Molecular Diagnostics Studies

Today, most brain tumors in childhood and adolescence are in principle curable by combinations of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. About every fourth patient is still suffering from a relapse - a situation for which there are often no established treatment options.

In order to find new treatment options for the affected patients, scientists of the preclinical program of the KiTZ (headed by: Professor Stefan Pfister) analyse the tumor tissue using state-of-the-art methodologies for molecular target identification. Once a target is identified, they, together with colleagues from the translational KiTZ program (headed by Professor Olaf Witt), look for a way to include affected patients in clinical trials.

Prof. Dr. med. Stefan M. Pfister

Director "Preclinical Pediatric Oncology"

Postal address:
German Cancer Research Center
Div. Pediatric Neurooncology / B062
Ines Hofmann
Im Neuenheimer Feld 580
D-69120 Heidelberg


Our diagnostic platforms

Together, we have established so-called diagnostic platforms that allow for accurate diagnosis and treatment decisions, both in initial diagnosis and relapses.
Although today most brain tumors can be cured by surgery and chemotherapy (though often with severe, lengthy side effects), unfortunately, 20-25 percent of patients still relapse. For these patients established treatment options are usually not available. To change that, we have introduced a nationwide program to help us detect new molecular targets in cancer patients.

Here you can find an overview of the diagnostic options (bilingual version) helping to identify the right program for your case and to initiate the necessary steps for the inclusion in one of the studies. Inclusion should always be done by the treating physicians. Details can be found in the tabular list of programs.



  • INFORM-Study  (Individualized therapy for relapses of malignant tumors in children)
  • PTT 2.0 Study for targeted pediatric therapy
  • MNP 2.0 Study for diagnosis at first appearance of a brain tumor in childhood and adolescence
  • FET-PET 2010 in the follow-up assessment of brain tumors in childhood and adolescence