Press and Public Relations

Felix Burda Awards for Commitment to Colorectal Cancer Screening Presented to Researchers from DKFZ and NCT

No. 23c | 15/04/2013 | by Sel

On Sunday, April 14, the Felix Burda Awards were presented for the eleventh time. The award in the category “Medicine and Science” went to Dr. Christian Stock, Dr. Michael Hoffmeister and Professor Hermann Brenner of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). The award in the new category “Best Prevention Idea” was given to Cornelia Ulrich, Dr. Ulrike Bussas and Clare Abbenhardt of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg. This year, there had been fifty-seven submissions for the awards presented in five categories.

Prof. Dr. Hermann Brenner, Dr. Christian Stock und Dr. Michael Hoffmeister (v.l.n.r.)Picture: Hubert Burda Media, www.flickr.com/photos/hubertburdamedia

How dangerous is colonoscopy?

Using data from German health insurances AOK Hessen and KV Hessen, Herrmann Brenner’s team studied 33,000 individuals who had undergone outpatient colonoscopy for colon cancer screening comparing them with 33,000 individuals who didn´t. Their result: with an incidence of less than 10 adverse events per 10,000 screened individuals, the risk of screening colonoscopy is comparatively low (cf. DKFZ press release no. 13,). The jury commended this study as unique dealing with problems of documenting complications of screening colonoscopy for cancer prevention in a population-based setting.

Dr. med. Ulrike Bussas, Prof. Dr. Cornelia Ulrich und Clare Abbenhardt (v.l.n.r.)Picture: Hubert Burda Media, www.flickr.com/photos/hubertburdamedia

How to identify high-risk groups?

The award for “Best Prevention Idea” was given to the team led by Professor Cornelia Ulrich from the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. The researchers looked into the question of how and where high-risk groups of individuals with an inherited predisposition for colon cancer can best be identified and educated about prevention measures. Their answer: right where the family member affected by colon cancer is being treated – in the hospital. Professor Ulrich’s team plans for NCT to become the first medical research institute in Germany offering online assessment of one’s personal cancer risk on its website. In addition, the team is establishing a prevention consultation service for family members.

Actor Walter Kreye, who was himself affected by colon cancer, presented the award.

The first winner was already known before the official award ceremony, which took place in the ballroom of the Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin on Sunday evening: Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr received the “Milestone Award”. Bahr is honored for bringing forward the implementation of action recommendations of the national cancer plan and the creation of the necessary framework conditions, said Christa Maar of the Felix Burda Foundation to approximately 300 guests from politics, industry, medicine, science and show business. She added that this includes not only the creation of clinical cancer registries in all German states, but also the establishment of an invitation process for participation, among others, in colorectal cancer screening programs. The foundation had fought for this goal for many years.

Christa Maar: “Colorectal cancer screening will finally reach all individuals with an increased risk.”

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) with its more than 3,000 employees is the largest biomedical research institute in Germany. At DKFZ, more than 1,000 scientists investigate how cancer develops, identify cancer risk factors and endeavor to find new strategies to prevent people from getting cancer. They develop novel approaches to make tumor diagnosis more precise and treatment of cancer patients more successful. The staff of the Cancer Information Service (KID) offers information about the widespread disease of cancer for patients, their families, and the general public. Jointly with Heidelberg University Hospital, DKFZ has established the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg, where promising approaches from cancer research are translated into the clinic. In the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), one of six German Centers for Health Research, DKFZ maintains translational centers at seven university partnering sites. Combining excellent university hospitals with high-profile research at a Helmholtz Center is an important contribution to improving the chances of cancer patients. DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers, with ninety percent of its funding coming from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the remaining ten percent from the State of Baden-Württemberg.

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