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.
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 !
Leypoldt, Weisel et al. Isatuximab, Carfilzomib, Lenalidomide, and Dexamethasone for the Treatment of High-Risk Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma, JCO 2023.
Photo: Katja Weisel
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Photos: Avin Hell
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)
Photo: Avin Hell
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.
Photo: Avin Hell
Sebastian Franke (RGHansa), Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer (Direktor UCCH), Christoph Holstein (State Councillor HH), Avin Hell (UCCH), Volker Zaehle (Foundation )
Anne Hutmacher (RG Hansa), Anne Overlach, Prof. Kai Rotkamm, Prof. Katja Weisel, Prof. Cordula Petersen
Senate boat, Asklepios Tumor Center Hamburg management boat and UCCH board boat
Katrin Wemheuer, Karsten Wemheuer, Kai-Uwe Parsons-Galka und Laura Versemann
Simon Elmers, PD Dr. Maximilian Christopeit, Anni Rosenberg, Maren Fendt - Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer congratulates to the 7th place
Junior men's eight (1st place) and national rowing league women's eight (2nd place)
Presentation of the medals by Prof. Carsten Bokemeyer, Director of the UCCH
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.
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
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 .
To the article "News from the research UKE"
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.
Bilder: Laura Lehmann, Inga Melzer
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
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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 email@example.com.The work of Sport-Wiss. Simon Elmers is supported by the Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V..
Photos: Courtesy of Peter Kähler, NRV
from left: Joachim Prölß, Avin Hell, Katja Weisel, Markus Wartenberg, Katharina Fegebank, Heide Lakemann, Carsten Bokemeyer
Carsten Bokemeyer (UCCH), Senator Katharina Fegebank and Anne Letsch (UCCSH)
Award winners and representatives of the BMS Immuno-oncology Foundation
Alexia Parsons, Avin Hell, Carsten Bokemeyer
from left: Avin Hell, Holger Schulz, Carsten Bokemeyer, Heide Lakemann, Conni Holsten, Markus Wartenberg
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
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 ".
#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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
The offer is made possible, among others, by the Fördergemeinschaft Kinderkrebs-Zentrum Hamburg e.V..
Photo: Laura Lehmann
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
#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
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.
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 email@example.com .
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)
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
pancaid-interim ( pancaid-project.eu )
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Further information about the Patient Competence Center North.
Photo: Laura Lehmann
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.
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)!
Photo: © Chinnapong - Fotolia.com
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
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.
Photo: Laura Lehmann
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
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
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:
Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Experimental Radiation Oncology / Institute of Neuropathology
Project: "Global mean methylation serves as independent prognostic marker in glioblastoma"
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)
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!
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 email@example.com .
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.
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.
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!
Photo: Eva Hecht, UKE
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.
Photo: Moustafa, Ayham
Strengthening skin cancer research
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
At #activeoncokids NORD, the happiness of this earth is on the back of horses!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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)
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:
Further information on the Multiple Myeloma Self-Help Group Hamburg:
Multiples Myelom Selbsthilfegruppe Hamburg (GERMAN)
Photo: Avin Hell
That was Rowing Against Cancer 2022
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:
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.
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:
Laboratory of Radiation Biology and Experimental Radiation Oncology / Institute of Neuropathology
Project: "Global mean methylation serves as independent prognostic marker in glioblastoma"
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)
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".
The ActiveOncoKids Nord were guests at the Millerntorstadium.
PD Dr. Escherich, Simon Elmers and Oliver Hetze welcomed the kids.
The kids had great rallies in the training session.
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.
#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
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
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .
To make sure you don't miss any more events of the ActiveOncoKids Nord network, send an email to email@example.com 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).
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
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.
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.
For more information on familial breast and ovarian cancer, please also visit the BRCA Network e.V. page.
Image: Avin Hell, UCCH
"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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Active Onco Kids Network
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
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.
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:
Further information on the work of the Clinic for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology:
Pediatric Oncology Centerally
Images: Peter Kähl, NRV, und Avin Hell, UCCH
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:
Image: With permission of the Elsa Brändström House.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
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.
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".
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!
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.
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.
(Image credit: Pexels by Ann H)
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:
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:
Further information about the University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH) at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH) Kiel/Lübeck
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
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
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.)
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.
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
The UKE is committed to patient orientation at various levels, also with participation from the UCCH.
All efforts converge in the Patient Orientation Forum:
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
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.
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!
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:
We wish you all the best!
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
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 email@example.com .
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture: Fotolia © Claus Schlüter
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Photo (UCCH) from left: PD Dr. Andreas Block, Nina Braunger (Project Manager Forum Patient Orientation), Avin Hell
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!”
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.
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.
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 - 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.
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)
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 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).
Photo (UCCH) from left: Prof. Dr. Cordula Peteresen, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Dr. Martin Gosau, Prof. Dr. Christian Betz
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
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
Lauritz Schoof explained the basics in the action "5 min to become a rowing professional" at the rowing ergometer
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.).
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.
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
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.
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.
Photo (from left): Prof. Dr. Markus Graefen, Prof. Dr. Gunhild von Amsberg, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Hartwig Huland
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
10 years Oncological Center of Excellence in Hamburg
High profile visit to UCCH
The whole network is pleased about the visit of the numerous guests.
Gerd Nettekoven and Prof. Bokemeyer were delighted with the goals achieved together.
Full Erika House: approx. 200 guests attended the ceremony
In the lively panel discussion, the participants exchanged views on the politically strategic issues of the cancer landscape in Germany.
Persons in the photos (photo information)
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)
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.
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.
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.
(Photo (from left): Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Janik Engelmann, Meryem Cetin, Maximilian Jung, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Alexander Stein)
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
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:
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
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".
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:
Sending department: II. Medical clinic and polyclinic
Guest laboratory: I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic, AG Schulze zur Wiesch
Sending department: Clinic and Policlinic for General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery
Guest laboratory: I. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic, AG Gagliani
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 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
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.
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
Billstraße 80, 20539 Hamburg
E-Fax.: +49 (0) 40 42794 - 48410
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
Fax: +49 (0) 40 7410 - 57934
Internet: www.ucch.de ; www.uke.de
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.
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 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
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.
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 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
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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 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 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
New music therapy group launched at the Outpatient Clinic for Psycho-Oncology
A new music therapy group at the Outpatient Clinic for Psycho-Oncology has been added to the range of therapy-related services at UCCH. All cancer patients can now register for the new free course units under the motto "Making life sound".
Music therapy opens up the possibility of perceiving and expressing oneself in a holistic way with the help of music. Experiencing the different facets of music, searching for and finding harmonious sounds and playing styles can lead to a better self-understanding. This creates creative moments that open up new scope and perspectives.
UKE certified as a European center of excellence for neuroendocrine tumors
In order to improve and expand the treatment of patients with neuroendocrine tumors at the UKE, several clinics have joined together under the umbrella of the UCCH to form the NETzUKE network. Interdisciplinary cooperation between surgery, endocrinology, gastroenterology, nuclear medicine, oncology, pathology and radiology has led to continuous improvements in the treatment of patients with this rare tumor disease. Under the direction of Dr. Jörg Schrader (I. Medical Clinic) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Jakob R. Izbicki (Clinic for General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery), this concept has now been rewarded with the award as a certified center of excellence of the European Society for Neuroendocrine Tumors ("ENETS Center of Excellence"). The UKE is the only center of excellence for this rare tumor disease in northern Germany.
(Picture credits on request)
UCCH strongly represented at the German Cancer Congress
With almost 12,000 experts, a new attendance record was set at the German Cancer Congress, which takes place every two years in Berlin. The University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) of the UKE was also strongly represented last week. Oncologists, radiotherapists, surgeons and psychosocial doctors from the UCCH gave numerous lectures and led symposia. On Friday afternoon there was still time for a group photo and interdisciplinary knowledge exchange.
Photos: Uwe Groenewold/GB Unternehmenskommunikation
Strong UCCH patient support group network
The annual New Year's reception for the representatives of the more than 20 patient support groups cooperating with the UCCH has become an established and well-received tradition.
Also this year many participants accepted the invitation. New approaches and projects for the coming year were discussed in a lively exchange.
Collaboration with the patient support groups is a central component of the patient-oriented work - for example, the first edition of the "Giving Help Together" patient support groups brochure was recently presented, which presents all information on self-help in the UCCH.
(Picture credits on request)
Together against cancer - information day at the UCCH
Under the motto "Together Against Cancer", the UCCH held an information day as part of the annual World Cancer Day. On February 1, patients, relatives and other interested parties were able to find out more about important topics in cancer medicine at the Erika House. The visitors experienced a varied programme of lectures, round-table discussions and information stands, which represented the wide range of the UCCH network.
Lectures on personalized cancer medicine, therapy-accompanying possibilities such as complementary medicine, psycho-oncology, sports and nutrition as well as on the cornerstones of good doctor-patient communication were on the agenda. In addition, experts from many disciplines were available to answer personal questions about the visitors own illness.
Many self-help groups, support associations and institutions also presented their services.
The lucky winners were also happy about the successful participation in the cooking course raffle.
(Picture credits on request)
Opening of the exhibition "Ansichtsache" at the UKE Breast Centre
Exceptional photos on the topic of familial breast and ovarian cancer can be seen from 17 January to 16 February 2018 at the Centre for Family Breast and Ovarian Cancer (O24, Centre for Oncology). The photographs of 17 women, taken from the book "Ansichtssache. Knowledge and decisions in familial breast and ovarian cancer" impressively show the handling with the diagnosis or knowledge of the risk of a disease. The touring exhibition, which had previously been shown at the Berlin Charité, aims to show affected women and families how a breast reconstruction, for example, can look like, it wants to take away fears and be a decision-making aid.
The exhibition will be opened on Wednesday, January 17, at 7.30 pm by the Medical Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UKE, Prof. Dr. Burkhard Göke. Beforehand, UKE experts will give lectures on familial breast and ovarian cancer in the Hubertus Wald Seminar Room (O24,7th floor) from 6 pm onwards.
Every year, 75,000 women in Germany suffer from breast cancer and 8,000 women from ovarian cancer. Up to one-fifth of those affected have a genetic modification, for example, in the so-called BRCA genes (breast cancer), which can also be passed on to their children. In these families, cancer is therefore much more common and often occurs at a very early age.
You can find further information about the work of the 2010 founded association BRCA-Network - Help with familial breast and ovarian cancer on the web at www.brca-netzwerk.de.
Picture credits on request
Actor Hans-Jörg Frey reads on 1st Advent
The Circle of Friends of the Psycho-Oncological Ambulance invites you to a benefit event with actor Hans-Jörg Frey and the CAT-Quartett & Clarinett on 2 December.
Born in Switzerland, Frey, known as a long-time member of the German Theatre (Deutsches Schauspielhaus) and the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, reads texts on Advent. The quartet also performs chamber music by Mozart and Brahms.
Admission is free of charge - donations are welcome.
Picture credit on request
UCCH represented in the national Network Genomic Medicine (nNGM)
The joint application of the CCC network of the German Cancer Aid for the promotion of a national Network Genomic Medicine Lung Cancer was successful. The UCCH is represented with its department of Personalized Cancer Medicine by Prof. Dr. Dr. Sonja Loges in cooperation with the Institute of Pathology, Prof. Dr. Sauter and Priv. -Doz. Dr. rer. nat. Ronald Simon.
The aim of the network is to offer comprehensive and high-quality molecular diagnostics for all patients with non-resectable, malignant lung cancer and thus promote the implementation of personalized therapy in routine clinical care.
The UCCH and its cooperation partners in Hamburg are involved in the network. The network is the largest European platform for molecular diagnostics.
Hubertus Wald Prize for Oncology awarded to prostate cancer researcher Prof. Dr. Fritz Schröder
The Hubertus Wald Prize for Oncology was awarded this year to the renowned cancer researcher Prof. Dr. Fritz Schröder from Rotterdam. His long-standing commitment and outstanding achievements in the field of prostate cancer research were honored with this award. The prize, which is endowed with 5000 euros and awarded every two years, was awarded for the sixth time by the Hubertus Wald Tumour Centre - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH).
In addition, four young UKE scientists from the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) received the Hubertus-Wald-Young-Scientists-Award for oncological research: Dr. Simon A. Joosse from the Institute of Tumorbiology, Donjete Statovci, Laboratory for Tumour Immunology of the II. Medical clinic, Dr. Joanna C. Bartels, Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology and Dr. Franziska Modemann, II. Medical clinic.
Congratulations to all prize winners!
Night of the Sciences at the UKE - UCCH provides insight into the work of an oncological centre of excellence
More than 1,000 program items and several 1,000 visitors - the Night of Sciences on 4 November in Hamburg once again showed the impressive range of the science location Hamburg. Every two years, scientific institutions located in Hamburg present themselves and try to make their topics and works understandable in a playful way.
The UCCH also took part in the seven-hour long event with a large number of specialist disciplines. Numerous visitors of all ages learned about cancer diseases such as breast, skin and prostate cancer. In the children's rally, the children learned how to prevent cancer in general and enjoyed playing the specially developed UCCH prevention online memory. The guided tours offered in the field of radiotherapy were used extensively, as was the laboratory of the II. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic for Hematology and Oncology.
For many visitors it was clear - they would like to come back again next year.
Interdisciplinary Pain and Palliative Day at the UKE
On the last weekend in October, a large number of interested practitioners gathered again to exchange information on current topics concerning palliative care and pain medicine in a multi-professional way.
In the lectures and numerous workshops, new findings and treatment options for pain therapy and palliative care were presented and discussed. All in all, all participants were very satisfied with the exciting lectures, lively discussions and, above all, practical insights and experiences from the workshops.
Young Investigators' Award of the DGHO
At this year's annual meeting of the DGHO (German Society for Hemetology and Oncology) in Stuttgart, Dr. Julia Quidde receives one of the Young Investigators' Awards 2017 for her work on quality of life in colon cancer patients.
Doctors and scientists under 35 years of age had the opportunity to apply for the Young Investigators' Award by submitting an abstract. The works of the young scientists, that received the highest ratings from the reviewers, were selected for the prize. The works come with prize money of 1,000 euros each.
(Logo courtesy of DGHO)
New UCCH building officially opened
On 25 September, the new UCCH building in O43 was officially inaugurated by the UKE board of directors. Since July, the Central Entry Port and the UCCH Coordinative Unit have been located in the new premises in Building O43.
In their opening speeches, Prof. Dr. Göke and Prof. Dr. Koch-Gromus underlined the important position of the cancer center in the UKE, which is now united under one roof.
Prof. Dr. Bokemeyer then presented the most important milestone events of last year to the nearly 60 cooperation partners from practice, clinic and research as well as patient support groups.
In addition to the Central Entry Port, the following departments of the Oncology Centre have moved: Psycho-oncology, Palliative Medicine, Music and Art Therapy, Nutrition and Movement Therapy as well as the COSIP team. The Coordinative Unit comprises the Science Team, Quality and Strategy Management, Marketing/Communication and Medical Coordinators.
All previous consultation hours and therapy-accompanying offers of the central entry port for patients and relatives continue to run in the new rooms as usual.
UCCH Research Network
The UCCH Research Retreat has a long tradition in the UCCH. Over 70 scientists and physicians met last weekend for 2 days to discuss their current cancer research projects, studies and publications.
Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer opened the event and pointed out the successful proposals and networking efforts in UCCH research. “There has been a series of excellent research funding in the UCCH over the past and current year, made possible, among other things, by excellent translational research. For me, the retreat was very impressive with many motivated scientists who presented high quality results."
More than 40 lectures from more than 11 research fields show the active scientific activity in UCCH," says Prof. Kai Rothkamm, the new deputy director of science and research at the UCCH. “The Research Retreat offers both established and up-and-coming researchers the opportunity to present their focus topics and to network. Such a vibrant network is the basis for successful research at the UCCH."
The special feature of the retreat: "Every year, we honour the efforts of young researchers with an annual award for the promotion of young researchers in oncological research. The award winners as well as the award of research fellowships is chosen jointly by election," says Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, UCCH board member for research topics. The prize winners for the young talent awards as well as the scholarship holders will be honoured at the upcoming Hubertus Wald Award Ceremony at the beginning of November.
Kinder-UKE ceremonially opened
The new Kinder-UKE, the Werner and Michael Otto University Children's Hospital, has a usable floor space of over 10,000 square meters. A total of 148 beds are available for the young patients in bright and light rooms.
The Kinder-UKE focuses on rare, complex and unexplained diseases. Main areas of treatment are cancer, severe neurological and rare congenital diseases, metabolic diseases as well as liver, kidney and bone marrow transplants. It also houses the only oncological day clinic in the Hamburg metropolitan region.
“In the Kinder-UKE we have short distances between the departments involved in providing medical care for children and young people with complex illnesses. The diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents with cancer or blood diseases is thus even more closely linked to the special fields involved", says Prof. Dr. med. Stefan Rutkowski, Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Paediatric Hematology and Oncology.
The move into the new building will begin on September 21st with ongoing operations, and all functional areas will be fully equipped from September 29th. A total of 600 employees will work in the Kinder-UKE.
European Research Council honors Prof. Dr. Dr. Sonja Loges
A renowned cancer researcher of the UCCH was once again rewarded: Prof. Dr. Dr. Sonja Loges receives a so-called ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for a project to eliminate tumor cells from the bone marrow. This will support her research in the coming five years with a total of 1.5 million euros. Only in 2016 Prof. Loges was awarded a Heisenberg professorship of the German Research Foundation (DFG).
"With an ERC Grant, excellent fundamental research is promoted at European level. UKE researchers have received 14 of these coveted awards over the past years. This underlines the markedly increased international competitiveness of the UKE. I am very delighted for Prof. Loges", says Prof. Dr. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus, Dean of the medical faculty and UKE board member.
The aim of the new research project of Prof. Loges is to use immunotherapeutic approaches to combat tumor cells that have remained in the bone marrow after treatment. "In the bone marrow, cancer cells can survive frequently despite aggressive chemotherapy or radiation therapy and later stimulate new tumor growth. In patients with initially curable cancer, the mortality rate is doubled when malignant cells remain in the bone marrow", explains the scientist. The reason why the human immune system does not recognize and eliminate the malignant cells remains an unsolved problem. Loges and her team now want to analyze the interplay of bone marrow cells and immune cells to develop therapeutic strategies that enable the immune system to successfully fight the remaining cancer cells. Prof. Loges has recently proven how successful she can be in the field of therapy development: With her team, she has developed an inhibitor for the treatment of advanced acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), which is now being tested for efficacy in an international clinical trial conducted by her. The promotion of fundamental pioneering research is one of the main focuses of the European Union. To this end, the European Research Council (ERC) was set up in 2007. ERC Grants are part of the EU's "Horizon 2020" framework program, which funds both the fundamental research and application-oriented research fields. The total funding volume for the program, launched in 2014, is around 70 billion euros by 2020.
