vom 02/05/2015

NCT establishes "OnkoAktiv am NCT Heidelberg e.V." – expansion of the service "Physical Activity and Cancer"

NCT expands health network / "OnkoAktiv am NCT Heidelberg e.V." association brings sports and therapeutic exercise programs to the region

The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg is expanding its therapeutic exercise network in its fight against cancer. The association „OnkoAktiv am NCT Heidelberg e.V.“ was established to this purpose. The objective is to build a network of health facilities that provide oncological patients with quality-assured sports and therapeutic exercise programs close to their homes. Rehab clinics, sports clubs and therapeutic institutions that are involved with sports and exercise therapy for oncological patients and would like to do pioneering work  are welcome to join the association. BASF SE supports the oncological association's work and demonstrates its involvement with Dr. Markus Gomer on the association's Board of Directors.

The preliminary work has already been done: Since establishment of the network in 2012, the present Board of Directors headed by Chairman Professor Dirk Jäger, Director at the NCT, has used the time to build organizational structures, define orientational objectives and attract the first participants. The network has already been successful in referring 250 NCT patients to appropriate facilities, enabling them to continue their sports therapy outside the NCT. This figure is expected to increase by another 200 patients in 2015. The project is supported by BASF SE financially and in person by Dr. Markus Gomer, Director of the Sports and Health Promotion Unit at BASF, who is also actively involved in the management. "The expansion of the regional network OnkoAktiv will mean that many more people will be in the position to take advantage of this service in the future. In the long term there is the potential that up to 1000 individuals could benefit", says Gomer.

Professor Jäger: "The OnkoAktiv network is a pioneering project in the field of oncology and brings one of the most important non-medical treatment possibilities within close reach of the patients. It will considerably improve the health care of our patients at the NCT." Dr. Joachim Wiskemann, Co-Director of the working group “Physical Activity and Cancer” at the NCT and  Jäger's deputy on the OnkoAktiv Board of Directors, adds: "We were often confronted with the problem of being unable to continue caring for our patients because their commuting distance was simply too far. With the network we are now able to bring sports and exercise therapy to the patient."

The goal of OnkoAktiv is to build a seamless treatment chain: the healthcare options for patients, from acute care to rehabilitation to aftercare, are to be closely interconnected, thereby smoothly ensuring a high quality of care. Currently there are 17 OnkoAktiv network partners in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, with others as far away as the Bretten area, Karlsruhe, Darmstadt and Kaiserslautern. The association also intends to create continuing education programs for therapists from exercise occupations, medical professionals and healthcare specialists. At the same time, all OnkoAktiv activities are to be examined scientifically in order to gain new insights about these non-medical treatment possibilities over the long term. These initiatives are accompanied by political activities intended to facilitate the financing of sports and exercise therapy for oncological patients through the support of the statutory health insurers.

Membership in OnkoAktiv is open to therapeutic facilities, rehabilitation clinics and sports clubs. A coordinator is available at the NCT to advise the members on questions to do with sports therapeutics. Furthermore OnkoAktiv will set up an online training platform for therapists and patients on the NCT website.

An advisory committee made up of medical professionals, political supporters, sponsors and patients is to concern itself with internal and external support. At this time it is certain that Manfred Lautenschläger, the Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation, Klaus Schrott, Living with Cancer Foundation, Professor Klaus Roth, Sports Science Institute of Heidelberg University Hospital, Professor Jürgen Debus, Heidelberg University Hospital, Professor Jürgen F. Riemann, Lebensblicke Foundation Ludwigshafen, as well as Professor Peter Hohenberger und Professor Frederik Wenz, Tumor Center Mannheim, will advise the Board of Directors. Further members will be announced shortly.

An image for this press release is available at:

Legend: Advisory committee "OnkoAktiv am NCT Heidelberg e.V."
f.l.t.r.: Dr. Markus Gomer, Dr. Joachim Wiskemann, Dr. Friederike Scharhag-Rosenberger, Prof. Dirk Jäger, Beate Biazeck, Prof. Karen Steindorf

Press contact:
Doris Rübsam-Brodkorb
National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg
Press and Public Relations
Im Neuenheimer Feld 460
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 56-5930
Fax: +49 6221 56-5350
E-mail: doris.ruebsam-brodkorb@nct-heidelberg.de

Dr. Stefanie Seltmann
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
Press and Public Relations
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 42-2854
Fax: +49 6221 42-2968
E-mail: S.Seltmann@dkfz.de

Julia Bird
University Hospital and Medical Faculty Heidelberg
Press and Public Relations
Im Neuenheimer Feld 672
69120 Heidelberg
Phone:+49 6221 56-7071
Fax:+49 6221 56-4544
E-mail: julia.bird@med.uni-heidelberg.de

National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg
The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg University Hospital and German Cancer Aid. The NCT's goal is to link promising approaches from cancer research with patient care from diagnosis to treatment, aftercare and prevention. The interdisciplinary tumor outpatient clinic is the central element of the NCT. Here the patients benefit from an individual treatment plan prepared in a timely manner in interdisciplinary expert rounds, the so-called tumorboards. Participation in clinical studies provides access to innovative therapies. The NCT thereby acts as a pioneering platform that translates novel research results from the laboratory into clinical practice. The NCT cooperates with self-help groups and supports them in their work. Since 2015, a second site for the NCT beside Heidelberg has been under development in Dresden.

German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
With its more than 3000 employees, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. Over 1000 scientists at the DKFZ study how cancer develops, examine cancer risk factors and search for new strategies to prevent people from contracting cancer. They develop new methods with which cancer can be more precisely diagnosed and which allow cancer patients to be treated more successfully. The staff of the Cancer Information Service (KID) provide information about the widespread disease to patients, their families and the general public. Together with Heidelberg University Hospital, the DKFZ set up the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg, where promising approaches from cancer research are applied to clinical practice. As part of the "Deutsches Konsortium für Translationale Krebsforschung" (DKTK, German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research ), one of the six German centers for health research, the DKFZ maintains translational centers at seven university partner locations. The combination of excellent university medicine with the premium research of a Helmholtz Center contributes greatly to improving the chances of cancer patients. The Federal Ministry for Education and Research provides 90 percent of the DKFZ's funding, with the remaining 10 percent coming from the State of Baden-Württemberg. The DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.

University Hospital and Medical Faculty Heidelberg, health care, research and teaching of international standing
Heidelberg University Hospital is one of the most important medical centers in Germany; Heidelberg University's Medical Faculty is one of Europe's most prestigious biomedical research facilities. Their shared objective is the development of innovative diagnostics and treatments and their prompt implementation for the benefit of the patient. The hospital and faculty employ approximately 12 600 individuals and are involved in training and qualification. Every year approximately 66 000 patients are treated as inpatients or day patients in more than 50 specialized clinical departments with about 1 900 beds, with more than 1 million patients being treated as outpatients. The Heidelberg Curriculum Medicinale (HeiCuMed) is at the forefront of medical training in Germany. At present approx. 3500 prospective physicians are studying in Heidelberg.