German Cancer Award goes to Hartmut Goldschmidt
This year's German Cancer Award in the category "Clinical Research" goes to e:Med scientist Professor Hartmut Goldschmidt. The Heidelberg doctor and scientist heads the CLIOMMICS consortium, which is working on systemic approaches to personalized multiple myeloma therapies. Next to him, Prof. Michael Baumann - scientific director of the DKFZ - and Prof. Thomas Brabletz from Erlangen receive this award in the other categories.
Acknowledgment of a 25-year commitment to the research and therapy optimization of multiple myeloma: Prof. Dr. med. Hartmut Goldschmidt, University Hospital and National Center for Tumor Diseases Heidelberg, receives the German Cancer Award on February 22, 2018 for his groundbreaking research on this second most common type of blood cancer.
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Goldschmidt, an internationally recognized expert on the multiple myeloma cancer disease, will be awarded the German Cancer Award in the "Clinical Research" division at the German Cancer Congress in Berlin on 22 February 2018. The German Cancer Society and the Deutsche Krebsstiftung are thus honoring his 25-year commitment to the research and therapy optimization of multiple myeloma. The award is one of the most prestigious awards for cancer researchers in Germany. Goldschmidt is a doctor and researcher at Heidelberg University Hospital and the National Center for Tumor Diseases Heidelberg.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells, which is an important part of the immune system. After non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma is the second most common type of blood cancer, but still comparatively rare in Germany compared to other cancers with 6,000 to 7,000 new cases each year. Under Goldschmidt's leadership, the study group German Speaking Myeloma Multicenter Group (GMMG) has been investigating all phases of the disease in clinical trials since 1996, developing pioneering new therapies. "We decide independently which research approaches we want to pursue and then look for the appropriate partners from industry, foundations or state funding institutions," says Prof. Dr. med. Hartmut Goldschmidt. "Our special thanks to the Dietmar Hopp Foundation for the long-term support of myeloma research." The research results of the GMMG study group contributed to doubling the average life expectancy of patients with multiple myeloma from three to four years to six to eight years by establishing modern therapies and new drugs. Heidelberg University Hospital and National Center for Tumor Diseases Heidelberg are among the world's leading centers for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer due to the commitment of the GMMG study group.
What is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple myeloma is a malignant disease of the so-called plasma cells in the bone marrow. Mostly, people older than 60 years are affected. Because symptoms such as back pain and fatigue are nonspecific, it often takes a long time to get the right diagnosis. The plasma cells degenerated into cancer cells interfere with the formation of blood and weaken the bone substance; Bone pains and fractures, anemia, renal dysfunction and a susceptibility to infections are the consequences. Medications can repress the symptoms. Often, however, relapse and resistance to therapy occur after a while. To date, multiple myeloma is usually not curable. "Of the high-risk patients, only 20 percent live after ten years," says Prof. Dr. med. Hartmut Goldschmidt. "It is a great incentive for us to continue to develop new therapeutic options for people affected by this disease." Multiple myeloma is usually treated physically resilient patients by high-dose chemotherapy and a subsequent administration of autologous blood stem cells. This therapy is combined with the administration of new drugs. Prof. Dr. Hartmut Goldschmidt published a study that showed that the additional administration of the drug bortezomib led to an improved survival of the patients.
New research approaches: search for genetic causes of the disease
Which biological processes cause the plasma cells in the bone marrow to change and divide uncontrollably is still largely unknown. By genetic studies, Prof. Dr. med. Hartmut Goldschmidt and his team in collaboration with the German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg succeeded to identify hereditary variants - so-called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) - that increase the risk of developing myeloma. These mutations in specific parts of the DNA lead to the appearance of altered proteins, which may play a role in the development of cancer and tumor growth. In a current research project, families in which multiple myeloma is more prevalent are studied and revealed further genetic variants responsible for the development of multiple myeloma. The aim of this research is to confirm the influence of these altered proteins and to further elucidate.
The award winner: An internationally recognized expert in multiple myeloma
Prof. Hartmut Goldschmidt has been working in Heidelberg since 1991. He completed his medical studies and his doctorate at the Humboldt University in Berlin. After gaining his medical certificate as an internist in 1988 and a postgraduate degree in Hematology and Internal Oncology in 1992, Goldschmidt habilitated in 1997 at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg on "sequential high-dose therapy and transplantation of autologous peripheral blood progenitor cells in multiple myeloma" and at the same time obtained teaching permission for internal medicine. From 1999 to 2005, Goldschmidt was initially senior physician of the Medical Clinic and Polyclinic V of the University Hospital of Heidelberg. Since July 2005 he is head of the Multiple Myeloma section of the Medical Clinic V of the University Hospital and the National Center for Tumor Diseases. He is the recipient of the Paul Martini Prize and the Federal Cross of Merit.
The German Cancer Award
The German Cancer Award is awarded in equal parts annually for outstanding work in basic experimental oncological research, in transfer research and in tumor diagnostics and treatment. Criteria are an outstanding scientific originality and the quality of current and future-oriented work in the field of oncology. These achievements are usually substantiated by several significant contributions to the research of the development, diagnosis, or therapy of cancer in a particular field of research. Donors of the German Cancer Award are the German Cancer Society and the German Cancer Foundation. Each category is endowed with 7,500 euros.
In the category "Translational Research" the award goes to Michael Baumann, Chief Executive Officer of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg.In the field "Experimental Research" Thomas Brabletz, Nikolaus Fiebiger Center for Molecular Medicine, University of Erlangen, is honored.
Dr. Annemarie Angerer
Referentin Prof. Dr. Hartmut Goldschmidt