Palliative medicine at UCCH receives European award
The European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) has once again recognized the palliative care under the direction of Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle as an "ESMO Designated Center of Integrated Oncology & Palliative Care" and therewith accredited for the next three years for the Designated Center program.
The objectives of the program are the further development of palliative medicine according to the national guidelines, the promotion of research with special research fellowships and the palliative medical training of oncologists and other specialists.
"In recent years, palliative medicine at the UKE has achieved an important role in the integrated care of our cancer patients. The recognition by the ESMO is a very gratifying result of the daily outstanding work of the entire multiprofessional palliative medicine team, as well as the good networking and collaboration with the oncological structures in the UCCH. The participation in the ESMO program will enable us to carry out network collaboration on a European level, which will provide important impulses for the care of oncological patients in the UCCH and the further development of palliative medicine in Hamburg, "says Prof. Karin Oechsle, who, since July 2017, holds the endowed professorship of the Hamburg Cancer Society for palliative medicine at the UKE.
In Germany, ESMO lists 22 centers as a Designated Center, the UKE has been accredited since 2008.
Fewer people died of lung cancer caused by passive smoking
Passive smokers, like smokers, have an increased risk of developing lung cancer. However, the number of deaths from lung cancer attributable to passive smoking has declined over the past 20 years despite a generally aging population. Scientists from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) have determined this in a study published by the International Journal of Public Health. For the comparison, a study was consulted, that had been conducted in 1994 by the UKE Study Director Prof. Dr. Heiko Becher, with the then current figures on this subject. The researchers assume that the decline is due to the increased protection of non-smokers since then.
In 2012, some 47,000 people have died of lung cancer. Among them were about 41,000 smokers and thus about 6,000 non-smokers. Based on these figures, the scientists have calculated that 7.6 per cent of the male and 4.7 per cent of the female lung cancer deaths are attributable to passive smoking in the group of non-smokers.
"According to our estimates, 167 lung cancer cases are attributable to passive smoking per year. This figure fell significantly compared to 1994 – at that time it was 400. Despite the aging population and a consequent increase in the total number of deaths of cancer, this means that significantly fewer deaths from lung cancer caused by passive smoking are registered than 20 years ago. This positive trend should be strengthened by further measures in the area of non-smoker protection, "says Prof. Dr. Heiko Becher, principal investigator and director of the Institute of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology of the UKE.
In 2012, a quarter of non-smoking women and about 40 per cent of non-smoking men were exposed to passive smoking. In 1994, when a risk assessment of passive smoking was last carried out in Germany, about 60 per cent of men and 70 per cent of women were exposed to passive smoke, i.e. they were exposed to cigarette smoke through their smoking partner, at work or during leisure time.
UKE supports World Head and Neck Cancer Day
On July 27, the World Head and Neck Cancer Day is celebrated worldwide to raise awareness for head and neck tumors. This was initiated for the first time in 2014 by US actor Michael Douglas and former US President Bill Clinton in the USA. The goal is to raise public awareness for the risk factors of head and neck carcinomas and to provide information on possible therapeutic options.
The Head and Neck Cancer Center of the UCCH also participated again this year with a patient day for interested visitors and patients and thus supported the worldwide efforts to focus on information and exchange on this topic.
Numerous attendees followed the invitation and took the opportunity to inform themselves in short presentations, to explore the organ model of the oral cavity or to seek contact with self-help groups and medical experts.
The consultation offers for caring relatives and opportunities in palliative care were also used. In addition, the UCCH presented further offers such as complementary medicine counseling or the sports and exercise program for cancer patients, organized by the central entry port of the UCCH.
Numerous visitors followed the invitation and informed themselves about prevention and treatment options.
The patient's day was opened by PD Dr. Adrian Münscher, head of the head and neck tumor center in the UCCH.
In lectures, Prof. Dr. Petersen, for example, informed the audience on the Functioning of Radiotherapy ...
... and Cornelia Reuß spoke about speaking after a laryngeal removal.
A special highlight was again this year the organ model of the oral cavity, which was to be discovered.
In addition to this, visitors were, among other things, able to inform themselves about the palliative medicine or the work of self-help groups.
Rowing against cancer on the Outer Alster
The 8th charity regatta “Rowing against Cancer” kicked off on the 9th of July at the Hamburg Outer Alster in beautiful sunshine. Under the patronage of Andy Grote, Senator for the Interior and Sports of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, 65 four-man teams rowed for a good cause. The proceeds of the regatta will benefit the sports and exercise program 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 for cancer patients.
“Rowing against Cancer” is hosted by the foundation “Leben mit Krebs” in cooperation with the Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum - University Cancer Center Hamburg and the rowing society HANSA.
The regatta was opened by Christoph Holstein (State Council for Sport), Claus Feucht (Foundation ”Leben mit Krebs”), Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer (UCCH), Katharina v. Kodolitsch (RG Hansa), Werner Glowik (Regional rowing association AAC) and Lauritz Schoof.
One highlight of the day was the special race of the “Olympic winner” against the “medical team”. Two-time Olympic gold medal winner Lauritz Schoof in a single seater faced off against the four seater of the UCCH directors, including Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke, Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm and Priv.-Doz. Dr. In the end, the UCCH directors were "beaten" and took the silver medal in good spirits.
The most important milestone of the day was the patient race with 7 competing boats from,among others, Frankfurt, Kiel and Lübeck. The boats drove under great applause and close to each other over the finish line. Also included were two boast with the patients from Hamburg, who were able to prepare for the competition for the first time during the new rowing training, which is organized by the RG Hansa (see news from March 2017).
In the end, the team "Lübsche Hydra" from Lübeck won. The teams "Schlawiner" and "Säbelzahn" from Hamburg occupied positions 2 and 7.
This time, the teams "MS Oh-nassis" (beginners) and "Braatzhammer" (experts) qualified for gold in the beginners' and expert races. The teams "Herzschlag" (Silver experts) and "Martini" (5th place experts) were also representing the UKE. The fantastic summer weather made the previous G20 riot forget. Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer said: "We want to set a sign with this event. This is Hamburg, the community spirit for the benefit of our patients – riots have no place in our city. "
A tight race on the Outer Alster
New UKE patient magazine with UCCH cover story
The UKE has a new magazine: The patient magazine UKE Life is currently published for the first time. The cover story "On Board" is about a young cancer patient, who was treated at the UCCH. The magazine will be published quarterly. It thus replaces the previous UCCH patient magazine “Aussichten”.
UKE receives endowed professorship for palliative medicine made possible by the Hamburg Cancer Society
The head of palliative care at the UKE, Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle, will be appointed to the new endowed professorship for palliative medicine with a research focus on relatives of cancer patients. The professorship at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) starts at 1 July 2017. It is financed by the Hamburg Cancer Society with one million euros over a period of five years. In addition, the professorship is supported by the UKE and the friends’ association for palliative medicine at the UKE.
Photo: (from left) Cornelia Hlawatsch (UKE), Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer (UKE), Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle (UKE), Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kleeberg (Hamburg Cancer Society), Monika Bohrmann (Hamburg Cancer Society)
Innovation Network: Strategic Cooperation in the Field of Immunoncology
UCCH signs a strategic cooperation agreement within the framework of the “Global Expert Centers Initiative (GECI)”. The overall goal is to accelerate research in the field of immunoncology. The initiative is strongly supported by the company Bristol-Myers Squibb.
In the treatment of cancer patients, immuno-therapeutic therapy approaches, which use the body's immune system for the defense of cancer, are currently used mainly in advanced stages.
The aim of the new initiative "Global Expert Centers Initiative (GECI)”, founded by Bristol-Myers Squibb, is to better understand the fundamentals of immunological approaches and to implement them in clinical research. Hereby the capabilities of immunoncological treatment concepts for cancer patients are to be enhanced in the future.
GECI has a particular focus on promoting academic research and networking at university oncological centers of excellence. After the cancer center "Gustave Roussy" in Paris, the West German Tumor Center in Essen and the National Center for Tumor Diseases in Heidelberg, the UCCH oncological center in Hamburg is now also signing the contract for strategic cooperation.
The newly launched study concepts for patients with head and neck tumors and with gastric carcinomas, which are currently being launched within the framework of a cooperation in Hamburg, are already geared towards the further development of immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy and targeted therapy and irradiation.
(Photo: © Eisenhans – Fotolia)
Prostate Cancer Summit: International experts meet in Hamburg
More than 200 participants came to the Prostate Cancer Summit, which was hosted for the second time by the Martini Clinic at June 8th - 10th, 2017 here in Hamburg.
The program focused on the most important topics in the treatment of prostate cancer, such as PSA screening, biomarkers, and the active monitoring and treatment of advanced prostate cancer. The scientific high-caliber lectures in the various sessions were presented by international experts, among others, from the USA, Australia, Canada and Sweden.
UCCH strongly represented at this year's ASCO Congress
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world's largest cancer society with over 38,000 members from 190 countries. More than 30,000 oncologists met in Chicago at the beginning of June to discuss the current state of research, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Important topics were the latest findings in cancer prevention, immuno-oncology and personalized cancer medicine.
