The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) assumes a dual role within DKTK. It constitutes the DKTK core center supporting the consortium administratively, and in addition, together with the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg, it represents DKTK’s local translation center in Heidelberg. DKFZ, which is a member of the Helmholtz Association, Germany’s largest research organization, ranks among the leading cancer research centers worldwide. The NCT combines patient-related research and patient care.
DKTK strongly stimulates activities in translational oncology at DKFZ. New collaborations and numerous novel IITs have been started under coordination of Heidelberg DKTK scientists, exemplified by e.g. SMART (a precision oncology initiative for blood cancer patients), NCT MASTER (an investigator registry for adult patients up to 50 years with relapsed or refractory high risk disease), NOA-16 (a phase I peptide vaccination study for WHO grade III-IV IDH1 R132H-mutated gliomas), N2M2 (NCT Neuro Master Match, for patients with MGMT-unmethylated glioblastoma), INFORM (an investigator registry for pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory high risk disease), PSMA (a phase I/II diagnostic study of pre-operative PSMA PET/CT imaging in prostate cancer patients), and the epidemiologic RaPS study (about risk-adopted prevention strategies for people with family history of colorectal cancer).
A major element at Heidelberg is the genome sequencing core facility including the unique Illumina HiSeq X-Ten Platform for whole genome sequencing, which was established in collaboration with all DKTK partners in the years 2014-2015. The platform allows whole genome sequencing of more than 3,000 patients/year and developed already to one of Europe's leading genome sequencing platforms, supported by a strong and well experienced local bioinformatics section. Comprehensive sequencing programs for pediatric tumors, brain tumors, soft-tissue sarcoma, and pancreatic cancer are already in place.
Further dedicated state-of-the-art central units, which are open to DKTK partners, include (func-tional) genome and proteome analyses, bioinformatics, biostatistics and systems biology, animal facilities, microscopy, flow cytometry, chemical biology core facility, and a GMP facility.
To long-term secure education and training for physicians and scientists in the field of transla-tional/personalized oncology the young Heidelberg NCT School of Oncology matches the mission of the DKTK School of Oncology. Additionally, the central coordination of DKTK School of Oncology is performed in Heidelberg.