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(Vienna, 22 April 2010) MedUni Vienna and the General Hospital AKH are setting up the Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CCC) as Austria's first national reference centre for research, teaching and therapy with all forms of cancer diseases. This ensures the targeted coordination of all physicians who are active in the treatment of these diseases in the different university hospitals and division of MedUni and AKH and their programmes in the interest of the patients.

The oncologist Univ. Prof. Dr. Christoph Zielinski will head the new Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Vienna – a major project of MedUni Vienna in the performance agreement with the Science Ministry. The CCC is based on a similar project of the National Cancer Institute in the US.

Since early this year Univ. Prof. Dr. Christoph Zielinski, who is currently busy coordinating the construction of the CCC, has been working with his team comprising Univ. Prof. Dr. Maria Sibilia, Univ. Prof. Dr. Michael Gnant, Univ. Prof. Dr. Richard Pötter and others on the implementation of this project, which is unique in Austria. The CCC is the result of many years of continuous promotion of the scientific branch of cancer research/oncology at MedUni Vienna and clinical excellence in this field at the university hospitals of AKH Vienna and, at the same time, is the outcome of constructive talks with the Austrian Science Council and the Science Ministry.  The idea of a Comprehensive Cancer Centre has arisen due to the increasing number of cancer diseases in recent years as well as the excellent research findings in individual fields of oncology at MedUni Vienna.

"At the Department of Medicine I alone, the focus of which is on therapy for malignant diseases, we provide care to some 17,000 cancer patients a year," explains Christoph Zielinski. In consultation with the Rector of MedUni Vienna and the Director of AKH Vienna it is planned to implement the following goals:

- promotion of translational science in the field of oncology
- basic research and applied research at a level that compares with other international institutions
- coordination and promotion of cooperation of basic oncological science with other scientific institutions in the Vienna area
- implementation of clinical trials to safeguard scientific-clinical progress and access to state-of-the-art therapies for cancer patients
- disease-related cooperation of all university hospitals in the care for cancer patients
- quick adoption of suitable therapies and diagnostic procedures from research in patient care
- ongoing further development of quality assurance guidelines in diagnosis and therapy in accordance with the international reference standard for an institution of top-level medicine and a university hospital
- function as a reference institution for the geographic region and beyond
- ongoing and structured transfer of the generated knowledge to students and for physicians in training and further training and for other healthcare professions
- establishment of jointly conducted teaching and PhD programmes in the field of oncology

The MedUni Vienna management is satisfied with the innovation in the interest of the patients and high expectations for the future. Says MedUni Vienna's Rector Wolfgang Schütz: "Thanks to extremely constructive talks with the Science Council and the Science Ministry, the Rector's Office has succeeded in including this ambitious project in the performance agreement with the Science Ministry for the next three years. This is also a desire of the former Science Minister Dr. Johannes Hahn, who promoted this project especially. With the renowned cancer specialist Christoph Zielinski, the new CCC is headed by an extremely experienced and competent oncologist who has been entrusted with the coordination of the Centre by the Rector's Office due to his clinical and international scientific qualifications." Adds Schütz: "For MedUni Vienna and AKH Vienna the CCC constitutes a first project that will point the way towards more centres."