The promise was big: A blood test, the cancer of the breast can detect and, in a few months, will come on the market. In the press release of the University hospital of Heidelberg, the speech was a “milestone in the breast cancer diagnostics”. The development was hailed as a “world sensation”. It is now clear that The promises were plated. The University has already filed a criminal complaint and is now also the first human consequences.
The business area head of legal and third-party funding the management of the clinic, mark Jones, is temporarily relieved of his duties. He is also the managing Director of the company Technology Transfer Heidelberg (TTH), which is majority owned by the clinic and for the spin-off companies from the hospital is responsible. The Heiscreen GmbH, which was founded for the marketing of the blood test. There, too, Jones was already the managing Director.
The Supervisory Board of the clinic justified the exemption that Jones was in the elucidation of the facts and, therefore, conflicts of interest may exist. The exemption could be withdrawn. Previously, the “Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung had reported” about it.
Shortly after the publication of severe criticism of the PR campaign stirred. Because so far, the researchers have presented the product at a conference, there are scientific studies. The Test is a so-called Liquid Biopsy (liquid biopsy). This substances in body fluids such as blood, urine, or saliva, to messengers, or tumor cells sought to discover a cancer disease or to characterize in more detail. But it is still not clear, how reliable is the Test for breast cancer to detect at an early stage. A market introduction this year is, therefore, utopian. (Read more here).
The University hospital has apologized for the approach. An external Commission of experts to explain the operations. Also, the focus of public Prosecutor for economic crime in Mannheim determined. However, it is still not known against whom. There are details and specific Offences, so far, no information.