As NCT Director and Head of the Medical Oncology Department, Prof. Dirk Jäger is responsible for the clinical infrastructure and patient care.
Therapeutic Structures of Medical Oncology:
- The Tumorambulanz (tumor outpatient clinic), where special consultation sessions are offered for most tumor patients, is the primary point of contact for oncological patients. A comprehensive consultancy service for patients and their families is also in place.
- In the outpatient clinic, systemic outpatient medical care is given.
- The inpatient sector: Inpatient services are available for extensive diagnostic procedures and therapies. Some of these take place at the Department of Internal Medicine ("Medizinische Klinik"), the Department of Neurology ("Kopfklinik") and the Department of Surgery ("Chirurgische Klinik"). The NCT works in close clinical cooperation with the Salem Hospital, as well as the Vinzentius Hospital in Heidelberg, and the Kreiskrankenhaus Heppenheim. There are also cooperations with various oncological surgeries, who offer convenient patient care of the highest quality closer to home.
Patients and doctors initially meet for the first time at the tumor board. Some of the consultations take place with a number of doctors from various disciplines, as part of entity-specific clinical cancer programs. This calls for close cooperation of all disciplines, but it also guarantees optimal care for the patient.
Standardized clinical pathways
The specialists in every cancer program define specific algorithms for each tumor entity (Standard Operating Procedures, SOPs), which are used for all patients diagnosed and treated at the NCT. In interdisciplinary tumor conferences, we work on individual therapy concepts for patients who can not be treated with an SOP, possibly due to emergence of a second tumor, having exhausted the current standard therapy, or in a relapse situation. The referring physician is always informed about any recommendations. Wherever appropriate, patients are encouraged to take part in clinical studies.
The research spectrum of the Medical Oncology Unit has the aim to translate state-of-the-art basic research into clinical application as fast as possible. In line with the transfer function of translational research, we are working to offer patients new and more innovative tumor therapies in the future. The research groups in the Medical Oncology Department therefore have a common goal: Based on identifying new, molecular target structures and tumor-specific immunological mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis, they are aiming to develop therapies for prevention and delay of disease progression.
The research activities of the Medical Oncology Department aim to
- generate novel antibody-based immunotherapeutics (Krauss),
- systematically characterize tumor-host immune interactions and identify strategies for modulating such interactions towards effective anti-tumor responses (Jäger/Halama/Zörnig),
- identify novel molecular targets within signaling pathways which lead to the development, cell growth, proliferation and migration of tumor cells within the microenvironment (Podar),
- identify tumor-specific anti-apoptotic mechanisms and to develop strategies to sensitize malignant cells towards treatment (Schulze-Bergkamen/Köhler),
- and develop analyses of the tumor microenvironment (Grabe).
- The Exercise Oncology Group investigates the effects of movement and sports intervention on side-effect profiles such as fatigue, physical weakness, polyneuropathy or urinary incontinence. In addition, they are engaged in basic research in order to better understand effect mechanisms.