disease with a week of action on the UKE Instagram channel (uke_hamburg) from Jan. 30-Feb. 04.

Each of us has already come into contact with the topic of cancer, either directly or indirectly, and about 510,000 people are newly diagnosed each year, with an upward trend. But the chances of being cured of a cancer diagnosis or of having a high quality of life despite cancer are also constantly growing thanks to innovative research.With our Cancer Action Week on Instagram, we want to draw attention to the diagnosis of cancer and shed light on the numerous facets of the disease.

You can expect a mix of general facts, the latest research findings on CAR-T cell therapy for liquid and solid tumors, prevention, patient involvement, care and supplies, and complimentary medicine.

We look forward to your digital visit on the UKE Instagram channel (uke_hamburg)!

Instagram channel of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (uke_hamburg)

To the post of the German Cancer Aid on the occasion of World Cancer Day

Photo: © Chinnapong - Fotolia.com

December 2022

Doctoral Grants and Fellowships 2023

On December 21, 2022, the Hubertus Wald Foundation's doctoral grants and fellowships for the year 2023 were awarded to four young scientists in the fields of tumor biology, cancer research and cancer therapy.

The Hubertus Wald Foundation supports the doctoral projects of young scientists with the various forms of funding. The scholarships are intended to enable the respective doctoral candidates to focus primarily on the content of their doctoral thesis for at least one year. Both experimental approaches and clinical investigations within the framework of clinical studies or data evaluation are supported.

The following awards are granted:

Hubertus Wald Doctoral Grant 2023

  • Jeannine Bollmann
  • Malte Friedrich

Hubertus-Wald PhD Fellowships 2023

  • Shari Schneider
  • Yagana Wahid

We congratulate the award winners and wish them all the best for their upcoming PhD projects.

Photo: Avin Hell

Participants of the MSNZ in front of the Erika House at the UKE
Teilnehmer:innen vor dem Erika-Haus am UKE

November 2022

Three years Mildred-Scheel-Young Investigators Center Hamburg

The Mildred Scheel Young Investigators Center (MSNZ) in Hamburg has been in existence since 2019 - time to look back. For this purpose, the board of directors, members of the advisory board, the MSNZ Fellows and interested parties met for a symposium on November 22, 2022. The event was also broadcast via livestream.

Within the framework of the funding of the MSNZ Hamburg by the German Cancer Aid, more than 40 scientists have already been supported in various funding lines and (pro rata) positions have been funded. In three oral and one poster session at noon, the MSNZ Fellows presented the outstanding research results of current projects with a focus on dissemination and metastasis.

In addition to the financial support, the participants particularly appreciated the additional offerings. These include training and information opportunities such as the Cancer Careers Day, mentoring and various networking events. Especially under the difficult conditions of the Corona pandemic, a scientific exchange across disciplines was made possible.

Bruce Zetter (Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Boston), external scientific advisor of the MSNZ, particularly praised the active cooperation between medical and clinician scientists in the individual projects: "Many hospitals only talk about this cooperation, but here it is really practiced. And it's the only way how things go from bench to bed side. Congratulations!" Medical Scientists are natural scientists working in the field of medicine, whereas Clinician Scientists are physicians working in clinical science.

The cooperation of physicians and scientists as well as external research institutions such as Fraunhofer Institutes or DESY are among the central concerns of the Young Investigators Center.

The funding of the Mildred-Scheel-Young Investigators Center Hamburg by the DKH currently runs until 2025, and it is currently unclear whether there will be a follow-up funding program after that. However, the current symposium impressively demonstrates how successful such funding programs can be in the scientific community.

At least a partial continuation of the center's activities by means of a performance-based savings model as well as support from local foundations is already planned, so we can look forward to exciting events in the future.

Related links:

Mildred-Scheel-Nachwuchszentren der deutschen Krebshilfe

Mildred-Scheel-Nachwuchszentrum Hamburg

Photo: Laura Lehmann

November 2022

Pancreatic Cancer: Early Diagnosis is Crucial

Pancreatic cancer (pancreatic carcinoma) is one of the third most common tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. In Germany, almost 17,100 people are diagnosed with the disease every year. On the occasion of World Pancreatic Cancer Day on November 17, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Marianne Sinn, senior physician at the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic and at UCCH, and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Faik G. Uzunoglu, Senior Physician at the Clinic and Polyclinic for General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), will provide information about the disease and treatment options.

What is pancreatic cancer?

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Uzunoglu: Our pancreas has two important tasks: First, in the exocrine tissue, it produces digestive enzymes that help us digest and absorb fats, proteins and sugars. Second, in the endocrine tissue, it produces hormones, especially insulin and glucagon, which regulate blood sugar. Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tissue change, the majority of tumors develop from the exocrine gland tissue.

What are the causes of the disease?

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Sinn: The risk factors that can lead to pancreatic cancer have not yet been conclusively determined. However, we do know that smoking and high alcohol consumption increase the risk. In addition to genetic factors, chronic inflammation, obesity and diabetes mellitus can also contribute to an increased risk of disease. The average age of onset is 72 for men and 75 for women. A balanced diet, sufficient exercise and a healthy lifestyle can have a preventive effect.

What are the symptoms?

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Sinn: The insidious thing is that the disease initially causes hardly any symptoms or only non-specific symptoms, which means that it is usually diagnosed too late. Possible symptoms include loss of appetite, back pain, nausea, diarrhea, new-onset diabetes mellitus or unexplained weight loss. If the tumor is located in such a way that it blocks the outflow of bile, jaundice may also develop.

What are the treatment options?

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Uzunoglu: Whether pancreatic cancer can be surgically removed depends on whether the tumor is in contact with the vessels of the liver or small intestine and whether metastases are already present. If there is no contact with the vessels and there are no metastases, the tumor can be surgically removed directly. In advanced tumors, chemotherapy may be necessary before surgery. The latter may also be necessary if there is aggressive tumor growth or the patient:s condition does not allow direct surgery. Especially for tumors that have already metastasized, chemotherapy and possibly radiation are available as treatment options.

How successful are the treatment options?

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Uzunoglu: Diagnosis at an early stage of the disease is crucial for improving the prognosis. In addition to further intensive research, it is therefore essential to raise the awareness of colleagues and patients for possible warning signs. Unfortunately, treatment options with curative intent are only available for about 20 percent of patients, and of these, about 15 to 30 percent are still alive five years after surgery. Unfortunately, this is a particularly aggressive form of cancer, which is why it is so important to be aware of the warning signs, which can become apparent at an early stage.

The certified Pancreas Center of the UKE University Cancer Center is organizing an online video conference on the occasion of World Pancreatic Cancer Day on November 17, 2022, in which patients:inside and relatives can ask questions. In addition, affected persons and relatives have the opportunity to contact the telephone consultation hours of the Pancreatic Cancer Center of the UKE at 0152 22 84 38 30 from 9:00 to 16:00.

Further information: UKE - Pankreassprechstunde - Welt-Pankreaskrebstag

November 2022

New funding program for oncology tandem research at UCCH and UCCSH

CONNECT – are the names of the new grants announced by the two Cancer Centers at the University Hospitals of Hamburg-Eppendorf and Schleswig-Holstein (Kiel and Lübeck sites). The aim is to bring together young oncology clinical and scientific researchers from both institutions in tandems to enable them to spend one year together in research. CONNECT stands for "Cooperative NORD-Networking for Early Career Teams".

After a review process, receive funding:

  • Dr. Dorothee Winterberg, Department of Internal Medicine II, Kiel Campus, and Dr. Richard Tilman Hauch, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Hamburg, are conducting research on new immunotherapy options for high-risk childhood leukemia.
  • Anna Maxi Wandmacher, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine II and Institute for Experimental Tumor Research, Kiel Campus, and Franziska Brauneck, M.D., Department of Medicine II, Hamburg, are investigating immunotherapeutic approaches to pancreatic cancer and acute myeloid leukemia.
  • Dr. Alexander Fabian, Department of Radiotherapy, Kiel Campus, and Dr. Katharina Hintelmann from the Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, Hamburg, focus on radiobiological characterization and therapy monitoring of breast cancer at different stages of metastasis.
  • At the Lübeck Campus, Dr. Lorenz Oelschläger from the Department of Hematology and Oncology, with colleague PD Dr. Jasmin Wellbrock, II. Med. Clinic, Hamburg, will receive funding to study associations between different transcription factors in cases of Acute Myeloid Leukemia that have a particular initial mutation in a tyrosine kinase (FLT3).

The projects are each endowed with 50,000 EUR. CONNECT is financially supported by the Medical Faculty of Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, the Medical Section of the University of Lübeck, and the Mildred Scheel Young Investigators Center in Hamburg, which is funded by German Cancer Aid.

At the end of the joint research period, the projects will be presented at the cross-site Northern Oncology Research & Development (NORD) seminar.

Photo: Sebastian Bechstedt

November 2022

Award ceremony for this year's Hubertus Wald Research Prizes

Research awards and fellowships were presented this year by the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center - UCCH to young scientists. The awardees were selected at this year's UCCH Research Retreat over the summer. At the awards ceremony, all projects were presented in short and understandable talks to those in attendance, including representatives of the Hubertus Wald Foundation, which has made these awards possible for years.

"There is nothing more important than paving the way for those who want to get involved in cancer research and cancer medicine to enter the research community, whether through networking or just by funding the projects accordingly," said Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer, director of UCCH, at the opening of the awards ceremony in the historically restored Fritz Schumacher Lecture Hall. With three research awards for young investigators, two poster awards and three research fellowships for the coming year, it was proven how great the interest is in the UCCH community to participate in future research development.

Also present were the two representatives of the Hubertus Wald Foundation Board of Trustees, Prof. Dr. Hartwig Huland and Rüdiger Ludwig. The Hubertus Wald Tumor Center as a whole receives significant support from the Hubertus Wald Foundation. In addition to the awarding of research prizes, the clinical care of people with cancer is the focus of the funding. The Hanseatic entrepreneur Hubertus Wald (1903-2005) and his wife Renate devoted themselves for decades to the promotion of culture and medicine, resulting in the Hubertus Wald Foundation in 1993. In a brief retrospective, Prof. Bokemeyer reported on previous awardees and their careers, who have since achieved important positions in cancer research and medicine.

This year, UCCH research fellowships, the Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Oncology Research 2022 to two promising young scientists, the Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Psychosocial Cancer Research 2022 for the first time, and several poster awards were presented. The awards will be presented at a ceremony at a later date.

The following award winners were pleased with the awards:

Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Oncology Research 2022:

Dr. Franziska Brauneck
II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic / Mildred Scheel Junior Research Center Hamburg
Project: "The blockade of CD39 by a newly engineered nanobody construct restores proliferation and activation of T cells in ovarian cancer"

Dr. Melanie Schoof
Research Institute Children's Cancer Center Hamburg / Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
Project: "Exploration of cellular origins and therapeutic targets by modeling high-grade pediatric glioma of the MYCN subclass in mice".

Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Psychosocial Cancer Research 2022:

Cheyenne Topf, M. Sc.-Psych.
Institute and Polyclinic for Medical Psychology
Project: "Patient-centered cancer care through the provision of audio recordings of their clinical encounters for patients - Study protocol and first results of a feasibility study"

Poster Prize 2022:

Alicia Eckhardt
Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Experimental Radiation Oncology / Institute of Neuropathology
Project: "Global mean methylation serves as independent prognostic marker in glioblastoma"

Ayham Moustafa
Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Experimental Radiation Oncology / Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Project: "Identification of predictive proteome profiles in prostate cancer sensitive to PARP- and/or ERG-inhibition plus irradiation"

UCCH Research Fellowship 2023
(for a research period in the coming year, funded by 1/3 each by the donor and host institutions and by the Dean's office)

Sophia Cichutek
Sending party: II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic (Prof. Bokemeyer)
Receiving party: I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic (Prof. Schulze zur Wiesch)
Project: "Comparative characterization of exhaustion patterns of dysregulated T cells in acute myeloid leukemia and chronic viral infections".

Dr. Jacob Clausen
Sending party: Department of Otorhinolaryngology (Prof. Betz)
Receiving party: Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Experimental Radiooncology (Prof. Roth-kamm / PD Dr. Kriegs)
Project: "Monitoring head and neck cancer treatment by immune checkpoint inhibition using func-tional kinome profiling".

Dr. Alice Ryba
Sending party: Department of Neurosurgery (Prof. Westphal)
Receiving party: Institute of Tumor Biology (Prof. Pantel)
Project: "The circulating immunome of glioblastoma patients".

Congratulations to all award winners!

October 2022

3rd Cancer Careers Day under the motto "Research abroad"

What happens after the doctorate, post-doc position or residency? This question is asked by young scientists and the career options are manifold! Under the motto "Research Abroad", the third Cancer Careers Day took place on October 28, 2022 as a joint online event of the Mildred Scheel Junior Research Center (MSNZ), the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) and the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH).

The low-threshold opportunity to work on scientific projects abroad for a limited period of time and to gain valuable methodological and personal experience is one of the advantages of working in academic research. The stay can be planned for periods ranging from two weeks to several years anywhere in the world. Such stays are supported by renowned funding bodies such as the Leopoldina Academy of Sciences, the German Cancer Aid, the German Research Foundation (DFG) or the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

After a short welcome to all participants, Kristin Günther (University of Hamburg), Dunja Hofmann (KoWi - Kooperationsstelle EU der Wissenschaftsorganisationen) and Dr. Inga Melzer (MSNZ Hamburg) presented various funding opportunities for research stays abroad.

For example, the German Cancer Aid offers a "Short Term Fellowship" for short-term research stays at institutions in Germany and abroad. The German Research Foundation (DFG) - especially with the Walter Benjamin Program - addresses scientists in the qualification phase following their doctorate and offers the opportunity to independently implement their own research project at the location of their choice.

In the European Research Area (ERA), there is the "Horizon 2020" program for research and innovation. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) contained therein pursue the goals of supporting the careers of researchers through international mobility and the networking of research institutions within Europe.

In the panel discussion that followed, six participants from Stockholm, Melbourne, Liverpool, Kiel, Heidelberg, Oxford, and Hamburg shared their experiences and the funding they received to go abroad. A stay abroad is not only beneficial for new professional impressions, but also offers the opportunity to get to know new cultures and the "way-of-life" in the respective country.

Also the compatibility of family and job does not have to be a hurdle on the way abroad. Among other things, the personal background is taken into account by the DFG in the funding amount. For those interested in going abroad, the only thing to keep in mind is that the organizational processes from the funding application to the start of the trip to the destination can usually take between six to twelve months.

The event series "Cancer Careers Day" provides an overview of career opportunities within and outside the "classical" academic world and takes place twice per calendar year. Through discussions and interviews with experts from a wide range of fields, from classic (but also unconventional) "university jobs" to the pharmaceutical industry to communications, law, PR and others, you will get an insight into what all these careers actually look like and what skills are required to be successful.

For news around events for scientist:s, feel free to sign up for the UCCH Science mailing list at ucch.science.info@uke.de .

Photo: Pexels

October 2022

Prof. Dr. Cordula Petersen and Brainlab project partners are among the "circle of the best" of the German Future Prize 2022

Prof. Dr. Cordula Petersen, Director of the Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, as well as Stefan Vilsmeier and Claus Promberger of Brainlab, a provider in the field of digital medical technology, were included in the "Circle of the Best" of the German Future Prize 2022 by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on November 26.

As a team, they were among the three nominees this year with the development of a high-precision radiation technology against lung cancer.

About 60,000 people per year develop lung cancer, and one in four of them dies. The reason for this is that in 70 percent of cases the malignant disease is only detected at a very advanced stage. In a good half of all cancer patients in Germany, radiation therapy now plays a major role in curing the disease. With the new technology, even a very small lung tumor can be irradiated at an early stage and with pinpoint accuracy, as it uses real-time data to calculate the patient's breathing movements. In this way, radiation therapy can be better controlled, damage to surrounding healthy tissue and side effects can be reduced, and treatment can be faster than with conventional radiation treatments.

The method developed by Stefan Vilsmeier and Claus Promberger is scientifically supported by Prof. Cordula Petersen and her team. With their experience in stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy, they are able to decisively advance the practical implementation especially in the field of novel treatment concepts.

Further information on the project (German)

Photo: ©Brainlab

Prof. Dr. Barbara Schmalfeldt
Prof. Dr. Barbara Schmalfeldt

October 2022

Prof. Dr. Barbara Schmalfeldt elected president of the DGGG

Prof. Dr. Barbara Schmalfeldt, Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Gynecology at UKE, has been elected as the new President of the German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics (DGGG).

"My primary concern is to represent with the DGGG the outstanding importance of the specialty of gynecology and obstetrics in the health care system, in society and vis-à-vis politics," she said after her election on the sidelines of the 64th DGGG Congress in Munich. Prof. Schmalfeldt has held various positions in the professional society for nearly 20 years, and she has been clinic director at UKE since 2015.

Photo: UKE

September 2022

Reinhold-Schwarz-Award for Psychooncology 2022

The two psychooncologists Prof. Dr. Isabelle Scholl and Dr. Pola Hahlweg have received the Reinhold-Schwarz-Award for Psychooncology 2022. The prize was awarded during the 20th annual meeting of the AG Psychoonkologie of the German Cancer Society. The prize is awarded for pioneering studies that serve to promote and further develop psychooncology.

The Reinhold-Schwarz-Award for Psychooncology 2022, endowed with € 2,500, was awarded in equal parts to two papers this year. Kristina Herzog from the University Hospital Dresden and Leipzig receives the award for her publication "Illness perceptions in patients and parents in paediatric oncology during acute treatment and follow-up care", published in the journal Psycho-Oncology 2022. As the 2nd paper, Prof. Dr. Isabelle Scholl and Dr. Pola Hahlweg as joint first authors from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf receive the award for their work "Evaluation of a program for routine implementation of shared decision-making in cancer care: results of a stepped wedge cluster randomized trial", published in ZS Implementation Science 2021.

The work of Scholl and Hahlweg is dedicated to the current and highly relevant topic of implementing participatory decision making (PEF) in oncology and focuses on the question of whether a program for implementing PEF can increase acceptance. The qualitative and quantitative study approach with differentiated methodology was particularly highlighted by the reviewers. "There have hardly been any methodologically high-quality studies on the practical implementation of participatory decision making (PEF)," said Gabriele Blettner. "PEF is only implemented to a limited extent in everyday care in oncology. The results show that new approaches would have to be developed for its introduction in routine oncology care," Blettner added.

The award ceremony took place during the 20th annual meeting of the Working Group for Psychooncology (PSO) of the German Cancer Society (DKG).

The Reinhold-Schwarz-Reinhold-Schwarz-Award for Psychooncology has been awarded since 2013 by the Weiterbildung Psycho-soziale Onkologie e.V. (eng. Advanced training in psychosocial oncology) (WPO) and serves to promote young scientists and to further develop psychooncology.

Since 1994, the WPO has been offering seminars and curricula throughout Germany that provide up-to-date expertise on onco-logical and psychosocial topics. The aim of the WPO is to expand practical skills and to promote interdisciplinary cooperation between the various professional groups involved in psycho-oncology.

Congratulations to the winners!

Information about "Working Group for Psychooncology" (German)
Advanced training in psychosocial oncology (WPO) (German)

Photo: Eva Hecht, UKE

Teilnehmer:innen des II GS InTechCanDiTh Retreat 2022
Participants of the II GS InTechCanDiTh Retreat 2022

September 2022

Interdisciplinary exchange at the II GS InTechCanDiTh Retreat 2022

On September 15 and 16, 2022, the 2nd Retreat of the Research Training Group "Innovative Technologies in Cancer Diagnostics and Therapy" (GRK) took place in Bad Bramstedt. Participants from 15 research institutions of the UKE and the TUHH exchanged information about the state of the art in various research and PhD projects.

In order to be able to deal with the great challenge of excellent research in the future, a constant further development of cancer research is indispensable. This is where the Research Training Group comes in with its support for young researchers and particularly promotes interdisciplinary cooperation for the development of innovative key technologies in all areas of cancer research.

In a well-known conference location, a professional exchange on 12 funded projects of the GRK took place between clinicians, natural scientists and engineers. For example, researchers are investigating biomarkers that could provide information about resistance to immunotherapies in cancer treatment. In addition, a wide variety of projects are underway on analysis methods for tumor tissues, including the integration of artificial intelligence (AI).

In addition to the further development of analytical methods, some researchers are working on cancer in specific organs. One project is investigating different release processes of circulating cancer cells in tissue damage associated with breast cancer. Another research:in group is investigating ways to monitor childhood brain tumors using liquid biopsy approaches.

This year, the participating PhD students were responsible for organizing the retreat themselves. For this, they were given a set budget framework and coordinated the social program, accommodation and catering for the physical well-being. The retreat was a successful event with valuable knowledge exchange among all participants.

Further information on the 12 research projects of the GRK

Research Training Group (GRK) Project Overview University of Hamburg

Photo: Moustafa, Ayham

September 2022

Strengthening skin cancer research

Stärkung der Hautkrebsforschung

Representatives of the UCCH with the Senator for Science and the donor couple

On September 15, 2022, the Fleur Hiege Center for Skin Cancer Research was inaugurated in the presence of Science Senator Katharina Fegebank and benefactors Astrid and Dr. Wolfgang Hiege. Its aim is to strengthen dermatooncological research. The new center will be headed by Prof. Dr. Stefan W. Schneider, Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Venereology, Deputy Clinic Director Prof. Dr. Christoffer Gebhardt, and Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, Director of the Institute for Tumor Biology under the umbrella of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH), and will be supported by the Hiege Foundation over the next few years.

"I am very pleased that we were able to inaugurate the Fleur Hiege Center for Skin Cancer Research today. Here, the first-class work of a young research team will set new standards in skin cancer diagnostics and treatment in the future. The new center is a promising milestone for this field. My great thanks go to all those involved and, of course, to the donor couple, Astrid and Dr. Wolfgang Hiege," says Katharina Fegebank, Senator of the Authority for Science, Research, Equality and Districts.

"We sincerely thank the Hiege family for their commitment. The support serves translational research and will thus directly benefit our patients. I would like to thank them on behalf of the scientists, nurses, doctors and patients," said Prof. Schneider.

The center is named after the daughter of the founding couple, Fleur-Mareen Habig, née Hiege, who died of malignant melanoma at the age of 32. "In memory of Fleur, who would have turned 50 today, we established the Hiege Foundation in 2006. Its purpose is to help defeat skin cancer. We are pleased to be able to create a lasting legacy in Hamburg today - at Fleur's birthplace - and to be able to continue to advance diagnostics, treatment and prevention in this field together with the UKE," say Astrid and Dr. Wolfgang Hiege.

Prof. Bokemeyer, Director of UCCH, states: "An important foundation stone for the further development of translational research has been laid here. We are very pleased about this from the UCCH point of view."

Further information about Fleur Hiege Stiftung (GERMAN)

(Picture from left: Prof. Bokemeyer, UCCH, Prof. Schneider, UKE Department of Dermatology, Prof. Pantel, Institute of Tumor Biology, Founders Astrid and Dr. Wolfgang Hiege, Senator for Science Katharina Fegebank, Prof. Gebhardt, UCCH Skin Tumor Center)

Bild: Eva Hecht, UKE

September 2022

At #activeoncokids NORD, the happiness of this earth is on the back of horses!


Kind am Pferd

 Blumen in der Mähne

Farben auf Tisch

Mädchen am flechten der Mähne

 Kind auf Pferd

Pferd mit Blumen

Kind auf Pferd auf Reitplatz

Kind auf Pferd


On Saturday, September 10, 2022, the Center ActiveOncoKids North offered the opportunity for therapeutic riding at the "Gärtnerhof am Stüffel" in Bergstedt. The taster day brought former children and adolescents with cancer and their siblings in contact with specially trained therapy horses.

Under the well-known motto of ActiveOncoKids "Discovering possibilities", 12 children of various ages came to the north of Hamburg this time to try their hand at horseback riding. For the Reittherapeut:innen of the Stüffel the holistic contact with the horse in relation to care and riding stands in the foreground.

The children devoted themselves lovingly to the care of the horses, even the manes of the animals were allowed to be embellished with braids and flowers, which came from the in-house Demeter garden. The therapy horses are accustomed to this handling with long training - even the coat was allowed to be decorated by the smaller children with finger paint in colorful patterns. All points to accustom the children to the contact with the animals and to diminish in playful way any fears.

After a joint round on the horse, it was time to get on the horse. The young riders were able to practice their skills on the horses, balancing beets on spoons and cups from one fence post to the next.

Under the apple trees overlooking the riding arena, parents and relatives could watch the action while enjoying coffee and cake. The Demeter farm includes extensive apple orchards, sunflower fields and vegetable gardens, which are beautifully spread around the riding arena. Besides horses, Galloway cattle are also among the animal inhabitants.

The children had a lot of fun caring for and decorating the animals, and everyone especially loved the finger painting - a successful day at the Gärtnerhof am Stüffel.

The ActiveOncoKids offer events for children at regular intervals. They have already had a taste of stadium life at FC St. Pauli, sailed on the Outer Alster at the NRV, and participated in various activities in Kiel and Lübeck. On 19 November Indoor Parcours will be the next event. The goal of the network is to jointly provide exercise opportunities and adequate sports support for children and young people with and after cancer.

To make sure you don't miss any further events of the ActiveOncoKids Nord network, send an email to s.elmers@uke.de with the subject "Registration Newsletter ActiveOncoKids Nord" and you will be informed regularly about the latest topics of the network.

Photos: Laura Lehmann

Further information about ActiveOncoKids North (GERMAN)

Further information about Gärtnerhof am Stüffel e.V. (GERMAN)

Further information about the work of the Clinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Further information about the Fördergemeinschaft des Kinderkrebs-Zentrums Hamburg e.V. (GERMAN)

Gruppe der teilnehmenden Vortragenden

September 2022

Information day on multiple myeloma

The 3rd of September was dedicated to multiple myeloma. In collaboration with the Healthtree Foundation, UCCH organized an information day for patients, relatives and interested parties. A special highlight: Prof. Dr. Jesus Berdeja, one of the leading myeloma specialists in the field of new immunotherapeutics, had traveled from the USA especially for the day.

The development of new drugs and new drug combinations have significantly changed, expanded and improved the treatment of multiple myeloma in recent years. Targeted cellular therapies as well as new antibody constructs will also be used more frequently in the future. With this wealth of options, however, questions arise: when is which therapy right for me? How do I get access to the new treatments? What additional supportive measures can I take?

These were the questions addressed by the speakers at the Information Day, which was held in the Anatomy lecture hall. The event was opened by Gregor Brozeit of the Healthtree Foundation: "I am very pleased that we can offer the participants three speakers who are known worldwide in this field and I hope that we can intensify our cooperation in the future.

The first speaker was Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel, who presented various forms of immunotherapies for the treatment of multiple myeloma. She was particularly pleased that Reinhard Uhde from Tübingen, her patient who was one of the first to receive CAR-T cell therapy under her direction as part of a therapy study in Germany, took part.

CAR-T cells are taken from the patient's body and then genetically modified outside the body. Prof. Dr. Jesus Berdeja from the Sarah Cannon Institute in Nashville, USA, explained the processes behind this and provided information about the possible side effects.Prof. Dr. Cyrus Khandanpour from the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein at the UKSH showed other therapy methods in the form of bispecific antibodies.

The event was rounded off with a report on the experiences of Reinhard Uhde in collaboration with Jürgen Martens, the head of the Multiple Myeloma Self-Help Group Hamburg. After a discussion round with all experts, Prof. Dr. Matthias Rostock explained which complementary measures are available for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Further information about the Healthtree Foundation:
HealthTree

Further information on the Multiple Myeloma Self-Help Group Hamburg:
Multiples Myelom Selbsthilfegruppe Hamburg (GERMAN)

Photo: Avin Hell

August 2022

That was Rowing Against Cancer 2022

 Luftballons mit Aufschrift Rudern gegen Krebs

Rowing against cancer 2022 on Hamburg's Außenalster

Opening: Christoph Holstein, Avin Hell, Volker Zaehle, Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer, Sebastian Franke

The many visitors provided for an exuberant mood

The Cancer Center's team of professors is delighted with the win

The members of the Senate also received the silver medal in a good mood

Patient:innen und Ärzt:innen des UCCH und des Asklepios Tumorzentrums Hamburg

Exciting one-stage race of the Bundesliga Eights

Siegerehrung der Einsteiger

Award ceremony for the experts

In the best weather conditions and in an exuberant mood, 70 double fours competed in the charity regatta on Hamburg's Außenalster. In the morning, the representatives of the city and the UCCH professors raced against each other.

