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

Health > Cancer Research - All Topics

Foto: Arzneimittelproduktion im Reinraum ©Copyright: HZDR/Rainer WeisflogIn 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

Press Releases

Involved HZDR institutes




  • Tondera, C.; Wieduwild, R.; Röder, E. et al.
    In vivo examination of an injectable hydrogel system crosslinked by peptide-oligosaccharide interaction in immunocompetent nude mice
    Advanced Functional Materials 27(2017)15, 1605189 (10.1002/adfm.201605189)
  • Lühr, A.; von Neubeck, C.; Helmbrecht, S. et al.
    Modeling in vivo relative biological effectiveness in particle therapy for clinically relevant endpoints
    Acta Oncologica 56(2017), 1392-1398 (10.1080/0284186X.2017.1356468)
  • Müller, J.; Neubert, C.; von Neubeck, C. et al.
    Proton radiography for inline treatment planning and positioning verification of small animals
    Acta Oncologica 56(2017)11, 1399-1405 (10.1080/0284186X.2017.1352102)
  • Koi, L.; Löck, S.; Linge, A. et al.
    EGFR-amplification plus gene expression profiling predicts response to combined radiotherapy with EGFR-inhibition: a preclinical trial in 10 HNSCC-tumour-xenograft models
    Radiotherapy and Oncology 124(2017), 496-503 (10.1016/j.radonc.2017.07.009)
  • Wohlfahrt, P.; Möhler, C.; Hietschold, V. et al.
    Clinical implementation of dual-energy CT for proton treatment planning on pseudo-monoenergetic CT scans
    International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics 97(2017)2, 427-434 (10.1016/j.ijrobp.2016.10.022)
  • Schellhammer, S. M.; Hoffmann, A. L.
    Prediction and compensation of magnetic beam deflection in MR-integrated proton therapy: A method optimized regarding accuracy, versatility and speed
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 62(2017)4, 1548-1564 (10.1088/1361-6560/62/4/1548)
  • Stützer, K.; Lin, A.; Kirk, M. et al.
    Superiority in robustness of multi-field optimization over single-field optimization for pencil-beam proton therapy for oropharynx carcinoma: an enhanced robustness analysis
    International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics 99(2017)3, 738-749 (10.1016/j.ijrobp.2017.06.017)
  • Skripcak, T.; Just, U.; Simon, M. et al.
    Toward Distributed Conduction of Large-Scale Studies in Radiation Therapy and Oncology: Open-Source System Integration Approach
    IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics 20(2016)5, 1397-1403 (10.1109/JBHI.2015.2450833)
  • Helmbrecht, S.; Baumann, M.; Fiedler, F. et al.
    Design and implementation of a robust and cost-effective double-scattering system at a horizontal proton beamline
    Journal of Instrumentation 11(2016), T11001 (10.1088/1748-0221/11/11/T11001)
  • Linge, A.; Löck, S.; Krenn, C. et al.
    Independent validation of the prognostic value of cancer stem cell marker expression and hypoxia-induced gene expression for patients with locally advanced HNSCC after postoperative radiotherapy
    Clinical and Translational Radiation Oncology 1(2016), 19-26 (10.1016/j.ctro.2016.10.002)
  • Baumann, M.; Krause, M.; Overgaard, J. et al.
    Radiation oncology in the era of precision medicine
    Nature Reviews Cancer 16(2016)4, 234-249 (10.1038/nrc.2016.18)
  • Hueso-González, F.; Fiedler, F.; Golnik, C. et al.
    Compton camera and prompt gamma ray timing: two methods for in vivo range assessment in proton therapy
    Frontiers in Oncology 6(2016), 80 (10.3389/fonc.2016.00080)
  • Peitzsch, C.; Cojoc, M.; Hein, L. et al.
    An Epigenetic Reprogramming Strategy to Resensitize Radioresistant Prostate Cancer Cells.
    Cancer Research 76(2016)9, 2637-2651 (10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-2116)
  • Richter, C.; Pausch, G.; Barczyk, S. et al.
    First clinical application of a prompt gamma based in vivo proton range verification
    Radiotherapy and Oncology 118(2016)2, 232-237 (10.1016/j.radonc.2016.01.004)
  • Tillner, F.; Thute, P.; Löck, S. et al.
    Precise image-guided irradiation of small animals: a flexible non-profit platform
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 61(2016)8, 3084-3108 (10.1088/0031-9155/61/8/3084)
  • Ullrich, M.; Bergmann, R.; Peitzsch, M. et al.
    Multimodal Somatostatin Receptor Theranostics Using [64Cu]Cu-/[177Lu]Lu-DOTA-(Tyr3)octreotate and AN-238 in a Mouse Pheochromocytoma Model.
    Theranostics 6(2016)5, 650-665 (10.7150/thno.14479)
  • Wodtke, R.; Schramm, G.; Pietzsch, J. et al.
    Synthesis and kinetic characterisation of water-soluble fluorogenic acyl donors for transglutaminase 2
    ChemBioChem 17(2016), 1263-1281 (10.1002/cbic.201600048)
  • Kranz, M.; Sattler, B.; Wüst, N. et al.
    Evaluation of the enantiomer specific biokinetics and radiation doses of [18-F]-fluspidine – a new tracer in clinical translation for imaging of σ1 receptors
    Molecules 21(2016), 1164 (10.3390/molecules21091164)
  • Leonidova, A.; Foerster, C.; Zarschler, K. et al.
    In vivo Demonstration of an Active Tumor Pretargeting Approach with Peptide Nucleic Acid Bioconjugates as Complementary System
    Chemical Science 6(2015), 5601-5616 (10.1039/c5sc00951k)
  • Wodtke, R.; König, J.; Pigorsch, A. et al.
    Evaluation of Novel Fluorescence Probes for Conjugation Purposes Using the Traceless Staudinger Ligation
    Dyes and Pigments 113(2015), 263-273 (10.1016/j.dyepig.2014.08.022)
  • Laube, M.; Gassner, C.; Sharma, S. K. et al.
    Diaryl-substituted (dihydro)pyrrolo[3,2,1-hi]indoles, a class of potent COX-2 inhibitors with tricyclic core structure
    Journal of Organic Chemistry 80(2015), 5611-5624 (10.1021/acs.joc.5b00537)
  • Sabri, O.; Becker, G.-A.; Meyer, P. M. et al.
    First-in-human PET quantification study of cerebral α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors using the novel specific radioligand (−)-[18F]Flubatine
    NeuroImage 118(2015), 199-208 (10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.05.065)
  • Dickreuter, E.; Eke, I.; Krause, M. et al.
    Targeting of β1 integrins impairs DNA repair for radiosensitization of head and neck cancer cells
    Oncogene 35(2016)11, 1353-1362 (10.1038/onc.2015.212)
  • Eke, I.; Zscheppang, K.; Dickreuter, E. et al.
    Simultaneous β1 integrin-EGFR targeting and radiosensitization of human head and neck cancer.
    JNCI-Journal of the National Cancer Institute 107(2015)2, dju419 (10.1093/jnci/dju419)