The UCCH was represented at the scientific level with numerous lectures, posters and abstracts. For example, Prof. Klaus Pantel, UCCH's Director for Research, gave a lecture in front of 1,500 listeners on circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the joint session "Liquid Biopsy", chaired by the two presidents of ASCO and AACR.
"The experience so far shows that the UCCH colleagues can give important impulses to the worldwide scientific community on the subject of research and get a great international recognition. This is an important aspect for an oncological center of excellence of the German Cancer Aid", says Prof. Pantel.
Medical colleagues, who were unable to travel to the ASCO Congress themselves, can get information about the latest results of the congress at various events.
"Cancer Survivors Day" – 1st patient day of the Hamburg Cancer Society with the participation of the UCCH
On June 1st, patients, relatives and others interested were invited to a special patient day at the Hamburg Cancer Society. On the occasion of the "German Cancer Survivors Day", proclaimed by the German Cancer Foundation, awareness shall be raised annually for the situation of people who have been cured of cancer or live with a (chronic) cancer disease. The crowd was so big that many were not able to get a spot to participate. "This also shows us how important this topic is for those affected and that there are not enough offers for them yet," says Monika Bohrmann, psychooncologist and head of the advisory service of the Hamburg Cancer Society.
The odds have never been so high to survive a cancer disease for a long time or be completely cured of it. For example, more than 3.2 million people in Germany now belong to the so-called "Cancer Survivors” (source: DKG). But with the successful completion of a cancer therapy, many people are not as healthy as they once were before the illness. Many long-term survivors continue to suffer from physical, mental and social consequences for a long time. These are dependent on the original cancer disease and its individual course as well as on the treatment and the side effects that came with it. Cancer survivors often suffer from fatigue, pain, sleep disorders, anxiety and worry, cognitive impairment and polyneuropathy. But also the handling of physical changes and limitations by e.g. surgeries can be a burden on those affected. Not to mention the financial difficulties in which many former cancer patients find themselves due to long breaks from work or even permanent occupational disability.
The UCCH survivorship program, which was presented at the patient's day by the UCCH doctor Barbara Koch, also provides specific help.
The Cancer Survivors Day is to be celebrated annually by the Hamburg Cancer Society and the UCCH with a patient day at the beginning of June.
(Photo courtesy of the Hamburg Cancer Society - HKG e.V.)
Delegation of physicians to visit from Egypt
The oncologists from Egypt participated in the annual course for colorectal carcinomas, which was this year for the first time extended by ovarian carcinomas.
Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Dirk Arnold and Prof. Dr. Barbara Schmalfeldt, the oncologists were informed about various aspects of medicine and research of colorectal and ovarian carcinomas.
In recent years the delegations came from China, Portugal, as well as other Arab countries.
4th Symposium on Palliative Medicine meets in Hamburg
It was only last year that the palliative station at the UKE celebrated its 5th anniversary. Thanks to Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle the UCCH is represented nationwide in committees and working groups, including the Cooperation Network of Oncological Centers of Excellence in Germany, which is supported by the German Cancer Aid.
Due to this commitment, the palliative team of the UCCH was given the honor to carry out the 4th Network Symposium on Palliative Medicine on April 20 in Hamburg.
How palliative medicine can be implemented as an integral part of the care of incurably diseased oncological patients and their relatives at an early stage is being discussed more and more in recent years. Nevertheless, many questions have not yet been clarified in this context. Within the framework of the 4th Symposium on Palliative Medicine, these questions were looked at from a multiprofessional viewpoint in lectures and were actively discussed. Particular attention was given to the perspective of nurses, psychological aspects and the specific questions in the integrated oncological and palliative outpatient care.
Since the German Cancer Aid established the first hospice in Cologne in 1983, it has now invested around EUR 70 million in the structure of palliative care in Germany. The CCC network, founded by the German Cancer Aid, and in particular the palliative medicine working group, is commissioned to strengthen these structures and to define and implement treatment concepts in collaboration with all parties involved. Since the founding of the palliative medicine working group, major steps have already been taken. For example, a guide with empirically collected best practice recommendations on the integration of palliative medicine into the care of oncological patients at German CCCs will be published shortly.
Fund for innovation supports after-care program for young cancer patients with 3.1 million euros
The fund for innovation of the Joint Federal Committee is funding the follow-up program for young cancer patients "CARE for CAYA" of the University Cancer Center of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) with 3.1 million euros.
The abbreviation CAYA stands for children, adolescents and young adults. In the next two years, a federal consortium of 14 locations, headed by the UKE, is to be formed with help of the funding. The goal of the consortium is to improve the networking of studies and treatment options for the benefit of young patients. The health insurers Techniker Krankenkasse and AOK Rheinland/Hamburg support the project as cooperation partners.
Specifically, multi-professional and interdisciplinary teams of sports therapists, nutritional counselors and psycho oncologists are to be formed at the 14 locations throughout Germany, which together develop an individual prevention concept for cancer patients between 15 and 39 years of age. The concept will include the topics nutrition and sports as well as psychosocial aspects to supplement the medical aftercare by hematologists and oncologists of pediatrics and adult medicine. It is therefore about the integrative prevention of long-term effects after a survived cancer disease at a young age.
The CARE for CAYA prevention program is currently under construction and is set to start in December.
"Particularly for young patients, it is important – in addition to the necessary medical follow-up examinations, in order to recognize disease and therapy consequences at an early stage – to prevent or at least minimize the development of long-term effects by early preventive measures" says Priv.-Doz. Dr. Alexander Stein, head of the German-wide program and deputy director of the University Cancer Center, the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center – University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) of the UKE. "The CARE for CAYA team at UKE's University Cancer Center focuses on fundamental issues such as diet and exercise, but also considers any psychological stress and the re-entry into school or work. The close co-operation and concrete agreement between all departments is thereby indispensable."
Thanks to progress in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer diseases, the number of cancer survivors of all age groups is steadily increasing and is currently estimated at 2.6 million in Germany. A special group includes the patients between 15 and 39, that survived cancer in childhood, youth and as young adults. The survival rates in this group of patients have also risen significantly in recent decades as a result of improved treatment options for cancer patients, so that the group of cancer survivors between 15 and 39 years is also continuously growing.
This development increases the risk of long-term consequences, which can also occur decades after the therapy. Patients between the ages of 15 and 39 are particularly affected. Two-thirds of these patients develop follow-up diseases caused by the cancer therapy. These can include physical problems (e.g. chronic pain, exhaustion, cardiovascular diseases), mental health problems (e.g. anxiety, depression, adaptation disorders), social problems (e.g. abortion of school or vocational training, lack of reintegration into the working world, financial difficulties) and cognitive or neurological impairments (e.g. concentration or memory disorders). They also have a significantly increased risk of suffering another cancer disease.
"For far more than half of the cancer survivors, however, the need for support remains unfulfilled, particularly in the case of physical or psychosocial areas," says Priv.-Doz. Dr. Stein. As a rule, the patient is usually treated with a tumor aftercare, which is usually only performed by a doctor. "Our follow-up program, CARE for CAYA, is designed to sustainably improve the interdisciplinary and cross-linked care and long-term prognosis for young cancer survivors through the establishment of prevention teams at central locations in Germany," says Stein.
UCCH starts with a new management structure into new funding period
After another successful and extensive review by an international expert group, the UCCH was once again recognized as an oncological center of excellence by the German Cancer Aid in July last year. The now third funding period starts on April 1st 2017. At the same time, the UCCH has reoriented itself in the management structure in order to be able to tackle the many diverse future tasks even more effectively.
In addition to his role as UCCH spokesperson, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer took over the tasks of the UCCH Director. As deputy directors, the following are responsible for specific tasks:
- Prof. Dr. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke
Administration of the Commercial Department, Clinical Cancer Register and Personnel
- Prof. Dr. Kai Rothkamm
Head of the Scientific Department and the UCCH Core Facilities
- Priv.-Doz. Dr. Alexander Stein
Management of the Clinical Department including the Central Entry Point
The new management structure of the UCCH is initially set for two years, and the substantive work of the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center is managed by the UCCH Board as before.
All-year rowing training for cancer patients
The annual Benefit Regatta "Rowing against Cancer" on the Outer Alster has developed into a permanent institution in the year’s sporting calendar of the city of Hamburg. For as long as seven years now, the broad-based athletes and cancer patients have been training and rowing together for a good cause. The "Active Life - through Movement" program of the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) is funded hereby – with the support of the foundation "Leben mit Krebs" and the rowing club HANSA e.V.
This program is this year being expanded on the initiative of the foundation "Leben mit Krebs" with a year-long rowing training for cancer patients. Patients have the opportunity to take part in rowing training all year round with others, and to integrate into a rowing community. The rowing training takes place 1–2x per week at the landing stage of the rowing club HANSA e.V. and is free for all patients. The training units are guided by experienced trainers.
Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, UCCH Director and Spokesman, says: "The goal of these exercise and training programs is to improve the physical performance of patients and to reduce symptoms such as fatigue or pain. A large number of oncological patients have already accepted our sports programs with great enthusiasm, thanks to the extraordinary commitment of the foundation "Leben mit Krebs".” Katharina von Kodolitsch, CEO of the HANSA rowing club, adds: "Our rowing organization has always been committed to the promotion of projects for a good cause. This is only because of the great joint commitment of all our members. We are grateful to the foundation “Leben mit Krebs”, without which we cannot realize this great project." Claus Feucht, Member of the Board of the Foundation, summarizes: "I am very pleased that the good cooperation with the UCCH and the HANSA e.V. in the recent years has led to the point where we are able to provide the rowing training to all cancer patients free of charge year-round."
