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Cancer Research in Dresden

To make advances in the fight against cancer, Dresden researchers collaborate with strong partners in different areas of study, ranging from medicine to biology, chemistry and physics. The objective is to rapidly transfer advances in research to concrete therapeutic approaches (translational research).

HZDR Research Focus: Radioactive Drugs, Radiooncology, Imaging, Metabolic Processes

For cancer diagnostics the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf has specialized in developing radioactive drugs utilized in positron emission tomography (PET). These drugs attach to specific tissue structures and thereby enable tumor detection. Radioactive medication could also be used therapeutically in the future to irradiate tumor tissue directly within the body. In addition, the scientists study ways to assist the body's immune system in fighting cancer more efficiently.

In the field of radiooncology, the center is working on the further development of modern radiotherapy with a special focus on proton therapy. Basic physical research plays an important role in cancer therapy in Dresden: Laser accelerator technology is being developed that could allow for more compact and less expensive systems for radiation therapy with protons. In order to achieve a high precision real-time control for this therapy, HZDR scientists work together with colleagues at OncoRay to develop novel detector technologies.

Furthermore, HZDR researchers are actively engaged in researching imaging technologies as well as in analyzing fundamental metabolic processes in biomembranes. In this way, they decode the manner in which drugs or harmful substances infiltrate the cells and create bonds. The HZDR researchers also cooperate closely with the School of Science at the TU Dresden, particularly with the Departments of Chemistry/Food chemistry, Physics and Biology.


Logo National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology - OncoRayOncoRay – Center for Radiation Research in Oncology

HZDR maintains a particularly close working relationship with the University Hospital Dresden and the Faculty of Medicine at the Technische Universität (TU) Dresden in the joint National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology – OncoRay. The objective of OncoRay research is to improve cancer treatment through biologically individualized and technologically optimized radiation therapy. The OncoRay Center, together with the Heidelberg Institute for Radiation Oncology (HIRO), comprises the National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology.

Contact: Prof. Mechthild KrauseStefan Pieck


NCT-LogoNational Center for Tumor Diseases

The University Hospital, TU Dresden and HZDR, together with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), will extend Dresden in the coming years to become a partner location for the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), which is located in Heidelberg. Dresden therefore occupies a central position in German cancer medicine and will substantially expand its research endeavors. Together with the Heidelberg colleagues, advances in research will be rapidly transferred to concrete therapeutic approaches.

Contact: Prof. Mechthild Krause, Dr. Heidrun Groß


German Cancer ConsortiumGerman Cancer Consortium

HZDR, TU Dresden and the University Hospital are organized within the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), representing a DKTK partner location in the city of Dresden. The research focus in Dresden lies in radiation oncology. Coordination is overseen by Prof. Mechthild Krause, Director of OncoRay and NCT Dresden. Prof. Krause is also Director of the HZDR Institute of Radiooncology and the Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology at the University Hospital Dresden.

Contact: Prof. Mechthild Kause, Karina Heinze


Universitäts Krebs-Zentrum DresdenUniversity Cancer Center Dresden

All fields of medicine are represented “under one roof” at the University Cancer Center Dresden (UCC). The UCC therefore can offer comprehensive and multidisciplinary care. It is equipped with state-of-the-art technology required for the diagnosis and treatment of all types of tumors. The UCC is a joint establishment of the University Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus at the Technische Universität Dresden.

Contact: Prof. Gerhard Ehninger


Logo: Universitäts Protonen Therapie DresdenProton Therapie at the UniversitätsProtonenTherapie Dresden

Together with the University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus HZDR has built up the UniversitätsProtonenTherapie Dresden (UPTD). This unique facility in Eastern Germany allows for the treatment of cancer patients at the highest medical level. In clinical studies the efficiency of the new radiation therapy with protons is monitored and optimized. For questions about this therapy patients can contact the University Hospital directly.

Contact: Prof. Mechthild Kause