The UCT Program "Gastro-Intestinal Cancer" is based on a close collaboration between UCTs medical oncology, visceral surgery and radiotherapy. In 2014, 79 surgeries for esophageal or gastric cancer, 133 liver resections for colorectal metastasis and 102 surgeries for colorectal cancer were performed. To improve quality of life (QoL) in cancer survivors, novel highly innovative techniques, such as pelvic intraoperative neuromonitoring (PIONM), autoPIN (Assistance system for PIONM in laparoscopy; funded by BMBF) or transanal total mesorectal excision (TaTME, funded by DFG) have been developed in Mainz and will be tested in an upcoming international randomized phase III trial (COLOR III Trial). Within the UCT outpatient unit more than 300 newly diagnosed GI-cancer patients were treated and more than 4,200 chemotherapeutic and targeted therapies were performed.
Clinical research activities involve the participation in >20 large, (inter)national research or AIO/EORTC studies, e.g. in esophagogastric cancer (EXPAND trial; Lordick F. Lancet Oncol. 2013) or colorectal cancer (MOSAIC trial; André T. J Clin Oncol. 2015; FIRE-3 trial; Heinemann V. Lancet Oncol. 2014). Since 2012, the UCT GI Program, in close collaboration with TRON, TheraCode and the NCT Heidelberg, coordinates a double blinded randomized phase II "Muc1 vaccination after resection of colorectal liver metastases" within a CI3 cluster project. In collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute, MSD and Northwest Biotherapeutics, a multicenter phase II study was initiated to investigate the effect of autologous dendritic cells pulsed with tumor lysates and pembrolizumab in patients with colorectal cancer.
Core projects in translational research include the pre-clinical development of novel VEGFR, FLT3 and GSK-3β small molecule inhibitors (Moguntinone) in close collaboration with the Institute for Pharmacy of Mainz (G. Dannhardt, M. Moehler; BMBF, Patents EP09179986.6; EP09179984.1; EP10196865.9).