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Translational Research

Translational research (clinical research)

The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) is one of the most important cancer research institutions in the world and is particularly well positioned in the field of basic research and early translation research. In order to ensure that research results and developments can be put into practice more quickly in a clinical setting for future patient care, we draw on a wide range of know-how as well as highly specialized, networked infrastructures, rounded out by the very close cooperation between researchers and clinical physicians.
With our translation locations in Germany and the ability to use them in connection with the DKFZ, we are working to optimize processes and make the results more applicable for patients. Each location is jointly supported by the DKFZ through partners at the respective university hospitals.

National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT)

© NCT Heidelberg / Philip Benjamin

The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) is a long-term cooperation between the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), excellent partners in university medicine and other outstanding research partners at various locations in Germany.

Heidelberg has been the first NCT site since 2004, Dresden the second site since 2015. On February 2, 2023, the BMBF announced the new sites: Berlin, SüdWest (Tübingen/Stuttgart-Ulm), WERA (Würzburg with partners Erlangen, Regensburg and Augsburg) and West (Cologne/Essen). This means that a total of six NCT sites are now cooperating with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) to advance clinical cancer research in Germany and to improve treatment outcomes and the quality of life of cancer patients.

German Cancer Consortium (DKTK)


Promising, new results from cancer research should be incorporated as quickly as possible into clinical development and application. To support this goal, the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) was founded in 2012 as one of the six German Centers of Health Research (DZG). Over 20 academic research institutes and university hospitals at seven partner locations cooperate with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) as the core center.

Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ)

© Flugkraft

The Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD), and Heidelberg University (Uni HD). It is also a therapy and research center for oncological and hematological diseases in children and adolescents. The center's aim is to conduct scientific research on the biology of childhood cancer and severe blood diseases and closely connect promising research approaches to patient care.

Helmholtz Institute for Translational Oncology (HI-TRON Mainz)

© Jürgen Arlt / DKFZ

The Helmholtz Institute for Translational Oncology (HI-TRON Mainz) is the result of the close cooperation between the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Research Institute for Translational Oncology (TRON gGmbH) at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. The mission of HI-TRON Mainz is to make full use of the potential of individualized immunotherapy for the benefit of people with cancer, based on the know-how and success results of the partners. The strategic goal is to position Germany among the world’s leaders in this innovative and relevant field. The research projects are selected based on the strict requirement of ensuring the immediate value for the patient as a top priority.

DKFZ-Hector Cancer Institute at the University of Mannheim

The DKFZ Hector Cancer Institute at Mannheim University Medical Center was established in 2019 in the frame of a partnership between the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Mannheim University Hospital, and the Mannheim Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University with generous support from the Hector Foundation II. The aim is to concentrate expertise in cancer research and cancer medicine in order to accelerate the transfer of results from oncological laboratory research to patient care (translation) and make findings from everyday clinical practice utilizable for cancer research (reverse translation). In addition to a focus on the personalised treatment of cancer, cancer prevention research, including cancer survivorship, is being established as a second focus of the DKFZ Hector cancer institute. This research helps to prevent cancer, detect it at an early stage and promote the quality of life and health literacy of cancer survivors.

National Cancer Prevention Center

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and Deutsche Krebshilfe have agreed to establish the National Cancer Prevention Center with a new building in Heidelberg as part of a long-term partnership. The center brings together cancer prevention research, an outpatient prevention clinic – also open to participants in ongoing prevention studies – , and a Citizens' Information Center. With support from our network of partners, experts will develop evidence-based programs for personalized cancer risk prevention and design campaigns to increase prevention awareness across the country. In addition, new individualized digital cancer prevention systems are being developed, for example in the form of an app, as well as systems to support prevention research. Not least the extensive range of DKFZ translational prevention research is being consolidated into the National Cancer Prevention Center.

Clinical Trial Office

The DKFZ Clinical Trial Office (CTO) was founded in April 2018 to generate a strategic portfolio of clinical trials and data by enabling the performance of high-quality clinical trials under formal sponsorship of DKFZ. The CTO's main tasks are the establishment and implementation of structures and processes to ensure DKFZ's sponsor oversight in the start-up and conduction phase of clinical drug trials. In addition, the CTO is responsible for the scientific and administrative framework needed to support clinical research at DKFZ.

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