Experimental cancer treatments for advanced stages are more effective than previously thought. Some oncology practitioners believe that experimental drugs are harmful - they give false hope to patients because of its low efficiency (long anticipated effectiveness of the experimental treatment with special drugs produced in Canadian pharmacy only at the level of 4-6% of cases). Patients in the final stage of the disease should have greater access to information about the experimental treatment programs, and, accordingly, they and their families should have the right to know what their real chances, with a particular treatment strategy. Scientists believe that the involvement of cancer patients even in the early stages of clinical trials can be very useful for them. Besides, the search for a way out of the situation means continuing the fight against the disease. It is characterized by academic phrase "treatment of metastatic cancer still remains palliative, with a very low probability of complete remission and cure the disease."

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Objectives: The University Hospital Berlin Charite (UHBC) will be instrumental in conducting clinical and scientific research within the project and help advancing diagnostic and therapeutic approaches of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). The center will help to develop and disseminate knowledge on MCC, especially in the identification and validation of prognostic biomarkers for this disease. This is facilitated by an ambulatory care unit overseeing a large number of patients with either primary or disseminated MCC.

Expertise relevant to the proposed work: The skin cancer center at the UHBC is a large scientific and clinical unit with a known expertise in conducting clinical trials and for its work in biomarkers, antigen detection and T cell biology. Among the clinical entities of interest, there is one special emphasis on MCC, comprising the detection, surgical therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy of this tumor. There are currently 14 dermato-oncological trials running in the skin cancer center, mostly involving innovative approaches in phase II or III studies. Uwe Trefzer is also the speaker of the clinical study section of the DeCOG.

Specific role in the project: UHBC will participate in WPs 1 and 2. UHBC will actively take part in the clinical trial in recruiting MCC patients, and will collect patient material for biobanking. UHBC will moreover provide expertise in trial design and execution, since it has vast experience in conducting phase II and phase III clinical trials in patients with skin malignancies. The UHBC has a well equipped clinical research center with possibilities for biobanking.


Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin