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«6th CALL FOR APPLICATIONS Progress in prevention, diagnosis, and therapy has led to a significant increase in survival rates and quality of life of ...»

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Stiftung Deutsche Krebshilfe

Dr. h.c. Fritz Pleitgen



Kreissparkasse Köln

IBAN DE65 3705 0299 0000 9191 91


Program for the

Development of Interdisciplinary

Oncology Centers of Excellence in Germany


Progress in prevention, diagnosis, and therapy has led to a significant increase in survival rates

and quality of life of cancer patients. It is mandatory to accelerate this favorable trend through a

better interaction of basic, translational and clinical research, in conjunction with a higher quality of interdisciplinary cancer patient care.

As the major German cancer charity, the Deutsche Krebshilfe aims to support the further development of cancer centers in Germany that have already achieved a high standard of research and clinical care and that are willing to develop and implement innovative concepts. In order to contribute to the development of a limited number of interdisciplinary oncology centers of excellence, we have launched this program to set nationwide standards for clinical cancer care and for strengthening translational cancer research.

The Deutsche Krebshilfe issued 5 calls for applications since 2006. Currently, a total of 13 centers are being funded within the program. We are now inviting for a 6th round of applications.

In this sixth phase, up to 6 centers can be supported, each with 750,000 Euros per year over a period of four years.

Like in the previous calls the financial support shall primarily be used for the strengthening of the cancer center infrastructure as well as its regional network, and not for specific research projects or clinical care.

Centers that wish to participate in this program are subject to a competitive selection process. In order to secure uniform structures and quality standards, applications submitted by oncology/research centers will be judged according to a number of defined criteria.

The evaluation will be carried out by an international panel of experts. Applications must therefore be written in English.

Please notify the Deutsche Krebshilfe of your intent to submit an application.

Letter of intent deadline: October 05, 2015.

Subsequent full application deadline: December 01, 2015.

–  –  –

Introduction The Oncology Centers of Excellence funded by the Deutsche Krebshilfe (DKH) are an essential part of the 'Three-Tier-Model' (3-Stufen-Modell) fixed in the National Cancer Plan which

comprises the following structures of cancer care:

–  –  –

In the context of the National Cancer Certification Program ('Nationales Zertifizierungsprogramm Krebs') the DKH and the Deutsche Krebsgesellschaft (DKG) have worked out criteria for the certification of the above-mentioned centers in order to ensure multidisciplinary and state-ofthe-art cancer care for each patient – independent of the type of cancer center and regional conditions.

Therefore it is strongly recommended, that all centers applying for funding as an Oncology Center of Excellence already fulfill the criteria requested within the National Cancer Certification



Please note, that from the 7th call, the certification as an Oncology Center will be an obligatory requirement for centers which want to apply for funding within the Deutsche Krebshilfe program.

It is one central goal of the Deutsche Krebshilfe, that the Oncology Centers of Excellence work out exemplary pilot projects, promote innovative developments and set new standards. The results from these activities should then be made available to all oncological health care providers so that all cancer patients can benefit. One very important instrument to achieve this aim is the network of the Oncology Centers of Excellence funded by the Deutsche Krebshilfe (Comprehensive Cancer Center Network/CCC Network).

Therefore, it is a categorical requirement that the funded centers actively participate in the CCC Network.

–  –  –

The following criterion belongs to each of these areas:

A. Leadership Structure is a fundamental criterion. The cancer center director should be a highly qualified scientist with administrative experience. He/She must have their own budget and be supported by an executive committee and scientific advisory board. Sustainable support from the hospital/faculty is essential.

Translational Research/Clinical Trials B. Research Projects/Translational Cancer Research Internationally competitive research programs, most importantly in the area of translational cancer research ('bench to bedside'). This must include important solid tumors. The number and quality of ongoing peer-reviewed research projects is important. Active participation in local, national or international collaborative research consortia is expected.

C. Clinical Trials Activity Obligatory development and realization of innovative clinical trials, including investigator initiated trials. The trials must include a reasonable portfolio of the most important cancer entities. The fraction of patients in trials must approach 90% for pediatric neoplasms, 50% for hematolymphoid and 10% for solid tumors.

D. Clinical Trials Office/Early Clinical Trials Unit Availability of a specialized clinical trials office for oncology with a central coordination. The office must be involved in the design and management of the clinical trials. Existence of a central early clinical trials unit where all Phase-I/II-cancer trials are performed.

E. Outcomes Research/Epidemiology Programs in outcomes research, including tumor epidemiology, and the identification of cancer risks and predictive factors.

F. Tumor and biobank Centralized tumor and biobank with quality and documentation standards adhering to European guidelines.

