Research Focus at CCC-N

In order to research tumors, their causes and, most importantly, new treatment approaches, specialized research personnel cooperate closely at CCC-N. There is a long tradition of international expertise at CCC-N, both in foundational and in translational medical research. This expertise allows translation of results from fundamental research to clinical care. These focus areas are reflected in our leitmotif: “Precision in Tumor Research and Patient Care”. Precision in tumor care is possible through comprehensive individual consultation and prognosis. 

For us, it is not only essential to discover potential interference points for tumor medications, but also to find molecular markers that can predict therapy resistance or unwanted side effects of medication. Therefore, a multitude of projects and research activities focus on discovering tumor specific medication attack points and their translation to clinical activity, as well as concentrating on improvement of assessment and care strategies in palliative and psychosocial care areas.

Research Programs

All research activities at CCC-N fall into one of five research programs.

Program 1: Genome dynamics and immune regulation in therapy resistance

A central aspect of CCC-N research activities is to develop a molecular understanding of tumor resistance and find therapeutic strategies to overcome these resistances. Therefore, both CCC-N locations have combined their research activities in areas of genome dynamics, immune regulation, and therapy resistance to form a cross-locational research program with high translational potential and clinical perspectives. A special focus of this program is transformed genome dynamics and their effect on the tumor surroundings and treatment resistance in solid and non-solid tumors. 

Program 2: Stratification-based therapy and prediction of unwanted side effects in solid and non-solid tumors

The identification and characterization of molecular tumor subgroups allows treatment depending on these molecular markers (stratification-based treatment) as well as prediction of unwanted side effects. The research activities focused on this area combine understanding of genetic and cell-level mechanisms in tumor cells with the development of treatment options that aim at these mechanisms and reduce unwanted side effects. This is closely related to immune therapies and has recently been successfully developed to include different hematological tumors, as well as solid tumors. Treatment options resulting from this research program are currently in evaluation in pre-clinical and clinical studies.

Program 3: Infection and cancer

So-called oncogenic viruses can cause tumors. This research program focuses on the tumorigenesis by viral hepatitis, as well as the molecular and cell biology of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)/Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8), the plasma cell variant of the multi-centric Castleman disease (MCD) and primary effusion lymphoma (PEL).

Program 4: Care, palliative and psychosocial research

Research programs focusing on palliative and psychosocial care are defined by several projects that span a multitude of occupational groups. The projects focus on optimizing care processes, ethical-normative questions, economical aspects, and care research. A special area of interest within this is the quality of life for all patients. Research topics include, but are not limited to:
-    Psycho-oncological care (i.e. demand and intervention)
-    Palliative care (i.e. decision assistance, communication, occupational options)
-    Rehabilitation (i.e. acceptance barriers, occupational reintegration)
-    Care research (i.e. interprofessional care)
-    Complementary medicine.
 

Program 5: Imaging and image-guided interventions in oncology

The CCC-N features comprehensive scientific expertise in different aspects of imaging, image-guided intervention and radionuclide therapy. The focus of preclinical oncology research in this program is imaging-related and therapeutic approaches with new molecular and nanoparticle-based probes. The clinical trials research empathizes use of imaging for guidance of interventional methods (i.e. operations, ablations, reconstructions) and screening.

View research focus and groups at the cooperation partners

Young Researcher Programs

The CCC-N promotes young researchers by uniting special young researcher programs under the OnkoAkademie CCC-Niedersachen ® umbrella. The Mildred-Scheel-Academy at UMG, supported by German Cancer Aid, plays a large role in palliative care research. Additionally, both locations support a multitude of projects by young researchers through special recognition of their achievements: for example, the Max-Eder-Young-Researcher-Program, financed by German Cancer Aid.

In all research projects, the CCC-N closely cooperates with its partners – for example the Lower Saxony Unified Biobank, pathology centers, and the clinical trial centers. Moreover, the CCC-N is part of several national and international joint projects. The CCC-N additionally offers new and innovative interventional concepts in clinical trials for different tumor groups.
 

Cancer Club at CCC-N

The CCC-N Cancer Club is a series of talks organized by Prof. Gudrun Göhring (MHH) and Prof. Günter Schneider (UMG) of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Niedersachsen (CCC-N). The CCC-N Cancer Club is intended to foster interaction between cancer researchers at the MHH and UMG and is a flexible format allowing to present and to discuss cancer research – from the idea to the finished project. 

Interviews with Researchers in Oncology

Here researchers involved in oncology research in Göttingen or Hanover answer interview questions. They provide insights on their career, current research and used methods and they report on the challenges and motivation of their research activities.