What moved us: the year 2022 in retrospect

Dear readers,

With this overview we would like to show you which topics, tasks and successes were particularly important for us at the NCT Heidelberg in 2022. After almost three years under pandemic conditions, we are increasingly returning to normality in research as well as in the care of our patients and in personal interaction.

At the same time, we and our work are facing great challenges. We are all affected by the war in Ukraine and feel its consequences in many areas of our lives. But even under difficult circumstances, we managed to achieve excellent results together last year and to keep our motivation high - for the benefit of our patients.

We are looking to the future in a positive mood and look forward to exciting projects. After the closure due to construction work, the main entrance of the NCT Heidelberg is open again, and we expect to inaugurate the new part of the building in the third quarter of 2023. In addition, the NCT will be expanded to up to four further locations nationwide.

We are sure that the great commitment and intensive cooperation will continue to distinguish the NCT Heidelberg in the future.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and sincerely all the best for 2023!

The Managing Directorate NCT Heidelberg

Jürgen Debus

Stefan Fröhling


Dirk Jäger

Peter Lichter


Lena Maier-Hein

Eva Winkler


Karolin Willmund


Cancer Research

The NCT Heidelberg stands for personalized cancer medicine. For example, molecular or immunological examinations can detect changes in the tumor that are important for the development and treatment of cancer. Our goal is to use the latest knowledge to develop tailor-made and precise treatment processes for every patient.

Leibniz Prize for Stefan Pfister

Stefan Pfister, Director of the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), Head of Department at the DKFZ, and Professor at the Heidelberg University Medical Faculty and pediatric oncologist at UKHD, is awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2023 of the German Research Foundation - the most prestigious science prize in Germany. He is being honored for his outstanding contributions to the research and development of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods for childhood brain tumors. »Read more...

Therapy of rare cancers: scientists from Heidelberg and Dresden receive Paul Martini Award

Stefan Fröhling and Hanno Glimm from the NCT in Heidelberg and Dresden have been awarded this year's Paul Martini Prize for the DKFZ/NCT/DKTK MASTER program. The program uses comprehensive molecular analyses to identify new treatment options for patients with rare or unusually young cancers. The prize is endowed with 50,000 euros. »Read more...

Takeda Oncology Research Award 2022 to Arlou Kristina Angeles

In some patients with non-small cell lung cancer, tumor cells carry a mutation that accelerates cancer growth. Although there are drugs that prevent this, the cancer cells often develop resistance to these drugs. Arlou K. Angeles, DKFZ and NCT Heidelberg, has shown that the determination of tumor DNA in the blood is a way to detect therapy resistance or disease progression at an early stage. This can help to adapt the treatment strategy for those affected as quickly as possible. For her findings, the biologist received the Takeda Oncology Research Award 2022. »Read more...

Five times NCT Heidelberg among the most cited scientists worldwide

The international evaluation Highly Cited Researchers names researchers whose publications have been cited most frequently worldwide in their respective field or across several disciplines (cross-field). This year, the list includes five successful scientists at the NCT Heidelberg.

»Read more: Press release from UKHD
»Read more: Press release from DKFZ

CUP syndrome: Comprehensive molecular analysis can improve cancer therapy

In the case of CUP syndrome (cancer of unknown primary), a significant proportion of those affected could benefit from a comprehensive molecular analysis and targeted therapies based on it, as a research team from the DKFZ, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden and the NCT in Dresden and Heidelberg has shown. The results were published in the journal Nature Communications. »Read more...

Multiple myeloma: on the trail of resistant cancer cells

Multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, almost always comes back after treatment. Scientists at DKFZ, UKHD and NCT Heidelberg have now used single-cell sequencing to clarify how myeloma cells with different genetic characteristics change in interaction with the surrounding immune cells during a relapse. »Read more...

Lynch syndrome: immune microenvironment as a risk factor for colorectal cancer

A significant proportion of colorectal tumors are hereditary. This is especially true for those that occur in young people. Lynch syndome is the most common hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome. In a study, researchers at UKHD, DKFZ and NCT Heidelberg have shown for the first time that there is a link between the development of intestinal tumors in people with Lynch syndrome and the composition of immune cells in the intestinal mucosa. »Read more...

Individualized treatment of rare lung cancer: new insights into molecular risk factors and tumor microenvironment

An interdisciplinary research team from the Thoraxklinik-Heidelberg at UKHD and NCT Heidelberg has investigated how a rare form of lung cancer can be better treated individually. This is based on identifying a molecular risk factor and deciphering the role of the immunological tumor microenvironment. »Read more...

Bone marrow cancer multiple myeloma: antibody enhances the effect of established drug combination

The effect of established triple drug combinations for the initial treatment of multiple myeloma can be significantly improved by the additional administration of a monoclonal antibody. This is shown by a large-scale study led by Hartmut Goldschmidt of the Myeloma Center of Medical Clinic V at UKHD and NCT Heidelberg, in which 67 German hospitals and practices participated. The results appeared in Lancet Haematology. »Read more...

Cancer patients want to support research with clinical data

Cancer patients are very willing to make their clinical data available for research purposes. This is the result of a study conducted by researchers at UKHD and NCT Heidelberg. Patients demand a high level of data security, the best possible use of data and information about research results obtained from clinical data. »Read more...

Overcoming resistance to therapy of cancer: bone and soft tissue tumors in adolescents as a model system

Therapy resistance is a central problem in the treatment of cancer. Sarcomas - bone and soft tissue tumors in adolescents and young adults - often do not respond to treatment in the long term. The interdisciplinary research consortium HEROES-AYA wants to find out how the molecular heterogeneity of sarcomas leads to therapy resistance and develop ways to overcome it. The project is led by scientists at the DKFZ, NCT Heidelberg and Dresden as well as the Hopp Children's Tumor Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), and involves a total of twelve research institutions. As part of the National Decade against Cancer, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project over five years with a total of more than 15 million euros. »Read more...

