vom 29.06.2020

Virtual NCT run: Around the world for cancer research

8,976 runners took part in the charity run of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg on the weekend of 26th June to 28th June, starting at a distance and route they had chosen themselves. This time, the virtual format inspired people from all seven continents. In total, the participants covered almost 120,000 kilometres. The sponsors SAP and Prominent as well as the supporters Klaus Tschira Foundation and Affimed supported the kilometers walked with more than 40,000 euros. Together with numerous donations and fundraising campaigns, the NCT Heidelberg is pleased to receive approximately 75,000 euros for cancer research at the NCT Heidelberg.

The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and the German Cancer Aid (DKH).

Since 2012, the NCT Heidelberg has been organizing the charity run "NCT LAUFend gegen Krebs". Eight years ago, around 500 participants took part. In the meantime, the run has grown to become the largest charity run in the region and offers the right route for everyone, from a 2.5 kilometre lap course to a half marathon. However, the race is not primarily about top sporting achievements, but about getting involved in the community supporting cancer research at the NCT Heidelberg.

This year, the COVID19 pandemic has presented everyone with special challenges. The NCT run was turned into a virtual format under the motto "NCT LAUFend gegen Krebs: Alleine. Together!". Running was done alone or in small groups according to the Corona rules, but still united in the basic idea to set a sign against cancer. The place and the distance was decided by each runner himself. After finishing their own NCT run, the completed kilometres could be confirmed or adjusted. The registration was free of charge worldwide. In addition to a strong participation in the region, runners from Hawaii to Japan, Australia, Africa and North America were also involved. Throughout the weekend, runners signed up to be part of the nct run and shared their successes and stories on social media. "Even in the Antarctic, seven researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute of the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research took part," said Stefan Fröhling, Managing Director at the NCT Heidelberg and head of "Translational Medical Oncology" at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). "We can proudly say that people participated around the world with a runing distance more than twice around the world. This is an incredible sign for the fight against cancer and not least for cancer research."

Numerous new and long-standing running teams have participated. In memory of her husband who died of cancer and for all families who are in a similar situation, Nicole Regenauer and her children started "Team Frank". Within two weeks, 775 runners worldwide registered for "Team Frank". Many sports clubs, schools and self-help groups took part in the virtual NCT run. The Mannheim Eagles contributed the kilometres of a training course.  

Many companies took the NCT run as an opportunity to make a contribution to the health of their employees and to sensitize them to the topic of cancer. For each kilometer run, SAP donated 0.50 euros up to a maximum grant of 20,000 euros. Since the target of 40,000 kilometers was already far exceeded at the starting signal on June 26, Prominent added 10,000 euros for each additional kilometer. The company Affimed contributed 2,040 euros, thus rewarding the performance of its employees.

The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation supported the NCT Heidelberg with a special campaign: The Klaus Tschira Foundation rewarded every kilometre run by the HITS running team "The HITSters" with 25 euros, which will be donated to the NCT. A total of 34 runners of the HITS team ran in Germany and France under the motto "Run beyond the limits! Together they covered more than 400 kilometres. They had registered for about 400 kilometres of running. The commitment to the NCT run is one of numerous activities for the foundation's 25th anniversary, which are intended to benefit society and revolve around the number 25. The HITS, as a research institute of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, made its contribution to the event this weekend with sporting activities.

The run was also supported by Theresia Bauer, Minister of Science, Research and the Arts of the State of Baden-Württemberg. She and her colleagues registered for the run and ran their personal NCT run. Eckart Würzner, Mayor of the City of Heidelberg, also supported the event by taking on the patronage together with Mrs. Bauer.

In the end, the virtual NCT run raised almost 75,000 euros in donations. "We are very grateful for the lots of personal and emotional moments we received from the run participants," said Dirk Jäger, Managing Director at the NCT Heidelberg and head of "Medical Oncology" at the Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD). "Thanks to the funds raised by the charity run, we are able to support innovative projects at the NCT Heidelberg every year, which in many cases would not come about without this direct funding opportunity. Many thanks!"