The charity regatta "Rowing against Cancer" was held for the 12th time by the Foundation Living with Cancer in cooperation with the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) and the Rowing Society HANSA e.V. under the patronage of Senator of the Interior Andy Grote.

This year there was a record number of registrations - more than 70 boats with supporters from health care and other companies started for the good cause. Right at the beginning of the event, the professors of the Cancer Center and the representatives of the Senate, first and foremost State Councillor for Sport Christoph Holstein, had an exciting race in the show race, which the medical team won.

Patients also rowed - the boat of the "Alsterchaoten" was able to achieve a good ranking - after all, they had already trained diligently in rowing for cancer patients. The representatives of the University Cancer Center and the Asklepios Tumor Center Hamburg were very pleased about the participation and emphasized once again how important it is to keep fit with sports and exercise during and after therapy.

At noon, there was a little surprise: the women's rowing national league 8s had a tough fight against the junior eight, which competes in Youth for Olympics. Here you could see how the boats literally fly over the water with the precisely coordinated beat of the professionals. The Bundesliga 8 won by one second to loud cheers.

The beginner and expert races were also hard fought to the end. In the beginners' final, the "Dynamo Tresen" team from the Techniker Krankenkasse won the trophy. Second place also went to a TK team - "Die spontanen Techniker". The bronze medal was awarded to the team "AZ3" of the company AstraZeneca.

In the expert final, the "Herzschlag" team from the UKE's University Heart Center once again made it onto the winners' podium. Just a few seconds behind were the silver medal winners "Team Sexy" from the Allemannia Rowing Club. The team "Gigwork Orange" of the company Deutsche GigaNetz GmbH was happy about the third place.

It was obvious that all participants of the regatta enjoyed spending the day together outdoors and on the water.

A special moment during the regatta: This year the rowing club HANSA e.V. celebrates its 150th anniversary and is one of the oldest rowing clubs in Germany. On behalf of the Federal President and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, State Councillor Christoph Holstein presented the Chairman of the RG Hansa, Sebastian Franke, with the "Sports Plaque of the Federal President" on the sidelines of the event - we at UCCH extend our warmest congratulations!

Photos: Laura Lehmann

Bildergalerien zur Veranstaltung der RG Hansa Hamburg:

Photo galleries of the RG Hansa Hamburg:

All photos

Award ceremony

Teams

Best of

August 2022

Günter Hess

Obituary: In memory of Dr. iur. Günter Heß

Dr. Günter Heß, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Hubertus Wald Foundation, passed away on August 17, 2022 after a serious illness.

The directors and the board of the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center - Universitäres Cancer Centers Hamburg (UCCH) as well as our staff mourn him very much.
For many years, Dr. Günter Heß was a committed companion in the promotion of cancer research and medicine through the Hubertus Wald Foundation at our Tumor Center. Whether at the Hubertus Wald Award Ceremony for international researchers or in the evaluation of research projects, he was always interested in implementing the founder's idea of Hubertus and Renate Wald for the benefit of cancer patients.

With his constructive suggestions, he was committed to the continuous development of the Tumor Center. We will greatly miss him as a warm-hearted, open-minded and approachable conversational partner and valued companion.

August 2022

Forschungsteilnehmer des UCCH und Partner

Setting the course for UCCH research at annual Research Retreat

New location, more participants. On August 19 and 20, more than 120 researchers from UCCH and partner institutions met in Bad Bramstedt to exchange information about their scientific research projects and to discuss possible collaborations. A new feature was a session on "Health Services Research", which was very well received.

"Those who take part in the UCCH Research Retreat want to get an overview of the research topics being worked on at the Cancer Center. By looking at the bigger picture, it is possible to initiate collaborations. Young researchers also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the congress atmosphere and present themselves in short talks or poster work," says Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, the UCCH Deputy Director for Scientific Topics. "We are particularly pleased that research representatives from the Kiel and Lübeck University Cancer Centers also participated, as this is a sign of our good cooperation."

UCCH Research Fellowships, the Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Oncology Research 2022 to two promising young scientists, the Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Psychsocial Cancer Research 2022 for the first time, and several poster prizes were awarded again this year. The awards will be presented at a ceremony at a late date."After the Corona period, we were able to meet again in presence for the first time and immediately with such an overwhelming number of participants - I am very pleased that the researchers at UCCH are so interested in interdisciplinary collaboration. I would especially like to emphasize that with the session on health services research, we were able to give researchers from psycho-oncology and epidemiology a platform for the first time," explains Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH.

The following award winners were pleased with the awards:

Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Oncology Research 2022:

Dr. Franziska Brauneck
II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic / Mildred Scheel Junior Research Center Hamburg
Project: "The blockade of CD39 by a newly engineered nanobody construct restores proliferation and activation of T cells in ovarian cancer"

Dr. Melanie Schoof
Research Institute Children's Cancer Center Hamburg / Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
Project: "Exploration of cellular origins and therapeutic targets by modeling high-grade pediatric glioma of the MYCN subclass in mice".

Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award in Psychosocial Cancer Research 2022:

Cheyenne Topf, M. Sc.-Psych.
Institute and Polyclinic for Medical Psychology
Project: "Patient-centered cancer care through the provision of audio recordings of their clinical encounters for patients - Study protocol and first results of a feasibility study"

Poster Prize 2022:

Alicia Eckhardt
Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Experimental Radiation Oncology / Institute of Neuropathology
Project: "Global mean methylation serves as independent prognostic marker in glioblastoma"

Ayham Moustafa
Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Experimental Radiation Oncology / Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Project: "Identification of predictive proteome profiles in prostate cancer sensitive to PARP- and/or ERG-inhibition plus irradiation"

UCCH Research Fellowship 2023
(for a research period in the coming year, funded by 1/3 each by the donor and host institutions and by the Dean's office)

Sophia Cichutek
Sending party: II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic (Prof. Bokemeyer)
Receiving party: I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic (Prof. Schulze zur Wiesch)
Project: "Comparative characterization of exhaustion patterns of dysregulated T cells in acute myeloid leukemia and chronic viral infections".

Dr. Jacob Clausen
Sending party: Department of Otorhinolaryngology (Prof. Betz)
Receiving party: Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Experimental Radiooncology (Prof. Roth-kamm / PD Dr. Kriegs)
Project: "Monitoring head and neck cancer treatment by immune checkpoint inhibition using func-tional kinome profiling".

Dr. Alice Ryba
Sending party: Department of Neurosurgery (Prof. Westphal)
Receiving party: Institute of Tumor Biology (Prof. Pantel)
Project: "The circulating immunome of glioblastoma patients".

July 2022

The ActiveOncoKids Nord were guests at the Millerntorstadium.

The ActiveOncoKids Nord were guests at the Millerntorstadium.
PD Dr. Escherich, Simon Elmers and Oliver Hetze welcomed the kids.

PD Dr. Escherich, Simon Elmers and Oliver Hetze welcomed the kids.
The kids had great rallies in the training session.

The kids had great rallies in the training session.
Ex-professional Jan-Philipp Kalla showed the kids around the stadium and the team cabins.

Ex-professional Jan-Philipp Kalla showed the kids around the stadium and the team cabins.
Once out through the players' tunnel - the kids were thrilled to take part.

Once out through the players' tunnel - the kids were thrilled to take part.

#ActiveOncoKids train with FC St. Pauli

Get a taste of stadium air? That came true for children from the UCCH Children's Cancer Center - they were invited by FC St. Pauli to spend an afternoon training at the Millerntor Stadium. Where normally the Rabauken of FC St. Pauli play, the mixed-age group was allowed to let off steam during various soccer training sessions.

After sailing on the Außenalster, climbing in Kiel and gliding in Lübeck, the Active-OncoKids Nord were invited to play soccer for FC St. Pauli. Oliver Hetze and Michel Welke invited the children on behalf of the FC St. Pauli Rabauken to training at the Millerntor.

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Gabriele Escherich from the Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, who already knew the children from her time at the UKE, welcomed the children and hoped: "I'm glad if you find fun in sports again through the training today and possibly feel like continuing with it later."

Simon Elmers, sports scientist and responsible for the ActiveOncoKids activities in Hamburg, commented: "I have been playing soccer privately for years - it was a lot of fun for me to switch with the children from the previous small kicking game on the hospital ward to the Rabauken pitch right next to the stadium. We thank FC St. Pauli very much for this opportunity."

The children of different age groups had great fun during the training. During the well-deserved break, ex-professional Jan-Philipp Kalla took the children on a tour of "his" stadium. In the team cabin, he told the excited young and old listeners which teams had already visited the stadium. The highlight for the children was running out through the players' tunnel. But there was one thing they learned right away: the players' turf is sacred and no visitors are allowed to enter it.

Photos: Avin Hell

To Zentrum Nord Netzwerk ActiveOncoKids (DE)

Preisträgerin mit Urkunde

May 2022

Koester Prize 2022 of the German Society for Radiation Oncology goes to UCCH scientist

On May 28, 2022, the Koester Prize 2022 was awarded to PhD student Sandra Classen of the Homologous Recombination group in Radiation Biology and Experimental Radiology of Prof. Kerstin Borgmann in Stuttgart, Germany. The award ceremony took place during the 28th Congress of the German Society of Radiation Oncology (DEGRO), which this year was themed "Precise, Personalized and Individualized".

At the annual congress, the award winner presented research results on "Effects of BRCA1 mutations on radiation resistance and immunophenotype in breast cancer cells." Her research shows that BRCA1 mutations affect immunophenotype and radiation resistance in breast carcinomas.

BRCA1 mutations that increase the likelihood of breast cancer development are mutations within individual human genes that play important roles in DNA damage repair. These mutations affect a cell's immunogenic surface characteristics and, as a result, how resistant a tumor is to radiation therapy.

Prof. Cordula Petersen, Director of the Clinic for Radiotherapy and at the same time President of DEGRO is pleased: "This year's DEGRO congress in Stuttgart was again characterized by a scientifically excellent exchange. I am all the more pleased that a researcher from the UKE has won the Koester Prize - thanks to the support of the Dr. Hans and Hildegard Koester Foundation. I congratulate Ms. Classen very warmly on the prize."

The Koester Prize is awarded among a total of eight of the highest-scoring presentations at DEGRO's annual congress in conjunction with the Dr. Hans and Hildegard Koester Foundation. The prize money is € 2,000.

Congratulations to the award winner!

Picture: Kindly provided by DEGRO (German Society for Radiation Oncology).

(from left to right): Prof. Cordula Petersen (DEGRO President), Sandra Classen (award winner) and PD Dr. Johanna Gellermann (member of the Board of Trustees of the Dr. Hans and Hildegard Koester Foundation).

Further information about DEGRO Degro - DEGRO - German Society for Radiooncology e.V.

Further information about the working group of Prof. Kerstin Borgmann
UKE - Laboratory for Radiation Biology & Experimental Radiooncology - AG1 Homologous Recombination

Segelboote auf der Außenalster

May 2022

Set sail and up on the Außenalster!

Under this motto, the Onkopiraten set sail for the second time on May 14 at the invitation of the foundation of the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV). The event was organized as part of the ActiveOncoKids Nord network and offers children and adolescents with cancer from the pediatric oncology center under Prof. Rutkowski the opportunity to try sailing and thus find their way back into sports. The sports and exercise work is supported by the Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V..

After a welcome by Gunter Persiehl, commodore of the NRV, it was time to put on life jackets and get into the maneuverable J70 sailboats. The NRV youth coaches took great care to familiarize the Onkopiraten with the boats. They learned what jib and sheet are and proudly practiced their first tacks and jibes. The weather offered the best wind conditions and a spectacular view of some of the sights of the Hanseatic city.

During the lunch break, the first strategic considerations for the "fun regatta" in the afternoon were already exchanged. Small tips were given by Gunter Persiehl, who told exciting stories from his 77 years of sailing experience and explained one or the other term again.After the regatta in the afternoon it was clear: One first and two second places. The participants sailed happily into the harbor of the NRV.

Simon Elmers, sports scientist at the pediatric oncology center of the UCCH and Hamburg representative in the ActiveOncoKids Nord network, summarized the day: "I am very happy that thanks to the support of the NRV our formerly seriously ill children and young people have been able to enjoy sailing. They really enjoyed a sporty, and experiential day on the water. A success through and through!"

The goal of the ActiveOncoKids network is to jointly provide exercise opportunities and adequate sports support for children and adolescents with and after cancer. Individual sports science advice and exercise programs during and after treatment help children and adolescents get back into sports, resume previous sports activities (recreational, club and school sports) or discover new sports. Fun in movement, but also great group and nature experiences are in the foreground and promote self-efficacy.

In the ActiveOncoKids North network of the Hamburg, Kiel and Lübeck locations, there is even more sporting action this year: on July 8, 2022 from 2 - 5 p.m., children and young people can get a taste of soccer at FC St. Pauli in the Millerntor Stadium. Registrations are still possible until June 17, 2022 at s.elmers@uke.de or l.hail@uke.de .

To make sure you don't miss any more events of the ActiveOncoKids Nord network, send an email to s.elmers@uke.de with the subject "Registration Newsletter ActiveOncoKids Nord" and you will be regularly informed about the latest topics of the network.

More information about the network ActiveOncoKids Nord (DE).

More information about the youth work and offers of the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (DE).

Further information on the work of the Clinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology .

Further information on the Fördergemeinschaft des Kinderkrebs-Zentrums Hamburg e.V (DE).

Basilikum, Gewürze und eine Schale auf einem Tisch

February 2022

We are looking for study participants for various studies on quality of life issues.

We offer various studies on quality of life issues in the fields of exercise, nutrition and complementary medicine.Cancer patients who decide in principle to participate in a study make a significant contribution to the further development of research. At the same time, it gives participants the opportunity to take advantage of offers within the framework of the study that are not yet anchored in standard care.

The University Cancer Center Hamburg has a large number of studies, on the one hand in preclinical and clinical research, and on the other hand also studies that deal with the question of improving quality of life. In recent months, various studies have been started at the UCCH, which are presented here in bundled form.

Cancer patients with a gastrointestinal tumor who are at the beginning of their (chemo)-therapy can participate in the PREVENT study. The study is investigating whether acupuncture and vibration training can counteract chemotherapy-induced polyneuropathy (i.e., limb-related sensory disturbances and painful insensations).

In the FatiGO study, UCCH researchers want to find out whether different exercise sessions can help improve physical exhaustion (fatigue) in post-cancer patients.

The VIBRANCY study is also aimed at cancer patients in follow-up care. Here, too, guided vibration and sensorimotor training will be used to investigate whether this supports a reduction in chemotherapy-induced polyneuropathy (CIPN).

The INTEGRATION study is determining the effect of nutrition and physical activity during outpatient oncological therapy (initial diagnosis), with a view to adopting this into standard care if necessary.

The Taste II study will investigate the effect of targeted taste and smell training and individual nutritional counseling on improving taste perception in patients undergoing chemotherapy with taste impairments.

The Gut Health study is designed to investigate whether a prebiotic diet with or without the support of probiotics can alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms in patients after colon cancer.

To help cancer patients:in who suffer from cognitive impairments such as impaired concentration and forgetfulness that have developed in connection with the cancer and its treatment, the complementary medicine study MBSR has been developed. The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (so-called MBSR= Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) is taught via online trainings as a classical MBSR program.

The complaints mentioned, such as polyneuropathy, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, and concentration disorders, sometimes persist over a long period of time - usually beyond the end of therapy - and in some cases have a considerable impact on coping with everyday life and lead to a reduction in quality of life, often also to an impairment of the ability to work.

All the more important if you as a cancer patient:in interest and would like to contribute to our research in this area.

All studies and the respective contact can be found at:
UCCH study offerings on quality of life issues (bottom of page)

Image: Pexels-Mikhail Nilov

Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer

February 2022

World Cancer Day 2022: Cancer medicine and research in the wake of the Corona pandemic

For the past two years, the Corona pandemic has dominated everyday life - including the daily routine in hospitals. But what impact does this have on patients with cancer and how is cancer research developing? On the occasion of World Cancer Day on February 4, which this year has the motto "Close the Care Gap", Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the University Cancer Center Hamburg, answers questions about the current situation in cancer research and medicine.

What has changed in cancer medicine during the Corona pandemic?

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer: The corona pandemic continues to have a major impact on cancer medicine, both in terms of patient care and research. Cancer patients belong to the vulnerable group of people who are more easily infected with Corona, respond less well to vaccination and may also have a more severe course. Thus, the focus is on establishing and implementing adequate hygiene as well as new treatment concepts. In addition, a nationwide survey of Comprehensive Cancer Centers has shown that at the peak of the waves, limited intensive care capacities repeatedly lead to restrictions, especially in follow-up care but also in the performance of surgeries. At the same time, initial data suggest that due to reduced screening measures, the stages of the disease are more advanced at diagnosis than before the Corona pandemic. We conclude that patients are not attending their check-ups or are attending them later, either because they fear infection or because medical providers are overburdened by the pandemic, so that there are only a few free appointments. A significant problem is emerging here, and I would therefore like to appeal to everyone: Do not take physical ailments lightly, make sure you make timely preventive and treatment appointments with your treating physicians.

To what extent has everyday life for scientists changed significantly?

Prof. Bokemeyer: There have been many adjustments in the area of research. In the laboratories, for example, we introduced a shift system so that we could carry out test series in compliance with pandemic-related hygiene regulations. At the same time, however, Corona has shown that it is possible to advance the development of new drugs. The scientific basis of mRNA vaccination technologies is also relevant for cancer therapy; we are already testing such approaches in clinical trials in combination with other new immunological therapy methods.

What challenges do you see for the coming years in cancer research and medicine?

Prof. Bokemeyer: Our most important focus for the next few years is to expand our structural infrastructure as the UKE Cancer Center and to further strengthen our competence networks as a basis for medicine and research beyond the region. For example, last year we founded the consortium "Cancer Center Nord Hamburg - Schleswig Holstein" with our partners at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel and Lübeck and have already launched joint projects. In addition, our primary goal is to bring innovations to patients and their families as quickly as possible and to shape this process together with the patients. In the next few months, for example, a Patient Competence Center North will be created, where we aim to train patients to participate in broader topics related to our daily work and the discussion in the healthcare sector on an equal footing.In addition, Corona has catalyzed the leap into digital: Our monthly educational series for our patient:ins takes place entirely online, our Patient Advisory Council meets online, and our conventions are online. In addition, an online service for grieving relatives has been created in the national network. Of course, we are looking forward to meeting again in analog form in the future, but parts of our activities will remain online.

Ärzt:innen und Pfleger:innen der Station

January 2022

Center for familial breast and ovarian cancer in new premises

Patients seeking advice and support on questions of a genetic predisposition to breast or ovarian cancer will find the services of the Center for Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer (BRCA Center for short) in new premises since January 2022.

The team around the director Prof. Dr. Isabelle Witzel has moved to building N22 to be able to expand the counseling services.

All contact details remain unchanged, the team is looking forward to your visit.

Information about the BRCA Center (DE)

For more information on familial breast and ovarian cancer, please also visit the BRCA Network e.V. page.

Image: Avin Hell, UCCH

Sonnenstrahlen fallen durch Baumwipfel

December 2021

"Grieving in special times" interactive website is online (DE)

During the Corona pandemic, grieving after the death of a loved one is also very limited in many ways. It is not always possible to say goodbye in person, and funerals can often only be held in small groups. Many people are also permanently burdened by a lack of visiting opportunities in hospitals and nursing homes or by other restrictions during the last phase of their loved one's life.

Staff members of the Palliative Medicine Department of the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) have developed a mourning homepage as part of the Palliative Care in Pandemic Times (PallPan) research network of the Network University Medicine (NUM), which has now gone online.

The interactive website "Mourning in Special Times" ( www.trauern-in-besonderen-Zeiten.de (DE)) is intended to provide mourners with the opportunity to obtain information and assistance on dealing with grief in pandemic times, further support services and recommended literature. Above all, however, the website is intended to enable mourners to express their grief in a virtual mourning room and to experience through the testimonials of others affected that they are not alone in their situation. Self-tests are designed to help mourners assess the psychological stress they are experiencing as a result of their grief. Even those who are not affected themselves, but would like to help someone close during this time, will find suggestions and ideas on how others can be supported in their grief during times of pandemic.

Further information: https://pallpan.de/ (DE)

Preisträger

November 2021

Cancer researcher Prof. Dr. Benjamin Besse receives Hubertus Wald Prize for Oncology

French cancer researcher Prof. Dr. Benjamin Besse has been awarded this year's Hubertus Wald Prize for Oncology. This was in recognition of his many years of commitment and outstanding achievements in the field of bronchial carcinoma therapy. The prize is endowed with 10,000 euros and is awarded every two years by the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center - Universitäres Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH). In addition, several young scientists:inside the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) received junior researcher awards and scholarships.

"In the case of bronchial carcinoma, groundbreaking therapeutic successes have emerged in recent years on the basis of consistent research, on the one hand through so-called immunotherapy and on the other hand through targeted therapy in the presence of genetic tumor mutations. Prof. Besse has made a decisive contribution to this development with his medical research. I am all the more pleased that Prof. Besse is receiving the award this year, because together with our partner, the LungenClinic Grosshansdorf, we want to further develop these forms of therapy even more intensively in the future in national alliances and can also incorporate his expertise in consulting here," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center.

Prof. Besse is head of the Department of Thoracic Oncology at the major French cancer center, the Institut Gustave Roussy. At the same time, he holds a professorship in Medical Oncology at the University Paris-Sud, Orsay. In addition to his diverse clinical and research work, he is the initiator of many European studies that have led to improved immunotherapeutic treatment strategies for patients with lung cancer.

In addition to Prof. Besse, several UKE young scientists were honored: The Hubertus Wald Young Investigator Award for Oncology Research was awarded to Dr. Joseph Tintelnot, assistant physician at the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic (Oncology, Hematology, Bone Marrow Transplantation with Department of Pneumology). Three other researchers received poster awards and four other students received doctoral fellowships. (See PDF for listing)

"It has been a matter close to our hearts in Hamburg for years to strengthen young scientists in oncology. Excellent scientific research has long since ceased to be a lone wolf issue, but thrives on networking. With our support, we enable both physicians to invest their working time in research and natural scientists to get to know the areas of clinical care. This is the only way to enable a forward-looking partnership between medicine and science," says Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, Deputy Director for Science and Research at the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center.

The Hubertus Wald Tumor Center receives significant support from the Hubertus Wald Foundation. In addition to awarding research prizes, clinical care for people with cancer is the focus of the funding. The Hanseatic entrepreneur Hubertus Wald (1903-2005) and his wife Renate dedicated themselves for decades to the promotion of culture and medicine; this led to the establishment of the Hubertus Wald Foundation in 1993. "The Foundation's support for the UKE Tumor Center is an important concern for us and contributes greatly to providing the best possible care for patients with cancer," says Prof. Dr. Hartwig Huland, trustee of the Foundation and founder of the Martini Clinic of the UKE.

We warmly congratulate all the award winners!

Photo: Teresa Brachmann, UCCH

Prof. Bokemeyer (2nd from left) as well as Dr. Herms and Prof. Huland (6th and 7th from left) from the Hubertus Wald Foundation congratulated Prof. Besse (4th from left) and all other award winners.

Overview of the other Hubertus Wald Award winners

Preisträger vor Leinwand

November 2021

Research Award of the Hamburg Cancer Society for UCCH Researchers

Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel, II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic, and Dr. Justine Münsterberg, Clinic and Polyclinic for Neurology, have been awarded the Research Prize of the Hamburg Cancer Society. The prize is endowed with a total of 10,000 euros, which is shared by the award winners.

Prof. Weisel was recognized for her work on intensified myeloma therapy in elderly patients and those who are not suitable for autologous stem cell transplantation. The work shows that the new therapy is not only more effective, but in particular demonstrates that the quality of life is even better with the more intensive therapy for the affected patients.

Dr. Münsterberg has investigated the significance of the expression of ALCAM for the occurrence of brain metastasis in non-small cell lung cancer as part of a multidisciplinary research group in a basic research-oriented scientific study. The work offers approaches for future determination of prognostic factors and therapeutic procedures as well as potentially for prevention of brain metastasis.

Congratulations to both award winners!

More information about the award ceremony at Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V.

Image: Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V.

Aquarellzeichnung von zwei Menschen

November 2021

15th anniversary for palliative medicine

Palliative medicine cares for people with an incurable, progressive disease. Its primary goal is to maintain or restore a good quality of life for patients and their families. This goal has now been pursued for 15 years by the palliative physicians at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and for ten years at the independent palliative care unit of the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH). The head of palliative medicine at the UKE and holder of the endowed professorship for palliative medicine with a focus on research on relatives, Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle, explains how palliative medicine has developed since then and how her work has been changed by the Corona pandemic.

Palliative medicine at the UKE celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. How have palliative medicine concepts changed during this time?

Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle: Palliative medicine is about enabling patients with a far-advanced disease and a limited life expectancy to maintain their quality of life until the end. An important task of palliative medicine is symptom relief. However, in addition to the alleviation of physical symptoms such as pain, the psychological, social and spiritual problems of patients and their relatives are also a priority. To ensure this, we work together in multiprofessional teams. In addition to our work on the palliative ward, we offer consultations in all clinics of the UKE and care for patients and their relatives in other wards. In the palliative care consultation at the UCCH, we also advise patients early in the course of their illness on how they can best prepare themselves for what they may face as the disease progresses. In addition, we actively participate in student teaching and various research topics in palliative medicine. At UKE, the focus is primarily on research into relatives, i.e. how we can better actively address the problems and needs of relatives in our everyday therapeutic work and support them in this.

How has your work changed as a result of the Corona pandemic?

Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle: Particularly challenging for us, but of course especially for our patients and their relatives, were the visiting restrictions. We have supported relatives in being close to the patients "from a distance". Among other things, we provided tablets that enabled video conferences between patients and their relatives, as well as the inclusion of relatives in patient discussions or visits. In addition, it was important to us to maintain an intensive exchange with the relatives. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a member of our multiprofessional team has proactively called the relatives daily and informed them about the state of health. In addition, our bereavement counselors offered regular telephone consultations. Special information folders for relatives were also prepared.

Have you scientifically monitored the impact of the Corona pandemic on palliative care?

Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle: We are involved in the Palliative Care in Times of Pandemic (PallPan) research network, which is part of the University Medicine research network funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Within this framework, we conducted a scientific study together with the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) on the needs and problems of relatives in palliative care. In addition, we have incorporated the family-related aspects into the national recommendations for action, which are intended to provide support for patients and their families as well as employees in the event of future pandemics and to enable the maintenance of palliative care structures and services.

What specific impact did the COVID-19 pandemic have on the needs of palliative care patients and their families?

Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle: In an interview study with palliative care patients and their relatives, which we conducted with the LMU Munich, it became clear that many of the needs identified were independent of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, however, there were also pandemic-related particularities. For example, patients and relatives reported fear of infection, and both groups were burdened by pandemic-related contact restrictions, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and social isolation, and even traumatizing experiences at the end of life. In addition, the role of relatives as caregivers has changed. Visiting restrictions prevent them from fulfilling their tasks and needs as caregivers and/or companions of seriously ill and dying patients. The relatives thus experience psychological and moral stress in the struggle to balance the preservation of social relationships at the end of life on the one hand and the protection against infection by reducing social contacts on the other.

Further information on palliative care (DE)

September 2021

UCCH research grants awarded for 2022

On September 22, UCCH directors awarded UCCH Research Fellowships to 3 physicians, giving them time to conduct research over the next year.

The UCCH Directors were very pleased to present the three UCCH Research Fellowships to the 3 candidates. Finally, all three physicians will have the opportunity to devote separate time to research outside of clinical operations in 2022.
The scholarships are financed in equal parts by the sending and the receiving institution as well as by the dean's office.

The following were pleased with the scholarships:

Dr. Julian Kött (assistant physician)
from the Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Venereology (Prof. Schneider/Prof. Gebhardt) will conduct research in the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (Prof. Renné) on "The role of neutrophil extracellular traps for coagulation and metastasis of malignant mela-noma patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibition" in 2022.

Dr. Julian Götze (assistant physician)
from the Department of Oncology and Hematology (Prof. Bokemeyer/PD Dr. Sinn)
will conduct research in the Institute of Tumor Biology (Prof. Pantel/Prof. Wikman) in 2022 on the topic "Iden-tification and characterization of circulating cancer-associated fibroblasts (cCAFs) in pancreatic cancer."

