“The important thing is to never stop questioning.“ Albert Einstein
Hematology and Oncology Research
Cancer including leukemia is caused by multiple genetic and epigenetic alterations that fundamentally change cell-intrinsic functions and interactions within the tumor microenvironment. These alterations have a strong impact on serveral key aspects including cell differentiation and self-renewal, proliferation, survival and quiescence, autophagy and cell death, and metabolic wiring. Fate decisions of cancer cells are governed, at least in part, by a continuous selection pressure, and driven by the exquisite genetic and epigenetic plasticity of the malignant cells. The resulting clonal heterogeneity often represents the optimal form of adaptation in a rapidly changing environment.
An ideal therapy is thought to be a rational approach to increase the selective pressure in a way that cancer cells cannot adapt and are finally driven into cell death. In this regard, cytotoxic and targeted drugs as well as immunological interventions are not alternative therapeutic modalities, but should be considered as complementary approaches that have to serve this purpose.
Our research is focussed on the mechanistic understanding of oncogenic transformation and tumor maintenance as well as the identification of specific vulnerabilities of cancer cells. We particularly concentrate on several clinically challenging diseases, mostly hematological malignancies, with a major focus on acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and B-cell lymphomas. In addition, we have initiated research programs for lung as well as head and neck cancer. Since we also have active clinical programs for these diseases, we have the ability to clinically validate key findings of our research. Vice versa clinical observations and challenges stimulate and guide our laboratory research.
We are a highly motivated international team of cell and molecular biologists, biochemists, experimental and clinical hematologists and medical oncologists, well prepared to tackle our scientific questions with state-of-the-art technologies including quantitative mass spectrometry, next-generation sequencing, single cell analysis, and functional genomic screens. Also, we are actively conducting interventional clinical trials from very early Phase I to large collaborative multicenter trials. We are imbedded in numerous national and international research collaborations and consortia, including the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and several EU-funded networks. In addition, we coordinate the German ALL trial group (GMALL) and are - besides Dresden and Münster - one of the coordinating sites of the Study Alliance Leukemias (SAL).
You are welcome to contact us to find solutions for cancer patients, to initiate a scientific collaboration, and of course if you are interested to join our team, or if just want to discuss a scientific question. Welcome!
We are grateful to: