Clinical research advances the cause of medicine and ensures patient safety. Without clinical trials it would be impossible to tell which treatments will best help which patients and which of them will provide no benefits or might even be detrimental.
An example: the development of new, highly effective pharmaceuticals in recent years has not only significantly improved the chances of surviving almost all types of cancer, it has also improved the patients' quality of life during treatment. But the benefits and safety of these pharmaceuticals need to be tested in extensive clinical trials before they are introduced to routine treatment regimes and hence placed at the disposal of all patients. Voluntary participation in these trials is possible at many Asklepios Kliniken as well. This means that our patients can benefit early on from innovative active agents and treatment procedures – long before they are made generally available. That is not the only advantage: participants in clinical studies also receive closer monitoring. After all, the purpose of these trials is to identify all effects and side-effects and to create precise logs.
Professional Management of Clinical Trials
The Site Management Organisation Asklepios proresearch coordinates all clinical trial and development projects within the Group in order to ensure that they are performed in line with professional standards. Asklepios proresearch has connected medicine and science in the Group clinics since 1998, supporting over 400 research and development projects each year with specialists from all disciplines and for all indications in the proprietary outpatient trial centre and on-site in the Group clinics. In this way, more than 4,000 patients benefit from innovative procedures in diagnosis and therapy each year.
Research and Teaching
Cooperating closely with the Asklepios Medical School Campus Hamburg at Semmelweis University Budapest, experts from Asklepios proresearch are in charge of the scientific strategy at Asklepios and for the continued expansion of research focuses in the areas of preventative and care research. They collate the results in a bi-annual research report, collect measurable performance indicators in regard to research findings and manage internal research funding in the form of the Innovation Fund at Asklepios Kliniken Hamburg.
Internal Research Funding
Asklepios Kliniken Hamburg use the annual internal investment fund of up to two million euros to finance carefully selected and high-quality research projects. Asklepios proresearch is responsible for selecting the auspicious treatment methods in close cooperation with an interdisciplinary research commission. It also provides support during the project and conducts a downstream review to assess the extent to which the envisaged objectives were achieved. Its work focuses on the provision of promising seed financing, the expansion of sustainable research infrastructure and the strengthening of research profile focuses at Asklepios Kliniken. In this regard, research is not restricted to particular departments or institutes; on the contrary, it is specifically designed to be organised around interdepartmental, clinic and sector cooperation.
An example: the surgical robot system da Vinci Xi at Asklepios Klinik Hamburg-Altona is not reserved exclusively for the departments at the clinic, it is explicitly intended for use by experts at other Asklepios Kliniken as well. Classic trials will now be completed to ascertain in which cases robot-assisted surgery can indeed provide relevant medical and commercial advantages, and how the benefits of this innovative technology can best be deployed, despite its extremely high operating costs.
Moreover, the internal promotion of research via proresearch also supports cooperation between the Asklepios Medical School Campus Hamburg and Semmelweis University Budapest, in particular by funding the ACH Chairs, currently in oncology and visceral medicine.