The European Pancreas Center (EPC) of the Department of Surgery is one of the largest centers for pancreatic surgery in the world (750 pancreatic operations in 2016). Core research areas include surgical techniques, adjuvant therapy, immunotherapy and molecular disease mechanisms. Patients with inoperable disease are treated in the Department of Medical Oncology at the National Center for Tumor Diseases, which has a focus on innovative immunotherapy trials.
Patients with an unusual young age or rare histology are included in the NCT MASTER program to characterize their tumors in detail and identify molecular targets for individualized therapies. The Department of Radiotherapy offers all modern radiotherapy approaches for patients with locally advanced cancer and symptomatic metastases and studies the role of heavy ion radiation in pancreatic cancer. The interdisciplinary endoscopy center is specialized in palliation and management of pre- and postoperative complications.
Many different laboratories in the DKFZ, the European Pancreas Center, the Department of Pathology and the NCT focus on the molecular basis of pancreatic cancer. Many of these groups have joined in the BMBF-funded PANC-STRAT consortium that aims to decipher mechanisms of pancreatic carcinogenesis and drug resistance and develop individualized early clinical trials.