The TV series gesundheit heute (health today) attracted a total of more than 6 million viewers in 2016. Each programme is watched by 150,000 people on average and the market share is 16.3 percent (SRF 1 and SRF info). This makes gesundheit heute the most watched early evening programme on SRF. Compared with other Presse TV programmes, such as NZZ Standpunkte, the audience share throughout the programme remains constantly high.

TV program gesundheitheute on the possibilities of immunotherapy for cancer.

TV program gesundheitheute on the possibilities of immunotherapy for cancer.

Interpharma is a co-sponsor of gesundheit heute and, as such, can propose topics to the editorial team. The editorial team has complete independence in writing the content. The topics that Interpharma proposed in 2016 ranged from diseases affecting large patient populations, such as osteoporosis, rheumatic diseases, psoriasis and heart failure, through rare diseases, such as pulmonary hypertension, to more heavily research-based topics such as immunotherapy for cancer.

The possibilities of immunotherapy for cancer – not only the opportunities but also the limits of the treatment – were examined in the programme on 23 January based on two cases. For example, the case of a 79-year-old lung cancer patient was presented who responds very well to cancer immunotherapy and spoke of a “quality of life as it was before” thanks to the treatment. Dr. Martin Früh, Senior Physician at the Oncology and Haematology Clinic of St. Gallen Cantonal Hospital, explained the advantages of this treatment. The programme also included contributions from Dr. Dietmar Berger, Head of Clinical Development Oncology/Haematology at Roche, and a Roche researcher.

“targeted, rapid and safe”

In the programme on 30 January 2016, a psoriasis patient in whom 70% of the skin was affected described how, as a child with open skin lesions, she was placed in a salt bath and was treated like a leper because people thought the disease was infectious. Prof. Lars E. French from University Hospital Zurich highlighted the major advances made in the treatment of psoriasis and said the benefit of biologic drugs is that they are “targeted, rapid and safe”.

TV program gesundheitheute on rheumatoid arthritis.

TV program gesundheitheute on rheumatoid arthritis.

“Apart from the medicines, which I fortunately tolerate very well, psychological support also helped me to cope with the disease,” said the former Miss Switzerland, Dominique Rinderknecht, in the programme on rheumatoid arthritis on 21 May. As an ambassador of the Swiss League Against Rheumatism she wants to give encouragement and serve as an example to others affected by the disease. Dr. Adrian Ciurea from the Rheumatology Clinic at University Hospital Zurich reports on the natural history of the disease and the inflammatory processes that occur in the joints. In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s own immune cells attack the joints. This leads to swelling, pain and deformation of the joints if the disease is not treated in good time.

When Walter Zimmermann was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, his life expectancy was three years. Today, 13 years later, he is still alive thanks to the treatment options available today. In the programme on 15 October, Zimmermann spoke of how he lives life more consciously today, and Prof. Michael Tamm from University Hospital Basel explained the causes and consequences of pulmonary hypertension and the treatment options available.

just like a bird

On 22 October, the programme explored the topic of growth disorder. Eleven-year-old Mathis Czekala is a talented young Swiss ski jumper. For seven years he has been receiving growth hormones, because he suffers from growth hormone deficiency, and today he is exactly the size he should be for his age. Prof. Urs Eiholzer from the Paediatric Endocrinology Centre Zurich (PEZZ) is treating Mathis, who trains as a ski jumper four times a week and finds it cool to fly through the air – just like a bird.

The programme is broadcast every Saturday at 18:10 h on SRF 1 and can be watched online at gesundheit heute.