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Heidelberg Center for Personalized Oncology

Heidelberg Center for Personalized Oncology (DKFZ-HIPO)

In 2011, the DKFZ has established the Heidelberg Center for Personalized Oncology (DKFZ-HIPO), which offers a program for personalized oncology with the aim to translate latest research and technologies from the “omics” fields (genomics, transcriptomics, etc.) and systems biology/medicine into clinical practice. The center integrates the following three areas of expertise: (1) Genome Analysis (Peter Lichter), (2) Computational Biology (Benedikt Brors, Roland Eils), and (3) Precision Oncology (Stefan Fröhling, Christof von Kalle).


During the last years the center developed the infrastructure and workflows that allow for sample processing, DNA/RNA sequencing, data management and bioinformatics analyses in DKFZ-HIPO funded projects from researchers of the DKFZ in collaboration with clinical partners. The following DKFZ technology platforms partner up in the DKFZ-HIPO workflow (see figure 1 and figure 2): Sample Processing Laboratory (SPL), CHromatin And RNA Methods (CHARM) Laboratory, Single Cell Open Lab (scOpen Lab), the High-Throughput Sequencing and Microarray Units of the DKFZ Genomics and Proteomics Core Facility (DKFZ-GPCF), the Omics IT and Data Management Core Facility (DKFZ-ODCF) as well as bioinformatics teams.  

HIPO2, the second funding period of DKFZ-HIPO, started end of 2016 and sup­ports 13 clinical projects dedicated to the implementation of personalized therapy approaches, the assessment of therapy response and resistance, and immunoprofiling. Many of the projects run according to the clinical workflow as the clinical consequences of the molecular results are discussed in Molecular Tumor Boards for novel treatment strategies. 

Since the end of 2017, DKFZ-HIPO supports additional 13 projects implementing novel technologies with potentially high relevance in personalized oncology – liquid biopsies and single cell sequencing (see figure 2). The analysis of circulating tumor cells or cfDNA from blood or serum of patients is highly useful for treatment monitor­ing and may be a powerful tool to improve prediction of therapy response and relapse. Single cell DNA and RNA sequencing support the understanding of clonal diversity in complex biological processes related to the development of therapy resistant clones and metastatic spread. Both approaches might become promising avenues in the field of personalized oncology, guiding targeted therapy towards the most malignant clones


HIPOprojects cover various tumor entities such as colorectal cancer, sarcoma, myeloma, pediatric malignancies, pancreatic carcinomas, glioblastoma, breast cancer, renal cell cancer, ovarian cancer, neuroblastoma, leukemias, melanoma.

During the past seven years, DKFZ-HIPO has become a very successful center that takes a pioneering role in the field of personalized oncology, both nationally and internationally. 

Please visit for more information.


Prof. Dr. Peter Lichter
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 42-4619


DKFZ-HIPO Project Coordinator:

Dr. Viktoria Fischer
HIPO Coordinators
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 42-4579
Fax: +49 6221 42-4639



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