Footage on the Center for Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research at HZDR

Officially inaugurated on September 4, 2018, the ZRT is the new infrastructure of the HZDR Institute for Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research with state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities. The new, 36 million euro building combines all biochemical laboratories, certified clean rooms for the production of pharmaceuticals, a powerful circular accelerator (cyclotron) and areas for modern laboratory animal husbandry as well as small animal imaging under one roof.

The eight films on this page are in preview quality. HD and UHD formats are available on request from the HZDR press office. The film material was produced by film agency significant on behalf of the HZDR.

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Photo: Frank Bierstedt/HZDR

At the beginning: The circular accelerator

A powerful cyclotron produces the radionuclides, which serve as starting materials for research or for the production of radioactive drugs for application to patients.

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Photo: Frank Bierstedt/HZDR

Docking desired

In the Department of Radiopharmaceutical and Chemical Biology, scientists are working on identifying suitable target structures on different cancer cells.

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Photo: Frank Bierstedt/HZDR


Target-seeking molecules are labelled with radionuclides on synthesis modules. Once the sequence has been programmed, it runs without the intervention of the scientists.

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Photo: Frank Bierstedt/HZDR

Test on cells

The HZDR researchers first use cells to test whether a newly developed substance can enter the cancer cell as desired.

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Photo: Frank Bierstedt/HZDR

Animal testing

Animal imaging is used to investigate whether the substance is suitable for a new radioactive drug for cancer diagnosis or therapy. This is done in strict compliance with the relevant regulations and laws. Before a substance can be used in patients, tests on animals are mandatory.

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Photo: Rainer Weisflog/HZDR

In the clean room

Every working day, the HZDR produces radioactive drugs in GMP quality (GMP = Good Manufacturing Practice). These are used as radioactive probes for the positron emission tomography (PET) imaging procedure for cancer diagnostics at the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus.

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Photo: Frank Bierstedt/HZDR

Control is important

Before being used on patients, the radiopharmaceuticals produced in cleanroom quality must be extensively tested.

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Photo: Frank Bierstedt/HZDR

Therapeutical radiation

In the Department of Radionuclide Theragnostics, new radiopharmaceuticals for the radiation of tumours and metastases are developed directly in the patient (endoradionuclide therapy).

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