Richard Hauch (Assistant Professor)
from the Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (Prof. Rutkowski)
will conduct research at the Research Institute Children's Cancer Center Hamburg (Prof. Horstmann) on the topic "Engineering of iPSC-derived natural killer cells for adoptive transfer as a treatment strategy for high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia".
Congratulations and good luck in the research year!

Photo: Avin Hell, UCCH
UCCH directors congratulated the 3 candidates: (from left)
Prof. Dr. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke, Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel, Dr. Julian Kött, Richard Hauch, Dr. Julian Götze, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer.

September 2021


Stand up Paddling on the Außenalster at the Active Onco Kids Day 2021

Prof. Dr. Stefan Rutkowski opened the event and was happy to see his young patients again at the Außenalster

Sports therapist Simon Elmers observes the first attempts of his protégés

Gabriele Gauß, organizer of the Onco Kids network in Essen, had traveled especially to visit the activity days at the sites

SUP instructor Anisha Degens from Sup Port Hamburg led the children on a relaxed tour

Keep moving: Strengthening children and young people with and after cancer

Exercise programs for children and adolescents with cancer have been an important component of treatment for years. Now the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) and the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH) have joined forces in the ActiveOncoKids network, which is funded by German Cancer Aid, to form the Center North. Together they want to draw attention to this important topic with action days. The first event was on September 11: under the guidance of exercise therapists and sponsored by the Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V., young cancer patients at the UCCH were able to try their hand at stand-up paddling on the Alster.

It can be quite wobbly on a stand-up paddling board, but the children and young people who took part in the action day of the Active Onco Kids Netzwerk Nord showed no problems with touching it. After a short briefing, they went out on the Outer Alster for a joint excursion. After heavy thunderstorms in the days before, the weather turned out to be so friendly that the young patients could at best only get wet from below during a rather involuntary slip.

"Every year, about 2,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer in Germany. For young patients, an active and healthy lifestyle is important, as initial studies show. In the long term, regular exercise improves fitness and reduces the likelihood of late complications. The Children's Oncology Center has therefore been pursuing the goal for years of encouraging young cancer patients to exercise even during therapy," says Prof. Dr. Stefan Rutkowski, Director of the Clinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology and Head of the certified Children's Oncology Center.

"Our team of sports therapists is already going from room to room on the ward, trying to provide exercise opportunities for our patient:s. The ward corridor can quickly become a soccer field or the site of a table tennis match," says Simon Elmers, sports scientist and exercise therapist for the children and adolescents.

Dr. Klaus Bublitz, Managing Director of the Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V. sums up: "Under the slogan KNACK DEN KREBS, we have been raising public awareness of the issue of cancer in children for years. Since 2020, our association has also enabled sports and exercise therapy at the Children's Cancer Center Hamburg by financing a sports therapist. We are therefore very happy to support this Active Onco Kids Day and have sponsored the stand-up paddling activity for affected children there."

Various water sports were also offered at the Kiel, Lübeck and Sylt sites as part of the day of action - whether stand-up paddling, sailing, surfing or canoeing - the children were enthusiastic participants.

"I am pleased that through our association with our partners at the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein in the North Center of the ActiveOncoKids network, we are focusing on the topic of sports and exercise for young patients with cancer. With our kick-off event and other subsequent events, we want to inspire children and young people to take more exercise - an important building block for a good quality of life," says UCCH Director Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer.
For the organizers, it was clear: This day of action will be held more often.

Further information:

Active Onco Kids Network
https://www.activeoncokids.de

Support Association Children's Cancer Center Hamburg e.V.
Forschungsinstitut Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg - We research for the future of children with cancer

Pediatric Oncology Center
UKE - Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Photos: Copyright UKE, Teresa Brachmann

September 2021

Oncology at UKE among the top 30 worldwide

In the annual ranking by the U.S. magazine "Newsweek" of the top 200 oncology institutions internationally, the Center for Oncology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf is ranked 29th, placing it among the top 30 worldwide.

"We are very pleased with this ranking," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, head of the Center for Oncology, "as it shows the reputation our cancer medicine has worldwide."

The institutions in Berlin, Cologne and Heidelberg are the only other German centers listed among the top 30.

The evaluation criterion is which hospitals or medical centers have the most modern facilities and the most knowledgeable and experienced physicians.
It also evaluates which facilities give patients access to the best diagnosticians, the best possible care and the most effective treatments.

Newsweek world's best specialized hospitals in oncology 2021


The NRV foundation members with the invited children and young people

The North German Regatta Association is located on the upper Außenalster

With a light breeze perfect conditions for sea sailing beginners

All clear for the tack

Regatta start with the goal in mind

The youth coaches united with their students

Sports scientist and exercise therapist Simon Elmers is happy to spend the day with his patients

What a great day on the water

Onkopiraten: Sailing for children and adolescents with cancer on the Außenalster lake

On September 4, it was time to "cast off" - children and adolescents with cancer from the pediatric oncology center under Prof. Rutkowski were invited by the foundation of the North German Regatta Association (NRV) to get a taste of sea air and try their hand at sailing.

The Norddeutscher Regatta Verein is one of the world's leading sailing clubs - the medal table at the Tokyo Olympics is proof of this. In addition to competitive sports, the club is particularly committed to training the next generation of sailors. More than 250 children and young people train regularly at the Außenalster.

"It is important to us that you find the fun in the movement again. I am confident that the day on the water and learning the sailing handles has an important contribution to this," said host Gunter Persiehl, Commodore of the North German Regatta Association (NRV) and at the same time Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of the NRV, when welcoming the assembled children and young people who had accepted the invitation through the mediation of the Children's Oncology Center of the UCCH. Jürgen Flemming, Chairman of the Foundation, and Günther Cords, 2nd Chairman of the Board of Trustees, were very happy to agree with this welcome.

The children were welcomed with open arms by the youth coaches and were allowed to get a taste of the sea on 3 J70 sailboats. The Outer Alster showed itself from the most beautiful weather side - with sun and light wind conditions the boats could reto the NRV harbor.

The unanimous opinion of all participants: "That was really a great day!".

Prof. Dr. Stefan Rutkowski, Director of the Clinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology and Head of the certified Children's Oncology Center, was delighted with the Foundation's generosity: "This was really a special experience for our young patients. After often long inpatient stays, it is a special moment for us treatment providers to see the laughter reflected in their faces as they move outside in the fresh air. I would like to thank you very much for this great action on behalf of all children and parents."

For more information on youth work and other activities offered by the North German Regatta Association:
www.nrv.de

Further information on the work of the Clinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology:
Pediatric Oncology Centerally

Images: Peter Kähl, NRV, und Avin Hell, UCCH

August 2021

5th Onco-Workshop on Clinical Trials

On August 31, the 5th Onco-Workshop for Clinical Trials was held again. In 21 thematic blocks, the wide range of study offers for patients with tumor diseases was presented. The event was held for the first time as a cooperation between the University Cancer Centers in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.

The organizers from the UCCH Oncology Study Center had not expected such a response: More than 130 interested people from UCCH and UCCSH had registered to participate. The originally planned analog format was therefore held as an online conference at fairly short notice.

After the opening by the directors of the two Cancer Centers, the presenters from the individual departments gave a brief overview of their open and planned study concepts in many individual talks.

"I am always impressed with the diversity with which our clinical research is progressing and thus directly addressing the care of our patients," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, "The development in recent years has been enormous in this regard: just 6 years ago, approximately 2,500 patient:ing were enrolled in clinical trials each year; last year, we reached nearly 7,000 patient:ing with our offerings. Last but not least, this is an outstanding achievement of our entire network partners."

This year, special focus was placed on the cross-entity early phase trials with CAR-T cell therapies as well as the molecularly targeted basket studies.

For more information on the Onco-Workshop, please visit:
www.onko-workshop.de

Image: With permission of the Elsa Brändström House.

August 2021

XIII UCCH Research Retreat as Virtual Conference

On August 27 and 28, the scientists and researchers of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) met for an online retreat. Around 100 participants exchanged their research results and developed new ideas for further projects.

Under the question "Who is the UCCH? YOU are the UCCH!", Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer opened the retreat and gave the participants an overview of current developments in the UCCH research landscape.

The first session was opened by Prof. Dr. Matthias Wilmanns, Head of EMBL Hamburg, with an overview lecture on "Metastasis & microenvironment interactions". Other sessions were held on "Immuno-Oncology", "Data Science in Cancer Medicine", "Prostate Cancer", "Neuro-Oncology", "Gastrointestinal Cancer" and "Gynecological Tumors". Some sessions were held with the participation of researchers from the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH). In addition, other research topics were covered in lightning talks.

"The Research Retreat is an important opportunity for our researchers to get an overview of the entire range of UCCH research in addition to their own topics. This often results in new approaches to form synergies in the individual disciplines, for example by using a new methodology," explains Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer.

"At the same time, the retreat is also a place for young junior scientists to practice presenting their content and to be measured on their work," says Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, Deputy Director for Research at UCCH.

This year, several young investigators were recognized for their work by a vote of an interdisciplinary panel and the retreat participants.

The 2021 Hubertus Wald Young Investigator Award was presented to Joseph Tintelnot, MD (Department of Oncology and Hematology/Department of Gastroenterology/Department of General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery/Mildred Scheel Cancer Career Center Hamburg).

The 2021 Poster Award recipients are Shweta Godbole (ZMNH), Moritz Kaune (Department of Oncology and Hematology), and Benedict Markmann (Department of General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery).

Congratulations also to the recipients of the 2022 UCCH Research Fellowship:
Julian Kött, Department of Dermatology and Venereology.
Julian Götze, Department of Oncology and Hematology.
Richard Hauch, Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology.

We will report on the awarding of the prizes at a later date - at this point we would like to congratulate all prize winners and scholarship holders.

August 2021

UCCH launches "Peer2Me" mentoring program

After a successful pilot phase, the mentor program "Peer2Me" for young cancer patients has been launched at the UCCH. In the future, selected mentors will act as "buddies" for young cancer patients, advising them during the course of their disease. The project of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the University Medical Center Leipzig is funded by the German Cancer Aid with about 340,000 euros. In Germany, about 17,000 young adults between the ages of 15 and 39 develop cancer each year.

"Experiencing cancer in young adulthood is often accompanied by far-reaching physical, social and psychological consequences for those affected. The psychological stress of young adults suffering from cancer manifests itself in particular in the form of anxiety, fatigue and depression," says the head of the research project, psychooncologist Prof. Dr. Corinna Bergelt from the Institute and Polyclinic for Medical Psychology at UKE.

"Young cancer patients often report emotional stress and a lack of information, especially in the areas of performance, career and fertility. In addition to family and friends, the focus is on exchanges with others of the same age who are affected," adds co-leader Sarah Dwinger, a psychological psychotherapist and psychooncologist in the Medical Psychology Department.

This is precisely where the "Peer2Me" project comes in. The selected mentors have themselves experienced cancer and are between the ages of 18 and 39. As part of the program, they are trained to offer their experience to young adults of the same age who have been diagnosed with cancer in the past six months during acute treatment. The mentors' support is intended to reduce the psychological burden on young cancer patients. In addition, the patients should be able to better inform themselves about the various aspects of the disease, in order to support them in dealing with this challenge.

If you would like to become a mentor yourself, please send an e-mail to s.dwinger@uke.de. The program, which was developed by Leipzig University Hospital, has already been tested in a pilot phase and evaluated in a scientific study. A total of 19 acutely ill young cancer patients were included in the Leipzig study. They were individually accompanied by 11 mentors over a period of three months. In subsequent interviews, both the mentors and the patients commented positively on the exchange at eye level. The patients benefited most from the informal exchange about side effects and treatments and the opportunity to discuss questions on various topics with those affected. All patients could imagine becoming mentors themselves in the future.

Image: Pexels

August 2021


Rowing against cancer 2021 on the Außenalster

Patron Senator of the Interior Andy Grote has been supporting the good cause for years

The UKE was able to win the show race of professors and the senate

Ex-Olympian and ex-rowing world champion Lauritz Schoof, doctor at UKE

Rowers from the UCCH team were also present.

Prof. Bokemeyer applauds the patient:in winning team "Kiel 2

The teams of the places one to three in the beginner class

Great jubilation also for the winners in the expert race

Rowing against Cancer 2021 - Benefit Regatta on the Outer Alster

A little rain in between, but that didn't dampen the mood - more than 40 boats started for a good cause at the charity regatta "Rowing against Cancer" on August 22. Among them were also 6 patient:inside boats, which had prepared themselves in special training sessions.

The charity regatta "Rowing against Cancer" was held for the 11th time by the Living with Cancer Foundation in cooperation with the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) and the HANSA Rowing Association.

A detailed hygiene concept, approved by the health department, made it possible: More than 40 boats were able to start at the Außenalster. Things got exciting when Andy Grote, Senator for the Interior and Sport, Christoph Holstein, State Councillor for Sport, and their team competed against the professors of the UKE in the show race. Among the professors, Prof. Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro, dean and board member of the UKE, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer and Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel, both members of the UCCH board of directors, stood up for the UKE - and won. They even passed ex-Olympian and ex-rowing world champion Lauritz Schoof, now a doctor at UKE. He had tried to compete against the two four-man teams in the single sculls.

During the patient races at noon, all the spectators on shore joined in, with the doctors from the University Cancer Center and the Asklepios Tumor Center in the front row. The first three places went to the teams "Kiel 2" (1st place), "Happy" (2nd place) and the "Alsterchaoten" (3rd place). The remaining teams were also pleased with their 4th-6th place finishes. "This was a great experience and a perfect highlight for our Patient:in, who were only able to start training at very short notice over the summer due to the Corona pandemic," said Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of UCCH.

The beginner and expert races were hard fought until the very end. In the beginners' final, the joy was particularly great for Britta Petersen, who has come a long way as a cancer patient and was able to win the trophy in the end with her team "Nordfriesland". The UKE skin tumor center team "Sonnenschirmchen" came in second, and the Asklepios team "AK Heidberg" took third place.

In the expert final, 2 UKE teams rowed together. First place went to the team "Herzschlag" from the UKE Heart Center, second place to the team "Öko Profit" around Jens Beckmann from Copy Druck, third place to the team "UKE Club" from the Dean's Office around Dean Prof. Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro.

It was obvious that all participants enjoyed spending the day outdoors and on the water together.

Pictures, Copyright Alexander Rose, UKE and Jean-Marc Göttert, RG Hansa.

August 2021

Topping-out ceremony for new UKE prostate cancer center: shell of Martini Clinic completed

With the traditional raising of the topping-out crown, the completion of the structural work for the new Martini Clinic was celebrated on Thursday in the presence of Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research, Equality and Districts. The UKE Prostate Cancer Center under the umbrella of the UCCH is a world leader in the surgical treatment of prostate tumors, performing more than 2,500 prostate cancer operations per year. In the new building, even more patients will be able to receive interdisciplinary treatment in the future, from early diagnosis to advanced stages of the disease.

"The topping-out ceremony of the Martini Clinic in times of this profound pandemic not only demonstrates the future viability of healthcare in our city and metropolitan region, but also the unwavering energy and spirit of the entire Martini Clinic team and all those involved in the construction. I congratulate the entire team on the fact that the new clinic building can still be completed on time and on budget, even in this demanding phase for the UKE. The new building impressively symbolizes the high level of care that patients with prostate cancer experience here and which is recognized worldwide," says Science Senator Katharina Fegebank.

"We want patients with prostate cancer to receive the best possible care. With the new building, we are creating ideal conditions for early MRI diagnostics through to chemotherapy - all under one roof. With the completion of the shell of the building, we are a significant step closer to our goal of securing specialized in-terdisciplinary care for patients with prostate cancer in the long term and enabling its continuous further development," says Prof. Dr. Burkhard Göke, Medical Director and Chairman of the Board of the UKE.

"The success of Martini-Klinik is based on specialization in one disease and systematic patient surveys on treatment outcome quality. The greatest contribution to this is made by our specialized staff, who provide our patients with empathetic and expert care and are always willing to question their actions, continue to learn and constantly improve. The quality of medical outcomes, which achieves top values in all dimensions, makes us proud and shows that our quality management works and that our clinical studies and basic research contribute significantly to this," says Prof. Dr. Markus Graefen, Medical Director of Martini-Klinik.

"The house stands. This milestone has been achieved! We would like to thank everyone involved in the construction, our employees, our patients and all our neighbors, who have had to put up with a lot of construction noise and dust over the last few months. Our goal is to treat our guests suffering from prostate cancer as we would like to be treated ourselves: with empathy, dignity, heart and medical expertise. This is the guiding principle of the founder of the Martini-Klinik, Prof. Dr. Hartwig Huland," says Dr. Detlef Loppow, Managing Director of the Martini-Klinik.

Further information in the press release from 5.8.21

Further information about Martini-Klinik

July 2021

Prevention program HANSE with free lung check for former and active smokers in Northern Germany

Three lung cancer centers in northern Germany, including important cooperation partners of the UCCH, are jointly launching the HANSE Lung Check as a large-scale prevention study for former and active smokers. Patron Dr. Eckard von Hirschhausen promotes participation in the program in a video message.

A large proportion of all malignant lung cancers are attributable to smoking. Appropriate smoking prevention helps to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer. In addition, there are also initial positive data on screening and early detection, although this has not yet been established comprehensively at all.

UCCH has been involved in various prevention programs and screening activities for years. Now, the UCCH designated partner in the field of lung cancer, the LungenClinic Großhansdorf, together with the Hannover Medical School and the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein (Lübeck Campus), has launched the so-called HANSE Lung Check as a pilot study to prove that a holistic lung cancer screening program can be implemented in Germany.

The prominent patron of the HANSE study is Dr. Eckert von Hirschhausen. He promotes participation in the study in a video message on the HANSE homepage.

Are you a smoker or a former smoker? Find out about the conditions of participation on the following pages.

Further information about the HANSE Lung Check

July 2021

UCCH recognized as a Top Oncology Center

Great news for our center: German Cancer Aid has once again named the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) - Hubertus Wald Tumor Center an Oncological Center of Excellence after an extensive review by international experts.

An important goal of the UCCH in the new funding period 2025 is to form a North German competence network for cancer research and medicine with the University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein at the Kiel and Lübeck sites, thus integrating these sites into a consortium with the Hamburg Top Center. The award is associated with funding of three million euros.

"We are very pleased that the UKE's University Cancer Center Hamburg has once again been awarded the title of Oncological Center of Excellence by German Cancer Aid. This is recognition of our intensive efforts to strengthen translational cancer research beyond the borders of Hamburg and to focus directly on the needs of patients," says Prof. Dr. Burkhard Göke, Medical Director and Chairman of the Board of UKE.

"The renewed designation as a top German center is an award for our constant work to provide innovative, first-class cancer care for our patients. In order to further extend the top center character beyond the region, we have already established diverse connections with the colleagues of the Cancer Center at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein. Through the supraregional networking of excellent research and first-class clinical care, we want to be able to offer all patients in northern Germany a high-quality service," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH and Medical Director of the II Medical Clinic for Oncology and Hematology at the UKE.

"With our CCC initiative, we provided an important impetus 14 years ago to bring cancer medicine nationwide to a very high level. We are very pleased that the program and its development have now also received the highest international recognition," says Gerd Nettekoven, chairman of the board of the German

Oncology centers of excellence in Germany

Across Germany, German Cancer Aid has currently designated 14 Oncological Centers of Excellence. Criteria for the selection of the Oncological Centers of Excellence include the close integration of translational research and treatment, including the implementation of innovative early clinical studies. In addition, special attention is paid to the programmatic formation of scientific focal points and cooperation in the Germany-wide network of top oncology centers.

In addition, an interdisciplinary central contact point for all cancer patients, the implementation of interdisciplinary tumor conferences, the development of common treatment paths, a structured cooperation with physicians in private practice and hospitals in the metropolitan region as well as the cooperation with patient representatives and self-help groups are essential components of a top center. The UCCH was first named a Top Oncology Center in 2009.

To the press release of the German Cancer Aid

June 2021

UCCH Involved: Palliative Care in Pandemic Times (PallPan) Research Collaborative Presents National Strategy

Pandemic times pose special challenges for providers of care to the critically ill. The PallPan research network, in which UKE Palliative Medicine is involved, is now presenting the "National Strategy for the Care of Seriously Ill and Dying People and Their Families in Pandemic Times."

The Palliative Care in Times of Pandemics Research Network, PallPan for short, is part of the BMBF-funded University Medicine Research Network. PallPan includes palliative care facilities from 13 university hospitals. From UCCH, palliative medicine under Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle participates here.

After comprehensive studies, the research network has developed 33 concrete recommendations for action, which are intended to provide support for patients and their relatives as well as employees in the event of future pandemics and to enable the maintenance of palliative care structures and services.

Further information can be found in the press release of the research network below and in the national strategy paper.

Press release PallPan research network 24.06.2021

Direct link to the PallPan National Strategy Paper

Palliative care at UKE

German Society for Palliative Care on PallPan

Network University Medicine

June 2021

Hamburg Research Prize for Alternatives to Animal Testing goes to UCCH researcher

UCCH scientist Dr. Sabrina Köcher has been awarded the Hamburg Research Prize for Alternatives to Animal Testing for her research on a novel cultivation method for tumor tissue sections. The prize, worth a total of EUR 50,000, was awarded for the third time by the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Ministry of Science, Research, Equality and Districts on 28.06.21 at Hamburg City Hall.

A particular focus of preclinical oncology research is the individualization and prediction of therapy. However, cell culture experiments are not sufficient to obtain clinically relevant results. An effective alternative to animal experiments is the ex vivo investigation of tissue section cultures from human tumors.

Dr. Sabrina Köcher, a scientist in the Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Experimental Radiation Oncology headed by Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, used this methodology to investigate the effect of substances that could improve the effect of radiation therapy, using prostate carcinoma as an example. This methodology offers the possibility of testing different treatment modalities in parallel on only one piece of tissue or the corresponding normal tissue, which completely replaces animal experiments that would otherwise have to be used for such tests.

The Hamburg Research Prize, which is awarded jointly by the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Ministry of Science, Research, Equality and Districts, is intended to promote the development and establishment of alternative methods. An independent committee decides on the award. The endowment of the prize has been increased to 50,000 euros since the 1st award to underline its importance.

Dr. Sabrina Köcher has now been awarded the first prize of 40,000 euros, and the second prize of 10,000 euros goes to 2 researchers at the Robert Koch Institute.

We congratulate very warmly on this award!

Pressrelease by the authority of Hamburg

Further information on the work of the Laboratory of Radiobiology and exp. Radiooncology

Further information about the Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radiooncology

Picture (©BJV) from left: Dr. Eva Gümbel (State Councillor for Science, Research and Equality), Dr. Daniel Stern (Robert Koch Institute), Dr. Sabrina Köcher (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf), Dr. Brigitte Dorner (Robert Koch Institute), Anna Gallina (Senator for Consumer Protection).

June 2021

Prof. Dr. Cordula Petersen becomes President of the German Society for Radiooncology e.V. (DEGRO)

Prof. Dr. Cordula Petersen, Director of the Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, has been appointed President of the German Society for Radiation Oncology (DEGRO). She will hold the office for the next 2 years. She takes over the office from Prof. Dr. Rainer Fietkau of the University Hospital Erlangen. Two more Hamburgers were elected to the board.

The German Society for Radiation Oncology e. V. (DEGRO) was founded in 1995 as an association of physicians, medical physicists and radiation biologists working in the field of radiation oncology. Since then, the society has promoted the scientific development of radiation physics, radiation biology and clinical research, especially in the field of oncology, and is committed to providing evidence-based information to patients.

Prof. Dr. Cordula Petersen, Director of the Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology at the UKE and at the same time board member of the UCCH, has now been elected as President of DEGRO. She will represent DEGRO for the next two years, replacing Prof. Dr. Rainer Fietkau from the University Hospital Erlangen.At the same time, Prof. Dr. Kerstin Borgmann from the Laboratory of Radiation Biology & Experimental Radiation Oncology and Prof. Dr. Florian Würschmidt from the Radiological Alliance, one of UCCH's cooperation partners, were appointed to the board.

More information about DEGRO

More information about Prof. Dr. Petersen

June 2021

UCCH accepted into the German Biobank Alliance

The German Biobank Node is the umbrella organization of academic biobanks in Germany. UCCH has now been accepted into the German Biobank Alliance as part of the UKE Biobank Network. This means that 35 academic sites and one IT development center are working together in the excellence alliance to jointly advance biomedical research.

The comprehensive analysis of biospecimens is an important pillar of scientific biomedical research, especially with regard to the further development of precision medicine. Biosamples such as DNA, blood and tissue samples are stored in biobanks to guarantee the quality of the samples and rapid data-based access for researchers.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the German Biobank Alliance, which was founded in 2017 and brings together 21 alliance partners and 14 so-called observers. The alliance is coordinated by the German Biobank Node, which represents the interests of the alliance in the European biobank network BBMRI-ERIC.

The UKE and its biobank network have now been accepted as Observers. In addition to the UCCH biospecimen resource, the UKE biobank network also includes the biobank of the population-based Hamburg City Health Study (HCHS), the Hamburg Patient Information System Multiple Sclerosis Biobank (HAPIMS) and the Clinical Cohort Studies (CCS) biobank at the University Heart and Vascular Center at UKE.

The networking of biobanks serves to develop uniform quality standards and a common IT structure to support research throughout Germany. For example, scientists can use the online tool "Sample Locator" to find suitable samples for their research from the alliance's sample pool.

Further information about the UCCH Biobank

Further information about the UKE Biobank Alliance

Further information about the German Biobank Alliance

Further information about BBMRI-ERIC (European Biobanking Infrastructure)

June 2021

Mildred Scheel Lectureship this year from Hamburg

We are very pleased that the German Cancer Aid has entrusted the UCCH / MSNZ with the task of organizing this year's Mildred Scheel Lectureship. The Lectureship was organized together with the Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Charité Berlin and focuses not only on the scientific excellence of the speakers, but also on their personal career as motivation and stimulation for our young scientists. On June 21, 2021, we welcomed Professor Karen Vousden from the Francis Crick Institute in London for her lecture "A Role for Diet in Cancer Therapy".

Further information on the MSNZ Homepage

June 2021

DGP research award goes to UCCH researcher

The German Society of Pneumology (DGP) awarded its research prizes at its annual congress. For the basic research category, the prize went to UCCH researcher Dr. Jan K. Hennigs from the Department of Pneumology at the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic.

The corona pandemic is omnipresent in the topics of this year's 61st Congress of the German Society of Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP). Urgent aspects of the treatment of COVID patients and new scientific findings on long-term effects of corona disease ("Long-COVID") will be presented. Of course, bronchial carcinomas, especially the dramatic advances in treatment by targeted therapy, form another important pillar of the congress.

The congress will also feature two annual research awards for "Clinical Research" and "Basic Research." The happy news for UCCH: Dr. Jan K. Hennigs from the Department of Pneumology of the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic received the research prize for basic research, which is endowed with 10,000 euros.

Dr. Hennigs was honored for work identifying a novel molecular mechanism that can reverse pathological vascular remodeling and the excessive growth of vascular wall cells in the rare, but life-threatening, vasoproliferative disease of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in animal models.

Using an integrated multi-omics approach, the team of UCCH and Stanford University researchers identified an epigenetic mechanism that protects endothelial cells in pulmonary vessels during oxidative and DNA-damaging stress. An additional drug-inducible interaction of the transcription factors PPARg and p53 initiates a regenerative transcriptional program in pulmonary vessels that, beyond reversing pathological pulmonary vascular changes in PAH, also reveals for the first time a potential option for treating DNA damage to pulmonary vessels.

Dr. Hennigs had started work on this research topic in the laboratory of Dr. Marlene Rabinovitch at Stanford University, and later in the research group he established (together with Dr. Jakob Körbelin) under Priv.-Doz. Dr. Hans Klose and Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer at the II. Medical Clinic.

We congratulate very warmly on this award!

Further information on the DGP website

Link to the publication

June 2021

German Cancer Survivors Week: German Cancer Foundation invites to online information events in the 1st week of June

From May 31 to June 5, people with cancer, their relatives and other interested parties can participate in the free online German Cancer Survivors Week. Every day there will be a different focus topic on which participants can inform themselves. In cooperation with the UCCH, the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. is organizing a session on Thursday, June 3, on the topic of "Mindfulness - making everyday life mindful".

An overview of the program can be found here:

Monday, 5/31 - Complementary methods in cancer.
(Thuringian Cancer Society e.V. and Cancer Society North Rhine-Westphalia e.V.)

Tuesday, 6/1 - "Talk to me! About cancer" - Cancer and communication
(Cancer Society North Rhine-Westphalia e.V.)

Wednesday, 2.6. - Exercise and sport with cancer
(Saxon Cancer Society e.V.)

Thursday, 3.6. - Mindfulness - making everyday life mindful
Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. in cooperation with the UCCH

Main session from 5:00 pm:

  • Introduction and Talk
  • How do I deal with chronic fatigue? - with UCCH expert Prof. Dr. Matthias Rostock
  • Digital photo exhibition of the artist Heike Günther and interview

Parallel session from 5:45 pm

  • Eating with pleasure - A healthy cooking show with UCCH experts Julia von Grundherr and Raika Mühlberg

Friday, 4.6. - In discussion: How is the care of long-term cancer patients shaping up?
(Cancer Association Baden-Württemberg e.V.)

Saturday, 5.6. / 11-14 h - Cancer and participation
(German Cancer Foundation, German Cancer Society e.V. together with the Brandenburg Cancer Society e.V.)

Further information and dial-in links:
Hamburg Cancer Society e.V.

May 2021

World No Tobacco Day 2021: UCCH active in promoting non-smoking.

"Are you still smoking? I quit!" - this is the motto of this year's World No Tobacco Day 2021, with the participation of many health institutions. UCCH has also been promoting non-smoking among students for years and is developing trend-setting concepts to stop smoking in cancer.

Every year, approximately 85,000 people in Germany develop cancer as a result of smoking. World No Tobacco Day on May 31 is therefore also an important awareness day for all oncology societies and institutions to draw attention to the dangers of smoking.

For more than 15 years, UCCH has been involved in the prevention project "Non-smoking is cool" - together with the German Center for Addiction Issues in Childhood and Adolescence (DZSKJ), experts from the II Medical Clinic conduct the multimodal awareness event. Over the past few years, more than 100,000 students in 5th to 7th grades from the Hamburg area have taken part in the events. The procedure is very simple: teachers, in consultation with parents, register the participation of the school class and integrate the preparation and follow-up into the school lessons. "Non-smoking is cool" provides information on the short- and long-term health consequences of smoking and on the influence of smoking peers. It also addresses very current aspects around the consumption of vaporizers, e-cigarettes and shishas, as well as information on manipulation through image and advertising. At the end of the event, a patient with bronchial carcinoma answers the students' questions in order to make the personal extent of a disease caused by tobacco consumption tangible for the students. The exchange with a patient is always experienced by the students as the most impressive part of the event.

In addition, the UCCH is involved in the development of trend-setting concepts on the topic of smoking cessation in cancer. Currently, a study sponsored by the Immuno-oncology Foundation is underway at UCCH in cooperation with the Psycho-oncology Department on the question of whether smoking cessation is still useful even after the cancer has been diagnosed. The study also addresses the question of why patients often do not stop smoking despite a cancer diagnosis and how they can be better educated and motivated to stop smoking. "More than 400 patients have already been interviewed about their motivation to stop smoking and the obstacles they face in not doing so. In addition, the study provides the first comprehensive results on the smoking behavior of cancer patients at UKE. Our own meta-analyses also show that it makes sense to stop smoking at every stage of life - especially when cancer is diagnosed," confirms Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, the head of the study.

Further information:

Non-smoking is cool

German Center for Addiction Issues in Childhood and Adolescence

Foundation for Immuno-oncology

World No Tobacco Day at German Cancer Aid.

(Image credit: Pexels by Ann H)

May 2021

New cooperation with the Volkshochschule Hamburg - nutrition courses for cancer patients

After a cancer illness, questions about nutrition often arise. We are pleased about a new cooperation with the Volkshochschule Hamburg on this topic. On May 20, 2021, the first digital "Healthy Nutrition after Cancer" course took place in cooperation with our nutrition experts. You can find more information on the pages of the Volkshochschule:

Volkshochschule Hamburg

April 2021

NORD-Seminar series started in cooperation with the University Cancer Center (UCCSH) of the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein

The Northern Oncology Research & Development-Seminar, NORD-Seminar for short, started on April 6 with a kick-off lecture by Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, Institute of Tumor Biology. The locations Hamburg, Kiel and Lübeck use their scientific cooperation between the two Cancer Centers.

The NORD-Seminar is aimed at researching physicians and scientists from all sites. The different dates are organized in a cycle by the respective cities of Hamburg, Kiel and Lübeck.

The first kick-off event on the topic of "Liquid Biopsy: From Discovery to Clinical Application" by Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, Institute of Tumor Biology, was followed by almost 90 participants.

"I am very pleased that we have started this new cooperation with the Kiel and Lübeck sites at the UCCSH of the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein so successfully right away," said Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, "This NORD seminar series will certainly be an excellent tool to exchange ideas and projects in science and to promote interdisciplinary research between Kiel, Lübeck and Hamburg."

The development of the seminar series was planned equally by all locations: The individual partners involved were Prof. Dr. Susanne Sebens, Prof. Dr. Norbert Arnold and Prof. Dr. Anne Letsch from Kiel, Prof. Dr. Nikolas von Bubnoff, Prof. Dr. Timo Gmoll and Prof. Dr. Hauke Busch from Lübeck, and Prof. Dr. Katja Wei-sel, Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, Prof. Dr. Udo Schumacher and Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm from Hamburg.

An overview of the complete series can be found here:

UKE - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) - Events.

Further information about the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH) at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH) Kiel/Lübeck

UCCSH | University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (uksh.de)

Picture: Logo NORD-Seminar

February - April 2021

Cancer in the coronavirus pandemic - what's important for you now

The pandemic situation often brings great uncertainty for cancer patients: how do I get information? When and how can I be vaccinated? What can I do to keep fit despite being isolated? These are just some of the questions that are currently on the minds of our patients. In the following, we would like to provide you with some assistance.

Of the more than 4 million people in Germany who are currently living with cancer or have recently overcome it, many are currently facing special questions in the pandemic situation. Foremost among these are questions about their own vaccination. In the new vaccination regulation of Feb. 8, 2021, several items have been changed to reflect consideration of cancer

Questions and answers about the coronavirus vaccination regulation - Federal Ministry of Health.

Patients with cancer requiring treatment, regardless of age, are entitled to vaccination in the second vaccination wave. This also applies to cancer patients up to five years after the disease. Even if the cancer occurred more than five years ago, priority vaccination is available in the third wave of vaccination. In addition, up to two dependents of cancer sufferers in need of care who are not in a facility are also eligible for vaccination.

A prerequisite for vaccination prioritization is the presentation of a medical certificate. This should be prepared after an individual consultation with the attending physicians. Please ask your attending physician about this. They can also give you an assessment in connection with the vaccination and your individual cancer disease. However, the individual recommendation for vaccination also depends on the respective therapy and therefore requires a personal consultation with the treating cancer specialist.

You can always get the vaccination at the vaccination centres responsible for your place of residence. At present, no patients can be vaccinated at the UKE, but we are working on a solution. Please follow the current press for further information, e.g. on the possibility of vaccination in the oncological focus practices.

Cancer does not take a break - please do not be afraid to visit the practices and hospitals and keep your appointments even during the pandemic. All partners in our network are well positioned and have functioning control plans to provide you with the therapy you need.

Content-related questions will be answered for you at the Cancer Information Service www.krebsinformationsdienst.de , there is a website specifically for questions about Covid and cancer Corona and cancer: answers to frequently asked questions.

Likewise, the cancer counseling centers of the state cancer societies are there for you by phone. Hamburg Cancer Society

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, director of the UCCH, advises: "Even though you may be in isolation, there are things you can do for yourself. Please make sure you lead a healthy lifestyle. Exercise regularly, watch what you eat and refrain from smoking. If you feel you no longer know how to go on, take advantage of the services offered by the social services and psycho-oncological care. We wish you well through the pandemic despite all the difficult circumstances - UCCH stands by your side."

By the way, the month of March is dedicated to colorectal cancer prevention. The Felix Burda Foundation, the LebensBlicke Foundation and the Netzwerk gegen Darmkrebs e.V. (Network against Colorectal Cancer) have been committed to bringing colorectal cancer prevention into the spotlight for 20 years. Under the motto #Preventiophobia "When the fear of colorectal cancer screening is greater than the fear of cancer", the alliance provides information on all topics and actions relating to colorectal cancer screening. Colorectal Cancer Month March | Felix Burda Foundation

March 2021

University Cancer Center at the UKE supports "Flyers fly against cancer" campaign

People suffering from cancer often experience a state of emergency - surviving the intervention on body and soul, making decisions, keeping family and relatives together. Some get into financial difficulties and may have to reorient themselves in their professional life. This leaves little time and budget for the finer things in life, such as a vacation, in order to take a breather and get back together with their loved ones.

The association Auszeit für die Seele e.V. takes care of motivating owners of vacation properties to make vacant vacation homes available free of charge to cancer patients in need. "The normal occupancy rate for vacation homes and hotel rooms is on average only 72 percent per year, so 30 percent of the properties are actually always empty," says Reinhard Göddemeyer, founding member and first board member of the association, "We have very different vacation home owners, but also hotel and pension owners in Germany who donate 1 vacation week to us. There are also special landlords like e.g. the youth hostel Wangeroo-ge or a house of the Johannitern on Langeoog - it is querbeet everything thereby."

Every two years, the association draws attention to its work with a special campaign, such as this year's "Flyers Against Cancer" campaign. "We already had "Bikers against Cancer" with us and also started the campaign with fire engines," says club member Frank Brockbals "This year we are going to the start with fliers all over Germany. Cities such as Aachen, Flensburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden, Chemnitz and Leipzig will also be approached."

The gliding school "Hamburger Aero-Club Boberg e.V.", one of the largest gliding schools in Germany, is supporting the campaign and has brought a glider to the UKE especially for this purpose. Marcel Rast, one of the pilots, says "Everyone has had to experience cancer in their family/friends or we in our club and in this respect we were pleased to have the chance to support such a nice action by displaying one of our gliders here."

"In the North German network of our Cancer Center, we of course also work very closely with patient representatives and patient-oriented institutions, including for some time with the association Auszeit für die Seele, and have thus been able to convey their offers here to patients in need," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) at the UKE, "Even if vacation travel is not possible for everyone at the moment, I would still like to encourage on behalf of this campaign to participate with a vacation donation for the time after the pandemic. Cancer affects the patient and the relatives and therefore time off together is important in order to gather strength for the strenuous treatment phase. Our cancer patients will be very grateful."

For more information, interested parties can visit www.auszeitseele.de .

Interested in gliding? Click here to go to the gliding school: Home (hac-boberg.de)

Picture: (from left) Marcel Rast (Hamburger Aero-Club Boberg e.V.), Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm (Deputy Director UCCH), Frank Brockbals (Verein Auszeit für die Seele e.V.), Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel (Deputy Director UCCH), Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer (Director UCCH), Annemarie Hunecke (Verein Auszeit für die Seele e.V.), Prof. Dr. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke (Deputy Director UCCH), Reinhard Göddemeyer (Verein Auszeit für die Seele e.V.)

December 2020

New Chairman of the Board of the Hamburg Cancer Society e.V.

Prof. Bokemeyer takes over as Chairman of the Board of the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V..
He succeeds Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kleeberg, who previously held the chair for 28 years.

For many years, the Hamburg Cancer Society e.V., as the state cancer society of the German Cancer Society e.V., has stood for comprehensive patient counseling and information as well as for the promotion of cancer research in Hamburg. The new Chairman of the Board is UCCH Director Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, who was elected for the period 2020-2023 at the Annual General Meeting on November 27, 2020. Prof. Dr. Bokemeyer takes over the chairmanship from Prof. Ulrich Kleeberg, MD, who ended his 28-year tenure as chairman of the Hamburg Cancer Society at the end of November. PD Dr. med. Gunter Schuch from the Oncological Focus Practice Altona (HOPA) was elected as vice chairman.

Further information (Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. I Executive Board)

November 2020

Participants wanted: Study starts to the experiences and needs of cancer patients with their supply and the self-help

The gesa-k study - is a cooperation project between the Institute for Medical Sociology and the House of Cancer Self-help Federal Association e.V., supported by the German Cancer Aid. In the large-scale study, 4,000 cancer patients will be interviewed about their health competence and their own experience of care and that of their relatives.

What experiences have you had as a cancer patient when communicating with medical personnel? How did you get the information you needed? How is your life with cancer shaping up in relation to your lifestyle, social and economic situation? Have you taken advantage of the cancer self-help offers on your way to recovery?

The goal of the gesa-k study is to evaluate the state of patient orientation and the needs-based approach to the care, counseling and support of cancer patients* and their relatives. In addition, the study is intended to assess the influence of cancer self-help on oncological care.

The large-scale study will involve oncology centers, specialized practices, rehabilitation clinics, state cancer societies, cancer counseling centers and other care and counseling facilities as well as cancer self-help organizations throughout Germany.

"I am very pleased that the final stage of our study has now started after several subprojects," says project leader Dr. Christopher Kofahl from the Institute of Medical Sociology. "We hope to gain important insights into the care situation of people with cancer in Germany and the use of self-help services.

"Without the strong network of the various care and counseling institutions, the German Cancer Aid and the self-help organizations, such a scientific project would not be possible," emphasizes Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, "Please take the opportunity to participate and report on your experiences using the questionnaire.

Further information about the project and the online questionnaire can be found at

www.uke.de/gesa

The UKE is committed to patient orientation at various levels, also with participation from the UCCH.
All efforts converge in the Patient Orientation Forum:

www.uke.de/english/patients-visitors

November 2020

Online lecture of the UKE Health Academy on the topic of (breast) cancer

Under the motto "Medicine for people with curiosity", the UCCH invited to the UKE Health Academy on 30 November to a lecture entitled "Don't give (breast) cancer a chance - Early detection and treatment = Good prospects". An estimated 300 people attended the event via livestream.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Every year, about 69,000 women receive their first diagnosis of breast cancer. In addition, 6000 more women are diagnosed with pre- or early forms of breast cancer. Approximately one percent of all new cases affect men. These figures are published by the Center for Cancer Registry Data of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI, www.krebsdaten.de).

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, and Prof. Dr. Isabell Witzel, Director of the Breast Center and the Center for Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer, gave a presentation on the progress of modern medicine, improved therapies and possibilities for early detection of tumors in breast cancer screening.

Further information abouth the Health Academy is available at
UKE Health Academy

October 2020

Harburg Specialty Practice and Outpatient Oncology Bremerhaven new cooperation partners at UCCH

The UCCH network has expanded: Since October, Harburg's main practice Schloßmühlendamm and Outpatient Oncology Bremerhaven have become new partners.

The Harburg specialty practice Schloßmühlendamm, represented in the areas of hematology and oncology by Dr. Henning Vellguth and Dr. Thomas Faak, has a special focus on palliative medicine in addition to the diagnosis and therapy of blood and cancer diseases. The practice looks back on many years of expertise, which has been continuously expanded since 1981 in the fields of in-ternistic hemato-oncology and gastroenterology.
The Outpatient Oncology Bremerhaven, founded by Dr. Matthias Kroeger in 2005, was the first hematological-oncological specialist practice of its kind in the region and still represents an important pillar in cancer diagnosis and treatment in the municipality of Bremerhaven today.

The common goals of the cooperation agreement are cooperation in the definition of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, the possibility of joint tumor boards and exchange in the development of clinical studies.

"The nationwide networking of our members is a central component of our UCCH Missi-on. We are pleased to welcome the Harburg specialty practice Schloßmühlendamm and the Outpatient Oncology Bremerhaven to our network. We can now jointly pursue our goals to optimize the clinical care of patients," summarizes Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, spokesperson and director of the UCCH.

washing hands

March - November 2020

UCCH Network - Information for cancer patients on the CoVID-19 pandemic

Due to the CoVID19 pandemic, we are currently experiencing a particularly high number of inquiries from our oncological patients. Can I continue my therapy? Should I still leave the house at all? Is my healing process at risk? We would like to reassure you - our network partners and we at the UKE are together still well equipped to make your therapy possible.

The UCCH network consists of almost 20 practices and over 20 clinics in the Hamburg metropolitan region - a strong network that has been recognized as a oncological center of excellence by the German Cancer Aid for over 10 years. In our daily work, we are in close contact with all our colleagues - we would therefore like to assure you: In principle, your cancer therapies can be carried out.

In all clinics and practices, precautions are taken to minimize the risks. The professional associations exchange information on an ongoing basis and adapt recommendations for cancer treatment. These are communicated by us in the UCCH network - your doctor will inform you about them.

You yourself can do a lot to prevent the virus from spreading and to protect yourself from infection. Please observe the hygiene rules (see infektionsschutz.de):

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
  • Avoid direct contact with fellow human beings as much as possible, keep a distance of 2 metres from your fellow human beings.
  • Go into voluntary isolation and stay away from crowds.
  • While coughing or sneezing, keep at least two metres away from other people and turn away.
  • Sneezing or coughing is best done in a disposable handkerchief. Use this only once and then dispose of it in a bin with a lid.
  • If no handkerchief is handy, cough and sneeze with the crook of your arm in front of your mouth and nose and turn away from other people.
  • And always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing!

Attention:
If you should show signs of illness such as coughing, sneezing or fever and you fear to be infected with the novel corona virus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 disease): It is essential that you contact your attending oncologist by telephone before you come to the practice or clinic.

We would also ask you to observe the current regulations for accompanying persons in the respective practices or clinics. These can usually be found online on the homepages. Basically, escorts should be reduced to a necessary minimum.

If you have any further questions, we would like to provide you with the following links:

General Information of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf on the Coronavirus (in German)

Visitor regulations of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (English information on the german page)

Information from the National Center for Tumor Diseases Heidelberg (NCT)

Information from the Cancer Information Service of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) (in German)

Basic information from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI)

We wish you all the best!

October 2020

Online information day for patients* with very good participation

In mid-October, a first pilot was launched to enable patients to access information as part of an online information day, even in pandemic times. The topic was "Multiple Myeloma", which also covered topics related to therapy such as sports and exercise as well as the possibilities of complementary medicine.

The online information day was combined with a guest lecture by the well-known politician and lawyer Wolfgang Bosbach, who suffered from prostate cancer in 2010 and gave a very personal view of his history with the lecture title "Living with cancer - personal experiences of a medical layman, but experienced patient". The active participation, also from a national environment, shows how important digital concepts are in the realization of events for patients and interested parties.

Picture: Manfred Esser, with approval from W. Bosbach

from left to right: Katharina von Kodolitsch, Lauritz Schoof, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Avin Hell, Claus Feucht

September 2020

Rowing against cancer 2020 - We say thanks!

Rowing against cancer could not be done this year due to the pandemic situation. We - the foundation Leben mit Krebs, the Rowing Society HANSA e.V. and the UCCH - would like to thank all supporters and sponsors and look forward to rowing against cancer next year.

The "Leben mit Krebs" Foundation had already decided in early summer that all rowing against cancer regattas throughout Germany would have to be cancelled due to the imponderable pandemic situation. The risk was simply too great due to the short distances in the rowing boats. We would especially like to thank our supporters and sponsors, who have converted their sponsorship into a donation this time in order to support the work of physical therapy at the UCCH again this year.

These are in detail:

• Else Kröner-Fresenius Stiftung
• Merck KGaA
• Asklepios Kliniken GmbH & Co. KGaA
• Novartis Pharma GmbH
• AstraZeneca GmbH
• Copy-druck Gesellschaft für Digital- und Offsetdruck mbH
• Pfizer Deutschland GmbH
• Art Company Werbeagentur GmbH
• Medac GmbH

The planning for next year is already going on - on August 22nd 2021 the rowing is to be resumed vigorously. Rowing Olympian Lauritz Schoof has also dedicated himself to the good cause again and will be part of it next year. We are already looking forward to getting into the boats with you.

The rowing training for cancer patients* on the Outer Alster also had to pause because the safety distance in the boats could not be maintained.

The winter rowing training at the rowing ergometers will hopefully start again. Further information on the current developments can be obtained from our movement experts* at ucch-sport@uke.de .

Picture (from left to right): Katharina von Kodolitsch (Chairwoman of the Rowing Society HANSA e.V.), Lauritz Schoof (Rowing Olympics), Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer (Director of the UCCH), Avin Hell (UCCH), Claus Feucht (Chairman of the Board of the Life with Cancer Foundation)

from left to right: Prof. Dr. U. R. Kleeberg, Prof. Dr. C. Bokemeyer, Nico Gagelmann, Priv. Doz. Dr. Malte Kriegs, Dr. Nina Struve

September 2020

Research Award of the Hamburg Cancer Registry goes to UCCH cancer researcher

Three prize winners from the UKE will receive the Research Prize of the Hamburg Cancer Registry e.V., which is endowed with a total of 10,000 euros.

As is well known, this year many things are going quite differently than planned! "But at least some good traditions last, even beyond Corona," said Professor Carsten Bokemeyer, Deputy Chairman of the Hamburg Cancer Society and Committee Chairman of the Research Award Commission, opening the award ceremony for the 2020 Research Award.

Only a very small circle of research assistants, all of them colleagues from the working groups of the prizewinner, and one or two very close relatives, were allowed to attend the event on site, in our house in Butenfeld. Other interested parties, members of the Cancer Registry, colleagues, friends and relatives of the honored, were nevertheless present via video link.

The auditorium at a distance and with nose-mouth cover, however, did not dampen the excitement of the lectures.

This year, 5000 euros will go to Dr. Nina Struve and Priv. Doz. Dr. Malte Kriegs, who have been working for several years together with their research group at the Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radiooncology at the UKE, on improvements for the treatment of glioblastoma. They have discovered new bio-markers that can be used to predict the response of tumor cells to certain chemotherapeutic agents.

The second work, also awarded with 5000 Euro, was submitted by the medical student Nico Ga-gelmann, who has been working for 5 years, first as a student assistant, later as a research assistant, in a research group of the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation at the UKE, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Nicolaus Kröger, and will only complete his medical studies in two months. In his lecture, the young scientist presented a new scoring system for myelofibrosis patients prior to a planned stem cell transplantation, which should help to improve the risk education for patients before the intervention.

Both papers impress with their scientific quality and the high clinical relevance for the treatment of cancer patients, thus bridging the gap between basic research and clinical applicability.

We would like to congratulate all the prizewinners!

Picture, with friendly permission of HKG (from left to right): Prof. Dr. U. R. Kleeberg, Prof. Dr. C. Bokemeyer, Nico Gagelmann, Priv. Doz. Dr. Malte Kriegs, Dr. Nina Struve

Further information about the Hamburg Cancer Registry

August 2020

XII. UCCH Research Retreat virtual this year

"I am always pleased about the first-class research work of our scientists at the UCCH, which is presented at the UCCH Research Retreat. Many groundbreaking scientific publications from our network have significantly influenced the way we can fight cancer in recent years," said Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, who opened the event as the UCCH Director.

This year's program was once again very substantial - 23 talks and 10 poster presentations were presented virtually by the participants. Among them were also 5 presentations of the Mildred Scheel Cancer Careers Center, which has been supported by the German Cancer Aid since summer 2018 and is especially committed to strengthening young scientists.

"The training of scientists in oncology is a major concern for us," said Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, UCCH's Deputy Director of Research. "This year we were once again able to reward promising young scientists for their outstanding efforts with a prize. All participants of the retreat voted democratically in an online voting process," explained Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, Director of the Institute of Tumor Biology.

The Hubertus Wald Young Researcher Awards are funded by the Hubertus Wald Foundation with a sum of 4,000 EUR each and honor the outstanding achievements of the young scientists. This year, the prizes go to Krystian Fita from the Clinic for Neurosurgery / Lab Prof. Dr. Katrin Lamszus with his work on the targeted treatment of glioblastomas and to Dr. Nina Struve from the Laboratory for Radiobiology and Exp. Radiation Biology and Exp. Diooncology under Priv.-Doz. Dr. Malte Kriegs for her work on the disturbed genome synthesis in glioblastomas.

In addition, the poster prizes of 1,000 EUR each were awarded to Jurek Hille from the Clinic and Polyclinic for Oncology and Hematology / Institute of Tumor Biology (Lab Prof. Dr. Sonja Loges) and Hannah Voß from the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Lab Prof. Dr. Hartmut Schlüter / Institute of Neuropathology, AG Dr. Julia Neumann.

However, the Research Retreat does not only honor and present past work. Young scientists are also given the opportunity to win scholarships that will enable them to invest time in their research work in the coming year in addition to their clinical work. The Research Fellowships 2021 go to:

  • Sina Al-Kershi
    Sending institution: Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (Prof. Dr. Rutkowski)
    Hosting Institution: Research Institute Children's Cancer Center Hamburg/Institute of Neuropathology (Prof. Dr. Schüller)
  • Antonia Fitzek:
    Sending institution: Institute for Forensic Medicine (Prof. Dr. Püschel)
    Host institution: Institute of Tumor Biology (Prof. Dr. Pantel/Prof. Dr. Wikman-Kocher)
  • Mia Peters:
    Sending institution: Clinic and Polyclinic for Oncology and Hematology (Prof. Dr. Bokemeyer)
    Host institution: Laboratory for Radiobiology and Exp. Radiooncology (Prof. Dr. Rothkamm/Dr. Oing/PD Dr. Mansour)
  • Dr. Joseph Tintelnot:
    Sending institution: Clinic and Polyclinic for Oncology and Hematology (Prof. Bokemeyer)
    Hosting Institution: Clinic and Polyclinic for Gastroenterology/Clinic and Polyclinic for General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery (Prof. Dr. Gagliani)

The next UCCH Research Retreat is planned for next year, again in Jesteburg on August 27/28, 2021.

Further information about the Hamburg School of Oncology

Further information about the Mildred Scheel Cancer Careers Center

Further information on practice-changing publications in the UCCH

Nachruf Prof Haen

July 2020

Obituary Prof. Dr. Sebastian Haen

Prof. Dr. Sebastian P. Haen, Professor of Immunological Cancer Research and Therapy and Senior Physician at the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic (Oncology, Haematology, Bone Marrow Transplantation with Department of Pneumology), who has been working at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf since December 2019, died suddenly and unexpectedly on 4 July 2020 after a short and serious illness.

The management of the Center for Oncology, the directors and the board of directors of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) as well as all staff members are deeply saddened by the loss of their esteemed colleague.

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Haen, born in Ulm in 1979, began his medical studies in 2001 at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen with stations in Berlin, New York and Zurich. After graduating in 2007, he remained loyal to the city of Tübingen and started his career as a doctor at the Medical University Hospital under Prof. Dr. Lothar Kanz. In parallel to his specialist training, he continued his basic scientific work in Prof. Rammensee's group at the Interfaculty Institute of Cell Biology, Department of Immunology, where he also worked as the coordinator of clinical research. From 2018 onwards, he held the position of senior physician in the Medical Clinic II of the University Hospital in Tübingen before he was called to the UKE in Hamburg.

In December 2019, he took over the endowed professorship for immunological cancer research and therapy at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, supported by the Hubertus Wald Foundation. He dedicated himself with great commitment to his new tasks and gave important impulses for the further expansion of his field of expertise. As a specialist in internal medicine, haematology and oncology, he performed valuable work at the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic. He represented the UCCH network in important issues of immunoncology and was involved in the preparation of groundbreaking clinical and translational concepts in this field. Prof. Haen's scientific research focused on the modification of surface antigens by physiological processes and therapies. His numerous collaborations included networking at the UCCH, the nNGM (National Network Genomic Medicine Lung Cancer), and the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK) at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg.

Privately, Prof. Haen was extremely active and successful in the field of classical music. As a solo singer, he created song recitals, operas and choral concerts throughout the German-speaking world. He was also an enthusiastic hobby photographer and loved mountain hiking in the Alps.

We are deeply dismayed and stunned by his death and miss a committed and kind colleague who has actively and joyfully contributed to our work here in the North over the past 8 months. Hamburg was his new place of work and he felt well received and arrived in the circle of colleagues. Prof. Dr. Sebastian Haen leaves behind his wife and his little son. Our deepest sympathy and special condolences go to his young family and his parents.

Due to contact restrictions with Corona, it is unfortunately not possible to organize a larger commemoration ceremony. Persons who would like to express their sympathy have the opportunity to sign a book of condolence in the UKE's Room of Silence from Friday, July 10th, to Wednesday, July 15th. The book of condolence will then be given to his family. The Room of Silence is located in the main building (O10) on the 2nd floor at the end of the Patient Boulevard and is open all the time (please note that due to corona restrictions, only a maximum of 8-10 people may be in the room at any one time). If you are unable to come in person due to the holiday period, we will be happy to accept your condolences by e-mail or post and include them in the book afterwards.

On Friday, 10 July at 2pm, we will also pause in our activities and insert 5 minutes of commemoration. We would like to invite you to share this moment of remembrance with us.

