The UCT Frankfurt is one of Germany's premier sites for both early and late clinical trials conducting more than 260 studies per year. With support from the CTCN office, the clinical trials program channels basic or translational projects into early and/or molecularly stratified clinical trials. This acknowledges that cancers may best be classified according to individual genomic, proteomic and therapy specific profiles, rather than only by primary tumor site and histology. The UCT is fortunate to have two dedicated phase I/II trial units at the University Hospital and the Nordwest Hospital.
The CTCN office also supports phase II, III and IV clinical trial activities, with particular expertise in brain tumors, acute leukemias, esophagogastric, liver, and rectal cancer. Frankfurt is consistently one of the top-recruiting German centers for cooperative trials on brain tumors run by the Neurooncology Working Party and the EORTC and is an associate partner of the German Glioma Network. The program in Neurooncology has initiated innovative neuro-imaging techniques, translational research programs and early clinical trials with advanced cellular products.
Another strong focus at the UCT are acute Leukemias (ALL and AML). Frankfurt hosts the German national multicenter study group for adult ALL (GMALL). The role of kinase inhibitors and of epigenetically active drugs is analyzed in large multicenter trials for AML. Transplant protocols are being evaluated in large multicenter trials for pediatric and adult acute leukemias. Frankfurt is internationally renowned as a center for haploidentical stem cell transplantation.
Multimodal treatment strategies for rectal, liver, and esophagogastric cancer are a third field of competence to be specially emphasized. The German Rectal Cancer Study Group has taken a leading role in multicenter investigator-initiated phase I-III trials to establish the concept of preoperative radiochemotherapy and integrate newer chemotherapy combinations as well as targeted agents into the combined modality program for locally advanced rectal cancer. Hepatologists have developed treatment strategies for primary and metastatic liver tumors. Multimodal treatment of esophagogastric cancer is a particular strength with several phase I-III trials to optimize palliative and neoadjuvant treatment approaches for resectable gastroesophageal cancer patients. These efforts also aim to identify molecular biomarkers to predict treatment response and possibly further targets for innovative treatment interventions.