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."

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Objectives: CDO will participate in the clinical trial and contribute to the case collection as well as biobanking. To the scientific part, CDO will participate in the identification of biomarkers in order to study associations to therapeutic responses.

Expertise relevant to the proposed work: CDO was founded in 2000, and has developed a broad clinical and scientific structure. More than 2,000 patients with skin cancer are diagnosed and treated by CDO, among them 600 new patients with melanoma. The CDO has been certified by the German Cancer Society. Its core is an interdisciplinary tumor board which meets weekly and discusses about 20 cases of metastasized skin cancers. The CDO has several main focuses of scientific research: The German Central Malignant Melanoma Registry with clinical epidemiological studies (PD Dr. med. Ulrike Leiter), a study center with clinical trials (Dr. med. Thomas Eigentler), translational research in skin cancer treatment in vitro, in mouse models and from bench to bed site (Prof. Dr. med. Friedegund Meier), basic cancer research in vitro and in animal models (Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Birgit Schittek) and oncogenetics with biobanking (Prof. Dr. med. Jürgen Bauer). Currently 18 dermatooncologic clinical trials are running in the CDO, among them 5 trials with immunotherapy. The CDO conducted several trials with the immunotherapeutic agent L19-IL2.

Specific role in the project: CDO will actively contribute patients with Merkel cell carcinoma to the clinical trial and perform biobanking of tumor material; thus CDO is involved in WP1 and WP2.


Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
72074 Tübingen