Reinbek Hospital becomes new clinical cooperation partner
The Krankenhaus Reinbek St. Adolf-Stift GmbH is a not-for-profit company of the Elisabeth Vinzenz Group. The number of beds was recently increased from 320 to 351 by the Kiel Ministry of Health and the area of internal oncology was expanded. In addition, the St. Adolf-Stift Reinbek is an academic teaching hospital of the University of Hamburg.
In the course of the focus area creation, the management composed of Prof. Dr. Stefan Jäckle (Medical Director), Martin Klein (Director of Nursing) and Björn Pestinger (Commercial Director) recently signed the contract as a partner of the UCCH. Important components in the cooperation are the joint development of treatment routes, the exchange concerning scientific studies and the care of patients with rare or complex cancer diseases.
Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer says: "A further clinical cooperation partner strengthens the UCCH network – we would like to welcome the Reinbek hospital cordially and look forward to a productive, interdisciplinary cooperation in the care of our common patients."
Photo: Courtesy of the Krankenhaus Reinbek St. Adolf-Stift GmbH
Testicular cancer action week
Testicular tumors are the most common malignant disease in young men. However, they can also be recognized very early in the process and can be cured in a large proportion of patients even in a very advanced disease situation.
On the occasion of the testicular cancer action week of the German Society for Urology, the UKE team invited to a network meeting. Patients and relatives were able to find out about the most important news. In addition the further interdisciplinary collaboration of the urogenital focus area, within the new funding period of the oncological center, was defined.
The UKE has been offering an interdisciplinary consultation for patients with testicular tumors for more than ten years, in which oncologists and urologists jointly diagnose and plan the therapy – a unique model in Germany. In addition, the UCCH is a second assessment center for diseases in early stages (www.zm-hodentumor.de) as well as advanced and recurrent diseases.
In addition, the UKE has been recognized by the European Commission as part of the “EURACAN Testicular Cancer Branch G 3” consortium to link the therapies of more complex cases across Europe and establish a European register of treatment outcomes. In addition, the UKE is one of the few centers in Germany to participate in a global study for the treatment of recurrent testicular tumors (TIGER study).
UCCH welcomes Westküstenkliniken as new cooperation partner
The Westküstenkliniken Brunsbüttel und Heide gGmbH is welcomed as a new clinical cooperation partner in the UCCH network. The two hospitals on the North Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein with their 801 beds are considered to be one of the most important health centers in Schleswig-Holstein.
Joint objectives of the cooperation agreement are the cooperation in the definition of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, the possibility of shared tumor boards and the exchange in the development of clinical studies. Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, spokesman and director of the UCCH, concludes: "The interregional networking of our members is a central part of our UCCH mission. We are delighted to welcome the Westküstenkliniken in our network. Together we can now jointly pursue our goals to optimize the patient's clinical care."
Photo: Courtesy of the Westküstenkliniken Brunsbüttel und Heide gGmbh
Cooking class for cancer patients
A winter salad, oven vegetables with rosemary potatoes and a lot more was on the menu, which UCCH nutrition and diet expert Julia von Grundherr prepared for the UCCH cooking class.
Already at the beginning the participants noticed the fresh smell of many herbs. “We recommend a healthy and balanced diet to all cancer patients”, says von Grundherr. “This evening we chose vegan recipes with many vegetables and fruits. Because the fresh herbs and spices have such an intensive aroma, we can almost cook without salt.”
The results of the cooking class were shared in a convivial gathering afterwards and the participants could gather more information on different aspects of nutrition.
All diet advices are based on the recommendations of the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) as well as the guidelines of the German Society for Nutrition Medicine (DGEM).
At the moment, patients from the UCCH Survivorship program have the opportunity to get a counseling on diet from Julia von Grundherr.
Charity event with Hannelore Hoger
In front of sold out rows the actress Hannelore Hoger read texts from Siegfried Lenz on Friday February 24th, at the Erika-Haus on the UKE campus. She is the patronage of the Friends Circle of the Outpatient Clinic for Psycho-Oncology and is actively involved in the charity events of the friends circle.
“Cancer patients and their loved ones need good psychological and social support”, says Hoger. The death due to cancer of the actor Hermann Lause – “one of my dearest colleagues” – touched her. Later, when she was asked by his wife Beate Lause, if she likes to support the outpatient clinic for psycho-oncology, she enjoyed helping.
Getting Hannelore Hoger as the patronage for the friends circle is a stroke of luck. This could be seen at her impressive and thrilling performance at the Erika Haus. The reading was accompanied by the harpist Mariana Paccagnelle, who played a song from Marco Antonio Sumann from her hometown, and the choir of the friends circle.
In the outpatient clinic for psycho-oncology cancer patients and their relatives will get support in difficult times by an interdisciplinary team consisting of psychologists, physicians and therapists. They help in coping the stressing and side effects rich therapy, give handy daily help and offer a wide range of complementary treatments.
The outpatient clinic for psycho-oncology is a member of the Hubertus-Wald Tumor Center – University Cancer Center (UCCH) network.
Successful First Hamburg Day of Psycho-Oncology
“When we decided for the topic “familiy and cancer” as an opening for this conference series, we did not expect that much positive response. Already after a few weeks the event and all workshops were fully booked out. Thus, there is no doubt, that the aspects behind this conference are important”, says Prof. Martin Härter, Director of the Institute and Policlinic for Medical Psychology in his opening speech.
In four different workshops participants could exchanges their views on family and cancer in small groups and in the afternoon there was a program including keynotes and speeches about the outpatient routine work and scientific research.
“We, the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft, enjoyed organizing such a project hand in hand with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. We experience in our daily work, that there is a need for exchange among specialists only as well as with patients and relatives”, says PD Dr. Georgia Schilling, managing director of the Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft.
“Over the last years we have gained the experience in providing support for families and especially children – it is a pleasure to share these experiences and to discuss the observations of the participants”, says Dr. Frank Schulz-Kindermann, head of the outpatient clinic for psycho-oncology at the UKE.
The conference shall take place annually with different focusses and demonstrates the broad cooperation within the network of the University Cancer Center Hamburg.
Hans-Dietrich Herrmann Lecture for Neuro-Oncology
The Hans-Dietrich Herrmann Lecture for Neuro-Oncology has got a different ankle each year, where topics are chosen in a rotating system from the three major scientific areas: oncology, neuro-surgery and basis research.
The Hans-Dietrich Herrmann Lecture for Neuro-Oncology has got a different ankle each year, where topics are chosen in a rotating system from the three major scientific areas: oncology, neuro-surgery and basis research.
This year Prof. Dr. Manfred Westphal, director of the clinic and policlinic for neuro-surgery invited Prof. E. Antonio Chiocca as the speaker. Prof. Chiocca is the director of the clinic for neuro-surgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and is therefore the successor of Harvey Cushing, who is seen as the founder of modern neuro-surgery around 100 years ago. Furthermore, Prof. Chiocca has got a teaching and researching position at the Harvard Medical School and currently president of the largest scientific organization for neuro-oncology – the Society for Neuro-Oncology. The University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf is in close contact with his research laboratory, like sending post-graduated reseachers.
Although, neuro-surgery can tremendously developed in the last 100 years, the perspective of patients with glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor, is still unsatisfied. In the last years different ways of therapy of this disease have been researched and presented. It was shown that glioblastoma are tumors of a big heterogeneity, have complex genomic structures and act divers in their adaptive reactions, which makes it hard to apply a targeted therapy.
Prof. Chiocca researches on oncolytic virus therapy of these brain tumors, and today even biological and chemical agents for the clinical therapy have been developed. These inventions in oncology involving tumor immunology and the identification of bio markers, have already shown first positive results in post-surgery glioblastoma patients.
Photo: Corporate Communications
Hannelore Hoger reads Siegfried Lenz at the UKE
The actress Hannelore Hoger will be reading from the author Siegfried Lenz novels on February, 24 at the University Medical Center Hamburg (UKE) at the charity event for the benefit of the special outpatient clinic for psycho-oncology. There will also be musical backdrop by the harpist Mariana Paccagnella and the choir of “Freundeskreis der Psychoonkologie”. The charity event starts at 7:00pm at the festive hall at the Erikahaus (W29). Tickets cost 25 euros and are available at all Heymann bookstores. The money raised by the ticket prices will be donated towards the special outpatient clinic for psycho-oncology.
The event takes place within the framework of the First Hamburg Day of Psycho-Oncology. This year’s topic is family and cancer. Around 150 participants are expected for the congress, which means the events is sold out since weeks.
Federal Joint Committee: Innovation fund supports UCCH project
Cancer patients often experience a big change in their daily lives and life-quality. Currently there is no suitable - short and easy to handle - instrument to measure this health-related life-quality during the disease stages. Therefore, many patient’s needs stay undetected and untreated und there no verification if the problems have been successfully solved.
In the project a short instrument to measure health-related life-quality for specifically for cancer patients will be developed and tested. The patients will mark their general loading strength in five cancer-relevant areas. The tool shall detect problem areas like pain or social relationships much earlier and illustrate treatment progress better.
To identify relevant topic areas for the tool, there will be a comprehensive literature search and discussions and interviews with patients, clinicians and experts will be made. Using this information as a basis, the instrument for patient reported outcomes will be developed. Using the new tool, patients will be asked about their conditions at the beginning, during and at the end of their therapy.
