Surgical Oncology

The NCT Heidelberg works towards the individualization of surgical treatments in terms of precision oncology. One key mission is the establishment of the field of surgical data science, aimed at improving the quality of interventional healthcare and its value through the capture, organization, analysis and modeling of all available data from the treatment process chain. A strategic priority is therefore to develop the future infrastructure, tools and workflow concepts for enabling data-driven surgical oncology and multidisciplinary data science. The NCT plays a leading role in the International Surgical Data Science initiative (www.surgical-data-science.org).

An additional aim is to develop a lighthouse clinical studies program that will further facilitate researchers from the Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) to conduct clinical studies in the field of surgical oncology with potential practice-changing impact. The current research focuses on three areas: (1) data science driven surgical oncology: enabling personalized treatment based on data-driven approaches. (2) Advanced imaging: developing novel surgical imaging concepts based on biophotonics techniques. (3) Tumor microenvironment: targeting the metastatic microenvironment to augment prognosis prediction and treatment.

Surgical data science and translational research activities are complemented with a highly active center of clinical trials situated within the Department of Surgery. Within this framework, surgical oncology patients are recruited into several clinical trials, focusing on various aspects of surgical technique and resection strategies in gastrointestinal cancer.

Schematic structure of surgical oncology

The Surgical Oncology Program aims at individualizing surgical treatments within various dimensions.