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."

Medizinische Universität Graz

Objectives: The participants of the Medical University Graz (MUG) will manage and coordinate the project in addition to protecting and creating awareness of IRP issues and dissemination of scientific progress. To the scientific part, MUG will take the medical lead in the clinical trial IMMOMEC, and will conduct comprehensive research on biomarkers for clinical and immunological treatment responses.

Expertise relevant to the proposed work: Founded in 2004, the Medical University of Graz (MUG) is a young university, yet based on historic ground, as it succeeds the Medical Faculty of Karl-Franzens University Graz. Research activities cover a broad spectrum in clinical and pre-clinical fields. Currently, researchers of the MUG are participating in more than 20 EU FP6 and FP7 projects. In several of these EU-projects, the MUG has been acting as coordinator. The MUG committed itself to the “European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers” already in 2005. In addition, the MUG is the first university in Austria and one of only four universities in Europe certified with the label “Human Resources Excellence in Research”. The Center for Medical Research (ZMF) of the MUG provides a first-class biomedical research infrastructure for clinicians as well as for basic research scientists. Housed within a purpose-built state-of-the-art building at the heart of the university hospital campus, it comprises more than 4000 m² of well-equipped laboratory and office space as well as 4 core facilities. Special features are a shared Clinical Research Center and a Biostatistics Division. The Department of General Dermatology of the MUG has a special emphasis in oncology and immunology. The head, Jürgen C. Becker, conducted and coordinated several immunotherapy trials all having an accompanying translational research program. Currently, there are 10 ongoing dermato-oncologic clinical trials at the department, 4 of these are immunotherapy trials. He is also head of the clinical Merkel cell carcinoma registry of the DeCOG in which at date more than 400 patients have been entered.

Specific role in the project: MUG will participate in WPs 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7. MUG will take the medical lead of the clinical trial, will actively participate in the trial, and will coordinate the biobanking and clinical database. The center will lead scientific WP 2 and 5, the latter as to coordinate the synthesis of the results from WP1 to 4, as well as WP6 and 7.


Medical University of Graz
Department of Dermatology
Auenbruggerplatz 8
8036 Graz