Josep Carreras celebrates the 10th anniversary of Carreras Leukämie Centrum in Marburg celebrates its 10th anniversary
The Carreras Leukemia Center (CLC) in Marburg (Germany) celebrated yesterday, September 16th, its ten years of existence at the Marburg University Clinical Hospital, together with Mr Josep Carreras, and almost 300 guests, including patients, blood stem cell donors and many people who have been part of the project over these ten years.
Right from the start, the centre was headed by Prof. Dr. Andreas Neubauer, Director of the Department of Hematology, Oncology and Immunology at the University Hospital of Marburg. It was officially opened on 25 September 2009.
"Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have been able to support this life-saving facility with over 1.6 million euros to date. In total, we have supported 33 leukaemia projects in Marburg with over 10.5 million euros. Every single euro contributed to saving lives and alleviating suffering," said José Carreras, world star and founder of the José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation, at the ceremony.
The José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation and RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG each contributed 1.67 million euros to the more than 3.7 million euros that were invested in the special station for the construction, and the Department of Medicine of Philipps University Marburg 0.4 million euros.
José Carreras was personally present at the opening ceremony in 2009. Since then, the star has regularly visited leukaemia patients in Germany to encourage them: "These are often very moving moments. These wonderful people show that it is worth fighting the disease with all your might and that giving up is not an option," says José Carreras.
The CLC Marburg has followed a translational approach since its inception, combining research with patient care: The translation of the research results is particularly possible in two hospital rooms of the ward, each with two beds as a research unit. "Without the personal commitment of José Carreras and the financial support of the José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation, we would not have been able to realize this pioneering center. In my work I experience every day how important this great commitment is," explains Prof. Dr. Andreas Neubauer, Director of the Clinic for Hematology, Oncology and Immunology and Head of the Carreras Leukemia Centre.
Deutsche José Carreras Leukämie-Stiftung/Torsten Fricke
From left to right: Prof. Thomas Nauß, Dr. Gabriele Kröner, Prof. Harald Renz, Dr. Sylvia Heinis, José Carreras, Prof. Andreas Neubauer, Prof. Helmut Schäfer
"We would like to thank the José Carreras Foundation very much for its support and cooperation, which has now lasted for more than ten years," explains Dr. Sylvia Heinis, Commercial Director of the University Hospital Gießen and Marburg (UKGM).
"The unique José Carreras Leukaemia Centre is the link between basic research, patient treatment and clinical studies. Only this synthesis makes it possible not only to optimally treat life-threatening patients here, but also to develop new, innovative therapy concepts and test them in clinical studies. This has laid the foundations for top oncological research," said Prof. Dr. Harald Renz, Medical Director of the University Hospital.
The CLC is also a stroke of luck for the Philipps University of Marburg, as University President Prof. Dr. Katharina Krause emphasises: "The centre impressively shows that medical research can have a direct positive effect on the life and survival chances of people suffering from leukaemia.
The Dean of the Department of Medicine at Philipps University, Prof. Dr. Helmut Schäfer, explains: "The clinical research of the colleagues at the Carreras Leukaemia Centre has led to new therapy methods that are internationally recognised and benefit leukaemia patients worldwide".
The Carreras Leukaemia Centre has a 16-bed ward with high-tech infrastructure that protects patients from viruses, bacteria and fungi by hermetically sealing them off, thereby significantly increasing the chances of success after a bone marrow transplant. New drugs against such infections and modern hospital technology have helped to improve the prognosis of all leukaemias by an average of 30 percent over the past 20 years.
"Leukaemia must become curable. Always and for everyone," is the foundation's major goal. "The José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation, founded by José Carreras in 1995, therefore uses donations to support medical research in particular.” explains Dr. Gabriele Kröner, Managing Director of the José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation. "Thanks to the great support of the gala spectators and all the other donors who remain loyal to us throughout the year, the José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation has already been able to support more than 1,250 research, structural and social projects with over 220 million euros. Thanks to progress in science, more and more lives can be saved and suffering alleviated today. We will continue to pursue this path consistently in order to provide innovative research approaches in cancer research with the best possible framework conditions in the future. We are therefore very pleased that the José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation has been named 'Science Foundation of the Year' this year," said Kröner.
In order to continue raising money for the fight against leukaemia and other blood and bone marrow diseases, donor José Carreras is once again inviting to the José Carreras Gala. The 25th José Carreras Gala will take place on 12 December 2019 in Leipzig and will be broadcast live by MDR from 8.15 pm. In addition to José Carreras, Peter Maffay, Matt Simons, Johnny Logan, Mary Roos and many other international and national artists will perform.