Ulm’s main cancer research centre has now become one of the eleven German top oncology centres and will receive three million euros in funding from German Cancer Aid over the next three years. The funds will be given to the Comprehensive Cancer Centre Ulm (CCCU) at the University of Ulm, which brings together a number of institutes and clinics focusing on the optimisation and further development of cancer research and treatment.
The CCCU, which was established in July 2006 based on American models of cancer research centres, will develop and use new molecular diagnosis and therapy methods on cancer patients living in a region bordered by the Swabian Alb and Lake Constance in the South of Germany. The centre is also seeking opportunities to work closely with regional clinics and GPs.
CCCU spokesperson Hartmut Döhner (Medical Director of the Clinic for Internal Medicine III) was delighted with the CCCU’s new status and the decision taken by international reviewers in January 2009 to confer this status on cancer research activities in Ulm. “The close interaction between interdisciplinary research and medical treatment is one of the main factors of the CCCU’s success,” said Klaus Michael Debatin, Dean of the Medical Faculty and Medical Director of the Hospital for Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. He also pointed out that a new professorship for experimental tumour research is to be established as well as a tissue bank and a new university course in clinical oncology (Master of Clinical Oncology).
Of the 18 centres that had applied for funding besides Ulm, the university hospitals of Berlin, Erlangen, Essen, Frankfurt and Hamburg were also successful in the second funding round. German Cancer Aid had previously been providing funding to the National Centre for Tumour Diseases in Heidelberg and centres in Dresden, Freiburg, Cologne/Bonn and Tübingen. The recent decision, made public on April 1st 2009, means that all Baden-Württemberg university hospitals are now receiving German Cancer Aid funding.
The funding programme is aimed at giving oncology an excellent and interdisciplinary profile to enable the closer and more effective cooperation between agencies involved in inpatient and outpatient treatment as well as benefiting cancer sufferers by speeding up the transfer of research to bedside applications. “The quality of medical treatment for cancer sufferers still varies enormously in different regions in Germany and we hope to change this situation by giving funding to institutions like the CCCU,” said Friedrich Carl Janssen, chairman of German Cancer Aid, explaining the foundation’s decision.
The German Cancer Aid foundation was established in 1974. The financing of the non-profit organisation is based exclusively on donations and voluntary contributions. In 2007, approximately 100 million euros were used to fund 172 projects focusing on the improvement of prevention, early diagnosis, therapy, follow-up treatment and psychosocial treatment, including cancer self-help.