GEKKO Study Team
Phone: +49 6221 56 35095
Project Management 
Prof. Dr. Hermann Brenner

Study Coordination
Dr. Petra Schrotz-King


Don't give cancer a chance - Oncology Check


The GEKKO Study is a large-scale scientific study performed at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg in cooperation with gastroenterology practices in the Rhine-Neckar district and associated clinics of the Heidelberg University Hospital, such as the surgical clinic, the Interdisciplinary Endoscopy Center (IEZ), the breast center, and the "Thoraxklinik."

Aim of the study

The study aims to discover and evaluate new diagnostic tests for an even earlier recognition of cancer and its precursors since the chances of cure for most cancer types are much better when the disease is detected early on.

Involved partners and study procedure

The Division of Preventive Oncology at the NCT Heidelberg started the study in January 2016. The study program includes two arms: In arm A, participants presenting for a diagnostic or screening colonoscopy procedure are invited to take part in the study. This happens in collaboration with gastroenterological cooperation partners in Heidelberg and the surrounding area. In Arm B, patients going to the hospital for initial treatment of a newly diagnosed gastrointestinal tumor and selected other cancers, such as lung or breast cancer, are invited to participate. Here, the study is conducted in collaboration with the Heidelberg University Hospital and surrounding clinics. In both study arms, participation includes the completion of a questionnaire and the donation of biospecimens (blood, saliva, urine, stool). With the GEKKO study, we want to significantly contribute to the development of new procedures for early detection of cancer using simple examinations, such as new blood tests. This can potentially improve the chances of cure.

Information for study participants

The study relies on every single participant. Only if as many people as possible participate, can we develop and evaluate new cancer screening methods for early detection of cancer using simple examinations, for example, of blood, saliva, urine, or stool samples.

Please note that you can only participate in the study if you speak German.

In study arm A, potential participants receive an information folder about the GEKKO study when they visit their gastroenterologist. The folder includes additional information about the study, for example, a flyer in German and other relevant participant information. In addition, it contains a short questionnaire on health behavior and lifestyle. Completing the questionnaire takes about 15 minutes.

We ask our participants to make an appointment with the NCT Heidelberg by phone before making the appointment for the colonoscopy with the physician. During their visit to the NCT Heidelberg, they receive detailed information about the study. After confirming their participation in the study and signing the informed consent form, we ask them to provide one sample each of blood, saliva, urine, and stool. As an expense allowance, participants will receive a prevention bag with practical suggestions and current recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, as well as the latest information on cancer prevention, especially colorectal cancer prevention. A voucher for the cafeteria at the NCT Heidelberg and parking reimbursement are also included.

In study arm B, patients with indications of gastrointestinal, breast, and lung cancer are informed directly about the study through the corresponding clinics and recruited by members of the GEKKO study team. If the patient agrees, he or she will be asked once more for one blood, saliva, stool, and urine sample each.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with our study center, if you have any questions about the process. You will find our contact details further down in the text.

Various practices and clinics in Heidelberg, Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Schwetzingen, Sinsheim, and Bruchsal currently cooperate with us for the GEKKO study. Informing and admitting the participants for the study takes place in the GEKKO study centers at the NCT or DKFZ and also in the practices and clinics of our cooperation partners.

Our current cooperation partners:


Practices where the GEKKO team is on-site:


Clinics recruiting for GEKKO:

  • Fürst-Stirum-Clinic Bruchsal
    Study Department Intestinal Center
    Prof. Dr. med. Tom M. Ganten
    Ms. Jeanette Fehrer
    Gutleutstraße 1-14
    76646 Bruchsal
    Phone: 07251 - 70 80
  • Kreiskrankenhaus Bergstraße (District Hospital Bergstraße)
    Internal Medicine I
    PD Dr. med. Uwe Seitz
    Ms. Monika Post
    Viernheimer Straße 2
    64646 Heppenheim
    Phone: 07281 - 701 702
  • Clinical Center of the City of Ludwigshafen
    Bremserstraße 79
    67063 Ludwigshafen


Referring practices and clinics:


Cooperation partners, who participated in GEKKO participant recruitment:

  • Robert-Bosch-Hospital
    Klinik Schillerhöhe
    Solitudestraße 18
    70839 Gerlingen
  • Internistic speacialist practice Weinheim
    Drs. Gast und Wagner
    Röntgenstrasse 3
    69469 Weinheim
  • Thoraxclinic
    Röntgenstrasse 1
    69126 Heidelberg



If you have any questions about the study, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

GEKKO Study Team
National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg
Preventive Oncology
Im Neuenheimer Feld 460
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: 06221-56 35095
E-mail: gekko@nct-heidelberg.de

Project Management
Prof. Dr. med. Hermann Brenner
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research
Im Neuenheimer Feld 581 and
National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 460
Preventive Oncology
69120 Heidelberg

Study Coordination
Dr. Petra Schrotz-King
National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg
Preventive Oncology
Im Neuenheimer Feld 460
69120 Heidelberg