The Department of Internal Medicine - Hematology and Oncology at Vivantes Hospital "Am Urban" is one of twelve centers across Germany participating in a study that could significantly improve treatment options for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), is a common, usually slow-moving leukemia and is not considered curable. Although the tumor cells do not proliferate rapidly, they live for a very long time. Until now, therapy has not been able to permanently combat the cancer cells because the CLL cells increasingly produce a certain protein (BCL-2) that inhibits cell death (known as apoptosis). The clinical trial is now investigating a drug (with the active ingredient ABT-199 - or GCD-0199) that blocks the action of this protein and thus makes the cancer cells vulnerable to attack.
PD Dr. Christian Scholz, Vivantes Hospital „Am Urban“, Clinic for Internal Medicine – Hematology and Oncology: "There is a great need for new therapies, especially in patients who have already been treated with chemo-immunotherapy. Previous clinical studies have shown the drug to be highly effective and attribute a novel mode of action to it. It therefore offers good, new therapeutic opportunities for many patients."
One such study showed that after this treatment, CLL disease was undetectable in 39% of patients using conventional methods. In another 39%, disease symptoms decreased significantly.
A clinical trial is one of the final stages of a long and careful research process. Prof. Dr. Dr. Alfred Holzgreve, Director of Clinical Research and Academic Teaching at Vivantes, explains: "Studies are conducted with patients to find out whether new promising drugs or techniques for prevention, diagnosis or treatment are safe and effective."
Vivantes starts about 120 to 130 new clinical trials per year in all medical specialties, helping to make innovative drugs available to patients. Hospital "Am Urban" is one of Vivantes' three hematological-oncological treatment centers and is part of the Vivantes Tumor Center. Under one roof, multiprofessional teams of dedicated physicians, nurses, psychologists, therapists, social workers and dieticians provide comprehensive care for people with cancer. The Clinic for Hematology and Oncology at Vivantes Hospital "Am Urban" participates in clinical studies on various tumor diseases, including acute leukemias, lung carcinomas and breast cancer. In addition to studies on targeted therapies, the focus is on studies that target the body's own defenses against cancer.
Studies with immunotherapies are also being conducted at the Vivantes Hospitals Spandau and Neukölln.