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Controversial PR campaign for breast cancer test : University of Heidelberg presents display criminal

does not break off As a "milestone" with early market maturity pries, the head of the Heidelberg women's clinic for a Test for the early detection of cancer - since then, the criticism of Christof son's PR-campaign. Much too early for the blood test for breast cancer had been presented to the Public, judge the world (see report in the daily mirror of 22. February). The question of the economic background is getting louder. "When economic interests unverifiable results to the Public and, therefore, unjustified expectations, it casts a shadow on the Image of research", says the Secretary-General of the German cancer society, John Bruns.

Now the University hospital of Heidelberg, the criminal has made a complaint against an unknown. There is evidence of an unfair approach to the development and announcement of the Tests, it said on Friday, in a communication of the University. The Prosecutor's office in Heidelberg have taken up preliminary investigations, said the spokesman, Tim Haaf. Next week, surveys of the employees of the University hospital to begin. It is to be examined, which is the facts of the case may make punishable and who is responsible. Then open a formal investigation could be initiated.

Economic interests before the Well-being of the affected women?

Christof son is Heiscreeen according to the "Rhine-Neckar-newspaper" a good four percent of the company, a spin-off of the University hospital for the marketing of the blood tests involved. Even more shares he holds, therefore, in the case of the Heiscreen NKY GmbH to market the test in China. Also a senior physician and project Manager Sarah Schott is the same for both companies. An impenetrable commercial netting to the marketing of the Tests is created. In the field of high profits lure.

"If money and science come together in one Hand, conflict has been the question of interest," says Bruns. The German cancer aid provides for the similar. Your Chairman of the Board Gerd Nettekoven said the "New osnabrück newspaper", the son appears to have economic interests in an irresponsible manner before the Well-being of the affected women.

While the son as the discoverer of the Tests, it could run out of the original developer empty: The researchers in order to Rongxi Yang University hospital and technology Transfer Heidelberg GmbH according to the "Rhine-Neckar-newspaper", possibly, your financial claim on a portion of the proceeds from the liquidation of the blood tests was denied.

University and company are not available for comments available

The young scientist had been funded in 2016 for their research to a "highly reliable and accurate diagnostic Test for the detection of breast cancer in an extremely early stage" of the Federal Ministry of Economics and EU. The program is intended to support start-UPS.

In the spring of 2017, a company founded just before - but was thwarted, according to the "Rhine-Neckar-newspaper" of the technology Transfer Heidelberg GmbH, a subsidiary of the University hospital for the commercialisation of scientific knowledge from the medicine.

Neither of the company nor of the University hospital and the chief of the women's hospital are currently to get into the allegations. Clinic spokeswoman Doris Rübsam-Brodkorb refers to the processing by a Commission, which will forward Matthias Kleiner, President of the Leibniz Association. The other composition and the time limits are still unclear.

To view Bruns' of the cancer society spin-offs from University clinics are a two-edged sword: "With the early spin-offs you are doing yourself no good." Scientists could conduct research freely, and to obey at once economic constraints, for example to attract investors.

rules on the interface between research and marketing is needed

The University of the clinic in the responsibility for the PR-action son looks alone. "This is not a matter for the University," says University spokeswoman Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch. To be question, however, is whether the rules would have to be adapted to good scientific practice. "It is for the science is always important to carry your results in the society. We need, therefore, at the interfaces of research, knowledge transfer and commercialisation of Knowledge of reliable rules."

professional societies, physicians and statisticians had criticized the actions of the son violently. Usual, the Public is a Information of a publication in a professional journal, where, according to studies of experts would be valued, explains Bruns. To the breast cancer no such data. To face the critical world, but it is an important means of quality assurance. Son had hurt with his style of communication, not only of science, but also themselves. If he really is the exploitable results in three to four years, to the Public, will not he taken, possibly seriously.

let If the son presented the blood test can be a useful addition to the early detection of breast cancer, currently not yet possible to judge, says Bruns. "The idea is great, to speak at the present time, of a breakthrough, but it is much too early."

The so-called Liquid Biopsy method is based on the detection of cancer-specific biomarkers in the blood. Very reliable, it is not according to the current data situation, however, out Of 100 healthy women 30 get finding, incorrectly, a breast cancer, such as the University hospital confirmed. "False positive results lead to a considerable psychological burden on the affected women," it said in February in a joint statement by seven professional associations. Out of 100 women with breast cancer are detected in addition, only about 75 as a sick. In the case of mammography, the error quotas are only a fraction of that.

More about

breast cancer diagnosis with a few drops of blood

Sascha Karberg

breast cancer is in Germany the most common cancer in women. In the year 2018, approximately 70,000 women affected to breast cancer, the were about 30 per cent of new Cancer cases overall. The Tumor is detected early, the chances of recovery are large. Julia Giertz (dpa)

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