Medical Informatics for Translational Oncology

Division of Medical Informatics for Translational Oncology

Prof. Dr. Frank Ückert

Federation of distributed knowledge for collaborative use in research (greatly simplified)

State-of-the-art oncology research and treatment increasingly depend on national and international research consortia. One key to the continuous improvement of research and therapeutic options lies in a shared, future-proof research infrastructure developed cooperatively by science and industry.
DKFZ’s Department of Medical Informatics in Translational Oncology (MITRO) has extensive experience in the development of innovative IT tools and concepts that bring together findings from prevention, diagnostics, therapy, follow-up care, and research. Acting as an IT communication hub for scientists and clinicians within DKFZ as well as external research, industrial, and business partners, the department contributes significantly to the improvement of the research landscape.
MITRO’s core areas of research are:

  • semantics as a prerequisite for data interoperability and integration
  • management of study participants, identity management, and data protection
  • databases and registries, especially federated approaches
  • management of electronic data quality
  • data warehousing together with data extraction.

Particularly in individualized oncology, an extensive pool of data gathered by such integrative solutions is indispensable for generating hypotheses. In addition, offers a range of other options including identifying successful therapies, developing and optimizing guidelines, offering support in the recruitment of participants in clinical trials, identifying risk factors, and many more.

MITRO’s work on the targeted development, improvement and integration of efficient shared and distributed (federated) IT infrastructures based on local systems shall further facilitate the analysis and evaluation of research and clinical data. Thus DKFZ’s existing research network shall be expanded internally and externally and hence the pool of available research and treatment data shall be further increased.
As part of this strategy, a “DataThereHouse” is currently being established as a platform for the integration of data from participating institutions. Its vision is to make all heterogeneous clinical and research data on a particular patient available via an innovative data system.
This results in the following specific goals:

  • Integrating existing data to create a lively “DataThereHouse”.
  • Developing the platform with specific medical methods and tools to allow access to and optimal use of the data.
  • Supporting medical research projects (pilot applications, generation and review of hypotheses, automated analyses, virtual preliminary studies, etc.).
  • Quick creation of palpable added value for all participants even while the infrastructure is still in development.

Generating and continuously improving such an innovative, modern research infrastructure will underpin DKFZ’s position as a place of state-of-the-art oncology research and treatment today and in the future.


Prof. Dr. Frank Ückert
Medical Informatics for Translational Oncology (E240)
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 6221 42-5101

Selected Publications

  • Lablans, M., Kadioglu, D., Mate, S., Leb, I. Prokosch, H.-U. & Ueckert, F. (2016). Strategien zur Vernetzung von Biobanken. Bundesgesundheitsblatt 59:373-378
  • Ückert F., Ammenwerth E., Dujat C., Grant A., Haux R., Hein A., Hochlehnert A., Knaup-Gregori P., Kulikowski C., Mantas J., Maojo V., Marschollek M., Moura L., Plischke M., Röhrig R., Stausberg J., Takabayashi K., Winter A., Wolf K.H., Hasman A. (2014). Past and next 10 years of medical informatics. J Med Syst. 38(7), 74
  • Lablans, M., Kadioglu, D., Muscholl, M. & Ueckert, F. (2015). Exploiting Distributed, Heterogeneous and Sensitive Data Stocks while Maintaining the Owner’s Data Sovereignty. Methods Inf Med 2015; 54(4), 346-352
  • Lablans, M., Borg, A. & Ueckert, F. (2015). A RESTful interface to pseudonymization services in modern web applications. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak., 15:2
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