Foto: Research Program Cancer Research ©Copyright: Mario BengsImaging and Radiooncology

Health > Cancer Research - All Topics

Foto: Research at the Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research ©Copyright: Dr. Jens Maus, Jens LangnerIn Germany, 500,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. New, faster, and primarily more gentle diagnostic and therapeutic procedures can help to fight the disease and to save lifes.

Cancer research at the HZDR addresses the following topics: The scientists conduct research, for example, on new radiopharmaceuticals for the diagnosis of cancer and for the characterization of cancer tissue and, as a further development, also investigate substances for the cancer therapy of tomorrow. Our research has already resulted in the development of new substances. Two radiopharmaceuticals are officially approved and registered pursuant to the pharmaceutical law. These substances, which are produced at the HZDR and subsequently distributed on the market, are needed for the detection of tumors and metastases with a PET camera (PET = Positron Emission Tomography). That is also possible in Dresden – patients can be examined utilizing a full-body scan PET/MRI system which is the first of its kind to have been approved for patients in Germany. HZDR scientists are further developing and improving these innovative imaging procedures which are used in oncology.

They are also investigating particle acceleration with the help of innovative laser technologies. The objective: Making proton-therapy centers smaller while, at the same time, lowering the costs through more powerful lasers and with pulsed magnetic fields. Researchers are also aiming on monitoring irradiation of patients with proton beams in real time.

The HZDR is part of the Competence Network for Radiation Research (KVSF, promoted by the BMBF). This alliance promotes the sustainability of competences in the field of radiation research, in particular, by fostering young scientists.

Important partners are the TU Dresden (Dresden University of Technology) and the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden. We jointly operate the OncoRay Center. More information on collaborations with Dresden and Heidelberg partners


  • Development and application of new technologies for the diagnosis and therapy of cancer
  • Establishment of laser-accelerated ions in radiation oncology
  • Monitoring and controlling tumor radiation in real time
  • Continued development of individualized and tolerable therapy forms

Involved HZDR institutes