G. Research Training Programs Multidisciplinary training of physician scientists and biomedical researchers, especially in translational research.

Outreach/Regional Cancer Care Network H. Regional Network Contractual interaction with extramural physicians and regional hospitals. The role of the cancer center should be that of a driving force which promotes innovative developments in the regional network.

–  –  –

I. Community Service and Education Continual interaction with the public by way of community service and education (prevention, etc.).

J. Outreach Training Programs Appropriate training programs in multidisciplinary care for physicians, nurses and related professions in the regional network.

Multidisciplinary Care K. Multidisciplinary Structure/Tumor Boards Obligatory existence of structures for multidisciplinary clinical oncology that encompass all tumor entities. This must include integrated clinical care by a team of physicians of different disciplines and interdisciplinary tumor boards for all organ sites and tumor entities.

L. Standard Operating Procedures Active usage of efficient standard operating procedures for diagnosis and treatment that reflect the current state of evidence-based oncology. The continuous improvement of existing SOPs and the active development of new SOPs is expected.

M. Quality Assessment System Active application of a quality assessment system for diagnostics, oncologic surgery, medical oncology and radiotherapy. This must include a centralized quality-controlled outpatient unit for chemotherapy.

N. Cancer Registry All diagnostic and therapeutic procedures must be documented and transferred to the responsible regional clinical cancer registry.

O. Core Activities in One Building/Central Entry Portal Concentration of the core activities of the center in one building. A central entry portal must be an integral part of these core activities.

P. Palliative Care Obligatory existence of a palliative care unit which guarantees high quality patient care.

Additionally, an ambulatory palliative service must be in place.

Q. Psychosocial Care/Self-Help Groups Efficient structures must be in place for integrated psychosocial care. The support by self-help and advocacy groups has to be implemented in patient care.

R. Training Programs in Multidisciplinary Care Programs for physicians, oncology nurses and related professions for the comprehensive care of cancer patients.

–  –  –

Guidelines for Applicants Eligibility Requirements Public or private cancer centers in Germany that have already met or almost met these criteria.

Funding Overall, a maximum of 12 centers can be funded within this program. In this 6th call, up to 6 centers can be supported, each with 750,000 Euros per year over a period of four years. The financial support must primarily be used for the strengthening of the cancer center infrastructure and/or its regional network, and not for specific research projects or patient care.

Reapplications Centers which applied in the past and did not receive funding, can reapply. The reapplication must consist of a detailed application with all appendices and address the comments and recommendations of the reviewers from the last evaluation (for more information, see 5, p. 10).

Renewal Application Centers that are already funded by the Deutsche Krebshilfe and want to apply for further financial support have to submit a detailed application with all appendices. The application must address the comments and recommendations of the reviewers from the last evaluation (for more information, see 5., p. 10).

Application and Review Process

The application process will proceed in two stages:

1. Evaluation of grant applications by an international panel of experts (review group). Based on the criteria listed above, 'finalists' are selected.

2. Further evaluation of the finalist centers will be achieved through hearings which may be complemented by on-site visits. The hearings and on-site visits are expected to take place 11 April – 15 April 2016 and 17 – 20 May 2016, respectively.

Based on the reviewers' recommendations, the Deutsche Krebshilfe will then come to the final decision.


Contacting of members of the review board in the context of the evaluation of the application (apart from the hearings and on-site visits) can be interpreted as an attempt to influence their decisions and will lead to termination of the evaluation process.

–  –  –


You are requested to notify the Deutsche Krebshilfe of your intent to submit an application. This notification has to be provided by letter no later than October 05, 2015, 13.00 h (Emails and Faxes will not be accepted).

The Deutsche Krebshilfe office acknowledges receipt of each Letter of Intent by letter within two weeks.

The Letter of Intent is to be sent to:

–  –  –

The Letter of Intent must (1) include the full name, address, phone, and email contact information of the corresponding applicant, (2) briefly describe (one page maximum) the proposed approach to establish or to further develop the 'Interdisciplinary Oncology Center of Excellence' and (3) include a list of all members of the external advisory board of the cancer center (if applicable).

Please note that this Letter of Intent is a prerequisite for submission of a final application, i. e.

full proposals will only be accepted from applicants who have submitted a Letter of Intent.

–  –  –


Centers that wish to participate in the program are subject to a competitive selection process. In order to secure uniform structures and quality standards, applications must be prepared

according to the following guidelines:

The application and all appendices

- must be written in English.

- will not be screened for completeness upon receipt.

- will not be accepted if received by Fax or Email.

- must be received by December 01, 2015, 13.00 h.

The Deutsche Krebshilfe office acknowledges receipt of every proposal by letter within two weeks.

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