Julia von Grundherr

June 2020

This year's Nutricia Award goes to the UCCH

Julia von Grundherr won this year's Nutricia Award for Medical Nutrition Research 2020 with the TASTE (Taste disorders during chemotherapy) study.

In the TASTE study, the nutritionist and dietician at UCCH examined for the first time the effectiveness of a structured intervention program on the taste perception of cancer patients during chemotherapy. The results show: Odor and taste training with individual nutritional counseling can have a significant, positive influence on taste perception.

The "TASTE" study is of great importance for the practice. This is confirmed by Prof. Dr. Peter Stehle, chairman of the jury of the Nutricia Award and representative of the German Society for Nutritional Medicine (DGEM): "As the study proves for the first time, effective taste training is easy to carry out in practice, so that patients obviously benefit from it. We are therefore very impressed by Mrs von Grundherr's research work and are sure that the study provides an important, innovative basis for further investigations in this area". The results are now to be confirmed and deepened in the randomized, controlled follow-up study TASTE II.

The TASTE II study, which will be led by Mrs. von Grundherr, is expected to start in August 2020 at the UCCH in cooperation with two other centers. The Nutricia Prize for Medical Nutrition Research (formerly the Dr.-Werner-Fekl Prize), worth 5,000 euros, has been awarded annually to young scientists by Nutricia Milupa in cooperation with the DGEM and the Society for Clinical Nutrition of Switzerland (GESKES) since 2002. The prize money is made available for future nutrition projects.

Further information can be found here

stop smoking

June 2020

UCCH smoking prevention program

After 15 years of proven success of the "Non-smoking is cool" prevention program at the UKE this year, UCCH representatives are now also involved in the Vision Zero "Red card for tobacco advertising" campaign of the National Network for Genomic Medicine Lung Cancer. The aim is to tighten a draft bill currently before the German Bundestag on a further ban on tobacco advertising. At the end of 2019, the "Quit Smoking after Cancer" program was launched, which is intended to help educate cancer patients about the negative impact that continued smoking can have on their treatment and quality of life.

Lung cancer is one of the most common malignant diseases in Germany. Smokers have a 20 times higher risk of developing lung cancer compared to never-smokers. When looking at the gender distribution, 89% of lung cancer cases in men and 83% in women are attributable to smoking (source: DKFZ, Krebslast in Deutschland). Thus, the prevention of smoking is one of the most important goals of the UCCH's prevention program.

15 years non-smoking is cool

The efforts are manifold. The focus is, among other things, on the promotion of qualified and needs-oriented prevention events as well as withdrawal programs for children and young people to reduce nicotine addiction. The association 'Prävention der Nikotinsucht bei Kindern und Jugendlichen in Hamburg und Umgebung e.V.' (Prevention of Nicotine Addiction in Children and Adolescents in Hamburg and Surroundings), which was founded in August 2005 and in which the German Centre for Addiction Issues of Childhood and Adolescence and the UCCH are involved from the UKE, aims to achieve a change in awareness in society and has launched the prevention program "Nichtrauchen ist cool". Many celebrities have committed themselves to the program, including Sky du Mont and the band Revolverheld. And after 15 years of implementing the program, one thing is certain: scientifically based evaluation confirms the effectiveness of the measures. Over 100,000 pupils have already been trained at the UKE and made aware of the dangers of smoking. Unfortunately, a big anniversary event at the end of May had to be postponed due to the corona pandemic, but the pride in what has been achieved is still great.

Vision Zero - Red card for tobacco advertising

But that is not all, there are also political dimensions involved. These days, a campaign is running in the press, in which the National Network Genomic Medicine Lung Cancer is involved, entitled "Red Card for Tobacco Advertising". The UCCH is participating in this campaign with Prof. Klaus Pantel, Institute of Tumor Biology, and Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer, II Medical Clinic and Director of the UCCH, as deputy representatives. It is about the demand to tighten up a draft bill that has been introduced into the German Bundestag by the CDU/CSU and SPD parliamentary groups (draft of a second law to amend the Tobacco Products Act). The draft law provides for additional advertising bans on tobacco products and electronic cigarettes and refillable containers. The stakeholders consider this amendment to be long overdue, but they do not consider it to go far enough: the draft provides for long transitional periods and only covers about one third of the advertising to date. Tobacco advertising will continue to be allowed in cinemas (for films from 18 years of age) and advertising at the sales counter (e.g. at petrol stations) will be permitted. In addition, the campaign criticizes the fact that there are still 300,000 freely accessible cigarette vending machines in Germany.

QSAC- Quit smoking after Cancer

In addition, the UCCH, in cooperation with the Institute of Medical Psychology at the UKE, has launched a new project at the end of 2019 that pursues another approach that has so far received little attention. Up to 60 percent of smoking cancer patients do not manage to quit smoking after their diagnosis. The "Quit smoking after Cancer" project is intended to help educate cancer patients about the negative impact that continuing smoking can have on their treatment and quality of life. In the long term, a smoking cessation program for cancer patients will be developed and established at the UCCH to help cancer patients quit smoking more effectively.

Further information on the Vision-Zero campaign (in German)

Further information about not smoking is cool (in German)

June 2020

New: Booklet of the Hamburg Résumé from the American Cancer Congress now available

The traditional Hamburg Résumé from the American Cancer Congress - in cooperation with the Catholic Marienkrankenhaus - is available this year as a booklet.

Due to the corona pandemic, the American Cancer Congress was digitally transmitted this year, so that our proven speakers of recent years have produced a written summary of clinically important results from their respective subject areas.

If you are an expert in the field and are interested, please send an e-mail to Ms. Deike Dirks at d.dirks@uke.de.

Picture: Fotolia © Claus Schlüter

CSD 2020

May 2020

Cancer Survivors Day is cancelled

The annual Cancer Survivors Day, which the UCCH organizes together with the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft, will unfortunately have to be cancelled this year (originally planned date 18 June 2020). Nevertheless, the lecturers have prepared some small exercises for you to do at home.

The Cancer Survivors Day offers those affected the opportunity to receive suggestions for dealing with their disease in lectures and workshops. In the cultural part of the evening, former cancer patients talk about their way out of the crisis. After last year's main topic "motivation", this year's topic should be "mindfulness". The topic has probably been postponed to next year, so that the contents will not be lost. Nevertheless, the lecturers have prepared small exercises for you, which we would like to offer you here as an offer for your home.

Exercise on self-pity by Dr. Annette Brechtel, Speyer (in German)

Practice on Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Sigrid Happ, Hamburg (in German)

General recommendations on exercise and physical activity from the UCCH exercise team (in German)

Recipe for conscious mindfulness in nutrition from the UCCH nutrition team (in German)

MSNZ

May 2020

News from the Mildred Scheel Nachwuchszentrum Hamburg (MSNZ)

The MSNZ has started the year 2020 with great momentum. The first recipients of funding already started work on their projects in January. Further sponsors will follow this year.

The funding programme of the Mildred Scheel Nachwuchszentrum Hamburg (MSNZ) with its focus on "Dissemination and Metastasis" has set itself the task of strengthening young scientists in oncology. The Deutsche Krebshilfe supports the program over a period of 5 years.

Our first partner laboratory started the funding and will work on the elucidation of resistance and metastasis mechanisms in prostate carcinoma over the next three years, supported by competent technical assistance. A second partner laboratory will be funded from the middle of the year.

At the same time, two clinician scientists and two natural scientists with external cooperation partners also started their projects. The topics of the funded projects cover a broad spectrum of oncological research from paediatric oncology to haematological, gynaecological and urological diseases and innovative applications in radiotherapy.

All long-term funding recipients are supported by an accompanying programme that includes joint activities such as management development, team coaching and the organisation of network meetings and seminars. The individual needs of the recipients are also taken into account through professional training and the offer of individual coaching and mentoring. In designing and organising the accompanying programme, the centre coordinator Inga Melzer has been supported by Natascha Kömm (UCCH, Hamburg School of Oncology) since the beginning of the year.

Furthermore, this year, for the first time, 11 recipients are starting the Clinician Scientist Short-Term Fellowship. With this funding line, the MSNZ hopes to provide scope in everyday clinical life, for example to initiate clinical studies or larger applications or to give young colleagues the opportunity to start a career as a Clinician Scientist.

Currently, a decision is being made on further long-term funding for Clinician Scientists with external cooperation partners. Cooperation with external partners such as research institutions, clinics or companies/start-ups in the Hamburg metropolitan region offers the opportunity to expand the UCCH's network even further in the area of research and development and to strengthen interdisciplinary and supraregional cooperation, always with an eye to the needs of our patients, who will benefit from the innovative results of the studies.

Further information can be found here

April 2020

Information on the handling of COVID19-positive tested persons in the Center for Oncology

Due to current press coverage, we would like to provide the following information on the handling of COVID19-positive tested persons in the Center for Oncology:

In the Center for Oncology, 20 patients and 20 staff members have been tested COVID19-positive in the last few days. All legal reporting requirements to the authorities were fulfilled.

All oncology patients who have tested positive for COVID19 are isolated in a special ward where they are cared for and treated for both COVID19 and their cancer by oncology specialists who work there alone. For the protection of all patients and staff members, a test for SARS-Cov-2 has been carried out already for some time now when oncological patients are admitted to the hospital wards, and on this basis all treated staff and patients of the Center for Oncology SARS-Cov-2 are negative.

For weeks we have been continuously developing guidelines for the treatment of COVID19-positive tested cancer patients. The care of oncological patients on all wards of the Center is carried out with mask protection and adequate hygienic measures to ensure the safety of patients and staff. Through these measures everything is done to be able to treat non-infected cancer patients as infection-free oncologically as possible and at the same time to offer the necessary oncological care in a separate area to COVID19-positive cancer patients. SARS-Cov-2 is a pandemic, i.e. there is of course also a likelihood that cancer patients could become infected, we will of course also care for cancer patients with a COVID19 infection now and in the future. The clinical course of COVID19-positive cancer patients is intensively monitored and is predominantly positive.

February 2020

UCCH represented in large numbers at the German Cancer Congress

The German Cancer Congress took place in Berlin at the end of February. Every two years, experts from all over Germany meet to exchange views on a wide range of topics related to cancer. Many UCCH representatives also presented their projects at the congress.

382 sessions, 1180 speakers, 1339 lectures - the four-day program at the German Cancer Congress in Berlin was all about exchange. More than 11,000 participants from science, the medical profession, health care, politics and administration, students and nurses discussed the latest findings in cancer medicine. The German Cancer Congress is thus the largest and most important German-speaking oncological congress and a permanent institution for all those involved in the fight against cancer.
At the opening event, Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn welcomed the participants with the words: "Cancer concerns us all. 2020 will be an important year for the fight against cancer."
In this spirit, the UCCH was also represented with many different projects. This included many health policy aspects and network-oriented topics on the one hand, and the presentation of results from basic and clinical research on the other.
What was special about the cancer congress was that patients and patient representatives were also involved in the programme with numerous presentations. The UCCH speakers from the self-help groups Heide Lakemann (Frauenselbsthilfe Krebs e.V.) and Ulrike Göbel (Aplastic Anemia / DLH) were also represented at the DKK and used the time to exchange ideas with the other participants.
Under the hashtag #dkk2020 many contributions can be found on Twitter.

Patient Advisory Board

February 2020

UCCH Patient Advisory Board Research founded

World Cancer Day on February 4 was not only an information day, but also the founding date for the new UCCH Patient Advisory Board for Research. 11 patient representatives will now advise the UCCH.

The cooperation between the University Cancer Center Hamburg and the patient support groups has a long tradition. The diagnosis of cancer and the existential threat it poses to many patients means that a wide range of different areas of a person's life and their environment are affected. Professional medical care at the UCCH is complemented by the advisory and support services offered by numerous patient support groups for those affected and their relatives.

The establishment of a Patient Advisory Board for Research will further strengthen the position of patient representatives to actively participate in clinical and experimental cancer research at the UCCH, beyond the provision of care for cancer patients and their families. This will enable an active and direct exchange with decision-makers at the University Cancer Center Hamburg on all aspects of cancer patient care. This will result in a deeper understanding of the realities and needs of care from the perspective of those affected, so that the actual needs of patients can be met even better than before. In addition, with the help of the patient advisory board, a deeper understanding of the research concepts of cancer medicine can be conveyed and at the same time the wishes and concerns of patients can be taken into account more effectively.

Concrete tasks and goals

The Patient Advisory Board of the UCCH advises the UCCH Board of Directors and the physicians and scientists working at the UCCH in matters of cooperation with patient representatives regarding the further development and implementation of cancer research and care.

The Patient Advisory Board is given the opportunity to review the patient orientation of the UCCH with regard to sustainability and to contribute to ensuring that research and patient care at the UCCH is substantially oriented towards patient benefit.

In addition, the patient advisory board will have the opportunity to obtain information directly about the development of care structures and scientific concepts at UCCH, to actively participate in the planning of new concepts and to make suggestions for improvement. In addition to health services research, this also applies in particular to clinical research. In the latter area there is above all the possibility of jointly identifying the need for clinical study protocols.

The Patient Advisory Board advises the UCCH on the planning of strategic partnerships and the expansion of the existing cooperation network.

The founding members are patient representatives from various oncological entities. Representatives of young cancer patients and parents of children with cancer are also involved.

We will report on the work of the Patient Advisory Board regularly in the future.

World Cancer Day 2020

February 2020

Together against cancer

More than 100 patients, relatives and other interested parties celebrated this year's World Cancer Day together with the UCCH on February 4. The UCCH invited to a big information day under the motto "Together against cancer" in the Erika House. This year, lectures, numerous information booths and a panel discussion attracted visitors.

How do I deal with side effects? How does exercise help me as a cancer patient? Who can benefit from the new approaches of immunotherapy? These and many other questions were answered by experts from the UCCH and the Hamburg Cancer Society in lectures and personal discussions.

Numerous patient support groups presented themselves and their work at information stands. The offer was well received and informative discussions were held with patients and relatives. In addition, experts from the Head and Neck Tumor Center, the Breast Center and the Gynecological Cancer Center of the UKE were also available for exchange.

New this year: A panel discussion with high-ranking representatives from clinics and research at UKE. Among other things, they discussed what clinical research does look like in 2020 and how the results will find their way into everyday clinical practice.

Next year, the World Cancer Organization (UICC) will again announce a World Cancer Day – as usual on February 4.

_
Photo: UCCH

Prof. Weisel

February 2020

Katja Weisel new UCCH Deputy Director

Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel has been the new deputy director of the UCCH since January 1. She is responsible for the clinical area and thus takes over the position of PD Dr. Alexander Stein.

Prof. Weisel moved from the University Hospital of Tübingen to the UKE in April last year. In addition to her new role on the UCCH board of directors, she is also deputy director of the II Medical Clinic and Polyclinic for Oncology, Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation with the Department of Pneumology at the UKE. Her main focus is on the treatment of multiple myeloma and lymphomas. She also directs numerous studies in this field.

A patient day on myeloma will be offered at the UCCH on 20 April 2020.

Further information is available here

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Photo: UKE

DKH

February 2020

Max-Eder grant for psycho-oncological study

Dr. Sigrun Vehling is the first psycho-oncologist to be funded by the German Cancer Aid as part of the Max Eder Junior Researcher Program. Her study, financed with approximately 660,000 euros, deals with the existential stress of patients with an advanced disease and their relatives.

The study is a cooperative project between the II. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic, the Palliative Medicine Department and the Institute of Medical Psychology at the UKE, where Dr. Vehling is working. The aim of the study is, on the one hand, the conceptually well-founded determination of the frequency of mental stress specifically occurring in seriously ill patients and their relatives. On the other hand, a therapeutic intervention will be developed and piloted.

Within the framework of the Max Eder Junior Researcher Program, German Cancer Aid supports young, highly qualified oncologists and clinically active scientists. The funds provided are intended to enable them to establish their own research group and implement promising research projects.

PET Team

January 2020

Lutetium-177-PSMA therapy at the UKE

For the first time, the Lu-177-PSMA therapy is now also being offered in the greater Hamburg area at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

PSMA is a transmembrane protein that is found in increased amounts on the surface of prostate cancer cells. In the therapy with Lu-177-PSMA ligands, PSMA is coupled with a particle emitter (beta emitter = lutetium-177), which then binds specifically to tumor cells and achieves a therapeutic effect there via its radiation effect. The high-energy beta radiation hits tumor cells, which are then destroyed in a targeted manner. In preparation for the therapy, a PSMA-PET/CT examination is used to assess whether the tumor cells are capable of sufficiently binding the lutetium-177-PSMA and whether this therapy will therefore be useful and promising. The therapy is usually very well tolerated. Due to the short range of lutetium-177, there is only a slight load on the bone marrow and internal organs. Interactions with other therapeutics are currently not known.

The Lu-177-PSMA therapy is a palliative therapy for advanced prostate cancer in the metastatic stage. The Lu-177-PSMA antagonists have not yet received regulatory approval, and their use is therefore exclusively within the framework of "individual treatment trials" after the approved treatment options have been exhausted and only after the indication has been determined in an interdisciplinary tumor board. For the therapy itself, the patient is admitted as an inpatient for a few days in the "control area" of the Department of Nuclear Medicine. Lu-177-PSMA is administered directly on the day of admission with a single infusion via an indwelling venous cannula. In the course of the inpatient stay, multiple full-body scintigraphs are performed to visualize the distribution of Lu-177-PSMA. A therapy usually consists of three therapy cycles, each of which is carried out as an inpatient at intervals of about 8 weeks. Between the individual cycles, regular checks of all relevant blood values are performed.

The Department of Nuclear Medicine of the UKE will be pleased to offer advice on the therapy. For this purpose, the preliminary findings of the patient or information on all relevant pretreatments are required. Contact person in the Nuclear Medicine Department: Prof. Susanne Klutmann, Tel. 01522-2815639 or by email klutmann@uke.de and Dr. med. Christoph Berliner, c.berliner@uke.de .

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Photo: UKE

CvS Preis 2019

January 2020

Claudia von Schilling Prize for UKE Gynecologists

Professor Volkmar Müller and Professor Isabell Witzel from the Department of Gynecology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf were selected as winners of the Claudia von Schilling Prize 2019 for their publication “Treatment and outcome of patients in the Brain Metastases in Breast Cancer Registry Network”.

This paper summarizes the first results of a registry study in Germany, which has been running since 2014: Professor Müller and Professor Witzel have established the Brain Metastases in Breast Cancer Registry (BMBC) Network in order to collect comprehensive data on brain metastases in advanced breast cancer, which affect around a quarter of all patients in this stage of the disease, and thus create a broad scientific basis for the first time for evaluations and research projects on the topic of brain metastases. About 150 centers in Germany are actively involved in the project and have contributed to collecting data from about 3000 patients to date. The knowledge gained will help to improve the treatment of this threatening complication.

The award was presented at a ceremony during an advanced training event at the Gynecological Clinic of the Hanover Medical School on January 15, 2020 in the Old Town Hall.

January 2020

Cheque presentation: Funding of the stop smoking program for cancer patients

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Immunoncology Foundation is providing a grant of 210,000 euros to support the development of a smoking cessation program for patients diagnosed with cancer. The symbolic cheque was handed over today by the foundation representatives at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Stopping smoking is worthwhile at any age and reduces the risk of cancer – as numerous studies have already shown. But what does it look like if you already have cancer? Here too, initial study results indicate that stopping smoking can significantly improve the prognosis of cancer and that cancer therapy is also better tolerated. But why do patients often not stop smoking despite a cancer diagnosis? How can patients be better informed and at the same time motivated to stop smoking effectively? In order to address these important questions, the BMS Immunoncology Foundation is funding the development of a stop smoking program for cancer patients at the University Cancer Center Hamburg. The support of 210,000 Euros is scheduled for a total of two years.

"Smoking is one of the main risk factors for cancer," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH. "It is very important to us to show our patients that it still makes sense to stop smoking even after diagnosis." Prof. Dr. Holger Schulz, Institute and Polyclinic for Medical Psychology, UKE: "In this project, we would like to concentrate first of all on the psychological aspects surrounding smoking cessation, and test effective programs in order to be able to implement these in as many patients as possible in the future. For this purpose, comprehensive psychological surveys and research are necessary".

The prevention of smoking has been a priority at the UCCH for years. Already in its 15th year, "Non-smoking is cool" lectures for students are held here. Over 100,000 students have already gone through the program in the last 15 years. The figures prove the success of the program: among young people up to the age of 17, the number of smokers is steadily decreasing, with educational level having an influence. It is therefore evident that prevention and educational measures are very closely related.

"More than 80 percent of all lung cancers are due to smoking. Quitting smoking, even in the already ill stage, is therefore an important issue that we as a foundation would like to support," said Dr. Michael May of the Board of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Immunoncology Foundation, explaining the reasons for the support.

Photo (UCCH) from left: Prof. Dr. Holger Schulz, Institute and Polyclinic for Medical Psychology, UKE, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH), UKE, Dr. Michael May, Director of the BMS Immunoncology Foundation, Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel, Director of the BMS Immunoncology Foundation, Viola von Elsner, Managing Director of the BMS Immunoncology Foundation

Further information on the Bristol-Myers Squibb Immunoncology Foundation (in German)

More information on “Non-smoking is cool” (in German)

Further information on risk factors for cancer (in German)

sholarship

January 2020

PhD scholarships awarded by the E.W. Kuhlmann Foundation

For the second time already, three doctoral candidates were awarded a scholarship thanks to a grant from the E.W. Kuhlmann Foundation. This year, Chiara Blomen, Joelle Korte and Jurek Hille can be pleased about the award.

The doctoral scholarship is intended to enable the award-winning students to concentrate fully on their doctorate with an oncological focus for one year. As last year, three of these scholarships were awarded by the UCCH thanks to the E.W. Kuhlmann Foundation.

This year’s prizewinners are Mrs. Chiara Blomen with the project "Information transfer to relatives of patients with evidence of a disease-causing gene alteration" and Mrs. Joelle Korte with the project: "Development of a gene therapy vector for the human pulmonary vascular endothelium" and Mr. Jurek Hille with the project "Enrichment and analysis of circulating tumour cells from diagnostic leukapheresis in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)".

The E.W. Kuhlmann Foundation was established in 1997 by Edith and Edmund Kuhlmann in Hamburg. The foundation helps people to help themselves by financially supporting economically weaker people in their training to enable them to enter working life soon. Recipients should appreciate the help and, within the scope of their possibilities, contribute to changing the world for the better.

Further information on the website of the E.W. Kuhlmann Foundation (in German)

Picture (UCCH) from left: Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Chiara Blomen, Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, Joelle Korte, Jurek Hille, Prof. Dr. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke

UKE health academy

January 2020

UKE Health Academy starts into new year with the topic cancer

Under the motto "Medicine for People with Curiosity", the UKE Health Academy takes place at regular intervals every Monday on the UKE premises. This year's series of events in the lecture hall of Campus Forschung started with the title "Don't give cancer a chance – new therapies + active prevention = better prospects".

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, informed in his patient-oriented lecture what modern medicine knows about cancer today. According to Prof. Bokemeyer, the fact that we are seeing an increasing number of new cases of cancer is simply due to the fact that we have an ever increasing life expectancy nowadays. Since cancer is a disease of old age, we have more and more new cases despite the improved chances of cure.

In view of this urgent social problem, science has also made considerable progress in recent years, which can already benefit many patients in practice. Prof. Bokemeyer cited immunotherapy, which uses the body's own immune system to combat the degenerated cells, as an example. Especially the treatment with defense cells modified in the laboratory, so-called CAR-T cells, is a real milestone in cancer treatment – and a new treatment approach that clearly shows how quickly research in this field is currently developing.

Following the presentation, the visitors were given the opportunity to find out what you can do yourself to prevent cancer from developing in the first place at the interactive and information stations on the "health market". In addition, the numerous experts from the UCCH provided information about the opportunities and limitations of nutrition and complementary medicine for patients and non-ill people.

Hand in hand

December 2019

Charity campaign: Hand in Hand for Northern Germany

Under the title "Hand in Hand for Northern Germany - Help for Cancer Patients and their Families in the North", NDR launched this year's charity campaign on Monday, December 2. For two weeks - until Friday, 13 December - all NDR radio programs, NDR television and the online service NDR.de will report on the situation of people suffering from cancer and their relatives as well as the numerous offers of help that the North German cancer societies offer. This year, they are partners of the NDR charity campaign, in the framework of which the NDR also calls for donations. The proceeds will go 100 percent to the cancer societies in the north.

The big NDR Donation Day on Friday, 13 December, is the final and highlight of the campaign. Numerous celebrities and NDR employees accept donations by telephone throughout the day.

Donate too: The central free donation telephone number is 08000 637000. A donation account has been set up at the Bank für Sozialwirtschaft (IBAN: DE 32 251 205 100 200 300 400; recipient: Krebsgesellschaften im Norden) for the NDR benefit campaign.

Further information on the Hand in Hand for Northern Germany Campaign (in German)

Further information on the work of the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. (Hamburg Cancer Society - in German)

NDR's reports on the work of the UCCH (in German)

December 2019

Hubertus Wald Prize for Oncology awarded to cancer researcher Prof. Dr. Pieter Sonneveld

The Hubertus Wald Prize for Oncology this year was awarded to the renowned cancer researcher Prof. Dr. Pieter Sonneveld from Rotterdam. The award honors his many years of commitment and outstanding achievements in the field of leukaemia and myeloma research. The prize, endowed with 10,000 euros and awarded every two years, was awarded for the seventh time by the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH). In addition, four young UKE scientists from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) were awarded prizes and scholarships.

"Prof. Sonneveld is an internationally recognized expert on myeloma. With his scientific work, he has laid the foundation for many current treatment approaches for this disease. In addition, he has contributed significantly to the findings on the resistance of drugs to leukaemia and it is therefore a great pleasure for us to honor him with the Hubertus Wald Prize for this outstanding scientific work," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center. Prof. Sonneveld is head of the Department of Hematology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. In addition to his experimental work, he is the initiator of many European studies that have led to improved drug treatment strategies for leukaemia and myeloma patients.

In addition, several young UKE scientists were honored: Dr. Michael Bockmayr, Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology and Research Institute Children's Cancer Center Hamburg, and Maria-Elena Vargas-Delgado, Laboratory for Tumor Immunology of the Second Medical Clinic received the Hubertus Wald Young Scientist Award for Oncological Research. Dr. Glenn Geidel, Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Venerology, and Catena Kresbach, Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, were awarded UCCH research grants.

"The award winners' ambitious research projects demonstrate the high level of cancer research among young scientists in Hamburg," says Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, Deputy Director for Science and Research at the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center.

The Hubertus Wald Tumor Center is significantly supported by the Hubertus Wald Foundation. In addition to the awarding of research prizes, the focus of funding is on the clinical care of people with cancer, as Dr. Günter Hess, Chairman of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, emphasises. The Hanseatic entrepreneur Hubertus Wald (1903-2005) and his wife Renate have dedicated themselves for decades to the promotion of culture and medicine; the Hubertus Wald Foundation emerged from this in 1993. "The Foundation's support for the UKE Tumor Centre is exceptional and makes a major contribution to providing the best possible care for cancer patients," says Prof. Dr. Hartwig Huland, curator of the Foundation and founder and chief physician of the Martini Clinic at the UKE.

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Photo (UCCH) from left: Dr. Volkmar Herms, Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, Maria-Elena Vargas-Delgado, Dr. Michael Bockmayr, Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Pieter Sonneveld, Dr. Glenn Geidel, Janik Engelmann, Dr. Günter Hess, Catena Kresbach, Prof. Dr. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus, Prof. Dr. Hartwig Huland, Prof. Dr. Katja Weisel

Dekade gegen Krebs

November 2019

National Decade Against Cancer Participation Project

The National Decade Against Cancer was proclaimed at the beginning of the year by the German government and the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ). The aim is to combine the strengths of all relevant actors in the fight against cancer and to act according to the motto "prevent cancer, improve chances of cure, improve quality of life".

All interested parties are now invited to participate in the cancer dialogue within the framework of citizen participation until 15 December. Under the title #Jeder ist Xperte! expectations, ideas and wishes for cancer research can be brought in and thus the future of this field of research can be shaped.

Take part in the online dialogue of the National Decade Against Cancer (in German)

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Photo: pexels.com

November 2019

Patient support group "Frauenselbsthilfe nach Krebs" celebrates its 40th anniversary

The Lower Saxony/Bremen/Hamburg Association of the Frauenselbsthilfe nach Krebs (FSH - Women's Cancer Patient Support Groups) celebrated its 40th anniversary in Soltau at the beginning of November. The association was congratulated by the Minister of Social Affairs of Lower Saxony, Dr. Carola Reimer, Professor Dr. Carl from Bremen and the UCCH patient support group coordinators PD Dr. Andreas Block and Avin Hell.

