Group for Translational Radiation Oncology (Prof Dr Mechthild Krause)
The group Translational Radiation Oncology represents the liaison between basic science in the laboratories and the research within the group Clinical Radiation Oncology. Within the framework of the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) this group was newly established. Together with the Clinical Radiation Oncology group on site and in cooperation with all further DKTK partner sites (Heidelberg, Berlin, Essen/Düsseldorf, Frankfurt/Mainz, Freiburg, München and Tübingen) the focus is on high-precision technologies, including particle therapy and biological-driven individualization of radiotherapy. Considerable progress is expected from following three major projects: Proton Therapy, RadPlanBio-Platform and Biological Individualization of Radiotherapy.
Within the proton experimental and clinical research facility the clinical gantry is used for patient studies since December 2014. The trial protocols are developed in a tight cooperation between the sections Clinical and Translational Radiation Oncology. Aims of the clinical trials are the reduction of the toxicity of proton therapy versus standard radiotherapy. In a second step also dose escalation trials for high-risk patients are intended. The trial protocols always consider translational aspects to evaluate biological mechanisms and biomarkers. Furthermore, preclinical (translational) studies intend to characterize the impact of proton radiotherapy to advance the biological treatment planning for particle therapy.
Fig. 1: Treatment plan of an astrocytoma with photons and protons. Normal Tissue Complication Probability (NTCP) as a function of dose in an organ at risk (courtesy: Almut Dutz and Dr. Steffen Löck).
The RadPlanBio-platform (RadiationDosePlan-Image / Biomarker-Outcome-platform) is hosted by the DKTK partner sites Dresden and Heidelberg. It represents a powerful IT-infrastructure for multicentric, clinical trials as well as preclinical studies adapted for the specific needs of translational research in radiation oncology. The aim of this platform is to allow multicentric data collection, analysis and quality assurance in radiation oncology including clinical dose-space-time resoluted analyses of radiotherapy results. All local clinical and translational studies as well as multicentric trials administrated by Dresden are conducted using the RadPlanBio platform.
In the topic Biological Individualization of Radiotherapy preclinical as well as clinical parameters are investigated, which may predict the efficacy of radio(chemo)therapy. These parameters are then further developed and evaluated for the stratification of patients for certain therapy options. Furthermore, strategies for intervention against such resistance factors are investigated. All studies include imaging parameters as well as molecular markers and parameters of the tumor micromilieu.
Future Projects and Goals
to establish the best biomarker as basis for radio-oncological interventions
to identify tumor diseases or subgroups of patients that profit from proton radiotherapies