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Felix Burda Award presented! These are the winners

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Felix Burda Award presented!  These are the winners

“Oscar for colon cancer prevention”: Felix Burda Award presented! These are the winners

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The winners of the Felix Burda Award have been announced! For the first time since 2019, people who are outstandingly committed to the prevention of colon cancer were honored.

Today’s 19th Felix Burda Awards ceremony honored Dr. Christa Maar’s outstanding commitment to the prevention of colon cancer. Verona Pooth remembered the late foundation initiator with personal anecdotes. Moderator Vince Ebert led the emotional evening at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin and welcomed Burda board member Philipp Welte and foundation board member Heinz Spengler, as well as actress Elena Uhlig, KBV board member Dr. Andreas Gassen and DKFZ board member Prof. Dr. Michael Baumann.

The approximately 260 guests from science, politics and show business included Wolfgang Kubicki, Erol Sander, Franziska Knuppe, Jürgen Prochnow and Wolfgang Stumph. Prize-winning study calculates unused potential for colon cancer prevention. Honorary Felix Prize winner makes a moving appeal to politicians.

“Oscar for Prevention” is back

Due to the corona pandemic and Christa Maar’s subsequent illness, the Felix Burda Foundation has not been able to invite people to the awards gala since 2019. Now, almost 17 months after the death of the foundation director, the Felix Burda Award, which she founded in 2003, is back.

The who’s who of the German prevention community – around 260 selected guests from politics, healthcare, business, media and show business – came together this Sunday at the Berlin Hotel Adlon Kempinski to honor the people who have shown themselves in a particularly impressive way committed to the prevention of the second most common cancer in Germany.

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The winners of the Felix Burda Award 2024

This year, from 29 submitted applications, the 13-member jury chose six nominees in the two categories “Medicine & Science” and “Commitment of the Year”. Two outstanding winners were awarded in the evening:

“Commitment of the Year” award winner: “Welcome Darmstadt”, a special program on the ORF late-night talk show Welcome Austria”

Laudator Elena Uhlig, who is married to the Austrian Fritz Karl, first explained to the audience the colon cancer situation in the neighboring country before praising the “quota guarantee” Welcome Austria for its special program “Welcome Darmstadt”.

On the initiative of filmmaker Andreas Kreimaier, a special program was produced by Superfilm on behalf of ORF, in which the presenter duo Christoph Grissemann and Dirk Stermann conveyed in a humorous and at the same time serious way that colonoscopy is a painless, uncomplicated, safe and effective preventive examination colon cancer is. Uhlig emphasized that this application perfectly matched the tone of the Felix Burda Foundation, which also relies on humor and lightness in health communication.

Prize winner “Medicine & Science”: “Novel Strategies for Optimized Colorectal Cancer Screening in Germany”, Thomas Heisser, Prof. Dr. Michael Hoffmeister and Prof. Dr. Hermann Brenner from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg

Dr. Andreas Gassen, Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), made it clear in his laudatory speech that the evaluation of the award winners both shows alarming weaknesses in the current preventive care offering and also reveals solutions for increasing the potential. More cases of colon cancer could be prevented if a critical gap in care for people aged 70 and over were closed.
The epidemiologists from the German Cancer Research Center used a validated simulation model called COSIMO to compare the long-term effects of the current screening program with possible alternatives. A third colonoscopy for men aged 70 and over could reduce mortality by 9 percent. A stool test offer in this age group would also ensure comparably positive values. Women would benefit significantly from an offer of three colonoscopies from the age of 50, every 10 years.

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Gassen warned that politicians should look at this data and optimize the program in the interest of all of our health.

The winners in the “Medicine & Science” category also received a voucher for an advertorial worth over 25,800 euros from Leonie Bücher, managing director of the pharmacy magazine My Life. “The DKFZ award winners have the opportunity to inform people across Germany about their surprising study results. In this way, excellent science reaches more than 1 million readers from the stage of the Felix Burda Award in over 7,000 pharmacies,” says Bücher.

Memory of Christa Maar

Soon after starting the Felix Burda Foundation in 2001, Christa Maar realized: “Colon cancer is not a medical problem, but rather a communicative problem.” And so the Colon Cancer Month in March and the Felix Burda Award emerged as communicative events that were focused and diverse Verona Pooth emphasized on the stage of the Felix Burda Award that the opportunities for prevention could be reported. As a “natural talent” when it comes to communication and a prominent testimonial, the moderator supported Christa Maar from the start and was able to report on numerous encounters and campaign shoots with “the boss” in a humorous and visibly moved manner. A pleasantly cheerful look back at the woman who improved cancer prevention in Germany like no other.

Philipp Welte, CEO of Hubert Burda Media, showed in his speech that these successes in politics and medicine are also due to Christa Maar’s special personality and willpower. He made it clear that Christa Maar’s life’s work will be continued in the family business: “In memory of Christa Maar, we as a company – also in the spirit of Dr. Hubert Burda – an important concern to continue to support the foundation in its work. Like the Felix Burda Foundation, we as a media company see our mission as drawing attention to the relevance of health care.”

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And Heinz Spengler, Chairman of the Felix Burda Foundation, thanked the guests: “You contribute to Felix Burda’s wish – to want to spare other people his fate – and the ideas of his mother Christa Maar – who successfully implemented her son’s mission. to continue.”


The honorary Felix Prize winner Susanna Zsoter, who was awarded the Felix Burda Award in 2021 as part of the Felix Burda Award, which was only possible digitally at the time, finally enjoyed the applause on the gala stage. In her speech, the woman from Zirndorf, who developed colon cancer at the age of 28 and is now committed to prevention as a palliative patient and survivor, appealed to the decision-makers in the room: “Germany was once the pharmacy of the world and is now lagging behind in the use of health data only for the patient himself, but especially for research afterwards. This costs human lives. At the end of the day in the saddest sense.”

Passionate words also came from Prof. Dr. Dr. hc Michael Baumann. The chairman of the board of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) – who also worked with Christa Maar in the strategy group of the National Decade against Cancer – emphasized that the strongest weapon against cancer is prevention. The potential of prevention and early detection – the combination of which can prevent 60 percent of cancer deaths – is far from exhausted. “Each of us can make an individual contribution to this, for example through health-conscious behavior,” says Baumann. “But we also need politics to pour ideas into strategies that achieve long-term effects.”

The Felix Burda Award 2024 is supported by IhrApotheken.de, Olympus, Gastrointestinal Doctors, Springer Medizin, Genesis and FOCUS. Like FOCUS online, it belongs to Hubert Burda Media.


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