The money raised by the Cancer Research Run has enabled MedUni Vienna to answer important questions in the field of cancer research over the past few years. The fundraising sporting event has continued to grow and it brought in around €134,000 in September 2015. "Alongside the essential basic funding for research facilities and competitive external funding, public fundraising is playing an increasingly important role in financing research projects," explains Markus Müller, Rector of MedUni Vienna, "and it is equally important for individuals and companies to be actively involved, because we know that research improves the way we treat diseases."
Cancer mortality is falling every year
Whilst the number of new cancer cases has risen over the last three decades and is currently around 39,000 cases per annum in Austria, the number of deaths from cancer has fallen: by 0.8% between 1995 and 2000 and since 2000 it has fallen by as much as 1.8% per annum, so that the figure currently stands at 20,000. Over the same period, the relative 5-year survival of cancer patients rose from 44% to 61%. Over the last ten years, 73 cancer drugs have been licensed in Europe, 15 of these last year (2015) alone. More than two thirds of the new drugs are aimed at the specific molecular mechanisms of certain types of cancer cells. One third of total medical innovations are currently in the field of oncology.
Research makes precision medicine possible
Christoph Zielinski, Head of the Comprehensive Cancer Center of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital: "Over the last decade, research has brought about a massive improvement in the outlook for cancer patients. Previously we were using a sledgehammer to crack a nut; nowadays we analyse tumours from a molecular-biological perspective and give patients drugs with a specifically targeted effect. We are hoping that this precision medicine will produce further big advances in the near future, because we are not only reliant upon the development of new drugs but, in many cases, we can also use existing drugs much more effectively."
Sonja Wehsely, Vienna City Councillor for Health, Social Affairs and Generations, stresses the importance of modern cancer research at the Vienna site: "In Austria, and particularly in Vienna, patients are already benefiting from treatments that are amongst the most successful in Europe. People receive top quality healthcare in Vienna, partly because of the advances that have been made in home-grown research. With the improved cooperation between the General Hospital and the Medical University of Vienna and the investment of the city, together with the federal government, we secure the future of the AKH. The patients benefit from the additional know-how, improved access to studies and earlier treatments. So the patient will directly benefit from the developments in the field of oncology research. "
Run as far as you want! Run as fast as you want! Run with whoever you want! Run however you want – but run for cancer research!
This is the motto for the 10-year anniversary of the Cancer Research Run taking place on the University of Vienna campus in the old General Hospital.
Every lap – 1 mile (or 1,609 m) – completed in the Cancer Research Run raises worthwhile funding to support the fight against cancer. The donations received (entry and lap fees) will be used to fund promising research projects run by ambitious young scientists at MedUni Vienna.
The proceeds from the Cancer Research Run 2016 will be used to fund research in the fields of personalised medicine, targeted molecular therapies and immuno-oncology.