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Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention

Research Program

Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention

Research Program

Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention

Coordinator Prof. Dr. Karen Steindorf

About 220,000 people in Germany die of cancer each year. About 500,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed yearly. Our Research Program focuses on identifying risk factors (primary prevention), improve early detection and screening strategies (secondary prevention), as well as approaches to prevent disease progression and to improve quality of life (tertiary prevention). Integrating recent advances in the fields of genetic and molecular biology, digital oncology and imaging will further boost progress in cancer prevention. The German Cancer Research Center occupies a leading position in the area of epidemiological studies, in the application of biomarkers (characteristic biological features that are keys for the prognosis, diagnosis or course of cancer) as well as in investigating modifiable lifestyle factors, such as nutrition, smoking and physical activity. We expect that it may be possible to prevent up to 40 percent of new cancer cases within the next 20 to 30 years. To reach this goal, the main activities of the Research Program are focused on:

  • Coordinating the establishment of the new National Cancer Prevention Center (NCPC)
  • Integrating genome, proteome, and biomarker research into epidemiological and clinical studies on the causes and prevention of cancer
  • Studies to identify causal connections such as between diet and cancer
  • Evaluating and improving methods for early cancer detection and screening
  • Performing studies to improve the quality of life of cancer patients and survivors
  • Compiling and extending collections of biological samples and databases
  • Improving the outreach, implementation and effectiveness of prevention strategies
  • Research in the fields of biostatistics, methodological counseling and health economics


Topic Locator

Find research groups by research areas or browse through all research groups and PI names.


The DKFZ-ZMBH-Alliance is a strategic alliance between the Research Program Cell and Tumor Biology and the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University.

Research Results

Here you can find our latest press releases.

Junior Research Groups

At German Cancer Research Center the following Junior Research Groups have been established.

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