Charité network expands paediatric oncology research

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Molekulare Untersuchung im Labor © Charité | Jacqueline Hirscher 

Berlin, 01.09 2022

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German Cancer Aid funds early clinical studies with 2.5 million euros

In Germany, about 2,300 children and adolescents are newly diagnosed with cancer every year. While the chances of cure are around 80 percent with successful initial therapy, the survival rate for children and adolescents who suffer a relapse or do not respond to treatment remains very poor. By developing and building an infrastructure in paediatric oncology centres and their regional networks, early clinical trials are now to be made possible and innovative treatments further developed. The „PECT-EAST“ network led by the paediatric oncology department of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has been selected as a pilot centre for this purpose. German Cancer Aid will fund the centre with a total of 2.5 million euros over five years from 1 September 2022.

„We are very pleased that our network ‚PECT-EAST‘ has been recommended for funding by the international review panel as one of two pilot centres,“ says Prof. Dr. Angelika Eggert, Director of the Department of Paediatrics with a focus on Oncology and Haematology at Charité. „In three large clinical programmes specifically tailored to blood cancers, solid tumours and brain tumours, study activity can now be significantly increased thanks to the funding from German Cancer Aid. We will build up a new and urgently needed team of study physicians, study nurses, documentalists and psychologists who will be able to make a suitable therapy offer to as many children and adolescents as possible who have had a relapse of cancer. At the same time, we will further optimise the molecular examination of the cancer cells in the tissue and blood.“ The oncologist adds: „We expect that strengthening the existing infrastructures will improve patient recruitment and clinical trial activities in the networks and lead to significant benefits for people with the disease. More patients will have access to new forms of treatment to improve their chances of recovery with hopefully fewer side effects and late effects of cancer treatment.“

About the „PECT-EAST“ network

The Department of Paediatrics with a focus on oncology and haematology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is one of the largest paediatric cancer centres in Germany and the network’s core centre in eastern Germany. The network’s eight clinics treat more than 600 children and adolescents per year, almost all of whom are childhood cancer patients in Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony. In order to improve access to new medicines for paediatric cancer patients, the core centre and the network structure have been established since 2016. The network has set itself the goal of promoting recruitment for early clinical trials, providing paediatric cancer patients with access to innovative drugs in early clinical trials close to home and transferring innovations from the laboratory to clinical practice as quickly as possible in order to increase the chances of cure for children and adolescents with cancer.

Links:

Klinik für Pädiatrie mit Schwerpunkt Onkologie und Hämatologie

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