Furthermore, the information will be saved in the electronic patient file, giving all involved physicians the possibility to access these details. This shall improve and steer the medical and psychosocial treatment of cancer patients. In case of success, the tool can be transformed for outpatient services or other chronic diseases as well.
The projected being funded by the innovation fund of the Federal Ministry of health is led by Prof. Dr. Holger Schulz and Dr. Christiane Bleich (endowment chair Clinical Healthcare Research, Institute and Policlinic for Medical Psychology, UKE) and will take place at the UKE in cooperation with the II. Medical Clinic and Policlinic (Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, deputy project head), the Clinic and Policlinic for Gynecology , UKE (Prof. Dr. Volkmar Müller), Clinic for Radiation and Radio-Oncology (Prof. Dr. Cordula Petersen) and the interdisciplinary Clinic for Stem Cell Transplantation (Prof. Nicolaus Kröger). Responsible for the biometry is PD Dr. Levente Kriston (Institute and Policlinic for Medical Psychology).
Drug treatment tumor therapy of head and neck tumors
Already for the eighth time the Head-Neck Tumor Center held their seminar on drug treatment of head and neck tumors at the Dorint-Hotel.
The Head-Neck Tumor Center as one of the organ center of the UCCH developed active over the last years and will continue to play a major role. For example new innovative studies were initiated on radio therapy and the role of immune therapy of far progressed patients, which will contribute towards knowledge gaining in the field.
The program of this year’s seminar showed the steps forward and developments. PD Dr. Adrian Münscher, temporary director of the department of Otolaryngology, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemyer, head of the oncological center, director of the second department of medicine and speaker of the UCCH as well as Prof. Dr. Rainer Fietkau, director of the department of Radiotherapy at the University Medical Center Erlangen, were the hosts of the event.
The feedback was very good – there were participants even from Austria and Switzerland, taking part at the seminar to inform themselves on the latest developments, principles and basics of head and neck tumors.
Successful World Cancer Day at the UCCH
“Together against cancer” the slogan of this year’s information day in line with the World Cancer Day on February 04, 2017 showed the different possibilities and treatment ways for cancer patients.
Around 100 patients, relatives and people being interested came to inform themselves by listening to presentations, talking to physicians and exchanging knowledge with self-help groups. Participants were highly interested in the talks on supportive therapies, like complementary medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, sports, nutrition and psycho-oncological therapy.
Many personal questions referring to everyone’s individual disease could be asked during the “Meet the Expert” session, where specialists from all disciplines were present. Various networking partners presented themselves, like a patient and Dr. Erik Engel, who is outpatient UCCH cooperation partner from HOPA, and talked about their experiences. Furthermore, many self-help groups, booster clubs and institutions presented their services. The special part this year: four people won a cooking class with our UCCH nutrition expert, which is especially design for cancer patients.
Many people visited the World Cancer Day
Pariticipants were highly interested in the presentations
Meet the expert - patients talking to physicians
Patient talking to a representative of a self-help group
The happy winners of the cooking class
Together supporting patients
On January 31, 2017 the UCCH invited participants of the cooperating self-help groups to the New Year’s Welcome to exchange ideas on new therapy options and new projects for the upcoming year.
The annual New Year’s Welcome for the representatives of the self-help groups cooperating with the UCCH has become a steady tradition. This year around 40 participants followed the invitation. As a welcome Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer and PD Dr. Andreas Block, self-group coordinator at the UCCH, summarized the past year and gave an overview for 2017.
After evaluating the feedback of the self-help group questionnaires and the self-help group’s workshop, this year’s talks were focused on the network. Avin Hell, UCCH communications manager, talked about network communications, gave advices for the self-presentation on the UCCH platform and highlighted communication topics for this year. Michaela Eggers, UCCH quality manager, gave an introduction on risk and error management at the UKE and explained the processes which lead to a successful systematic handling of errors and risks as well as the recognition of improvement potential.
The exchange afterwards showed a high interest in a close cooperation and further wishes, like a regular self-help group regulars, were discussed.
The multi-disciplinary center for malignant germ cell tumors of men at the UKE is a competence center of the Martin Zeitz Center for Rare Diseases and member of the network of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH). There is a close cooperation between internal oncologists, urologists, radiation therapists, surgeons, pathologists, nuclear physicians, scientists and psychologists.
This competence team was recently announced to become part of the consortium „EUROCAN Testicular Cancer Branch G 3“ of the European Commission. The aim of this funding is to archive the best possible treatment success for rare tumor diseases of germ cell tumors of the testicles.
In order to archive this, a Europe-wide cross-linked structure for therapy of complex cases is currently build up under the participation of Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, head of the oncological center of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). Furthermore, a European registry of treatment results is planned. Besides the improvement of curing rates, the prevention of potential late effects of the therapy for this group of usually relatively young cancer patients is another focus.
The project is one of the five new big health care projects that the UKE is involved in at European level.
Further information in the press release (in German only)
A warm invitation to the World Cancer Information Day
“Together against cancer” – the theme of this year’s information day regarding the World Cancer Day on February, 04, stands for the various possibilities and approaches of treating cancer patients.
Patients, relatives and people being interested can look forward to an interesting program consisting of presentations, panel discussions and information counters, which show the broad variety of the UCCH services.
Participants can inform themselves in presentations about supportive treatments like natural therapies, traditional Chinese medicine, sports and nutrition as well as psycho-oncological therapy. Furthermore, experts from the different fields are there to answer personal questions during the event.
Different networking partners will present themselves. A patient and an office-based physician will talk about their experiences. Moreover, many self-help groups, booster clubs and institutions will present their offers.
The special part this year – we are raffling slots for a cooking class with our nutrition expert, which are especially designed for cancer patients.
We are looking forward to your visit!
Urological-oncological joint practice is new UCCH cooperation partner
With the end of the year the Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum – University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) expands its network of outpatient cooperation partners. The joint practice for oncology and urology Wilhelmshaven under head of Dr. med. Gerald Rodemer and Dr. Navid Berdjis joined the network this December.
“We have the aim to reinforce and integrate the numerous special fields of oncology into the network. We warmly welcome Dr. Rodemer and Dr. Berdjies with their team.” said Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, speaker of the UCCH.
Photo: With a friendly approval of Dr. Rodemer
New UCCH cooperation partner from Wilhelmshaven
At the University Cancer Center Hamburg the UKE intern departments and institutes work closely together with all external cooperation partners in an active competence network. The network recently expanded: The Medical Center Wilhelmshaven is now the twelves clinical cooperation partner of the UCCH.
Reinhold Keil, senior manager of the Medical Center Wilhelmshaven, Dr. Tanja Trarbach, managing director of the center for tumor biology and integrative medicine, and PD Dr. Alexandra König, managing director of the center for general surgery, visceral, thorax and vascular surgery signed the cooperation contract with the UKE. The goal is, to offer second opinion possibilities and further services of the UCCH.
The UKE is 200 kilometers located from Wilhelmshaven, which is the nearest competence center for cancer and underlines with the cooperation its position as a supra-regional maximum care hospital.
“We are pleased to welcome the Medical Center Wilhelmshaven as a new cooperation partner to our network.” says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, speaker of the UCCH. “The Medical Center Wilhelmshaven stands for a competent and reliable partner in the Northern Baltic sea region. We combine our oncological know-how and are able to present a comprehensive service to patients from the region.”
Further information about the Medical Center Wilhelmshaven (in German only)
Photo: With a friendly approval of the Medical Center Wilhelmshaven
Junior scientists received Hubertus Wald Award
How do tumor cells of brain tumors (Glioblastoma) influence the immune reaction of the human body? Which immuno-modulating processes are behind this? These are questions that Dr. med. Malte Mohme, assistant physician at the department for neuro surgery and scientist at the Hans Dietrich Herrmann Laboratory for brain tumor biology as well as the Institute for Tumor Biology researches on.
At this year’s UCCH Science Retreat in September Mohme was chosen for the Hubertus Wald Award for junior scientist by all participating scientists after giving a presentation including his results.
His UCCH colleague Levin Schriewer, PhD medical student at the Institute for Immunology and at the Department and policlinic for diagnostic and interventional radiology and nuclear medicine, was also chosen for the award rewarding his research on nano-antibodys extracted from lamas, which are used in the lymphoma therapy.
Both researchers got their Hubertus Wand Award handed over on December, 02, by Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, speaker of the UCCH, and Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, UCCH board member for research topics. The 5.000 euro endowed prize stands for the outstanding work and monetary support for future research. Many people came to the ceremony and congratulated the scientists for their research activities.
Furthermore, the UCCH research scholarships for 2017 were officially announced at the ceremony.
Dr. med. Lara Bußmann, Department of Otolaryngology, will research on head and neck tumors in the Laboratory for Radiobiology & Experimental Radiation Oncology. Antonia Beitzen-Heineke, II. Medical Clinic and Polyclinic, will analyze the basics of signal transduction of myeloproliferative neoplasms at the Institute of Tumor Biology. We congratulate all awardees and scholarship recipients! The latest summary of UCCH research topics on cancer
We congratulate all awardees and scholarship recipients!
Palliative ward at the UKE celebrates fifth anniversary
“Giving days more life” – is the maxim of the palliative ward at the UKE. On November 21, the division for palliative care and the supportive association of the palliative medicine at the UKE organized a celebration at the Erika-House.
