Best universities for cancer research

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“It is a tremendous satisfaction to have been nominated; first, because I am a woman and academia has historically been a somewhat vetoed space for us. I am also happy that they recognize a discipline that is not clinical in essence, but rather research, such as epidemiology, an area that I also lead at the university,” commented the award-winning specialist.

“I am happy that they recognize a discipline that is not clinical in essence, but rather research, such as epidemiology, an area that I also lead at the university”- Dr. Catterina Ferreccio.

Institute for Oncology Research

Heidelberg University Hospital is one of the largest and most renowned medical centers in Germany. It is closely connected to the Medical School of the University of Heidelberg, founded in 1388, making it the oldest in Germany.

The university hospital actually consists of 12 hospitals, most of them located on the [ New Campus (Heidelberg University)], about a 10-minute drive from the historic city center.

The Heidelberg University Medical School is one of the most active biomedical research centers in Germany. There are close links between the University Hospital and different research organizations in Heidelberg, e.g. the German Cancer Research Center, the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

Oncology research center

What were the findings of this study? The phase 3 CheckMate 648 study found that combining nivolumab (Opdivo) with ipilimumab (Yervoy) or with chemotherapy using 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and cisplatin (available as a generic drug) as first-line treatment for advanced epidermoid carcinoma of the esophagus helps patients live longer. Patients with tumors that expressed the PD-L1 protein had the best outcomes, but the treatment also worked in some tumors that did not express PD-L1.

This study included 970 participants with advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus from around the world, and just over half of them had tumors that expressed the PD-L1 protein. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: nivolumab and ipilimumab, nivolumab and chemotherapy, or chemotherapy alone, which is the current standard of care. The results show that both new immunotherapy combinations improved overall survival for all patients compared with chemotherapy alone. Patients with a PD-L1-expressing tumor experienced better outcomes when immunotherapy was used. Patients with a PD-L1-expressing tumor who received nivolumab and chemotherapy lived for a median of 15.4 months. Patients who received nivolumab and ipilimumab lived for a median of 13.7 months, and those who received chemotherapy alone lived for a median of 9.1 months.

Scientific programs

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