The Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK) has committed itself to conducting clinical cancer trials as a non-profit organization. It is our goal to investigate new cancer therapies and to improve existing tumor treatments, taking into account all available treatment options, in order to cure the disease or to prolong survival and improve life quality of patients suffering from cancer. Research is conducted through a national network and in cooperation with centers and study groups abroad.
SAKK is organized as a membership association. The regular members of SAKK are the main oncology centers at Switzerland’s regional and university hospitals. Every center works with the other clinics and physicians, building a network with the SAKK Coordinating Center in Bern as hub.
SAKK’s scientific work is primarily conducted at the level of its project and, to a minor degree, at its working groups and sections. The project groups, in particular, develop trials aimed at improving treatments for the most prevalent types of tumors (breast cancer, gastrointestinal tumors, leukemia, lung cancer, lymphoma and urogenital tumors). The project group New Anticancer Treatments is testing new substances, which potentially could become new cancer treatments, in cooperation with other project and working groups. Through its working groups SAKK also participates in trials of foreign cooperative groups in the case of rare tumors, where the number of patients in Switzerland alone is too small to conduct a meaningful study.
The SAKK Coordinating Center acts as a platform and service center for SAKK members. This is where SAKK employees develop new trials in cooperation with physicians, collect and, after trial completion, evaluate and publish study data. In addition, they also perform all administrative and financial duties of the association. Switzerland’s federal government supports SAKK with a subsidy. The goals SAKK has to reach are subject of a performance agreement between SAKK and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research.
SAKK provides cancer patients in Switzerland with the opportunity to receive treatment within the framework of a clinical study. However, SAKK studies are not more research: With our work we have a substantial share in the quality assurance of cancer treatments and the practice of evidence-based medicine.