Visual Universitätsmedizin Mainz

German Cancer Consortium (DKTK)

The German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) was founded in 2012 to support the aim of implementing promising new cancer research findings into the clinic as quickly as possible. More than 20 academic research institutes and university hospitals at seven partner locations cooperate with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the consortium’s core center. The DKTK is a long-term, joint initiative involving the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), participating German states and the DKFZ.

DKTK partner-site Frankfurt/Mainz

At the DKTK partner-site Frankfurt/Mainz, the two universities of Frankfurt and Mainz are involved with their complementary expertise in translational cancer research. Collaborations between research teams span from Structural Biology to Clinical Medicine. Frankfurt significantly contributes to molecularly targeted therapies. Mainz stands above all for nationally and internationally outstanding immunotherapeutic approaches, which are promoted at the UCT Mainz in close cooperation with the biotech industry and with non-university institutions. TRON as well as the PKZI and the largely based DFG-funded CRC 1292, play a special role. Besides, the UCT Mainz, with its main focus on "Genetic Instability & Resistance", brings further expertise, especially in the field of DNA repair research, epigenetics (in cooperation with the IMB), and resistance development in tumor diseases. Further hubs of knowledge in Mainz exist in the field of nanoparticle research for tumor therapy, in the molecular diagnostics in early detection of cancer, and in tumor epidemiology and supply research (IMBEI). 

The scientists and clinicians of the DKTK partner-site Frankfurt/Mainz strive to improve their ability to discover mechanisms of disease (exploitation of oncogenic mechanisms), discover ways how to identify the importance of these mechanisms in individual patients (molecular diagnostics) to therapeutically interfere with these mechanisms (drug discovery and development, molecular therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy), and perform clinical trials that validate novel diagnostics and therapeutics at all levels of clinical research. Within the Clinical Research Unit, an early clinical trial unit is jointly run by the respective UCTs and the DKTK.

DKTK Faculty Member Mainz

Prof. Dr. Tobias Bopp

Cancer Immunotherapy

Prof. Dr. Peter Galle

Cancer Immunotherapy

Prof. Dr. Stephan Grabbe

Cancer Immunotherapy

Dr. Borhane Guezguez

Cancer Immunotherapy & Exploitation of Oncogenic Mechanisms

PD Dr. Thomas Kindler

Exploitation of Oncogenic Mechanisms

Prof. Dr. Krishnaraj Rajalingam

Exploitation of Oncogenic Mechanisms & Molecularly Targeted Therapy

Prof. Dr. Wilfried Roth

Molecular Diagnostics, Early Detection & Biomarker Development

Prof. Dr. Ugur Sahin

Cancer Immunotherapy & Exploitation of Oncogenic Mechanisms

Prof. Dr. Matthias Theobald

Cancer Immunotherapy

DKTK young investigator group

The DKTK Frankfurt/Mainz strategically recruited several professorships and junior group leaders into the local structures along the translational path to "Turn Molecular Information into novel Cancer Therapies".

The DKTK young investigator group in Mainz, Dr. Guezguez's group, is researching the mechanisms of stem cell self-renewal in the so-called hematopoietic niche in the bone marrow and ways in which cancer cells take advantage of these mechanisms. By deciphering these mechanisms, Guezguez hopes to develop new ways of immunotherapeutic treatment of leukemia.

DKTK Projects

  • UniCAR NK cells Project: Engineering of universal epitope-specific chimeric antigen receptor (UniCAR)-modified natural killer cells off-the-shelf is addressed in this DKTK joint funding project by the working group Echchannaoui/Hauptrock/Theobald. The UniCAR is only activated upon cross-linking through a soluble tumor-targeting module carrying the UniCAR binding epitope, thereby achieving highest tumor specificity.
  • Marriage Project: In this DKTK joint funding project, the working group Kindler addresses the research of detecting DNA repair defects and a better understanding of the biological process of DNA repair by homologous recombination. Mutations in tumor cells can lead to a partial loss in the ability to repair DNA efficiently. When a particular repair system, the homologous recombination, is affected, these cells are sensitive to a specific group of drugs: the inhibitors of poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP). PARP inhibitors prevent cancer cells from repairing DNA damage caused by chemotherapy drugs, for example, and are already used in various cancers.

School of Oncology

Teilnehmer und Beschreibung

DKTK Spokesperson Mainz


Prof. Dr. med. Matthias Theobald
Director of the Department of Internal Medicine III, Hematology, Oncology, and Pneumology

Tel. 06131 17-7281