Compared with the present day, clinical practice in the 1950s and 60s was therefore characterised largely by open surgical procedures, without - interventional endourology and endoscopy of the upper urinary tract - percutaneous stone treatment and ESWL - sonography and computer tomography - chemotherapy - regular radical prostatectomy, cystectomy and urine derivation - urodynamics and - urological laparoscopy.A particular aspect of this period, however, was undoubtedly the concerted effort to find a form of kidney replacement therapy. Although the first kidney transplant on a human was successfully conducted as early as 1954 (on identical twins), the clinical breakthrough only took place 30 years later when the first suitable immunosuppressant, cyclosporine, was introduced in the early 1980s.Preliminary work on haemodialysis, on the other hand, had already been done by Thomas Graham (Graham 1861), John Jacob Abel (Abel 1913) and Georg Haas (Haas 1925); in 1924 the latter succeeded in performing the first human “blood purification” at the Medizinische Klinik in Giessen, for which he used hirudin as an anticoagulant (Enke 2007). Encouraged by further successes by Willem Kolff (Kolff 1945; the world’s first clinically successful dialysis) and Nils Alwall (Alwall 1946; first use of ultrafiltration), Curt Moeller (Moeller 1955) performed the first clinically effective dialysis in Germany on March 8th, 1950 at the Marien-Krankenhaus in Hamburg (www.curtmoeller.de). The improved models he developed in the 1950s (Moeller II and III) – which were introduced in a total of 14 (mostly West) German hospitals up to 1960 (Rafal 2002) – were the starting point for independent development in Aue, in the then-GDR, for which two historical dates are significant: firstly, the foundation of the Aue Urological Clinic on 1 August 1961, and secondly, the construction of the Berlin Wall a few days later on 13 August 1961 – with the resulting isolation, both politically and in terms of medical research.The decisive factor in the establishment and development of the Aue Urology Clinic into a well-known urology and nephrology centre of supra-regional importance was, however, the founder of the clinic:
Professor Wolfgang Kaden (1927-2014, CV).
He is regarded not only as the father of the “Artificial kidneys” Aue I and II (Kaden 1965/ 1970), which he developed in association with the Scheibner company in Bernsbach, the head of the research laboratory of the Chirurgische Klinik Halle, Dr. Manfred Richter, and the Chemnitz engineer Günter Fechner, but also as an important driving force and a luminous figure in East German and Saxon urology.