Rare cancers: analysis of hereditary alterations enables early detection of familial cancer risk and identifies therapeutic targets

Inherited genetic alterations play an important role in the development of cancer, but have so far mostly remained undetected. Patients and their families could benefit from early molecular diagnostics. This was shown by an international research team from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), led by scientists from the University Medical Center Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, DKFU and NCT in Dresden and Heidelberg, in a large-scale study as part of the DKFZ/NCT/DKTK MASTER program. »Read more...


CCE Summer School in Translational Cancer Research 2022

The Cancer Core Europe (CCE) Summer School in Translational Cancer Research took place in Portugal from 16 to 22 October 2022.. The program consisted of workshops and lectures by renowned speakers from various  disciplines of cancer research, with a special focus on personalized cancer medicine. The Summer School 2022 was jointly hosted by CCE and DKFZ and organized by the NCT Heidelberg. The Summer School Scientific Committee is chaired by Stefan Fröhling, Managing Director at NCT Heidelberg and Head of the Division of Translational Medical Oncology at DKFZ. »Read more...

TRYTRAC: young scientists at NCT Heidelberg

Exchange and training for future leaders - that was the goal of the third meeting of TRYTRAC, for which nearly 20 young scientist from Europe came to NCT Heidelberg. TRYTRAC stands for TRaining program of Young leaders in TRAnslational Cancer research. The program of Cancer Core Europe (CCE) aims to further strengthen the interaction between clinical and translational researchers within the CCE. »Read more...

Patient Care

The NCT Heidelberg combines patient care and patient-related research under one roof. The special thing about the NCT is its comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach. The NCT Heidelberg acts as a central portal for all cancer patients, combines all oncological activities at the UKHD and translational research at the DKFZ and coordinates numerous oncological studies at the DKFZ and the UKHD.

The Patient Advisory Council is firmly established at NCT Heidelberg. In order to further improve the cooperation between advisory board members and medical staff in care and research, the patient advisory board has reorganized its work. To this end, the members have appointed five areas, each of which is the responsibility of several advisory board members: clinical studies, public relations, relatives, aftercare and palliative care. »Read more...

At NCT Heidelberg and UKHD, patients with incurable cancer can create a family audio book. For this purpose, they record their life story with the support of audio professionals. An accompanying study is investigating the effects of working on the audio book on coping with the disease. The study is made possible by a donation from the Dietmar Hopp Foundation to Familienhörbuch gGmbH. »Read more...

Many cancer patients suffer from the chronic fatigue syndrome. At NCT Heidelberg, Karen Steindorf, Head of the Division of Exercise, Prevention Research and Cancer at the DKFZ, investigatesthe causes, potential subtypes and treatment options for fatigue. Despite fatigue being so common, many sufferers know little about it. The newly published information brochure offers early help in this situation. It  explains fatigue in a generally understandable way and provides important advice. »Read more...


The NCT Heidelberg has been awarded the title of self-help-friendly hospital for the fifth time. The Self-Help Friendly and Patient-Oriented Healthcare Network thus honors the successful cooperation between self-help groups, the Heidelberg Self-Help Office and the NCT Heidelberg. An important part of this cooperation is the NCT Patient Advisory Board, which was newly elected at the end of 2021. »Read more...


Over 40 virtual events and seminars, around 5,000 participants - there was an extensive program of events for researchers, physician and patients at NCT Heidelberg in 2021. In addition, for a good cause, numerous participants were actively involved in the NCT-RUN and the charity Move Against Cancer.

The NCT Heidelberg invited to the Cancer Patients' Day on April 2nd. The 17th edition of the event took place again virtually via video. The Cancer Patients’ Day is not only aimed at patients but also at their relatives and anyone who is interested. Experts from the NCT Heidelberg, UKHD and DKFZ reported on the latest state of research and treatment options in oncology. In addition, the cancer information service and self-help groups presented themselves. »Read more...

The Heidelberg Grand Round event series presents the latest clinical and scientific findings in oncology and hematology four times a year.

The series of lectures on interdisciplinary further training by the NCT Heidelberg on oncological topics took place on Wednesdays. It was organized in coordination with the Department of Internal Medicine V at UKHD.

Annual highlight events following the ESMO and ASCO conferences as well as the spring symposium rounded off the program of events. A total of 4.500 participants attended the clinical and scientific events of the NCT Heidelberg. »To the calendar of events...

More than 4,750 runners took part in the 11th NCT run under the motto "NCT Running against cancer – Alone. Together!". Participants started on seven continents. With their enthusiasm for a good cause, the active participants collected 65,000 euros in donations for innovative projects for applied cancer research at the NCT Heidelberg.»Read more...

Entertainment on water and on land - that was again on Saturday, September 10, 2022: The participants in the "Rowing against Cancer" charity regatta once againrowed for a good cause. A varied program for the whole family and culinary delights awaited the visitors on the Neckarwiese in Neuenheim. The patronage of the charity event was taken over by the mayor of Heidelberg Eckart Würzner and MLP founder Manfred Lautenschläger. »Read more...

This year's benefit concert "Bars against cancer" for the benefit of innovative and applied cancer research at NCT Heidelberg took place for the first time over two days on November 25th and 26th, 2022 at the Capitol Mannheim. OPUS Klassik award winner Kathrin Christians performed works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, John Rutter and others on the flute with ensemble. »Read more...

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Save the date 2023

February 25th: Spring Symposium

July 7.–9.: NCT-RUNning against Cancer