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Scientific cancer studies secure high care level in Austria

(Wien, 28-01-2016) The number of tumour diseases constantly increases worldwide. This presents great challenges to the national health systems. In Austria, healthcare is good, as Christoph Zielinski, Cancer Specialist at MedUni Vienna and the AKH Vienna, emphasises on the occasion of World Cancer Day this Thursday. Among other, this is due to the high research expenditure: currently, 261 cancer studies are performed at MedUni Vienna. For example, innovative examinations such as the EXACT study provide new findings in the sector of individualised therapy, which will benefit intensely. In order to be able to preserve this high level, scientific efforts have to be increased despite leaner budgets. For this reason, Zielinski expects more "Private public partnership models" in the future.

According to Statistic Austria, approx. 39,000 persons are confronted with the cancer diagnose in Austria every year. Worldwide, approx. 1.4 million people are affected by a tumour. Thus, the number of new cancer cases has doubled during the past 25 years. Experiments furthermore predict that the number of affected people shall once again double by 2030.

Treatment of female cancer patients: Austria on top level internationally
This data presents massive financial and ethical challenges for the health systems. These not only involve financing of the therapies, but also the access of patients to the necessary treatments. On the occasion of World Cancer Day on 4 February 2016, Zielinski, Chairman of the University Clinic for Internal Medicine I and Manager of the Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CCC) of the MedUni Vienna and the AKH Vienna, states: "The cancer treatment in Austria is at top level compared to the international situation. This is also due to the fact that we possess a magnitude of experience achieved through our scientific work in the sector of academic studies; also - and particularly - at the MedUni Vienna." Without these studies, the great milestones in cancer therapy would not have been possible: starting with surgical methods to advances in radiation and chemotherapy and the introduction of target-oriented therapies or immunotherapy.

The more quality studies, the more applicable results
Zielinski: "Particularly immunotherapy is an excellent example. Driven by successes, such as we see in the skin and lung cancer sector, we are commencing a large spectrum of studies pertaining to immunotherapy in other types of cancer at the CCC this year. The equation is simple: the more quality studies, the more applicable results."
The execution of modern oncological studies not only requires the immense know-how of experts and their interdisciplinary cooperation. It also needs a specific infrastructure, as is the case at the CCC of the MedUni Vienna or the AKH Vienna. Among other, it comprises good laboratories, biobanks, systems for modern data management and data analysis as well as the respective supervisory authorities.

More private-public partnership models required
One principally differentiates between non-commercial studies, which are usually executed by public entities, and commercial studies, i.e. examinations financed by the pharmaceutical industry. Public institutions often possess an excellent infrastructure and the respective experts, but are frequently limited in their budget. Zielinski: "In order to be able to drive future studies more efficiently, public-private partnership models are increasingly necessary. The cooperation of public institutions and private companies creates a situation which is advantageous for everyone."

Date: Audience event of the IAEA at the MedUni Vienna
The Internationale Atomenergie Behörde (IAEA) (International Nuclear Energy Authority) is intensely involved in the establishment of cancer programs in developing countries. On the occasion of the World Cancer Day, the institution extends an invitation to a public event on Wednesday, 3 February from 12:00 noon. Top-class presentations are scheduled in cooperation with the CCC of the MedUni Vienna and the AKH Vienna. Place: Vienna International Centre (VIC), Wagramer Str. 5, 1400 Vienna. Download program

Registration
The participation in the event, which shall be held in English, is free of charge. However, registration under pact@iaea.org by 29 January is urgently required.