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.