Actually, it was a double festivity: The first steps towards a palliative care division at the UKE were made ten years ago and the independent ward itself was opened five years ago. Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle and Cornelia Hlawatsch, medical and care director of the palliative care the UKE, who had the co-ordinating responsibility, contributed enormously to the major developments in the last five years and warmly thanked everyone else being involved.
The board of the UKE, represented by Prof. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus and Joachim Prölß, did honor the outstanding work of the UKE palliative care team in the last years – especially in times of high-performance medicine, where there is also a need for human care for chronic suffering.
Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, in function as director of the oncological center, talked about the development of palliative care at the UKE as an important element of care. In addition to the impatient, outpatient and consolidation services, various multi-professional lecture and training concepts as well as a broad research field in palliative care have developed at the UKE.
Also Prof. Dr Ulrich Kleeberg, head of the board at the Hamburger Cancer Society, praised the humanitarian work of the palliative team and the good joint work. Laudatory speaker Dr. Dr. Jürgen Lüthje, head of the board of the supportive association, talked about the beginning of the palliative ward and was happy about the respect and the atmosphere at the event.
In his speech on “The good end. Respectful dying in history and now“ Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schulze, retired professor at the University Bamberg, talked about the way dying has changed over time, which social paradigms there are today referring to dying and which effects those paradigms have on patients, loved ones and palliative care.
At the palliative ward there is an interdisciplinary team of specialized physicians, care takers, psychologists, social workers, physio, music and art therapists as well as pastoral and voluntary workers making sure to give the best care to all terminal ill patients and their relatives. The goal is to create the best life quality as long as possible through that comprehensive care. Additionally, the palliative team offers besides its impatient care also consular help and outpatient consultation hours. The palliative medicine at the UKE is part of the Hamburg hospice and palliative network. There are cooperations with all hospices, specialized outpatient palliative services (SAPV) and further hospice and palliative services in Hamburg.
In front from the left:
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schulze, Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle, Cornelia Hlawatsch
In the back from left:
Carsten Nordbrock, Prof. Dr. Burkhard Göke, Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kleeberg, Joachim Prölß, Prof. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus
Photo: F. Tomrlin, UKE
UCCH has got a new commercial director
Ms. Prof. Dr. med. Habil. Andrea Morgner-Miehlke, MHM, (45) took up position as the commercial director of the oncological center and the UCCH on October, 01. The Oldenburg-born Morgner-Miehlke was division manager for research and development at Asklepios Kliniken Hamburg most recently. Frau Prof. Morgner-Miehlke studied medicine at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich and was a senior physician in the gastroenterology department at the University Medical Center Carl Gustav Carus at the TU Dresden for many years.
After completing a master’s degree in health economics, she took up position in the board business unit responsible for organizational development with a focus on networks and cooperations. Furthermore, she holds a lectureship in knowledge management at the APOLLON University of Applied Science for health economics.
“The cancer center here at the UKE already archived a lot this year by getting re-awarded as an Oncological Center of Excellence.”, says Prof. Morgner-Miehlke. “I look forward to contribute towards the goals and topics. In order to move the cancer center forward, I like to share my experience in medicine and organizational management and especially like to improve the connectedness of the different departments.”
Successful breast cancer information day
Within the scope of the breast cancer month October, the breast cancer center and the UCCH organized a breast cancer information day on October 5, at the Neues Klinikum. The many visitors had the choice of 27 talks to listen to and three workshops to participate in to inform themselves about all aspects of the disease. Self-help groups, umbrella organizations, foundations and societies offered a broad spectrum of information and hands-on activities. It was the aim to reinforce the direct exchange with people being interested.
Photos: Felizitas Tomrlin, Photo department and UCCH
Visitors from Arabic countries
Each year the UCCH organizes an international seminar on colorectal cancer under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Prof. Dr. Dirk Arnold and private lecturer Dr. Alexander Stein. After visits from China and Portugal, this year two groups from Arabic countries came for a professional exchange to Hamburg. The Arabic oncologists from Saudi-Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait, Egypt and Dubai were very interested in the interdisciplinary treatment of cancer patients and had many questions on various aspects of the research, diagnostics and therapy of colorectal cancer.
UCCH Research Retreat 2016
Already for the eighth time the annual UCCH Research Retreat took place at the conference center Jesteburg. Around 70 UCCH researcher and physicians met for two days to exchange about their current cancer research projects, trials and publications.
“The Research Retreat is the most vital research event in the UCCH annual calendar. Nowhere else our researchers and physicians get such a comprehensive but also dense overview about the UCCH research landscape” says Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Speaker of the UCCH. “Over 40 presentations from eleven research areas show a keen scientific activity at the UCCH, which we like to support” adds Prof. Dr. Jörg Haier, Director of the UCCH.
The special part: also junior researchers get a chance to present their work. “In this collegial event, our junior scientists have the opportunity to learn how to present themselves and to answer questions on their research projects”, says Prof. Dr. Klaus Pantel, member of the UCCH board for research topics. “We honor these efforts each year with a young talent prize for oncological research, where the awardees gets selected during the meeting as well as the research follows.”
The young talent prize for oncological research won:
Dr. Malte Mohme (Neurosurgery) and Levin Schriewer (Immunology/diagnostic radiology).
Antonia Beitzen-Heineke (II. Med) and Dr. Lara Bußmann (otorhinolaryngology) received the UCCH Research Fellowship.
Successful „Day of Knowledge“ at the UKE
With bright sunshine, last Saturday, September 10, many visitors, including many children, came to the University Medical Center Hamburg (UKE, Campus Lehre) to gain knowledge, to get astonished and to perform small experiments. Focus of the Hamburg-wide event was the topic “Life Science”. Many companies and institutes in the region, which are involved in science, prepared hands-on activities and demonstrating experiments.
The Senator for Science and Research, Katharina Fegebank, the UKE board and dean Prof. Dr. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus opened the event by showing an experiment together with the NDR-science show “Plietsch”.
At Campus Lehre visitors had the opportunity to look scientists over their shoulder or carry out small experiments on their own.
The University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) was also present with a quiz for children, a game to explore risk and prevention factors regarding cancer diseases and a microscope station, where visitors could see the differences between healthy and tumor cells.
Furthermore, Prof. Dr. Pantel, head of department of the Institute for Tumor Biology, gave a presentation on the latest information on personalized cancer diagnostics and therapy.
Further information on "The Day of knowledge" (in German)
The Day of Knowledge at the UKE on September 10th
Senator for Science and Research, Katharina Fegebank, the UKE board and dean Prof. Dr. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus opened the event
First experiment of the day: making raspberry ice cream in record time
Many interested visitors took part in the UCCH actvities
External Scientific Advisory Board at UCCH
The duties of an oncological center of excellence are diverse and complex. Therefore, the UCCH works together with an external advisory board consisting of internationally known cancer experts, who come up with new impulses and ideas for strategic and fundamental questions.
The external scientific UCCH advisory board came together with representatives of the UCCH to discuss the current funding period and the new strategic strategy of the oncological center of excellence. Members are:
- Prof. Kevin CP Conlon MA MCh MBA FRCSI FACS FRCS FTCD from Dublin, Ireland
- Prof. Dr. Dr. Jürgen Debus from Heidelberg
- Prof. Dr. med. Martin F. Fey from Bern, Switzerland
- Prof. Christoffer Johansen from Copenhagen, Denmark
- Håkan Mellstedt, MD, Ph.D. from Stockholm, Sweden
- Prof., MD DMSc, Jens Overgaard from Aarhus, Denmark
The international dialog is an essential part of the work of an oncological center of excellence. Of course, health systems differ from country to country but the design of scientific key issues and programs gets livelier through this exchange. Topics discussed were clinical research, the development of new clinical trials and the strategic strategy. Moreover, one key point was the positioning regarding “precision medicine”.
The external scientific advisory board meeting takes place every other year.
Worldwide patient information day on head-neck-cancer
July 27th is the worldwide head and neck cancer day. In the United States stars like US-actor Michael Douglas and the former US-president Bill Clinton are engaged in the event. German-wide Prof. Dr. Rainald Knecht, head of the Head and Neck Tumor Center of the University Cancer Center Hamburg was in charge of the organization. Contributing the global awareness raising, the University Medical Center Hamburg organized a patient information day for interested people to gain knowledge about these cancer types.
Numerous visitors followed the invitation and took the chance to inform themselves in short presentations, explored the oral cavity model and talked to self-aid groups. Particular popular were the free medical examinations like ultrasound scan, HPV-testing and endoscopy of the larynx and the throat.
There was also a possibility of a consultancy for nursing relatives and information on a palliative situation. Besides that the University Cancer Center Hamburg informed about extra treatments for cancer patients like complementary medicine, sports and art therapy.
Many visitors took the chance of talking to physicians and getting a free medical examination
The model of an oral cavity gave a visualizing example of oral cavity cancer
Prof. Rainald Knecht, head of the Head-Neck-Tumor Center, gave the opening speech
One of the free medical examinations was the ultrasound scan of the thyroid
The UKE Cancer Center was again awarded as center of excellence
A huge success for the cancer department at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE): The German Cancer Aid awarded the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center – University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) again as a center of excellence after a long and detailed assessment by international experts.
Along with this honor, the UCCH receives a funding of 1.5 million Euro for the next two years and possibly another 1.5 million Euro after a positive mid-term evaluation. The UCCH unites all clinics and institutes at the UKE that are involved in diagnostic, therapy and research of cancer as well as works together with a number of specialists in the metropolitan area of Hamburg.