Images for the press release are available free of charge on the Internet at



Legend: The most unusual contribution was probably made by seven  winterers of Neumayer III in Antarctica. The Neumayer III belongs to the Alfred Wegener Institute of the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research. The researchers covered a few metres at minus 40 degrees. The rest was done on the treadmill (Copyright: Alfred Wegener Institute / Klaus Guba"). 


Copyright: NCT Heidelberg

Terms of use for image material for press releases
The use is free of charge. The NCT Heidelberg permits one-time use in connection with reporting on the topic of the press release. Please indicate as picture credits: "Copyright  pictures Antarctica: Alfred Wegener Institute / Klaus Guba"; picture NCT-run landscape: NCT Heidelberg. The images may only be passed on to third parties after prior consultation with the NCT press office (Tel. 06221 56 5930, e-mail friederike.fellenberg@nct-heidelberg.de). Use for commercial purposes is prohibited.

Press contact:

Dr. Friederike Fellenberg
National Center for Tumor Diseases Heidelberg (NCT)
Press and Public Relations
Im Neuenheimer Feld 460
69120 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 6221 56-5930
Fax: +49 6221 56-5350
Email: friederike.fellenberg@nct-heidelberg.de

Dr. Sibylle Kohlstädt
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
Communications and Marketing
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 6221 42-2843
Fax: +49 6221 42-2968
Email: s.kohlstaedt@dkfz.de

Doris Rübsam-Brodkorb
Heidelberg University Hospital and Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg
Press and Public Relations
Im Neuenheimer Feld 672
69120 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 6221 56-5052
Fax: +49 6221 56-4544
Email: doris.ruebsam-brodkorb@med.uni-heidelberg.de

National Center for Tumor Diseases Heidelberg (NCT)
The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and German Cancer Aid. The NCT's goal is to link promising approaches from cancer research with patient care from diagnosis to treatment, aftercare and prevention. This is true for diagnosis and treatment, follow-up care or prevention. The interdisciplinary tumor outpatient clinic is the central element of the NCT. Here, the patients benefit from an individual treatment plan prepared in interdisciplinary expert rounds, so-called tumor boards. Participation in clinical studies provides access to innovative therapies. The NCT thereby acts as a pioneering platform that translates novel research results from the laboratory into clinical practice. The NCT cooperates with self-help groups and supports them in their work. Since 2015, the NCT Heidelberg has maintained a partner site in Dresden. The Hopp Children's Cancer Center (KiTZ) was established in Heidelberg in 2017. The pediatric oncologists at KiTZ work together in parallel structures with the NCT Heidelberg.

German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) with its more than 3,000 employees is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. More than 1,300 scientists at the DKFZ investigate how cancer develops, identify cancer risk factors and search for new strategies to prevent people from developing cancer. They are developing new methods to diagnose tumors more precisely and treat cancer patients more successfully. The DKFZ's Cancer Information Service (KID) provides patients, interested citizens and experts with individual answers to all questions on cancer.
Jointly with partners from the university hospitals, the DKFZ operates the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg and Dresden, and the Hopp Children's Tumour Center KiTZ in Heidelberg. In the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), one of the six German Centers for Health Research, the DKFZ maintains translational centers at seven university partner locations. NCT and DKTK sites combine excellent university medicine with the high-profile research of the DKFZ. They contribute to the endeavor of transferring promising approaches from cancer research to the clinic and thus improving the chances of cancer patients.
The DKFZ is 90 percent financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and 10 percent by the state of Baden-Württemberg. The DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.

Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD)
Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) is one of the most important medical centers in Germany; Heidelberg University's Medical Faculty is one of Europe's most prestigious biomedical research facilities. Their shared objective is the development of innovative diagnostics and treatments and their prompt implementation for the benefit of the patient. The hospital and faculty employ approximately 13,000 individuals and are involved in training and qualification. Every year approximately 65,000 patients are treated as inpatients and 56,000 as day patients in more than 50 specialized clinical departments with around 2,000 beds, with more than 1 million patients being treated as outpatients. Together with the German Cancer Research Center and German Cancer Aid, the Heidelberg University Hospital established The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg as the leading oncology center of excellence in Germany. The Heidelberg Curriculum Medicinale (HeiCuMed) is at the forefront of medical training in Germany. At present 3,700 aspiring physicians and doctors are studying in Heidelberg.