Mannheim is the only medical centre in Germany to fulfil the criteria of an “affiliated centre” of EORTC (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer). According to a recent EORTC report, Mannheim is the only German centre that has fulfilled the organisation’s high quality criteria over the last three years. Its participation in numerous studies has led to the Mannheim Medical Centre’s qualification as an “affiliated centre”. The Charité in Berlin, which used to be an affiliated centre, is no longer on the list.
EORTC carries out comprehensive cancer therapy studies at a particularly high level. With the help of its associated institutions, EORTC promotes the development of new drugs and effective treatment strategies and its goal is to improve cancer treatment standards in Europe.The Mannheim Medical Centre has four organ-related priorities that are part of the EORTC work groups: gastrointestinal tumours, soft tissue sarcomas, skin tumours and lung tumours. Compared to other medical fields in Germany, these areas contribute the largest number of patients to the European multi-centre trials. Qualifying studies of this kind give patients early access to new cancer drugs. EORTC’s academic studies are independent from industry. Only around 15 per cent of all studies carried out by EORTC are financed by industry. But even these studies are also independent in the sense that the databases remain at EORTC where they are analysed. EORTC is also interested in critically assessing habitually used therapeutic strategies with regard to their efficiency. Therefore, the organisation carries out large phase III trials on what is known as ‘standard of care’ therapies, in order to ensure that the best possible treatment is always available for cancer patients.In January 2009, Professor Dr. Peter Hohenberger, head of the Department of Special Surgical Oncology and Thoracic Surgery at the Mannheim Medical Centre, was elected chairman of the Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group for a period of three years. The oncologists from Mannheim have also just been invited by EORTC to become part of the exclusive circle of “Network of Core Institutions” (NOCI).The acceptance of the Mannheim oncologists by the EORTC reflects the combined oncological competence at the Mannheim Medical School.