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Translational Lung Research Center Heidelberg

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Germany and by far the leading cause of cancer deaths, mainly due to diagnosis at a late stage. Almost 40 % of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) patients present with metastases at time of diagnosis.


Advances in molecular profiling have led to new opportunities for developing targeted therapies that act on specific molecular targets of the cancer cell. Besides targeted therapy and chemotherapy, immunotherapy has gained significance as the third main pillar of systemic therapy. Immune checkpoint inhibitors unmask the cancer cells and enhance the body´s immune response against malignant cells. Today, in precision medicine multimodal therapy concepts enable application of the most effective treatment regimen for each patient. 

However, not all patients respond to targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Thus, unraveling  mechanisms of tumor progression is essential to identifying markers that predict clinical response. Therapeutic monitoring of these biomarkers allows for an early treatment adjustment. The capability to detect prognostic genetic material shed from tumors in blood samples may thus provide a real time low invasive assessment of tumor response to treatment. The potential of this ‘liquid biopsy’ approach is currently subject of intense research. 

Lung cancer research at the DZL is an interdisciplinary and integrative program. Our research focuses on the early detection of lung cancer as well as the elucidation of mechanisms that contribute to tumor evolution and therapy resistance with the ultimate goal to advance biomarker-guided precision medicine.


Research Groups

this section is under developement

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