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Clinical Cooperation Unit Pediatric Oncology

Prof. Dr. med. Olaf Witt

Non-effective (left) and effective drug treatment (right) of three-dimensional microtumors. The microtumors were stained with three fluorescent dyes labelling all cells (blue), viable cells (red), and dying cells (green).

Welcome to the homepage of the Clinical Cooperation Unit Pediatric Oncology, where we are dedicated to advancing pediatric cancer research through the translation of preclinical findings into clinical trials.

Our team of expert researchers is aiming to develop preclinical models, investigating mechanisms of action, conducting drug screens, and clinical trials with new innovative treatments to translate promising treatments to children with cancer. Our team is constantly working to identify new biomarkers that enable to predict treatment response and inform clinical trial design. As such, the department is an essential part of the "Translational Pediatric Oncology" program of the Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) and is closely collaborating with groups from the preclinical and clinical programs of the KiTZ.

Our preclinical activities are centered around developing robust in vitro and in vivo disease models and generate science-driven preclinical data packages to initiate and guide clinical trial development with innovative treatments.

Our KiTZ Clinical Trial Unit has a strong expertise in pediatric phase I-III trial development and coordination of international clinical trials. We work closely with international partners in academia, industry, and the healthcare sector to design and conduct clinical trials that offer the most promising treatments to children with cancer and improve clinical practice in a sustained manner. Our commitment to international collaboration ensures that our clinical trials have the greatest possible impact.

Thank you for visiting our website, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn more about our work.


Prof. Dr. med. Olaf Witt
Pediatric Oncology (B310)
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 6221 42 3570

Selected Publications

  • Heike Peterziel, Nora Jamaladdin, Dina ElHarouni, Xenia F. Gerloff, Sonja Herter, Petra Fiesel, Yannick Berker, Mirjam Blattner-Johnson, Kathrin Schramm, Barbara C. Jones, David Reuss, Laura Turunen, Aileen Friedenauer, Tim Holland-Letz, Martin Sill, Lena Weiser, Christopher Previti, Gnanaprakash Balasubramanian, Nicolas U. Gerber, Johannes Gojo, Caroline Hutter, Ingrid Øra, Olli Lohi, Antonis Kattamis, …Ina Oehme: Drug sensitivity profiling of 3D tumor tissue cultures in the pediatric precision oncology program INFORM. NPJ Precis Oncol. 2022 Dec 27;6(1):94. doi: 10.1038/s41698-022-00335-y.
  • Florian Selt, Romain Sigaud, Gintvile Valinciute, Philipp Sievers, Julia Zaman, Clara Alcon, Simone Schmid, Heike Peterziel, Jessica W Tsai, Romain Guiho, Juan Pedro Martínez-Barbera, Stefan Pusch, Jing Deng, Yifan Zhai, Cornelis M van Tilburg, Martin U Schuhman, Ahmed El Damaty, Pratiti Bandopadhayay, Christel Herold-Mende, Andreas von Deimling, Stefan M Pfister, Joan Montero, David Capper, Ina Oehme, Felix Sahm, David T W Jones, Olaf Witt, Till Milde: BH3 mimetics targeting BCL-XL impact the senescent compartment of pilocytic astrocytoma. Neuro Oncol . 2023 Apr 6;25(4):735-747. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noac199.
  • Cornelis M van Tilburg, Elke Pfaff, Kristian W Pajtler, Karin P S Langenberg, Petra Fiesel, Barbara C Jones, Gnana Prakash Balasubramanian, Sebastian Stark, Pascal D Johann, Mirjam Blattner-Johnson, Kathrin Schramm, Nicola Dikow, Steffen Hirsch, Christian Sutter, Kerstin Grund, Arend von Stackelberg, Andreas E Kulozik, Andrej Lissat, Arndt Borkhardt, Roland Meisel, Dirk Reinhardt, Jan-Henning Klusmann, Gudrun Fleischhack, Stephan Tippelt, Dietrich von Schweinitz, Irene Schmid, Christof M Kramm, André O von Bueren, Gabriele Calaminus, Peter Vorwerk, Norbert Graf, Frank Westermann, Matthias Fischer, Angelika Eggert, Birgit Burkhardt, Wilhelm Wößmann, Michaela Nathrath, Stefanie Hecker-Nolting, Michael C Frühwald, Dominik T Schneider, Ines B Brecht, Petra Ketteler, Simone Fulda, Ewa Koscielniak, Michael T Meister, Monika Scheer, Simone Hettmer, Matthias Schwab, Roman Tremmel, Ingrid Øra, Caroline Hutter, Nicolas U Gerber, Olli Lohi, Bernarda Kazanowska, Antonis Kattamis, Maria Filippidou, Bianca Goemans, C Michel Zwaan, Till Milde, Natalie Jäger, Stephan Wolf, David Reuss, Felix Sahm, Andreas von Deimling, Uta Dirksen, Angelika Freitag, Ruth Witt, Peter Lichter, Annette Kopp-Schneider, David T W Jones, Jan J Molenaar, David Capper, Stefan M Pfister, Olaf Witt: The Pediatric Precision Oncology INFORM Registry: Clinical Outcome and Benefit for Patients with Very High-Evidence Targets. Cancer Discov . 2021 Nov;11(11):2764-2779. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-21-0094. Epub 2021 Aug 9.
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