Theranostic Targets and Experimental Models
This group aims at the functional characterization of novel tumor-specific molecular targets and the proof of their suitability for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. This includes the development and establishment of reliable experimental tumor models in vitro and in vivo for the radiopharmacological characterization of newly developed radiotracers. For this purpose, a broad spectrum of methods is applied that relate to cell biology, molecular biology, genetic engineering, protein biochemistry, radiobiology, histology, cell and small animal imaging. We also pay particular attention to the application and improvement of clearly defined three-dimensional in vitro cancer models and co-culture systems. These models simulate the interaction between tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment, for example in the progression and metastasis of malignant melanoma, pheochromocytoma, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma or multiple myeloma.