CCC Lower Saxony again honoured as a top oncology centre

The Comprehensive Cancer Center Niedersachsen (CCC-N) - a cooperation between the Hannover Medical School (MHH) and the University Medical Centre Göttingen (UMG) - is being funded for a further four years with 4.8 million euros as a German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe - DKH) Centre of Excellence. DKH supports a total of 14 centres of excellence in oncology nationwide.

a square piece of paper with the inscription "we are top" is held up to the camera

The CCC-N is one of 14 centers of excellence throughout Germany that is funded by German Cancer Aid as an Oncological Center of Excellence. Copyright: Karin Kaiser / MHH

German Cancer Aid (DKH) announced today that it will continue to support the Comprehensive Cancer Center Lower Saxony (CCC-N) as an Oncological Centre of Excellence. The CCC-N was jointly founded in November 2019 by the Hannover Medical School (MHH) and the University Medical Centre Göttingen (UMG) under the motto "Precision and Care in Cancer Research and Treatment". It has been funded as an Oncological Centre of Excellence by German Cancer Aid since 2021. Since then, the two sites have been utilising their synergies and strengthening cancer medicine in Lower Saxony. The CCC-N gives cancer patients access to the most modern and effective diagnostic and therapeutic procedures currently available. The CCC-N also offers extensive support services for inpatients and outpatients as well as numerous training and further education programmes for doctors, people affected by cancer and junior staff under the umbrella of the OnkoAkademie. Up to 30,000 cancer patients are treated at the CCC-N every year.

"In dialogue with their cooperation partners and all stakeholders in the healthcare system, the two CCC-N sites have developed a successful joint strategy for cancer medicine in Lower Saxony since their foundation. The renewed award as an Oncological Centre of Excellence shows that this is not only highly recognised by patients, but also by experts. We can be very proud of this," says MHH President Prof Dr Michael Manns.

"The continued support of the CCC-N by German Cancer Aid and the state of Lower Saxony promotes the expansion of the close cooperation and the close ties between the two university medical centres in Lower Saxony. Both sites enjoy a long-standing national and international reputation in research and patient care in the field of oncology. The renewed certification by German Cancer Aid is a sign of the cutting-edge medicine practised at both university sites," says Prof. Dr Wolfgang Brück, spokesman of the UMG Executive Board.

The CCC-N is one of 14 centres of excellence throughout Germany that is funded by German Cancer Aid as an Oncological Centre of Excellence. An international commission of experts from DKH regularly assesses the centres of excellence according to strict quality criteria. With the renewed award and funding, German Cancer Aid certifies that the CCC-N treats patients at the highest medical level and according to the latest oncological knowledge. Together with its numerous co-operation partners, the CCC-N makes an important contribution to the comprehensive and optimal care of cancer patients throughout Lower Saxony.

"We are very happy that we have convinced the experts of our vision for the future of the CCC-N and that we can continue to be part of the network of centres of excellence. This will allow us to further develop our strategic goals together with our cooperation partners. We would like to expressly thank German Cancer Aid and the state of Lower Saxony for this opportunity, both for the productive cooperation in the State Advisory Board for Oncology and for the support of the Centre of Excellence for Lower Saxony," says Prof. Dr. Stefan Rieken, spokesperson of the CCC Lower Saxony and Director of the Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology at the UMG.

"In the first funding period from 2021 to 2024, we initiated a specialisation of our research programmes and fields of activity. In the coming funding period, the CCC-N will focus on offering a broader spectrum of clinical studies and further expanding personalised therapy. The establishment of the two Centres for Personalised Medicine (ZPM) at the MHH and UMG sites was already an important milestone in this regard. The CCC-N is therefore a reliable point of contact for both common and rare tumour diseases," says Prof. Dr. Peter Hillemanns, Deputy Spokesperson of the CCC-N and Director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the MHH.

Strong in combination

At the CCC-N, all clinics and institutes involved in oncological diagnostics and therapy work closely together. The MHH and the UMG combine all the competences of the respective institutions and their cooperation partners. Both the MHH and the UMG are certified as "Oncology Centres" and have numerous certified organ cancer centres. In addition to internal hospital requirements, both sites also meet the requirements of external organisations such as the German Cancer Society (DKG). In the annual inspections by external experts, the processes are scrutinised and compliance with the quality requirements is checked.

Diagnosis and treatment of rare cancers

The CCC-N has particular expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of advanced and rare tumour diseases for which there are no guideline recommendations. Such cases are discussed in the molecular tumour conferences (MTB). These have been established at the two CCC-N sites in Göttingen and Hanover since 2019. In 2023 alone, over 550 treatment recommendations were developed here, particularly for patients with rare tumour diseases.

Oncological centres of excellence

Since 2007, German Cancer Aid has been offering a programme to promote and initiate "Oncological Centres of Excellence" in Germany with the aim of providing comprehensive patient care at the highest medical level and in accordance with the latest oncological knowledge. The centres of excellence are assessed at regular intervals by an international commission of experts according to strict quality criteria. They are a fundamental part of a comprehensive, three-stage programme that was developed together with the German Cancer Society. In addition to the centres of excellence, the German Cancer Society certifies oncological centres at the second level and organ cancer centres at the third level. These structures are intended to ensure that cancer patients in Germany are treated according to uniform, high quality standards.

Text: Maike Isfort