The more than 20 local groups of the FSH Lower Saxony/Bremen/Hamburg celebrated under the motto "We celebrate life" for three days with a ceremony and many activities. A panel discussion was held with experts from various fields to discuss the aspects of cancer and its significance for those affected. Cabaret artist Oliver Tissot put the audience in the right mood with his apt lecture "Humor helps to heal".

The UCCH cordially congratulates the FSH and is looking forward to further good cooperation.

Further information on the FSH (in German)

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Photo (from right): Helga Hungeling, Burkhard Lebert, Dr. Carola Reimer, Helmut A. Kurtz, Heide Lakemann, Anke Höpker, Hilde Schulte, Claudia Altmann-Pospischek, PD Dr. Andreas Block, Hedy Kerek-Bodden, Avin Hell and others.

Stars of Sports

September 2019

Hamburg stars of sports - 2nd place for “Rowing against Cancer"

Already for the 9th time the stars of sports were awarded in Hamburg. This year, the charity project “Rowing against Cancer” / Rowing Training for Cancer Patients by the foundation Leben mit Krebs, the rowing society Hansa e.V. and the UCCH won 2nd place. This is a special milestone for the entire “Rowing against Cancer” team, as the regatta in Hamburg celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.

Without honorary commitment sports would not be possible. The "Stars of Sports" were created to honor the work of the many helpers in the clubs. The Hamburger Volksbank and the Hamburger Sportbund awarded the prizes for the ninth time this year on 11 September. The club, Ruder-Gesellschaft Hansa e.V., was awarded second place with the small silver star for its project “Rowing against Cancer” and it’s year-round rowing training for cancer patients. The RG Hansa team accepted the prize on behalf of all those involved in the project.

Interested parties can find more information about the year-round rowing training here. The training is open to all Hamburg cancer patients.

Rowing training / UCCH physical activity programs

The next “Rowing against Cancer” regatta will take place at the end of August in Hamburg. If you want to know how this year's regatta went, you can watch the following film on YouTube.

Rowing against Cancer 2019 (YouTube)

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Photo (WITTERS): On the left Ralph Lehnert (HSB board) and Sylvia Pille-Steppat (para-rower), on the rigth Dr. Rainer Brüggestraat (Hamburger Volksbank), in the middle the team of the RG Hansa, represented by Katharina von Kodolitsch and Jens Beckmann.

Patient Orientation

September 2019

Patient Orientation Day at the UKE

The topic of patient orientation and patient safety is given high priority in the UKE. On World Patient Safety Day on 17 September, the UKE's own Forum for Patient Orientation took the opportunity to present all projects and measures that have so far received awards as best practice examples. The topic "Self-help group work at the UCCH" was also represented among the exhibitors.

Patient orientation is an integral part of the UKE Group's mission statement. It is always based on the incentive to place our patients even more strongly at the centre of our joint work. The UKE-wide Patient Orientation Forum, in which the UCCH is involved, has devoted itself to this elementary question. An important measure of the forum is the UKE "Best Practice Competition" award, in which UKE employees can submit their own projects each year. The projects thus serve as pioneers or inspiration for other in-house employees.

This year, UCCH's self-help group work received the Best Practice Award. On the day of patient orientation on 17 September, there was the opportunity to present the projects to the public. PD Dr. Andreas Block, coordinator for self-help group topics, and communication manager Avin Hell answered the questions of those interested.

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Photo (UCCH) from left: PD Dr. Andreas Block, Nina Braunger (Project Manager Forum Patient Orientation), Avin Hell

Hero Run

September 2019

There's no giving up: Doctors and patient together conquer the Hero Run

At the beginning of September it was again Hero Run time in Blankenese. Prof. Katja Weisel and myeloma patient Thomas were a very special running team this year. The team was completed by Kaspar and Dr. Henning Vellguth from the Harburg practice at Schloßmühlendamm.

Every year thousands of running enthusiasts cavort at the Blankenese Hero Run on the route along the Elbe, not only to compete against the big container pots on the water, but above all against themselves and their weaker self.

Thomas, who came all the way from the Palatinate, also competes against something else - his illness. He was diagnosed with a so-called smoldering myeloma, a precursor to multiple myeloma. At this stage, there is usually no therapy in place, but studies are being conducted to find out which therapies can be used to improve patients' prognosis.

Prof. Katja Weisel, who moved from the University Hospital of Tübingen to the UKE in April of this year and now joins the team of the II. Medical Clinic it the UCCH, is leading such studies - Thomas was already a participant in one of these studies in Tübingen. Last weekend, they met again on the running track in Hamburg. Together, they wanted to conquer the run on the eleven-kilometer distance - Thomas was clearly the pacemaker.

"He had the potential and on paper the time to win the race. He is an iron-man triathlete, but he pulled Henning and me and gave up his potential victory for the joint action," said Katja Weisel after the race. "A great thing, because in the end it's the patients in the clinic or practice who set the pace - when we start, how intensively we treat or when we stop. However, we always do all this together as a team".

The head of the plasmocytoma myeloma self-help group Hamburg, Jürgen Martens, supported the race and received the four runners at the finish: "It was of great importance for me to support the four!”

Further information on current studies can be found here

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Photo: private

Research Retreat
XI. Research Retreat 2019
Jesteburg

August 2019

Setting the course for UCCH research at the annual Research Retreat

At the end of August, 90 UCCH scientists met in Jesteburg to discuss their scientific research projects and possible collaborations.

"The Research Retreat stands for an important cooperation in science and research at the UCCH. In addition, it offers the opportunity to think outside the box and get to know the topics of the other research groups at the UCCH. It is important to us that not only the management level participates, but that the working groups can network as a whole," says Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, Deputy Director for Scientific Topics at UCCH. Research representatives from the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel and Lübeck also took part in the retreat in order to plan common national topics.

This year again, the UCCH Research Fellowships, the Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Awards in Oncology Research 2019 were awarded to two promising young scientists as well as a poster prize. The prizes will be awarded during a ceremony at the beginning of December.

"For the first time, a part of the retreat was dedicated to the Hamburg Mildred-Scheel-Nachwuchszentrum (MSNZ). Here, networking is the basic idea for creating the partner laboratories that are anchored in the MSNZ," explains Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH and at the same time member of the MSNZ board.

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Photo: UCCH

Symposium

August 2019

Interdisciplinary exchange on pancreatic cancer and liver tumors

Over sixty experts came to the festive hall of the Old Nursing School last week to discuss current developments in therapy and research. The lecture by Prof. Thierry Conroy from France, who was a guest speaker at the "Pancreatic-Hepatobiliary Tumors" Symposium, received special attention.

Tumors of the pancreas and the liver/bile ducts are still a major challenge for medicine today - the tumors are comparatively resistant to available therapies and are often associated with a poor prognosis for the patients. Nevertheless, progress has also been made in recent years - for example with regard to new substances in the systemic therapy of liver tumors or perioperative therapy concepts for pancreatic cancer.

In line with these highly interdisciplinary therapeutic approaches, experts from all relevant disciplines gathered for the symposium to discuss these developments. Thus, medical oncologists, surgeons, radiotherapists and gastroenterologists intensively discussed and exchanged ideas with each other.

Prof. Thierry Conroy from the Institut de Cancerologie de Lorraine, Nancy, France, gave an update on chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer in his guest lecture. Prof. Conroy is regarded as the "inventor" of the FOLFIRINOX regime, which, as studies have shown, as an adjuvant therapy can have a significant positive influence on the overall survival of patients with a pancreatic carcinoma.

The symposium was organized under the leadership of PD Dr. Marianne Sinn, who moved from the Berlin Charité to the II. Medical Clinic of the UKE and is now jointly responsible for the focus on drug therapy of GI tumors and the "Leben nach Krebs" program in the UCCH.

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Photo (UCCH) from left: PD Dr. Andreas Block, PD Dr. Faik Uzunoglu, Dr. Benedikt Westphalen, Prof. Dr. Cordula Petersen, PD Dr. Alexander Stein, Prof. Dr. Thierry Conroy, Prof. Dr. Dr. Sonja Loges, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, PD Dr. Marianne Sinn

Skin cancer center

August 2019

Skin cancer - recognize, avoid and treat

At the end of August, the UCCH Skin Tumor Center organised an information day to present the risks and treatment options of various skin cancers. At the same time, participants were able to visit the new premises of the Skin Tumor Center in W14.

Especially on the particularly sunny days in summer, we often expose our skin to the sun's rays for too long and fail to protect it adequately. The fact that education about this main risk factor for skin cancer continues to be enormously important is proven, among other things, by the number of new diseases, which has been rising sharply for years.

In order to take this development into account, our Skin Tumor Center has been certified this year under the roof of the Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) and integrated into the Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology. All disciplines that guarantee the treatment of all forms of skin tumors at the highest, university level and access to innovative, new procedures in diagnostics and therapy are bundled here. In addition, clinical research and studies support and further advance the success of therapies.

The various treatment options for the various skin cancers, such as white and black skin cancer, were presented during the information day. The self-help group, which works closely with the Skin Tumor Center, also introduced itself. A highlight for the participants was the guided tour through the new premises of the Skin Cancer Center in W14, which were opened in summer.

To the offer of the Skin Tumor Center (in German)

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Photo: Prof. Christoffer Gebhardt, Prof. Dr. Stefan Schneider, PD Dr. Nina Booken, Thomas Haalck and the team of the Skin Tumor Center as well as Elke Müller (self-help group skin cancer Hamburg)

Winners C5A

August 2019

Leukemia station team voted Hamburg's most popular nursing professionals

Hamburg's most popular nursing professionals work at the José Carreras leukemia ward of the UKE (C5A). A former patient has nominated the team at an internet competition of the Private Health Insurance Association (PKV). Now the vote for the federal victory is in progress.

"The nursing staff is very sensitive and caring in dealing with the patients," writes Andrea from Lübeck about the employees of the leukemia ward in their nomination for "Germany's most popular nursing professionals". "For three months I went through several wards and the positive impression remained. Every day one noticed that for these people it was not just a job, but a calling."

Around 35,000 people took part in the six-week online vote and voted for their favorite. On 7 August the nursing team around ward manager Carsten Nordbrock received the award for the state of Hamburg. Voting at the federal level will run until 30 September. On the site www.deutschlands-pflegeprofis.de you can also cast your vote.

For the second time since 2017, the PKV Association is honoring nursing staff from the fields of health care, nursing care for the sick and children as well as nursing care for the elderly for their outstanding commitment. On 21 November, all state winners are invited to a gala event in the Reichstag building in Berlin.

Text: Stefanie Gerling (UKE) | Photo: PKV

Head Neck

August 2019

Head and Neck Oncology: An Interdisciplinary Challenge

The Head and Neck Tumor Center invited to an advanced training event for people in private practice. Approximately 50 participants listened to the lectures on the various possibilities of surgical and conservative therapy.

The term head and neck tumors covers various types of cancer that occur in the head and neck area. These include malignant tumors of the oral cavity (carcinomas of the oral cavity), the pharynx (carcinoma of the pharynx), the larynx (carcinoma of the larynx), the nose, the paranasal sinuses and the outer neck, in particular the thyroid gland. It is estimated that in Germany about 50 out of 100,000 inhabitants are newly diagnosed with cancer of the head and neck every year (source: Deutsche Krebsgesellschaft).

The treatment of head and neck tumors requires interdisciplinary cooperation between experts in ear, nose and throat surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, radiotherapy and oncology. The various therapy strategies and offers of the Head and Neck Tumor Center were presented and discussed at the training event for colleagues in private practice.

The management under Prof. Dr. med. Christian Betz and Prof. Dr. med. Martin Gosau presented the areas of the Head and Neck Tumor Center, followed by lectures of the individual disciplines, furthermore represented by radiation therapy (Prof. Dr. med. Cordula Petersen) and drug therapy (Prof. Dr. med. Carsten Bokemeyer).

Further information on the Head and Neck Tumor Centre

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Photo (UCCH) from left: Prof. Dr. Cordula Peteresen, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Dr. Martin Gosau, Prof. Dr. Christian Betz

10 years "Rowing Against Cancer" on the Outer Alster
Lupe zum Vergrößern des Bildes

10 years "Rowing Against Cancer" on the Outer Alster
Exciting races under great effort of the rowers
Lupe zum Vergrößern des Bildes

Exciting races under great effort of the rowers
Cheerful participants of the show race: Senate vs. UCCH directors vs. Lauritz Schoof

Cheerful participants of the show race: Senate vs. UCCH directors vs. Lauritz Schoof
Thomas Beyer, former head of the sports office, reported on his past cancer

Thomas Beyer, former head of the sports office, reported on his past cancer
The winners of the patient teams - Congratulations! HSV Dino Hermann supported the race
Lupe zum Vergrößern des Bildes

The winners of the patient teams - Congratulations! HSV Dino Hermann supported the race
The teams of the places one to three in the beginner class
Lupe zum Vergrößern des Bildes

The teams of the places one to three in the beginner class
Great cheers also from the winners of the expert race
Lupe zum Vergrößern des Bildes

Great cheers also from the winners of the expert race
The UCCH cooperation partners from the Reinbek St. Adolf Stift Hospital were also committed to the good cause

The UCCH cooperation partners from the Reinbek St. Adolf Stift Hospital were also committed to the good cause
Important companions of rowers against cancer presented the T-shirts of the last years

Important companions of rowers against cancer presented the T-shirts of the last years
Lauritz Schoof explained the basics in the action "5 min to become a rowing professional" at the rowing ergometer

Lauritz Schoof explained the basics in the action "5 min to become a rowing professional" at the rowing ergometer

August 2019

For the tenth time: Rowing Against Cancer

Rowing Against Cancer celebrated its birthday on Sunday, 18 August: The benefit regatta "Rowing against cancer" on the Outer Alster started for the tenth time. Under the patronage of Andy Grote, Senator of the Interior and Sport of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, more than 60 teams rowed for the good cause. The proceeds from the regatta will go to the sports and exercise programme at the Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. The aim of the project is to significantly improve the quality of life of cancer patients.

Patron Andy Grote personally congratulated on the anniversary and emphasized the important contribution of the regatta to Active City Hamburg. His colleagues Christoph Holstein, State Councillor for Sport, and Juliane Timmermann also got into one of the boats and competed against the UCCH directors (Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke, Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Alexander Stein) and the Olympic champion Lauritz Schoof, a race which the UCCH directors won. The proud winners also took a good 4th place in the overall ranking in the final of the beginners.

Thomas Beyer, former head of the Sport Office and committed rower, reported about his own cancer some years ago and was able to comment on the highlight of the day - the patient race - from a very personal point of view. The patients were visibly pleased with the award and the performance. After all, most of them trained throughout the year in the year-round rowing training offered locally at the initiative of the foundation Leben mit Krebs at the Ruder-Gesellschaft HANSA e.V. (rowing society HANSA). This year's winner was the "Happy" team, closely followed by the "Alsterschlawinern", the "Alsterchaoten" and the "Alsterperlen". The "Trave Nessie" team, which came from Lübeck especially for the event, won 5th place.

At the final of the beginners, the team "Ermel hoch" defended its gold title from last year, closely followed by the UKE boat "Brainlab-Innovation moves fast" (silver) and the team "Star Finanz" (bronze). The final of the experts was exciting to watch until the end. The "Team Sexy" (gold) won only by a hair's breadth ahead of the UKE team "Herzschlag" (silver) and the team "Alstersterne" (bronze).

The UCCH representatives were pleased that the UCCH cooperation partners, here the Reinbek St. Adolf Stift hospital, followed the good example and joined the team. The teams of the newly certified Hauttumorzentrum with Prof. Christoffer Gebhardt and the II. Med. with Prof. Katja Weisel ("MMU (c) KE") also achieved very good placings.

Important initiators and companions of the regatta, especially Claus Feucht from the foundation Leben mit Krebs, Katharina v. Kodolitsch, Jens Beckmann and Jörn Franck from RG Hansa as well as Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer from UCCH, reported on the beginning of rowing against cancer in Hamburg and presented the T-shirt collection of the last 10 years in a small fashion show.

Lauritz Schoof, two-time Olympic gold winner in rowing and at the same time in medical training at the UKE, also explained the most important basics of rowing to interested spectators in the campaign "5 Min to become a rowing professional" at the rowing ergometer.

Rowing Against Cancer is carried out by the Leben mit Krebs Foundation in cooperation with the Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum - University Cancer Center Hamburg and the Ruder-Gesellschaft HANSA e.V. (Rowing Society HANSA e.V.).

Photos: UCCH

Summer School

August 2019

First Summer School on Complementary Medicine in Oncology

130 interested people came to the Campus Lehre at the UKE last Saturday in order to exchange ideas intensively and interdisciplinarily on the subject of complementary medicine. For the first time, the event, which was organized by the UCCH and the Clinic for Gynaecology and financed by the Jubilee Fund of the University of Hamburg, was aimed both at medical experts and interested laypersons.

The inclusion of complementary medical therapies in the treatment of cancer is steadily increasing in everyday life - a trend that is also attributable to the increased demand from patients for these options. In medical practice, for example, the question is more and more frequently raised as to what opportunities but also risks there are in herbal medicine, mind body medicine, traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture or nutrition and exercise for cancer patients.

To this end, the Summer School brought together not only patients, relatives and interested parties, but also doctors, nurses and alternative practitioners to discuss these procedures together. The assembled speakers presented individual therapy methods in lectures and enabled further interactive deepening as well as discussion of the contents in the eight offered workshops.

In addition to a general introduction to the broad field of complementary medicine, the NDR nutrition doc Dr. Jörn Klasen gave an overview of the possibilities that a good diet offers cancer patients. In addition, Dr. Sven Schröder from the HanseMerkur Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) at the UKE gave an insight into traditional Chinese medicine, Dr. Holger Cramer from the University of Duisburg-Essen reported on Mind Body Medicine and Dr. Mirjam Wüsthof from the UCCH looked at the opportunities and risks of mistletoe therapy.

The most common cancers in women - breast cancer - and in men - prostate cancer - were the subject of separate workshops on complementary medicine. Further topics were the handling of taste disorders and fatigue as well as the introduction to acupressure, qigong and mindfulness meditation.

Further information on the UCCH's complementary medical consultation hour

Photo: UCCH

August 2019

Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. awards research prizes to UCCH cancer researchers in the presence of Science Senator Katharina Fegebank

This year, the HKG research prizes were awarded to two working groups from the UCCH for their scientific publications in cancer research. The works are characterized among other things by its interdisciplinary activities, because "research is above all teamwork and joint problem solving", says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH and Deputy Chairman of the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft.

In her welcoming address, Katharina Fegebank, Second Mayor and Senator for Science, emphasized how proud the City of Hamburg can be of its young scientists, but also of the great civic commitment of the donors, and thanked them and the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. for their commitment in the fight against cancer.

The works, which were awarded prizes this year, both deal with the further development and individualisation of tumour therapies. Dr. Sabrina Köcher and Dr. Wael Yassin Mansour from the Laboratory for Radiobiology and Experimental Radiooncology at the UKE are honoured for their work 'A functional ex vivo assay to detect PARP1-EJ repair and radiosensitization by PARP inhibitor in prostate cancer'. The group under the scientific direction of Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm developed a marker for predicting the radiosensitivity of tumor tissue. The total prize money of €10,000 is shared with a large research team in which staff from various UKE institutes and clinics work together. The research group under the leadership of Priv.-Doz. Dr. Peter Bannas and Prof. Friedrich Koch-Nolte has submitted a publication on 'CD38-Specific Biparatopic Heavy Chain Antibodies Display Potent Complement-Dependent Cytotoxicity Against Multiple Myeloma Cells', which convinced the jury. The young scientists Julia Hambach, Katharina Petry and Kerstin Schütze are particularly pleased about the prize money and the special recognition of their work. Together with their working group they researched the topic of increasing the effectiveness of AK-based cancer therapy.

The Dean of the UKE, Prof. Dr. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus, congratulated all the prize winners and praised the top medicine offered to cancer patients at the UCCH, which would be inconceivable without committed and top-class research. Koch-Gromus once again emphasized the good and long-standing cooperation between the UKE and the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft.

We congratulate all award winners!

Further information about the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. can be found here .

Photo HKG e.V. (from left to right): Dr. W. Mansour, Dr. S. Köcher, Prof. Dr. F. Koch-Nolte, J. Hambach, PD Dr. P. Bannas, K. Petry, Dean Prof. Dr. U. Koch-Gromus, Senator of Science K. Fegebank, from the HKG Executive Board Prof. Dr. C. Bokemeyer as well as K. Schütze

Honjo

July 2019

Nobel Laureate for Medicine, Prof. Tasuku Honjo, gives keynote lecture at Erika-Haus

The Japanese immunologist came to Hamburg at the invitation of the Heinrich Pette Institute (HPI), the Leibniz Association and the Leibniz Center Infection. More than 150 participants listened to the scientist from the University of Kyoto in Japan who was discussing current developments in immunology.

After Prof. Tasuku Honjo had already been received in the morning by the mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher in the city hall and had registered in the Golden Book of the city, he arrived at the Erika-Haus together with the ambassador of Japan, Takeshi Yagi. The guest of honour from the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Kyoto gave a keynote lecture on the developments in immunology and the challenges that still have to be mastered in this field in the future, according to his personal motto "Life sciences is an investment in the future".

In 2018, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine together with James P. Allison for the discovery of cancer therapy by inhibiting negative immune regulation. Both scientists had found out in parallel that certain proteins act as a brake on the immune system, preventing the immune system from fighting tumor cells. If this brake is released, the immune cells attack the cancer cells. Based on this concept, new therapies have been developed that are already in use for various types of cancer.

Following the lecture, Prof. Honjo was particularly interested in an exchange with young scientists. The HPI plans to intensify and expand the scientific cooperation with its Japanese network partners.

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Photo: HPI

bridge professorship

June 2019

New bridge professorship combines medical and urological oncology at UCCH

Prof. Dr. Gunhild von Amsberg was appointed to the bridge professorship for urooncology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) on June 1, 2019. The professorship is funded by the II. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic for Oncology, Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation as well as the Martini-Klinik. In addition, the professorship is supported annually by the Hubertus Wald Foundation.

"In particular, the professorship serves to expand the focus on system therapy of prostate cancer between the II. Med. Clinic and the Martini-Klinik. This area is currently developing rapidly. The numerous new aspects up to the molecular controlled therapy are to be taken into account in such a way”, explains Professor von Amsberg, which since 2013 was senior physician of the II. Med. Clinic. "Clinical and translational research will be of central interest. The bridge professorship will not only help to bring urology and oncology closer together, but will also build a bridge to basic scientific subjects through the expansion of different cooperations. This will enable us not only to treat patients with urogenital tumors according to the latest state of knowledge, but also to integrate new, innovative therapy and screening concepts at an early stage in the daily treatment routine."

"In the university field, urooncologists in Germany are already working together in different constellations. We want to strengthen these cooperations with the new bridge professorship," said Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Clinic Director of the II. Med. Clinic and Director of the UCCH Network. "There is already a comparable bridge professorship in Essen, but the special thing about our Hamburg concept is the simultaneous settlement in the II. Med. Clinic and the Martini-Klinik.

Prof. Markus Graefen, Medical Director of the Martini-Klinik, confirms this: "The cooperation between the II. Medical Clinic, the Martini-Klinik and the Urological Clinic of the UKE, which has functioned very well so far, will be further strengthened. The consultation hours will continue to be interdisciplinary. This not only serves the well-being of the patients, who benefit greatly from the different views of the two disciplines, but also the further education of the oncological and urological colleagues".

The consultation hours for patients are to be further extended in order to create more space for study patients and patients with special questions (e.g. unusual metastasis patterns, hereditary disease components, individual treatment approaches, etc.). In addition, patient-specific aspects (e.g. quality of life, nutritional status, etc.) are to be systematically recorded. "All this will lead to optimization within the framework of system therapy for urogenital tumor patients. I am very much looking forward to the coming challenges and the strengthening of cooperation," says Prof. von Amsberg.

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Photo (from left): Prof. Dr. Markus Graefen, Prof. Dr. Gunhild von Amsberg, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Hartwig Huland

Shanghai visit

June 2019

Delegation of doctors from Shanghai visits UCCH

The oncologists from Shanghai Hospital No 10 came to Hamburg to network on the topics of medical care, studies and research. Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer and Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, the 5 Chinese physicians informed themselves about various aspects of the work of the UCCH network.

In recent years, delegations from China, Portugal and various Arab countries have visited the UCCH.

sdw
sdw_2

June 2019

Microscopy by iPad during the Summer of Knowledge

The experts from the UCCH and the cooperation partner Forschungsinstitut Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg had their hands full. The tent was filled well for the summer of knowledge - many interested visitors crowded around the iPads, on which they themselves could navigate through the microscopic preparation of leukaemia cells. The specimens are scanned in advance and thus enable scientists to work together at a distance in everyday scientific life.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the University of Hamburg, the city of Hamburg became a campus for four days, from 20 to 23 June. At the town hall square, around 40 Hamburg universities and research institutions offered insights into climate and environment, technology, natural sciences, medicine, art and city history. The UCCH was represented with a stand in the theme tent "Health Center".

Under the patronage of Science Senator Katharina Fegebank, the science festival was celebrated with a colourful programme.

In its anniversary year, the University of Hamburg also supports so-called anniversary projects. The UCCH will organise the Summer School of Complementary Medicine on 17 August, for example, in order to inform specialists, students and patients alike in a joint event.

June 2019

Finding motivation - Cancer Survivors Day 2019

After last year's great popularity, the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. and the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) have once again invited to a Cancer Survivors Day this year. This year's Cancer Survivors Day, entitled "Motivation", was visited by over 80 patients and former patients to inform themselves, try out and find out what motivates and drives other survivors.

Even long after they have survived cancer, many survivors often still suffer from physical, psychological and social stress. In order to combat these after- and side effects, however, there is now a whole range of possibilities and measures. However, implementing these consistently in everyday life is often a major hurdle and usually requires a lot of self-motivation.

Therefore it was a central concern of the speakers to specifically address this search for and maintenance of motivation. In the lectures the participants could experience accordingly, which for impulses there are, which can motivate one to convert a change in the everyday life also on a long-term basis and how those impulses can be set also.

In addition, it was also examined what each individual can do individually to get his side effects under control in the long term. Accordingly, in the interactive workshops the participants were given practical tips and methods for dealing with their complaints, such as fatigue, polyneuropathy or loss of taste. For their part, the visitors took the opportunity to talk to the experts in depth and ask individual questions.

At the end of the day, Klaus Bolz and Brigitte Ehrke reported very impressively on how they deal with life after cancer and what motivates them - photography and walking the Way of St James.

IO Symposium

June 2019

UCCH Immuno-Oncology Symposium

The fact that scientists and doctors are using the immune system to fight cancer is an enormous breakthrough - also and above all for patients. At the same time, it means that cancer research requires not only oncological but also immunological expertise. In order to link the two groups even more closely, the UCCH and the Laboratory for Brain Tumor Biology therefore invited to the first UCCH Immuno-Oncology Symposium.

Initiated by Dr. Malte Mohme and Prof. Katrin Lamszus from the Laboratory for Brain Tumor Biology, the symposium aims to initiate an exchange between oncological and immunological research groups inside the UKE in order to better bundle and use the existing expertise in the fight against cancer.

This is based on the realisation that only with a clear understanding of the complex regulatory networks and dynamic interactions between a large number of immune cell populations it is possible to elicit targeted immune responses that can then specifically attack a tumor.

The interest in networking more closely on this topic was overwhelming. More than 120 participants followed the 30 talks and took the opportunity to exchange ideas and initiate new collaborations in order to give immunoncological research at the UKE a further boost.

UCCH partner network

June 2019

New partners in the UCCH network

UCCH continues to grow in its anniversary year and is strengthened by four new partners. With the accession of the Ev. Amalie Sieveking Hospital, the Sonneneck Clinic, the Outpatient Tumor Center Bremerhaven and the Joint Urological Practice Buxtehude/Neu Wulmstorf, the UCCH now has 20 clinic and 19 practice partners who have joined the constantly growing competence network.

