NCT Research

Clinical Cancer Research Program in Breast Cancer


Heidelberg is one of the leading certified breast cancer centers in Germany. The Division of Gynecologic Oncology plays a key role in the German Breast Group. The program coordinates more than 60 phase I-III trials with concomitant translational research programs. Significant achievements include discovery of prognostic markers (Wallwiener Breast Cancer Res Treat 2013; Madhavan Clin Cancer Res 2012), new treatment strategies (Moebus J Natl Cancer Inst 2013; Schneeweiss Ann Oncol 2011/2013; Schneeweiss Eur J Cancer 2010; Swain Lancet Oncology 2013; Moebus J Clin Oncol 2010), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (Rochet Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2010)), outcome research of a certified BC unit (Heil Breast 2012), demonstration of circulating metastasis-initiating cells (Baccelli Nat Biotechnol 2013), and application of targeted proteomics for biomarker discovery (patent pending).

CCRP Gynecological Tumors

Scientific Goals

  • Expand current translational and early clinical trials program.
  • Characterize metastasis-initiating cells in NOD/SCID/IL2RG mice and within DKFZ-HIPO.
  • Analyze cancer-relevant signaling pathways and metabolism (SysMetBC e:BIO program).

  1. Baccelli I, Schneeweiss A, Riethdorf S, Stenzinger A, Schillert A, Vogel V, Klein C, Saini M, Bäuerle T, Wallwiener M, Holland-Letz T, Höfner T, Sprick M, Scharpff M, Marmé F, Sinn HP, Pantel K, Weichert W, Trumpp A. Identification of a population of blood circulating tumor cells from breast cancer patients that initiates metastasis in a xenograft assay. Nat Biotechnol 2013; 31(6):539-44
  2. Wallwiener M, Hartkopf AD, Baccelli I, Riethdorf S, Schott S, Pantel K, Marmé F, Sohn C, Trumpp A, Rack B, Aktas B, Solomayer EF, Müller V, Janni W, Schneeweiss A, Fehm TN. The prognostic impact of circulating tumor cells in subtypes of metastatic breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2013; 137(2):503-10
  3. Schneeweiss A, Chia S, Hickish T, Harvey V, Eniu A, Hegg R, Tausch C, Seo JH, Tsai YF, Ratnayake J, McNally V, Ross G, Cortés J. Pertuzumab plus trastuzumab in combination with standard neoadjuvant anthracycline-containing and anthracycline-free chemotherapy regimens in patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer: a randomized phase II cardiac safety study (TRYPHAENA). Ann Oncol 2013; 24(9):2278-84
  4. Marmé F, Aigner J, Lorenzo Bermejo J, Sinn P, Sohn C, Jäger D, Schneeweiss A. Neoadjuvant epirubicin, gemcitabine and docetaxel for primary breast cancer: long-term survival data and major prognostic factors based on two consecutive neoadjuvant phase I/II trials. Int J Cancer 2013; 133(4):1006-15
  5. Madhavan D, Zucknick M, Wallwiener M, Cuk K, Modugno C, Scharpff M, Schott S, Heil J, Turchinovich A, Yang R, Benner A, Riethdorf S, Trumpp A, Sohn C, Pantel K, Schneeweiss A, Burwinkel B. Circulating miRNAs as surrogate markers for circulating tumor cells and prognostic markers in metastatic breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res 2012; 18(21):5972-82