16. March 2020

Prize for Basel breast surgeon for breast-preserving surgical methods

The Head of Breast Surgery at Basel University Hospital has received a research prize for his work on how best to reconstruct the breast after a cancer operation.


What is the best position for a breast implant – in front of or behind the pectoral muscle? The independent non-profit organisation “Oncoplastic Breast Consortium” is getting to grips with this question in a study. The organisation was founded by Walter P. Weber, Professor of Surgery at Basel University Hospital and Head of the Breast Centre.

The ProPatient research institute has awarded Weber a prize of CHF 25,000 for his study. The investigation is being conducted at 11 breast centres in Switzerland and a further 10 centres in Europe and the U.S, and 372 women are being observed. This should make it clear which position for the implant should lead to better quality of life.

Optimal in a surgical and a cosmetic sense too
Walter P. Weber is a specialist in breast surgery following cancer operations. Since 2014, he has focused exclusively on diseases of the breast at Basel University Hospital. As a researcher too, he focuses on breast cancer and oncoplastic breast surgery, i.e. the reconstruction of the breast after cancer operations.

His objective: in addition to reliably removing the primary cancer, he also wants to achieve good cosmetic results, thereby making patients more satisfied with the result of a breast cancer operation. He also makes use of the most up-to-date findings on breast cancer and seeks to avoid the unnecessary removal of the lymph nodes from the armpits of patients with breast cancer. These lymph nodes are increasingly being treated with radiotherapy and it is becoming less common to completely remove them via radical surgery.

Research prize awarded for the second time
For five years, the research foundation ProPatient at Basel University Hospital is awarding an annual research prize from the estate of Annemarie Karrasch, to foster patient-centred research or innovative projects which make a contribution to oncology. The prize, which is being awarded this year for the second time, goes to researchers at Basel University Hospital.