The new members of the network are very diverse in their main areas of activity and therefore show to a special degree how broad the spectrum of actors is that are involved in the care of cancer patients. While the Ev. Amalie Sieveking Hospital in the north-east of Hamburg focuses on the acute therapy of cancer, the Sonneneck Clinic in Wyk auf Föhr is active in comprehensive oncological aftercare. In the private practice area, the network is strengthened on the one hand with the Outpatient Tumour Center Bremerhaven, while the Joint Urological Practice Buxtehude/Neu Wulmstorf contributes further urological know-how to the UCCH.

"We are very pleased that we can welcome numerous new members to our network again this year. Our network will thus gain further expertise in the field of cancer therapy and aftercare, from which we as partners, but above all our patients, can only benefit," said Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, who is satisfied with the development of the network.

CME-Award Oechsle

May 2019

Palliative physician Karin Oechsle wins Springer CME Award

The publisher Springer Medizin awards prizes for excellent contributions to continuing education every year. In May, readers of the specialist journal "Der Internist" voted the article on palliative medicine by Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle, holder of the endowed chair for palliative medicine at the UKE, as the best contribution of the past year.

In the winning article, Prof. Oechsle gives a comprehensive insight into palliative medicine and presents it comprehensively. The central goal of all actors is to improve the quality of life of patients. In addition, Prof. Oechsle also focuses in particular on the involvement of relatives in medical care and the special consideration of the patient's will.

At the award ceremony during the annual conference of the German Society for Internal Medicine in Mannheim, the very high number of participants and the very good evaluation of the article by the participants were highlighted. The 3,000 Euro award was presented by Prof. Hendrik Lehnert, co-editor of the "CME Certified Continuing Education" section.

Photo: DGIM/Sven Bratulic

Team

May 2019

Symposium on the determination of therapy goals for severely ill people

Finding therapy goals for the treatment and care of seriously ill people is often a major challenge for all persons and professions involved. In order to discuss general conditions and challenges as well as strategies for dealing with them, the endowed chair for palliative medicine, the UCCH and the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. invited to a symposium at the beginning of May.

The interdisciplinary and multi-professional panel of speakers, together with the numerous participants, was devoted to ethical, legal, medical and also very personal questions and challenges that have a place in the determination of therapy goals. For example, the ideas and values of patients who are confronted with an advanced disease are often not congruent with those of their relatives or practitioners. The latter often think curatively, while the patients themselves often have a strong individual desire for quality of life in mind.

It is therefore often a very difficult task to reconcile these different ideas and concepts in a joint dialogue. Accordingly, the speakers emphasized that the therapy goals to be formulated can be very diverse and highly individual.

"This is precisely why it is so important that we deal with this topic continuously and above all in a highly interdisciplinary manner. This is the only way we can develop strategies to ensure that none of the participants with their wishes and values are ignored when defining therapy goals," says Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle, holder of the endowed chair for palliative medicine at the UKE.

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Photo (from left): Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Dr. Katharina Woellert, Prof. Dr. Philipp Osten, Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle, Franziska Holz, Dr. Oliver Tolmein, Prof. Dr. Bernd Alt-Epping

ELBS

May 2019

European Liquid Biopsy Society founded

At the beginning of May, the European Liquid Biopsy Society (ELBS) was founded in the UKE. More than 40 European partners from research, clinics and industry are working together to advance research into liquid biopsy and its use in practice. Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel from the Institute of Tumor Biology at the UKE has taken over the leadership of the consortium. This will make the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) the central European hub of cancer research in this field.

Even a simple blood sample could provide information on how cancer therapy works or when the treatment should be changed. With liquid biopsy, UKE researchers are developing a promising diagnostic and therapeutic method by identifying tumor cells (CTC) and genome fragments (ctDNA) in the blood and examining them for specific biomarkers. The aim of the research is to use such markers to predict how well a therapy will work, whether there is a risk of relapse or whether there is any initial disease at all.

Bringing extensive research into the clinic

"Today, we have a large number of scientific publications on this topic, but the transfer of the procedure to clinical care still has a lot of room for improvement," says Prof. Pantel, who has been working on this topic with his European colleagues for decades. The newly founded European Liquid Biopsy Society (ELBS), which replaces the previous EU project CANCER-ID Consortium, is working intensively on bringing the liquid biopsy method into clinical practice.

"In order to achieve this, we at ELBS are bringing together people and institutions from all over Europe who want to work on bringing the promising research results to the clinic so that cancer patients can really benefit from them in the future," said Prof. Pantel.

The threads for cancer research and implementation converge in Hamburg

The more than 40 international partners of the ELBS will in future exchange information even more closely on current research projects and clinical studies and support each other, for example in communication with regulatory authorities. In addition, they want to work together on the development of standards for medical practice. "Such extensive coordination and cooperation around Liquid Biopsy is unique worldwide, so that we are very proud to take a leading role here," said Prof. Pantel, who will coordinate the work of the Society from Hamburg within the framework of the UCCH network.

HWF

April 2019

Hubertus Wald Foundation supports research into gene therapy for lung cancer

With a special donation from the estate of Mrs. Annelise Düren, the Hubertus Wald Foundation has decided to promote analyses of new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of lung cancer.

Scientists at the UCCH are investigating the extent to which lung cancer cells and vascular cells that supply the tumor can be genetically modified in order to make them more receptive to new therapeutic approaches. The project is supported with a total of 75,000 euros.

April 2019

10 years Oncological Center of Excellence in Hamburg

10 years

High profile visit to UCCH
10 years

The whole network is pleased about the visit of the numerous guests.
10 years

Gerd Nettekoven and Prof. Bokemeyer were delighted with the goals achieved together.
10 years

Full Erika House: approx. 200 guests attended the ceremony
10 years

In the lively panel discussion, the participants exchanged views on the politically strategic issues of the cancer landscape in Germany.
  • Photo 1 (from left): Gerd Nettekoven, Deutsche Krebshilfe, Prof. Dr. Burkhard Göke, UKE Board, Prof. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus, UKE Board and Dean, Katharina Fegebank, Senator of Science, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH.

    Photo 2 (from left): Prof. Dr. Burkhard Göke, UKE Board, Prof. Dr. Barbara Schmalfeldt, UCCH Board Member, Prof. Dr. Hartwig Huland, Hubertus Wald Foundation, Prof. Dr. Barbara Petersen, UCCH Board Member, Joachim Prölß, UKE Board, Prof. Dr. Michael Baumann, DKFZ Heidelberg, Gerd Nettekoven, Deutsche Krebshilfe, Marya Verdel, UKE Board, Prof. Dr. Barbara Schmalfeldt, UCCH Board Member, UKE Board Dr. Martin Reck, UCCH Board Member, Katharina Fegebank, Science Presenter, Prof. Dr. Holger Schulz, UCCH Board Member, Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, Deputy UCCH Director, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Priv.-Lect. Dr. Alexander Stein, Deputy UCCH Director, Prof. Dr. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke, Deputy UCCH Director, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, UCCH Director, Vera Cordes, Medical Journalist, Heide Lakemann, UCCH Self-Help Group Spokeswoman, Prof. Dr. Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Private Lect. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus, UKE Board Member, Prof. Dr. Markus Graefen, UCCH Board Member, Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, UCCH Board Member, Dr. Erik Engel, UCCH Board Member.

    Photos: Axel Kirchhof / UCCH

Yesterday the UCCH celebrated 10 years as an oncological center of excellence in Hamburg with a varied anniversary with the participation of many representatives from politics, associations, cancer research and medicine and patient organisations. Hamburg's First Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher and Science Senator Katharina Fegebank also took part in the ceremony. Previously, experts presented their results of cancer research at a scientific symposium in the morning. In addition, patients and their relatives had the opportunity to inform themselves about the latest topics at a patient day.

"The Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum - University Cancer Center Hamburg is an important part of medical care in Hamburg. It offers cancer patients excellent treatment according to the highest international standards and has a large number of special support and counselling services. This underlines the leading position of the Hamburg metropolitan region as a health location in Europe," says Dr. Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

"The award as an oncological center of excellence is proof of the first-class work of the UKE and all partners involved. The commitment of the Deutsche Krebshilfe and the associated support enables the UKE to continue this successful path with projects in treatment, education and research", says Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research and Equality and Second Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

"We are very pleased to be awarded and supported by the Deutsche Krebshilfe as an Oncological Center of Excellence. Such a center as the UCCH is of enormous importance for the research priorities of the UKE. We are also making a decisive contribution to the urgently needed promotion of young researchers in cancer research in Germany," says Prof. Dr. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus, Dean and Member of the Board of the UKE.

"With its programme of centers of excellence, Deutsche Krebshilfe has played a decisive role in shaping and advancing the oncological care landscape in Germany. We look forward to continuing to give impetus to the overall development of cancer medicine in Germany from northern Germany in the future. The opportunity to translate research findings into new and innovative treatments has never been better. It is the goal of the UCCH to play a leading role in the well-being of patients," said Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH and Medical Director of the Second Medical Clinic for Oncology and Haematology.

In 2009 as well as 2013, the UCCH was awarded the title of Oncological Center of Excellence. Deutsche Krebshilfe has currently appointed 13 such centers nationwide. In a further assessment carried out in April 2016, the cancer doctors of the UKE once again convinced the international panel of experts of the innovative power of the UCCH.

The aim of the funding by the Deutsche Krebshilfe is to fundamentally improve the care of people suffering from cancer in Germany. Criteria for the selection of the oncological centers of excellence included the establishment of a multidisciplinary central contact point for all cancer patients, the treatment of patients in innovative clinical trials and the organisation of interdisciplinary conferences. The development and offer of numerous supportive consultation hours and projects for patients such as complementary medicine, survival and prevention programmes, the development and implementation of treatment paths, close integration of research and clinics, structured cooperation with established physicians and clinics in the vicinity and cooperation with patient representatives and self-help groups are among the essential prerequisites of a center of excellence.

The UCCH has published an anniversary issue. Click here for the online version (in German)

Prof. Pantel

April 2019

Once again million euro EU-Grant for UKE Cancer Researcher Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel

For the second time, Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) has been awarded an "ERC Advanced Grant" by the European Research Council. The award is associated with a research grant of 2.5 million euros. Prof. Pantel and his team of scientists are hoping to investigate the formation of metastases in breast and prostate cancer and help advance research at the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH).

"Only very few tumour cells - presumably less than one percent - are able to survive in the blood, then settle in a foreign tissue elsewhere in the body and actually form metastases," explains Prof. Pantel, Director of the Department of Tumor Biology at the UKE. "We now want to investigate whether such cells are among those that enter the bloodstream during tumour surgery or when taking a tissue sample from a tumor. With the new five-year study entitled INJURMET ("Impact of tissue injury induced by diagnostic biopsies and surgery on cancer metastasis"), Pantel is continuing its research and development work on liquid biopsy. This can be used to determine whether tumor cells or components of tumour cells are present in the blood. In recent years, his team has already developed very sensitive technologies for the detection of cancer cells, said Prof. Pantel. For example, tumour cells can be characterised using molecular biological markers and it is possible to determine which cells are associated with aggressive cancer growth and which are not.

Second funding programme underlines the importance of liquid biopsy for cancer diagnostics

"It is a great story for us and the UKE that we are once again being supported by the EU," says Prof. Pantel. Already in 2011, the UKE scientist was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant by the European Research Council. At that time, Prof. Pantel and his team also received 2.5 million euros for the development of the Liquid Biopsy Method. This was followed in 2015 by further EU funding to examine measures for the further development of liquid biopsy. "The repeated funding shows how important the new method can be for cancer diagnostics. The aim of the research is to develop a method that can be used to obtain comprehensive and up-to-date information about the respective cancer disease with just one blood sample," said Prof. Pantel.

So far, 15 scientists from the UKE have been awarded the ERC Grant.

The promotion of basic frontier research is one of the priorities of the European Union. The European Research Council (ERC) was created for this purpose. ERC Grants are part of the "Horizon 2020" EU Framework Programme, under which the European Union finances both basic research and applied research fields. In recent years, 15 scientists at the UKE have been awarded an ERC Grant. Prof. Pantel was the first to receive this ERC Grant, the second of the most highly remunerated Advanced Grants. In its current round of awards, the ERC has funded only 12 life science projects across Germany; this also underlines the importance of the UKE scientist's research.

Further information on the Department of Tumor Biology

Day of Psychooncology

March 2019

3rd Hamburg Day of Psychooncology

For the third time already, the Institute and Polyclinic for Medical Psychology, the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft and the UCCH gathered a whole series of international and national experts at the UKE at the end of March to discuss the latest developments and approaches in the field of psychooncology.

This year's conference, which was once again very well attended, was entitled "Krebs und Über-Leben". This title was deliberately chosen because it covered a wide range of topics and perspectives on the topic of survival and life after cancer. These were discussed and highlighted in numerous lectures and workshops.

The international speakers and workshop leaders dealt with topics such as side effects after cancer therapy, outpatient and inpatient aftercare, as well as extensive interdisciplinary "survivorship programs". The experts reported on already established offers as well as those under development and presented them to the specialist audience. In the seven workshops offered this year, the participants also took the opportunity to discuss these approaches and their implementation in their own professional practice in depth.

A new edition is already planned for the coming year: The 4th Hamburg Day of Psychooncology is expected to take place on 3 April 2020.

Scholarships

March 2019

Doctoral scholarships awarded for the first time by the E.W. Kuhlmann Foundation

Three doctoral candidates were awarded a doctoral scholarship thanks to a grant from the E.W. Kuhlmann Foundation. Meryem Cetin, Janik Engelmann and Maximilian Jung are delighted with the award.

The doctoral fellowship is intended to enable students to concentrate fully on their doctorate with an oncological orientation for one year. Thanks to the E.W. Kuhlmann Foundation, three of these scholarships were awarded in February. Mrs. Meryem Cetin with the project "Inhibition of cell cycle checkpoints for radio- and chemosensitivation in glioblastoma", Mr. Maximilian Jung with the project "CD38 CARs and their preclinical further development" and Mr. Janik Engelmann with the project "The role of the Mer receptor in the pathobiology of myeloma and the associated osteolytic bone disease".

The E.W. Kuhlmann Foundation was founded in 1997 by Edith and Edmund Kuhlmann in Hamburg. The foundation provides help for self-help by financially supporting economically weaker people in their education for an early entry into professional life. The recipients should value the help and, within the scope of their possibilities, contribute to changing the world for the better.

Further information on the work of the Kuhlmann Foundation (in German)

(Photo (from left): Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Janik Engelmann, Meryem Cetin, Maximilian Jung, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Alexander Stein)

Award ceremony

February 2019

Patient Orientation Awarded

For the fourth time last Tuesday, the UKE Executive Board honored projects that have rendered outstanding services to patient safety and orientation. This year, the UCCH's self-help group work also received this honor.

On behalf of the UCCH self-help group team, PD Dr. Andreas Block, coordinator of self-help group work at the UCCH and Avin Hell, Communications at the UCCH, received the Award for Patient Orientation. The jury particularly emphasized not only the integration of the two elected SHG spokespersons into the extended UCCH board of directors, but also the multi-layered cooperation with representatives of the self-help groups in the task forces and the brochure "Gemeinsam Hilfe geben", which makes it easier for patients to find suitable self-help offers.

The Best Practice Award for Patient Orientation, for which individuals as well as entire wards can apply, has been presented by the Patient Orientation Forum since 2015. The Forum is committed to the consistent orientation of all activities at the UKE towards the needs of the individual patient and works towards this goal in a large number of interdisciplinary working groups.

Reception

February 2019

New Year's reception of the self-help group leaders

Already a tradition: This year the UCCH again invited all representatives of the more than 35 cooperating self-help groups to a New Year's reception. In addition to a glimpse into the future of the joint work, all participants took the opportunity to exchange ideas and to network further.

PD Dr. Andreas Block, coordinator of the self-help group work at the UCCH, used his welcoming words to warmly welcome the numerous self-help groups and their representatives who had joined the network this year and to give a brief overview of the work of the UCCH. In addition, he presented the results of the intensive consultations that the SHG spokespersons held together with the UCCH self-help group team last year in order to further improve the joint work.

Among other things, Avin Hell, responsible for communication at the UCCH, presented measures to further improve communication with and within the self-help groups themselves, in order to facilitate an even more intensive exchange and to make the offers provided by both the self-help groups and the UCCH known to an even wider circle of patients.

In addition, the SHG spokeswomen Heide Lakemann and Ulrike Göbel, who were newly elected last year, spoke about their previous experiences before Anja Weber, Hamburg's first Oncoguide, presented her new task to the self-help groups. The offer was met with lively interest and was unanimously welcomed. Dr. Frank Schulz-Kindermann also presented his coaching offer for self-help group leaders once again - an offer that has been gladly accepted by self-help group leaders for many years. Dates can be found in the calendar of events .

Afterwards, the UCCH self-help group team hosted a small reception at which many further and intensive discussions were held. In addition, the self-help group representatives had the opportunity to network with each other.

Prof Bokemeyer

February 2019

Interview: Prof. Bokemeyer on World Cancer Day

This year's World Cancer Day takes place on 4 February 2019 under the motto "I am and I will". We talked to Professor Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, about how each individual can contribute to the prevention of cancer and how complex the work of the health networks against cancer is.

We have seen important progress in cancer research and therapy in recent years - does that mean that we can all breathe a sigh of relief?

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer: Despite many improvements in recent years, the figures clearly show that cancer concerns us all. In Germany alone, around 480,000 new cases of cancer occur every year. The cure and survival rates are rising, which is good news. But there is no point in hoping that one will never come into contact with cancer. Everyone will be affected in the course of life either in the family and circle of friends or even themselves. I would therefore urge everyone to try everything possible to prevent cancer.

What are the most important factors that can lead to cancer?

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer: At least 40 percent of all cancers are due to lifestyle factors. The strengthening of our health is certainly the basis for the prevention of many diseases, but large-scale epidemiological studies have shown that factors such as smoking, poor diet, poor exercise, too much alcohol and UV radiation can promote the development of cancer. In some cases, hereditary predisposition is also present if family members have already contracted certain forms of cancer.

What are your recommendations on how to prevent cancer?

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer: A balanced smokeless lifestyle with a diet rich in vitamins and low in meat, daily exercise units, reduced alcohol consumption and responsible use of the sun helps to prevent cancer. You can imagine it this way: With this improvement in your lifestyle, you pay into a kind of lifetime account, and in later years you will reap the benefits. When changing your lifestyle, it is important to move closer to your goal step by step and not to make big plans that may not be possible in the long term. A further essential component is of course the use of early detection measures in order to be able to intervene against the early forms of cancer if necessary. This is an important factor for the early assessment of risks in the case of hereditary strained families. In our health care system, there are a large number of offers that can be used for this purpose.

Doesn't this multitude of offers lead to a certain inability to decide which offer is sound and which guidelines can be trusted?

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer: Yes, that is quite possible. The fight against cancer has become an overall social responsibility in which the health care providers recognize that only networking and exchange among each other can lead to better information for the population. The World Cancer Day today is just one element among many to raise awareness of the issue. Our medical societies, health insurance companies, sports associations and employers' associations work throughout the year on some large-scale prevention campaigns. For example, we at the University Cancer Center Hamburg have recently joined forces with the Health Kiosk in Hamburg-Billstedt/Horn in order to provide access to cancer prevention for people from all social and population backgrounds with the help of our Oncoguide. We would like to avoid that the emergence and also the appearance of cancer are favored by social inequality.

What do you advise patients and their relatives who are already affected by cancer to do?

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer: Once a cancer treatment is over, we work together with our patients on individual concepts to avoid a recurrence of the disease and to achieve a reduction of long-term side effects. Today, the higher survival rates lead to an increasing understanding of cancer as a chronic disease. Conversely, for patients and their relatives this also means that they have to take more responsibility for their own lives, whereby the lifestyle with nutrition and exercise plays a very important role here too. In addition, there is also the psychological factor - those affected often only realize what they have went through some time after their illness. We at the UKE Cancer Centre offer a "Survivorship" program to accompany patients and their families in this situation.

Photo: Axel Kirchhof (UKE)

Oncoguide

January 2019

Oncoguide takes the helm in Hamburg

A new Oncoguide at the UCCH is now taking care of cancer patients and their relatives at every stage of the disease. The new programme also includes cooperation with the Billstedt and Horn health kiosk to offer advice and support to cancer patients from all social and educational backgrounds.

Where can serious information be found, which health and social facilities are available in the area, which platforms offer exchange and help? The University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) has launched the Oncoguide Program to help cancer patients answer such questions. In addition to the UKE, an important location for the Oncoguide is the Billstedt and Horn health kiosk, which was established last year as a health service especially for Hamburg residents in socially disadvantaged districts.

"Oncoguides are a constant contact and companion for cancer patients and their relatives. They coordinate closely with the networks of practitioners and health care providers and can thus offer assistance in order to find an optimal path through the medical, social-legal and organizational care offerings," says Prof. Dr. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke, Deputy Director of the UCCH.

Oncoguide helps steering through the "shallows" of the disease.

The current data shows that cancer is increasingly developing into a chronic disease. This confronts many cancer patients and their relatives with the task of assuming personal responsibility for their disease. At the same time, health care providers are challenged to make the diverse information available to all social strata of the population accessible and to offer structural help.

"With the expansion of our consulting services to include the Oncoguide, we are responding to the great needs of our patients. From our point of view, health includes physical, mental and social well-being as well as equal opportunities in care. With the health kiosk and in cooperation with the Ärztenetz Billstedt-Horn e.V. we are creating a new structure in which our patients can get exactly that. The Oncoguide closes in this respect an existing consulting gap for cancer patients in Billstedt and Horn”, says Alexander Fischer, managing director of Gesundheit für Billstedt/Horn.

Anja Weber is the first Oncoguide in Hamburg. She was trained in the nationwide program of the Saxon Cancer Society and is now looking forward to her new responsibilities. "Patients and their relatives have many questions in each phase of the cancer illness again and again. I would like to help answer these questions and find the right contacts in our complex healthcare system. For example, I advise in the preparation for doctor's consultations, in communication with health insurance companies or help to find movement offers in the vicinity".

Oncoguides can offer competent support on these and many other topics, name contact persons or provide information material.

Learn more about the program (in German)

Photo (courtesy of Gesundheitskiosk Billstedt/Horn (K. Balzer)) from left:
Oliver Manske, Healthcare Manager Healthcare Kiosk Billstedt; Anja Weber, Oncoguide UCCH; Prof. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke, Deputy Director UCCH; Avin Hell, Communications UCCH; Alexander Fischer, Managing Director Healthcare Kiosk Billstedt

Alliance against lung cancer

January 2019

Alliance against lung cancer

In order to offer lung cancer patients even better access to the latest therapies and to further advance research in this field, the LungenClinic Grosshansdorf and the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) of the University Medical-Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) have concluded a strategic cooperation, which is integrated into the "National Network Genomic Medicine (nNGM) Lung Cancer" funded by Deutsche Krebshilfe. To kick off the cooperation, a symposium on tumor evolution, personalized cancer medicine and immunotherapy was held at the Erika-Haus on January 9, 2019.

"With this cooperation, we are bringing the special expertise in the treatment of lung cancer patients, which has distinguished the certified Lung Cancer Center of the LungenClinic for years, even closer together with the comprehensive research of the UCCH," states Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the University Cancer Center Hamburg. The aim is to jointly make a sustainable contribution to improving the care of seriously ill lung cancer patients in northern Germany.

With bundled competence against lung cancer

Bronchial carcinoma continues to be the most common cancer and cause of death, and research has made enormous progress in recent years. Today, in addition to radiation and chemotherapy, genome research also makes highly individual, tailor-made treatments available to patients.

These possibilities are based on comprehensive molecular diagnostics, in which markers are identified that allow the targeted attacking of mutations. In addition, these findings make it possible to identify and select inhibitors in order to carry out effective immunotherapy. "By using both forms of therapy, we are able to allow many patients in the advanced stage of lung cancer to survive longer than we have been able to so far," says Prof. Dr. Martin Reck, chief physician of the oncology department at the LungenClinic Grosshansdorf.

Excellent molecular pathology is a prerequisite for the precise analysis of tumor tumors. This "decoding" of therapy-relevant genetic changes takes place in the Institute of Pathology at the UKE. "We use state-of-the-art methods, such as high-throughput sequencing of tumour material, and have assembled an interdisciplinary team of pathologists and molecular biologists for data evaluation," says Prof. Guido Sauter, Head of the Institute of Pathology at the UKE.

The UCCH and the LungenClinic Grosshansdorf are jointly involved in the "National Network Genomic Medicine (nNGM) Lung Cancer", which has been funded by the Deutsche Krebsgesellschaft since April 2018. This network has set itself the goal of making new therapeutic approaches available to all patients as quickly as possible. "In this context, as a cooperation partner, we are playing a key role in bringing lung cancer patients from the treating clinics and practices in northern Germany even closer together," explains Prof. Sonja Loges, Head of Personalized Oncology at UKE.

The cooperation began with a scientific symposium with an international panel of speakers. Prof. Dr. Charles Swanton from the University College London and co-director of Cancer Research UK UCL reported on his research in personalized cancer medicine. Prof. Dr. Benjamin Besse from the Institut Gustave Roussy in Paris presented the current developments in clinical research. Prof. Dr. Martin Reck and Prof. Dr. Dr. Sonja Loges continued with the presentation of clinical research at the national level in Germany as well as of the care structures for personalized cancer medicine in the new cooperation.

The initiators of the "Alliance against Lung Cancer", Prof. Dr. Klaus F. Rabe and Prof. Dr. Martin Reck (LungenClinic Grosshansdorf) and Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer and Prof. Dr. Dr. Sonja Loges (UCCH) were very satisfied with the successful start with almost 150 visitors.

Further information about the Personalized Cancer Medicine Program of the UCCH

Further information about the offers of the LungenClinic Grosshansdorf (in German)

Photo (UCCH) from left: Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Klaus F. Rabe, Prof. Dr. Benjamin Besse, Prof. Dr. Charles Swanton, Prof. Dr. Dr. Sonja Loges, Prof. Dr. Martin Reck

award ceremony

December 2018

Research Award of the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft goes to UCCH cancer researchers

Three researchers from the UCCH received the, with 10,000 Euro endowed, Research Prize of the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft. The first prize was awarded to Dr. Malte Mohme from the Department of Neurosurgery, the second to Prof. Dr. Mascha Binder from the University Hospital of Halle and Dr. Dr. Thorsten Frenzel from the Department of Radiation Therapy.

The new State Councilor of the Health and Consumer Protection Authority, Dr. Matthias Gruhl, introduced the festivities: "The Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft is one of the most highly respected associations in the city of Hamburg, uniting the fields of medicine, patient orientation and prevention. Through the donations and contributions of the citizens of our city, the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft gives back so much good, so it can also significantly support research".

The figures prove him right - in 2018, the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. has already provided 450,000 euros for research funding in the field of cancer research. The HKG Research Prize is awarded annually and is endowed with 10,000 euros.

The Dean of the UKE, Prof. Dr. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus, warmly congratulated the prize winners: "The UKE and the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft have been cooperating very closely for many years; there are many UKE scientists who are involved in the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft. The Cancer Society also supports a very broad spectrum of projects, ranging from biomedical basic research to psychooncology".

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) and Chairman of the Selection Committee of the HKG, said: "We have awarded three prizes this year because so many very good papers have been submitted. Successful cancer research is a joint and interdisciplinary effort - nowadays, such work can only be carried out by well-networked research groups. The UCCH at the UKE offers an excellent platform for this."

Dr. Malte Mohme, assistant physician in further education at the Department of Neurosurgery and at the same time researcher in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Katrin Lamszus, received the 1st prize of 5,000 euros for his work on the understanding of immunological mechanisms in glioblastomas.

The second prize, each worth 2,500 euros, was shared by Prof. Dr. med. Mascha Binder, who has been head of the Department of Haematology and Oncology at the University Hospital Halle (Saale) since October 2018, for her work on antibody therapy in head and neck tumours, and Dr. rer. nat. Dr. med. Thorsten Frenzel from the Department of Radiotherapy and Radiooncology, who used the mouse model to investigate the influence of radiation therapy of a local tumour on metastasis.

We congratulate all prize winners!

The Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. is a non-profit association that has been active in the health care sector in Hamburg since 1951 and has been committed to promoting research and young talent on a regular basis ever since, thanks to donors from Hamburg.

The Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V. has donated more than 1 million euros to the professorship of palliative medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, which focuses on research on relatives of cancer patients. A scholarship programme supports young scientists.