Please find our press release here (in German only)
Rowing against Cancer
For the seventh time the charity rowing regatta “Rowing against Cancer” took place at the Außenalster Hamburg. Under the patronage of Andy Grote, Senator for the Interior and Sport of Hamburg, 58 teams competed against each other for a good purpose. The revenue gained will go to the sports program of the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center – University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). The goal of the project is to increase the life quality of cancer patients in a significant way.
“Rowing against Cancer” is organized by the foundation “Living with Cancer” in cooperation with the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center – University Cancer Center Hamburg and the rowing club RG Hansa.
Photos: RG Hansa and UCCH
Prize-giving ceremony for the senat versus physcians race
The 2016 UCCH training program “Translational Cancer Research for Junior Scientists” is now open for registration!
“Translational Cancer Research for Junior Basic Scientists” is a training program especially designed for UCCH early-career scientists (doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows with a training background in life sciences) who are particularly interested in translational cancer research. The program’s various modules which we offer our participants will provide basic research scientists with a better understanding of translational science and with impulses for possible adaptions of their own current or future research for maximum clinical impact.
Please note that this training program is no PhD program in the classical sense. It is not possible to obtain an academic degree via participation in the program. However, it is a great opportunity to widen one’s horizon and to network with researchers and clinicians in the field of translational cancer medicine. It provides modules that can be attended concomitantly to one’s regular lab work in agreement with the individual PI. As participation is limited registration is mandatory. Please scroll down for all further details (curriculum, registration process, certification).
Registration Deadline: August 19, 2016
Flyer: UCCH Training Program 2016
Detailed information on the curriculum and the registration process is available here .
UCCH Research Fellowships 2017: Call for applications
The Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum - University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH) is once again requesting applications for the UCCH Research Fellowships for Junior Physician Scientists (UCCH-Drittelstipendien). Eligible for these fellowships are physicians in their 2nd to 5th year of specialist medical training who have a strong interest in experimental cancer research. Start time for research projects is January 2017 and the fellowships are provided for up to one year. During this time the clinician will be fully exempted from clinical duties in order to work full time in the hosting laboratory.
A defining element and specific aim of the UCCH Research Fellowship is to strengthen existing and facilitate future collaborations and research links between clinical UCCH departments and experimental UCCH research departments. For that reason the hosting laboratory may not be located in the applicant’s current clinical department.
For detailed information on the fellowships as well as on the application process please download the following pdf:
Applicants are required to present their project proposals at this year’s UCCH Research Retreat in Jesteburg, Lüneburger Heide on September 23/24. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of UCCH senior scientists and the successful candidates will be announced at the UCCH Research Retreat.
Deadline for Research Fellowship application, Research Retreat registration and abstract submission is July 29, 2016!
Online registration for the UCCH Research Retreat is possible at www.uke.de/ucch-research-retreat .
The VIII. UCCH Research Retreat 2016 is now open for registration!
The University Cancer Center Hamburg – Hubertus Wald Tumorzentrum once again welcomes UKE/UCCH scientists and clinicians involved in cancer-relevant research to meet for talks and discussions on basic, translational, clinical and epidemiological/outcome cancer research for one and a half days in the beautiful Lüneburger Heide. Participation is free of charge, regardless of whether you will give a scientific talk or not.
Date: September 23/24, 2016
Venue: Tagungshotel Jesteburg, Itzenbütteler Straße 35, 21266 Jesteburg
Deadline for registration and abstract submission: July 29, 2016
If you consider to take part, please visit our website under www.uke.de/ucch-research-retreat which provides all further information on the event, our online registration form and all templates necessary for participation. There you will also find information concerning the application for the UCCH Research Fellowship for junior physician scientists and the Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award for Oncology Research.
We are looking forward to welcome you in Jesteburg in September!
Breast Center: Genetic test about gens BRCA1 and BRCA2 gives information about hereditary predisposition for breast and ovary cancer
If you have a case of breast or ovary cancer in your family and like to receive information about your own cancer risk, the Breast Center at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf now offers consultation and care for people with genetic predisposition for breast and ovary cancer.
Using family tree analysis, computer analysis an genetic blood test, you risk can be evaluated and we will discuss possible prevention or treatment options with you.
With the following family constellations a genetic test for gens BRCA1 and BRCA2 is useful:
- At least two women with breast cancer; one being diagnosed before age 51
- At least one woman with breast cancer and at least one woman with ovary cancer or one woman with both diseases
- At least two women with ovary cancer
- At least one woman with breast cancer in both breasts diagnosed before age 51
- At least one woman with breast cancer diagnosed before age 36
- At least on man with breast cancer and one additional person diagnosed with breast or ovary cancer
- At least three women with breast cancer independent of time of diagnosis
You can find more information on the webpages of our Breast Center , one of our five organ cancer centers of the UCCH: Breast Center The Breast Center is a center of the German Consortium of hereditary breast and ovary cancer oft he German Cancer Aid.
Further information can be found at the web pages oft he BRCA network: BRCA Network (In German only)
World Cancer Day February 4th – Active against cancer
The annual World Cancer Day stood under the slogan „We Can. I Can.“ The collaborative partnership between physicians and patients was put into focus as well as the idea that every single person can contribute to an improvement in cancer fighting.
Many visitors attended our annual patient information day to inform themselves about the latest research in cancer medicine and about the options offered at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. The comprehensive presentation and information program was designed according to the motto to strengthen the dialogue between patient, relatives and our physicians. During the „Meet the expert“ session visitors had the chance to directly talk to our specialists.
The cooperation with our self-help groups was one of the main elements at the day. Many self-help groups were present and informed patients about their work at their information desks
Prof. Dr. Jörg Haier is the new Director of the UCCH
Prof. Dr. Jörg Haier takes on the position as the UCCH Director on December 1, 2015.
His role will be performed together with the speaker of the UCCH, Prof Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, as well as the members of the executive board. Before joining the UCCH he worked at the University Medical Center Münster, where he held the position of the Coordinating Manager of the Comprehensive Cancer Center for nine years.
He will be contributing his scientific expertise in the field of tumor epidemiology and tumor documentation as well as his knowledge of translational research of biomarkers.
The team of the UCCH wishes him a warm welcome!
New web presence of the UCCH
The University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf presents the new website in December 2015.
Over 10.000 subpages have been revised and edited - several hundreds of employees co-worked on this major project.
These activities included also the review of the UCCH web presence. The goal was to maintain a clear visual design as well as an improved access to the information and multiple structures of the UCCH.
We are looking forward to any questions or suggestions via email .
Italian cancer researcher wins the Hubertus-Wald-Award 2015
Every second year the University Cancer Center Hamburg – Hubertus Wald Tumor Center (UCCH) awards international researchers for their contributions to modern cancer medicine with the Hubertus Wald Prize for Oncology. The prize was awarded for the fifth time on September 17, 2015. The winner, Prof. Dr. Lisa Licitra works at the National Tumor Center in Milan, Italy and was honored for her outstanding achievements in the field of head-neck tumors. The prize was presented by Dr. Günther Hess, the Chairman of the board of trustees of the Hubertus Wald Foundation, Prof. Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus, the Dean of the medical departments of the University of Hamburg and by Prof. Dr. Carsten Bokemeyer, Speaker of the Hubertus Wald Tumor Center. Prof. Dr. Rainald Knecht, Head of the head-neck tumor center at the UKE held a very personalized speech for the visibly moved winner.
Additionally, it is a major concern of the tumor center to honor inhouse researchers for their contributions to translational cancer research, meaning the translation of their research into improved treatments for patients.
The Hubertus Wald Junior Investigator Award for Oncology Research was awarded to Dr. Stefan Horn, Research Department for Cell and Gene Therapy at the Clinic for Stem Cell Transplantation and Dr. Wael Mansour, Laboratory for Radiobiology & Experimental Radiation Oncology, Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology. The UCCH Research Fellowship was given to Simon Schliffke, II. Medical Clinic, Janna-Lisa Velthaus, II. Medical Clinic, Dr. Yvonne Goy, Outpatient Center (Radiotherapy) and Dr. Lara Bußmann, Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology.
Congratulations to the winners!
10th anniversary of the prevention campaign „Non-smoking is cool“
The prevention program “Non-smoking is cool” celebrated its 10th anniversary in early summer at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. Since its start more than 80 000 pupils between the age of 10 and 13 of more than 250 schools in Northern Germany were educated about the dangers of smoking by doctors of the UKE.
Numerous celebrities support “Non-smoking is cool”. Some of them attended the anniversary celebrations on May 28, 2015 in the auditorium at the Alte Fraunklinik and the press conference afterwards: the music band Revolverheld and the actors Svenja Beneke and Sky du Mont took part.
In the audience of the anniversary celebrations were about 200 pupils from different schools in Hamburg – showing high interest in the topic by commenting and asking questions. When a young patient, who did smoke and developed lung cancer, told her story, it was silent in the audience.
Also celebrities spoke about the experiences with smoking: e.g. the music band Revolverheld, which now promotes non-smoking concerts.
One thing is clear for the 6-graders after the event: Whether common cigarettes, shisha or e-cigarettes - “we will stay away!”
„Non-smoking is cool“ is jointly organized by the II. Medical Clinic and Policlinic and the German Center for Addiction Research in Childhood and Adolescence (DZSKJ) of the UKE and is a fixed component of the prevention programs of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH).
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