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Understanding side effects of immuno-oncology better to improve quality of life

Group photo
BU: Prof. Dr. Lucie Heinzerling, head of dermo-oncology at the Department of Dermatology in Erlangen and Prof. Dr. med. Univ. Gerold Schuler, director of the Department of Dermatology (centre) receive a substantial donation as seed financing from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation for Immuno-oncology for the development of an online database of side effects. BMS Foundation chair Dr. Michael May (l) and advisory board member Dierk Neugebauer (r) are proud to present the recipients with a cheque for 100,000 euros. (Image: Michael Rabenstein/Universitätsklinikum Erlangen)

Online database created by FAU researchers receives seed financing of 100,000 euros.

‘Immuno-oncology has revolutionised cancer treatment,’ says Prof. Dr Lucie Heinzerling, attending physician at the Department of Dermatology, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen. ‘However, we currently don’t know enough about the side effects of some new forms of cancer therapy and we are hoping to change this through a new online database’. Thanks to a significant donation, Professor Heinzerling and her team of dermo-oncologists can now start work on this project. Seed financing of 100,000 euros has been contributed to the project by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation for Immuno-oncology. ‘The database will help us to better understand the progression of the disease,’ explains medical director Dr. Michael May from the BMS Foundation on the board’s decision to award the funding. ‘Thanks to immunotherapy we are not just improving cancer therapy but also quality of life for patients.’

For over a decade, Professor Heinzerling has been working with researchers in Erlangen, Europe and the USA to investigate rare and complex side effects that can occur in modern immunotherapy, particularly in the case of malignant melanoma. As immunotherapy is becoming more common to treat other forms of cancer and is being used at earlier stages of the disease, managing side effects effectively is even more relevant. The database that Professor Heinzerling and her team have developed so far will now be developed in collaboration with the Paul Ehrlich Institute as an online platform accessible to physicians who are treating cancer patients. The aim of this intensive networking initiative is to improve the quality of patient care by bringing experts in a broad range of disciplines together, such as expertise on neurological side effects in cooperation with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. ‘The significant donation supports our work during a critical pilot phase and ensures that we can analyse data for an entire year,’ says Professor Heinzerling.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation for Immuno-oncology

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation for Immuno-oncology aims to improve the life expectancy and quality of life of cancer patients. The independent foundation supports scientific research and clinical studies through targeted financing leading to a better understanding of oncological pathology and research into quality of life in cancer therapy.

BMS Immuno-oncology website: www.stiftung-io.org

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Lucie Heinzerling
Phone: +49 9131 8535000
lucie.heinzerling@uk-erlangen.de

Addition information