The call for entries for the Research Prize 2019 is open, further information can be found here:

20181008_Forschungspreis_FIN (in German)

Photo (UCCH) from left: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kleeberg, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Dr. Dr. Thorsten Frenzel, Prof. Dr. Mascha Binder, Dr. Malte Mohme, Prof. Dr. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus, Dr. Matthias Gruhl

Pain and Palliative Care

November 2018

Beneficial days on the topics of palliative care and pain medicine

The last weekend in November was all about palliative medicine. While on Friday patients and relatives came together for a patient day at the Hamburg Cancer Society, the experts on Saturday continued with educating themselves at the Interdisciplinary Pain and Palliative Day at the UKE.

The patient afternoon, which was jointly organized by the Hamburg Cancer Society and the endowed Chair for Palliative Medicine at the UCCH, was dedicated to some of the most urgent topics with which patients and their relatives are frequently confronted in advanced cancer - the biology of cancer, the side effects of therapies, pain, nausea and breathlessness, but also fears of what can come as the disease progresses.

The participants listened with great interest and made intensive use of the opportunity to talk to the experts and other affected persons. Also the following ceremonial lecture of Professor von Engelhardt on the topic was very well visited and a complete success.

On Saturday about 80 specialized experts from different occupational groups gathered, in order to inform themselves in interdisciplinary round about the newest findings surrounding the topics palliative care and pain medicine and to exchange about own experiences gathered from practice. As in the previous year, the Palliative Medicine at UCCH as well as the Clinic and Polyclinic for Anesthesiology invited to a mix of lectures and interactive workshops. Prof. Karin Oechsle, since last year holder of the endowed Chair for Palliative Medicine with focus on research on relatives, was satisfied and stated: "The interdisciplinary exchange that this event offers is extremely enriching for our daily work – it gives the opportunity to discuss experiences from everyday practice intensively and to reflect them together with colleagues".

Award winners I
Laureates with UCCH directors Prof. Bokemeyer and Prof. Rothkamm
Award winners II
Laureates with research group leaders and UCCH directors

November 2018

Hubertus Wald Award for Young Scientists and UCCH Scholarship Award with Record Participation

For the first time, three Hubertus Wald prizes for young scientists were awarded - Fabian Freisleben, Dr. Lena Behrmann and Tabea Sturmheit received the prize, which is awarded annually at the UCCH. The newly created poster prize went to Dr. Cécile Maire. In addition, 7 research fellowships were made possible for the coming year.

Two of the renowned Hubertus Wald prizes for young scientists went to scientists from the AG Fiedler, who dealt with acute myeloid leukaemia (Fabian Freisleben) and bone marrow tissue (Dr. Lena Behrmann). Both prize winners are assistant doctors in the II. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic and work as scientists in Prof. Walter Fiedler's research group. Mrs. Tabea Sturmheit from the AG of Priv.-Doz. Dr. Andreas Block and Research Scientist at 2cureX had conducted research on the compilation of individual tumour assays in connection with the tissue extraction of liver metastases. At this year's UCCH Science Retreat in September, all three prize winners were selected on the basis of their results and presentations by the UCCH scientists present. The three scientists were awarded the Hubertus Wald Prize for Young Scientists on 2 November by Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director and Spokesperson of the UCCH, and Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, Deputy Director of Research at the UCCH. The prize is awarded in appreciation of the outstanding achievements and in support of further work.

Due to the many submissions, a poster prize was awarded for the first time. Dr. Cécile Maire from the Hans-Dietrich-Herrmann Laboratory for Brain Tumor Biology led by Prof. Dr. Katrin Lamszus / Clinic for Neurosurgery received the poster prize on the optical coding of gliomas.
Numerous congratulators appeared for the awarding of the prizes and thus paid respect to the scientists for their research activities.

In addition, the UCCH research fellowships for 2019 were awarded at the award ceremony – more than ever before.

The list of scholarship holders is as follows:

Franziska Brauneck
Sending department: II. Medical clinic and polyclinic
Guest laboratory: I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic, AG Schulze zur Wiesch

Leonie Konczalla
Sending department: Clinic and Policlinic for General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery
Guest laboratory: I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic, AG Gagliani

Henrike Zech
Sending department: Clinic and Polyclinic for Otolaryngology and Otolaryngology
Guest Laboratory: Laboratory for Radiobiology and Experimental Radiooncology, AG Kriegs

Dr. Lukas Böckelmann
Sending department: II. Medical clinic and polyclinic
Guest Laboratory: Institute of Anatomy and Experimental Morphology, Schumacher

Dr. Tara Leven
Sending department: Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
Guest laboratory: Research Institute Children's Cancer Centre Hamburg, AG Schüller

Dr. Jochim Reinert
Sending department: II. Medical clinic and polyclinic
Guest laboratory: Institute for Tumor Biology, AG Loges

Dr. Julia Stadler
Sending department: Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Venerology
Guest laboratory: Institute of Tumor Biology, Pantel

The scholarship holders will present the results of their work at the UCCH Research Retreat in August 2019.

Congratulations to all winners!

Facharztklinik

November 2018

Facharztklinik Hamburg complements the UCCH network

Located in the immediate vicinity, the Facharztklinik Hamburg now moves even closer to the UKE in its day-to-day business. Particularly in the field of cancer diagnostics and therapy, intensive cooperation will take place in the future. As the eighteenth clinic partner, the Facharztklinik will join the UCCH network.

The cooperation focuses on the care of breast cancer patients.It will enable even better networking of consulting services and participation in the UCCH Tumor Board through an intensified and faster exchange between the experts of both clinics. In addition, the experts from the Facharztklinik will also be involved in the joint development of treatment guidelines at the UCCH.

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, is pleased that two further hospital partners, the Facharztklinik Hamburg and the Regio Klinik Wedel, have joined the network within a short period of time: "This shows that the network is a real benefit for patients and partners alike and that this is also perceived from the outside. I am therefore very pleased that more clinics and practices are continuously joining the network and in return contribute their expertise to it."

Photo: AMF Facharztlinik Hamburg GmbH

health academy

October 2018

Successful UKE Health Academy: Don't give cancer a chance

How does cancer develop, who can get it and what can doctors and I do to prevent cancer? Prof. Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, the teams of the Health Academy and the UCCH, as well as almost 200 visitors pursued these and other questions at the latest Health Academy.

After Prof. Blankenberg from the University Heart Centre opened the event series at the beginning of the month, the UKE Health Academy last Monday devoted itself entirely to the topic of cancer. Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, used his key note in the very well attended Ian Karan lecture hall to inform visitors about current findings on the development and treatment of cancer.

The lecture focused on why, despite improved survival rates, more and more people are suffering from the various types of cancer - a development that, according to Prof. Bokemeyer, can be answered on the one hand with our increased life expectancy, but also with simple statistics. Nevertheless, science has also made significant progress in recent years, which already benefits many patients in practice and helps them to significantly improve their chances of survival.

In addition, visitors were able to find out what they could do to prevent cancer from developing in the first place at the "Market of Health" information and participation stations. The UCCH was also represented with its experts on topics such as sport and exercise, nutrition and prevention. In addition to answering questions and providing practical tips for everyday life, visitors also took the opportunity to test their knowledge as part of a nutrition quiz and demonstrate their fitness under expert guidance in the exercise room.

HKR

October 2018

Use of data from HKR and KKR for research questions

The possibilities for scientists to use data from the Hamburg Cancer Registry and the Clinical Cancer Registry at the UKE are manifold. A first UKE-wide task force has now discussed opportunities and possibilities.

The Hamburg Cancer Registry (HKR) is responsible for the integrated, comprehensive epidemiological and clinical cancer registration in Hamburg, while the Clinical Cancer Registry (KKR) is organizationally affiliated to the Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) and specifically keeps track of all patients with an ICD-10-GM C or D diagnosis at the UKE.

The data that is generated both at the HKR and the KKR is regularly published in reports without a specific research question. Concurrently the registries provide the data for special scientific questions and oncological care research projects that are pursued externally.

Therefore the data is suitable for answering concrete research questions and for estimating the extent to which the study collective permits a generalizable statement for the respective oncological patients. Higher-level research projects and long-term research strategies are also among the many possibilities for cooperation between science and registries. From a clinical point of view, entity specific questions on therapy, adherence to guidelines or participation in studies are interesting and can be implemented within the framework of projects or doctoral theses.

If you are interested in using the data of the HKR for research purposes, the HKR or the KKR at the UKE will be happy to provide you with further information.

Contact information HKR:
Dr. Stefan Hentschel
Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
Authority for Health and Consumer Protection
Health department
Billstraße 80, 20539 Hamburg
Tel.: +49 (0) 40 42837 - 2410
E-Fax.: +49 (0) 40 42794 - 48410
E-Mail: Stefan.Hentschel@bgv.hamburg.de
Internet: www.hamburg.de/krebsregister

Contact information KKR at UKE/UCCH:
Dr. Catarina Schlüter
Prof. Dr. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke
University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH)
Clinical Cancer Registry at UKE, building W37
Martinistraße 52, 20249 Hamburg
Tel.: +49 (0) 40 7410 - 57296
Fax: +49 (0) 40 7410 - 57934
E-Mail: UCCH_Daten@uke.de
Internet: www.ucch.de ; www.uke.de

Prof Binder

October 2018

Prof. Dr. Mascha Binder becomes first female ordinaria for haematology and oncology

Prof. Dr. Mascha Binder took over the University Clinic for Internal Medicine IV at the University Hospital of Halle (Saale) on 1st October. This makes her the first female ordinaria for haematology and oncology in Germany.

Previously she was the deputy director of the Second Medical Clinic for Haematology and Oncology at the UCCH and, as an outstanding scientist, has decisively influenced the further development of immunoncological research at the UCCH. In the clinical area, she focused on the treatment of multiple myelomas, CLL and cerebral lymphomas.

The honour of being able to take on this responsible new task is the consistent continuation of an already remarkable career as a physician and scientist, which has been significantly supported by the Second Medical Clinic.

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, Clinic Director of the Second Medical Clinic and former immediate superior of Prof. Binder, is also pleased with this great scientific recognition and sees it as confirmation of the efforts made within his department: "We made it our task at a very early stage to actively support outstanding female doctors and researchers in our ranks within the framework of a special women's advancement programme. The fact that Prof. Binder, who has had a particular influence on research at the UCCH, is now receiving this recognition makes us particularly happy against this background and also strengthens us in our work".

We wish Prof. Binder all the best for her future career.

research retreat

September 2018

10 Years UCCH Research Retreat

More than 70 scientists met last weekend in Jesteburg on the edge of the Lüneburg Heath to discuss their scientific research projects.

"The attractiveness of the retreat for our scientists continues to grow. This year we have achieved a record number of awards and scholarships, we even had to reject lecture requests, because otherwise the time frame would have been exceeded," said Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, deputy director for scientific topics at UCCH.

This year, 3 Hubertus Wald Young Investigators Awards were presented, in addition to a newly introduced Poster Award. The UCCH Research Fellowships go to 7 young scientists. The prizes will be awarded during a ceremony at the beginning of November.

"We are very proud that this year is the 10th anniversary of the retreat, as it shows how lively and interdisciplinary the research at the UCCH is. Some of our now established scientists gave their first English talks here and used the framework to rehearse their appearances at scientific congresses," sums up Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH.

Regio Kliniken

September 2018

Regio Kliniken GmbH strengthens the UCCH network

The UCCH network continues to grow - with the addition of the Regio Kliniken Elmshorn, Pinneberg and Wedel, our network gains another strong partner and welcomes the seventeenth clinical partner in our ranks.

Around 90,000 patients are treated annually at the Elmshorn, Pinneberg and Wedel sites. The Clinic for Internal Medicine, Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine, Thoracic Oncology and Palliative Medicine under the direction of Dr. Gerasimos Varelis will play a leading role in the cooperation under the umbrella of the UCCH. Future cooperation will focus on the exchange of scientific studies and the care of patients with complex cancers as well as the joint further development of patient pathways.

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, welcomes the new addition to the network and states: "The fact that we can once again welcome a strong partner in our ranks shows how important intensive professional exchange is in the modern treatment of the most complex cancers. Accordingly, I am very pleased that the network has been able to gain further expertise with this cooperation."


Photo: Courtesy of Regio Kliniken GmbH

skin cancer day

August 2018

Successful information day at the new Skin Tumor Center

The newly founded Skin Tumor Center at the UCCH invited all patients, relatives and interested parties to its first information day on Wednesday, 29 August, on the topic "Detecting, avoiding and treating skin cancer".

The experts from the Skin Tumor Center used the first information day organised by them not only to present themselves and the center to the public, but also to give interested parties an in-depth insight into the subject of skin cancer. Accordingly, the lectures presented the latest findings from research on the numerous manifestations of skin cancer. The self-help group Hautkrebsnetzwerk Deutschland e.V. also reported on its work. On site, the opportunity was taken to set up a regional self-help group, which will cooperate closely with the Skin Cancer Center in the future. In addition, the visitors could inform themselves about prevention possibilities and ask their own questions to the experts at the information stands. The program was rounded off with the possibility of getting to know the skin clinic better during a guided tour.

science

July 2018

German Cancer Aid finances Mildred Scheel Junior Research Center for Cancer Research at UKE

The University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) has been awarded the contract to establish one of five Mildred Scheel junior research centers in Germany; the German Cancer Aid is supporting the UKE with a total of ten million euros over the next five years. In order to counter the impending shortage of scientific specialists in oncology, the German Cancer Aid launched the funding programme to strengthen young scientists a year ago.

"We are very happy and proud to have convinced the jury in the selection process. The research excellence of the UKE has played an important role here", says Prof. Dr. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus, Dean and Board Member of the UKE. Prof. Koch-Gromus is co-applicant of the concept developed by clinicians and scientists at the Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) to establish a junior research center in the field of tumor dissemination and metastasis.

"Our future efforts as a Mildred Scheel Junior Research Center are on one hand aimed at improving career opportunities for young scientists in hospitals and laboratories and on the other at strengthening cancer research in Hamburg," explains Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of UCCH.

"With the help of the new funding programme, we can offer researchers various opportunities to pursue their scientific careers over a longer period of time within the framework of family-compatible working time models," says Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, Deputy Director of Science and Research at UCCH.

Another important factor for the Mildred Scheel Center in Hamburg is the establishment of supra-regional networks with clinical and industrial partners, for example in Lübeck and Kiel. In addition, the focus is on expanding the research infrastructure, setting up research grants and establishing mentoring programmes and career exchanges. In addition to the UKE, institutions in Frankfurt, Würzburg, Cologne-Bonn and Dresden are supported.

skin cancer center

June 2018

Skin Tumor Center established at UKE

As a new sixth organ cancer center within the UCCH, an interdisciplinary Skin Tumor Center was founded on the initiative of the Clinic for Dermatology and Venerology.

About 100 interested doctors were present at the 2nd Eppendorf Dermatology Symposium when the foundation of the new Skin Tumor Center was announced by the management team.

The Skin Tumor Center is located in the Department of Dermatology and Venerology, headed by Prof. Dr. Christoffer Gebhardt. He is represented by Dr. Janina Staub and Thomas Haalck. PD Dr. Nina Booken is responsible for cutaneous lymphomas. The dermatooncology center is a member of the UCCH and thus forms the sixth organ cancer center on offer at the UKE.

"The number of new skin tumors is increasing every year. The new Skin Tumor Center bundles the disciplines that make a modern therapy of all forms of skin tumors possible for our patients. We are primarily targeting high-risk patients in order to support the therapy especially in metastasis through clinical research and studies," says Prof. Dr. Gebhardt, the new head of the Skin Tumor Center.

"I am very pleased that we can offer the expertise at our clinic with Prof. Gebhardt's team in order to be a reliable contact for dermatooncological questions with the Skin Tumor Center," adds Prof. Dr. Schneider, Clinic Director of the Clinic for Dermatology and Venerology.

The Skin Tumor Center is anchored under the roof of the UCCH. Prof. Dr. Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, welcomes the development: "With the new Skin Tumor Center, our top oncological center in the UKE is gaining another important member among the organ cancer centers, which is already very actively involved in all our patient care and scientific research topics. We are already actively working on the foundations for obtaining certification by the German Cancer Society in the next cycle in 2019".

The consultation hours and further information, e.g. about cooperating self-help groups of the new Skin Tumor Center, can be found here.

Photo (from left): PD Dr. Nina Booken, Dr. Janina Staub, Prof. Dr. Schneider, Thomas Haalck, Prof. Dr. Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Christoffer Gebhardt

June 2018

Three UKE patient boats represented at "Rowing against cancer”


The winners of the patient race are celebrating their success

The frist three places of the beginners final were won by "Ermel hoch" (1st), "BSG Allianz Köln" (2nd) and "MS ooh-nass-is" (3rd)

In the expert final the teams "Klabautermann" (1st), "Bauring Hochbau 77" (2nd) and "Öko Profit" (3rd) took home the medals

They opened the regatta: Prof. Bokemeyer, Lauritz Schoof, Claus Feucht, Katharina v. Kodolitsch, state council Christoph Holstein, Werner Glowik

The UCCH directors won against the rowing Olympian Lauritz Schoof in the special race

The UCCH cooperation partner, the hospital Reinbek St. Adolf-Stift also participated for the good cause

The organization team felicitously thanked all participants, guests and spectators

The next regatta "rowing against cancer" will take place on 16 June – for the 10th time

Despite many bad weather warnings: The weather held and also sent the sun in the afternoon. The charity regatta "Rowing against cancer" started on 10 June in slightly windy conditions on the Außenalster in Hamburg. Under the patronage of Andy Grote, Senator for the Interior and Sport of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, more than 55 teams of four rowed for a good cause. The proceeds from the regatta will benefit the sports and exercise programme at the Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. The aim of the funded project is to significantly improve the quality of life of cancer patients.

"Rowing against cancer" is organised by the foundation Leben mit Krebs in cooperation with the Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum - University Cancer Center Hamburg and the rowing society HANSA e.V..

The regatta began with the most important highlight, the patient race. Three boats from Hamburg participated. All patients had previously taken part in the year-round rowing training for cancer patients, which has now been on offer for a year. The "Alsterchaoten" won with a remarkable performance, closely followed by the "Schlawiner". The "Trave Nessie" from Lübeck took 3rd place, the "Happy" 4th place.

Another highlight of the day was the special race "Olympic Winner" against the "Medics". Last year, UCCH directors Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke, Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Alexander Stein had to admit defeat against the double Olympic gold medal winner. They could book the revenge for themselves this year. The proud winners also finished 6th overall in the entry-level final.

This time the teams "Ermel hoch" (beginner) and "Klabautermann" (expert) qualified for gold in the beginner and expert races. The "Martini" team (6th place experts) from the UKE was also represented until the final.

Photos: RG HANSA e.V. and UCCH

onco-workshop

May 2018

IV. Onco-Workshop of the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center

On the 25th and 26th of May this year, the time had come again: Due to multiple requests from clinicians and sponsors, the UCCH held its 4th Onco-Workshop this year.

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH, and PD Dr. Andreas Block, Head of the Oncological Study Centre, welcomed the participants in front of a picturesque backdrop in the Elsa Brändström House directly on the Elbe. A comprehensive program of lectures, courses and opportunities to expand their own network awaited the numerous participants.

In addition to the basic course according to AMG offered again after 2015, one of the highlights this year was the key note on "Big Data in Clinical Research". Due to increasingly complex study designs and highly individualized therapy approaches, this topic is becoming increasingly important in clinical research. Accordingly, Annika Grosse (IBM) gave an extensive and exciting insight into the future and benefits of Big Data in this field.

In addition to the extensive scientific presentations of the respective UKE experts, Friday also offered the participants the opportunity to present their own study projects in an interdisciplinary environment and to enter into an in-depth discussion in the newly established Onco-Lounge.

The profitable workshop days were rounded off by a dinner followed by a get-together where all participants once again had the opportunity to talk to colleagues and experts.

WWPrize
Prof. Bokemeyer was awarded the prize by Prof. Hossfeld

May 2018

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer receives Wilhelm Warner Prize for Cancer Research

Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the Second Medical Clinic and the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), has been awarded the Wilhelm Warner Prize for Cancer Research 2017. The UKE scientist receives the 10,000 Euro prize for his international commitment to the treatment of testicular carcinoma in young men. He was also awarded for his commitment to the further training of oncologists at European level and the further development of medical oncology in Germany. On 25 May, Prof. Dr. K. Hossfeld, representing the Foundation, presented the award at a ceremony at the UCCH.

Germ cell tumors in men are rare cancers. In Germany there are about 4,000 new cases per year. The treatment of patients with advanced germ cell walls has made considerable progress in recent years. Today, 80 to 90 percent of all patients with metastatic disease can be cured because they react extremely well to chemotherapy. Current research focuses on how high cure rates are achieved with few therapy side effects and why some patients are still resistant to the therapy and cannot be cured.

"We have been working for years to understand the causes of resistance to the extremely effective drugs in this disease. Our goal is to further improve the prognosis of patients and to learn from it for other diseases and novel therapeutic approaches," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer. His research group has conducted numerous multicenter clinical studies and a variety of basic research on resistance in germ cell tumors. For many years the group has also been intensively involved in the investigation and treatment of long-term consequences of therapy in cured patients within the framework of so-called survivorship programs.

The II. The UKE Medical Clinic is one of the national reference centers for the treatment of patients with advanced germ cell tumors of the testicles and is therefore recognized in the network of German cancer centers and the European centers for rare cancers.

The Wilhelm Warner Prize is awarded every year to renowned scientists in the field of cancer research. The Wilhelm Warner Foundation was founded in 1961 in Hamburg with the aim of promoting cancer research by awarding the Wilhelm Warner Prize annually to renowned scientists.

AMLSG
The organizers Prof. Ganser, Prof. Fiedler and Prof. Döhner

May 2018

German-Austrian AML Study Group of the Competence Network Leukemia met in Hamburg with over 200 participants

An honour for Hamburg and the UCCH - the German-Austrian Study Group for Acute Myeloid Leu-kemia (AMLSG) met for the first time in Hamburg with a record attendance of over 200 participants.

Leukemia (also known as "blood cancer") is a disease of the hematopoietic system. Depending on which immature blood cells are affected by uncontrolled cell growth, they are called myeloid (erythrocytes, granulocytes, monocytes) or lymphatic leukemia (lymphocytes). Both leukemias can occur in different forms - on the one hand in the acute form, which occurs suddenly and can lead to death within a few weeks, and on the other hand in the chronic form, which shows a slower course of the disease.

In recent years, the German-Austrian Study Group for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) has developed into one of the world's largest study groups for the research and treatment of AML. In Germany alone, more than 60 centers are involved in the study group, including the UCCH. During the conference in Hamburg it was possible to continue working together on new therapy concepts and study developments.

"We are very pleased that the heads of the study group - Prof. Döhner from the University of Ulm and Prof. Ganser from the Hanover Medical School - have decided to hold the study meeting here in Hamburg this year," said Prof. Dr. Walter Fiedler, senior physician at the Second Medical Clinic and Polyclinic at the UCCH with a focus on leukemia. "The steadily increasing number of cases in our studies and the translation into concrete therapy concepts are a sign of our successful work”.

"The AML Study Group is part of the Competence Network Acute and Chronic Leukemia, which was founded almost 20 years ago with the aim of developing a world-leading cooperative leukemia network," says Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH. “The results of our work to date underline the relevance of this study group and thus of the network for our daily work."

Second track

May 2018

Second Track Oncology / Tumour Biology: Medical students actively use the elective modules offered

In the integrated model study programme Medicine Hamburg (iMED), the theoretical basic subjects are networked with clinical practice and current research right from the start. Students can choose their field of interest early on from 15 compulsory elective modules, the so-called second tracks. This week the Second Track Oncology/Tumorbiology has started at the UCCH.

"Second Track Oncology represents a particularly close translational integration of basic research and clinical practice. It is important to us to introduce the students to the topic and to provide insights from many different perspectives," says Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm, scientific director of the UCCH. He is responsible for organizing the second track Oncology/Tumorbiology, along with other UCCH colleagues from research and clinic. During the two-week elective courses for approx. 120 students in the 2nd - 4th semester, the UCCH representatives offer a compact teaching program of approx. 45 hours which introduces the subject matter.

"With approx. 20 lecturers, a very high level of personnel and organizational effort is being made here by the UCCH, as the training of young scientific and medical staff is very important to us. The quality of our detailed offer can only be made possible by a well-functioning network such as the UCCH," says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH.

The figures confirm the success of the demanding oncology elective program: The 40 available places, which will be offered from the 5th semester for specialization in oncology in another 5 modules plus student research project, are always very popular and quickly allocated.

This concept of the reform study course is trend-setting for further structural planning of other medical study courses in Germany.

Hotel Jesteburg

May 2018

Registration open for X. UCCH Research Retreat 2018

The Hubertus Wald Tumour Center - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) invites UKE-scientists and -doctors to take part in this year's UCCH Research Retreat in the Lüneburg Heath for one and a half days in order to meet colleagues for scientific exchange on topics from experimental, translational, clinical and epidemiological cancer research as well as care research in cancer medicine. Participation is free of charge, regardless of whether you would like to present a scientific presentation during your participation.

Date: 21 to 22 September 2018
Venue: Tagungshotel Jesteburg, Itzenbütteler Straße 35, 21266 Jesteburg
Deadline for registration and submission of your abstract: July 30, 2018

Registration:
On the website www.uke.de/ucch-research-retreat you will find all further information about the event, our online registration form and all file templates required for participation. In addition, you will find information on how to apply for the UCCH Research Fellowship for assistant physicians interested in research and on the award of the Hubertus Wald Young Investigators Award for oncological research.

Contact person:
Dr. Britta Fritzsche ( +49 (0) 40 7410 - 51844 , b.fritzsche@uke.de )

Prof. Pantel

April 2018

Great honour for the UCCH: Prof. Klaus Pantel opens American Cancer Research Congress

The renowned Hamburg based cancer scientist Prof. Klaus Pantel, board member of the University Cancer Center Hamburg and director of the Institute of Tumor Biology at the UKE opened the AACR Annual Meeting - from April 14 to 18, 2018 in Chicago - with a plenary lecture on the topic "Liquid biopsy: Novel technologies and clinical applications". This congress is the world's largest meeting of cancer researchers with over 22,000 participants from all over the world.

Prof. Pantel coined the term "Liquid Biopsy" eight years ago and not only presented his groundbreaking work in the field of circulating tumour cells and circulating cell-free tumour DNA, but also pointed out the relevant translational results he has achieved in consortia, partly led by the University Cancer Center Hamburg, on patient cohorts. Prof. Pantel: "The survival of circulating tumour cells in the blood is an important indicator of metastatic progression in cancer patients and the analysis of these cells and their products provides clinically important information for a more targeted, individual risk assessment and cancer therapy.

Research into mechanisms of metastasis and how they can be influenced is part of the translational vision of the University Cancer Center Hamburg, with which the center aims to significantly advance the treatment results for cancer patients over the next ten years. Prof. Bokemeyer, Director of the University Cancer Center: "Cancer patients usually die from the metastases of the disease, therefore it is logical to bundle and apply all scientific findings here in order to better understand the metastasis process first and then actively combat it!"

Hubertus Wald foundation

April 2018

Hubertus Wald Foundation supports tumor epidemiology at UCCH

The Hubertus Wald Foundation approves a funding application to support tumor epidemiology at UCCH. The funds received will enable the analyzation of relevant epidemiological studies on the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

With the help of an estate of the Dühren family, the Hubertus Wald Foundation makes it possible to support the tumour epidemiological area at the Hubertus Wald Tumour Centre in the amount of 75,000 euros. This money allows UCCH staff to analyze relevant epidemiological studies around the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

"With this support, the Hubertus Wald Foundation enables the analyzation of truly relevant data on epidemiological risk factors in various tumour diseases that have been collected over a long period of time. The findings will in turn form the basis for future prevention efforts," said Professor Chang-Claude, who will use the corresponding means for her investigations in a targeted manner.

Logo: Hubertus Wald foundation

cooking course

April 2018

Cooking course for cancer patients

Also this year on the occasion of the World Cancer Day a cooking course at the UCCH was raffled. The winners have learned new things about which foods and preparations are especially recommended for cancer patients.

UCCH nutritionist and dietician Julia von Grundherr guided the participants through the course. "We always advise our cancer patients to a healthy and balanced diet. Fresh herbs and spices have a variety of flavours, which means we can almost refrain from the use of salt." The participants of the cooking course got to know new recipes and then tasted their own results in a convivial atmosphere. A lively discussion arose from the many questions.

All nutrition suggestions are based on the recommendations of the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), the German Nutrition Society (DGE) and the guidelines of the German Society for Nutritional Medicine (DGEM).

Counselling on nutrition topics in the context of the life after cancer consultation hours is open to all cancer patients.

Photo: Avin Hell / UKE

music therapy