Molecular Diagnostics & Early Detection of Cancer


Early detection of tumors represents a widely consented strategy to decrease
cancer mortality and morbidity. Currently, early detection is limited to few tumor entities and employs techniques like physical examination (skin), laboratory analyses (prostate) or endoscopy (colon). The advent of novel molecular techniques such as targeted sequencing approaches or antibody-based proteomics and its application in liquid biopsies substantially enhanced sensitivity and specificity of screening. This core research program aims to identify diagnostic biomarkers, which allow the identification of patients at relevant risk of cancer development or relapse.

The sequential analysis of biomaterial from individuals who participate in cohort- studies and develop any kind of malignant disease during follow-up will provide unique information with respect to tumorigenesis and identification of predictive markers. Systems-oriented biomedical research to analyze the diverse set of sequential multi-omics data using state-of-the-art methods from biostatistics and machine learning will be promoted. The new developed highly sensitive and specific NGS-based technique from TRON will be used to identify ctDNA in patients with stage II/III colorectal cancer after adjuvant chemotherapy. In addition, minimal residual disease (MRD) positivity will be coupled to (pseudo)adjuvant, individualized immunogenic RNA vaccine intervention within a proof-of-concept clinical trial within the regional UCT Mainz network.

Research Groups

Most significant publications since 2019

  • Ten Cate, V., Rapp, S., Schulz, A., Pallares Robles, A., Jurk, K., Koeck, T., Espinola-Klein, C., Halank, M., Seyfarth, H.J., Beutel, M.E., Schuster, A.K., Marini, F., Hobohm, L., Lankeit, M., Lackner, K.J., Ruf, W., Münzel, T., Andrade-Navarro, M.A., Prochaska, J.H., Konstantinides, S.V., Wild, P.S. 2023. Circulating microRNAs predict recurrence and death following venous thromboembolism. J Thromb Haemost. 21(10), 2797-2810. 

  • Weber, D., Ibn-Salem, J., Sorn, P., Suchan, M., Holtsträter, C., Lahrmann, U., Vogler, I., Schmoldt, K., Lang, F., Schrörs, B., Löwer, M., Sahin, U. 2022. Accurate detection of tumor-specific gene fusions reveals strongly immunogenic personal neo-antigens. Nat Biotechnol. 40(8).
  • Labenz, C., Arslanow, A., Nguyen-Tat, M., Nagel, M., Wörns, M.A., Reichert, M.C., Heil, F.J., Mainz, D., Zimper, G., Römer, B., Binder, H., Farin-Glattacker, E., Fichtner, U., Graf, E., Stelzer, D., Van Ewijk, R., Ortner, J., Velthuis, L., Lammert, F., Galle, P.R. 2022. Structured Early detection of Asymptomatic Liver Cirrhosis: Results of the population-based liver screening program SEAL. J Hepatol. 77(3), 695-701. 

  • Arnold, N., Merzenich, H., Wingerter, A., Schulz, A., Schneider, A., Prochaska, J.H., Göbel, S., Neu, M.A., Henninger, N., Panova-Noeva, M., Eckerle, S., Spix, C., Schmidtmann, I., Lackner, K.J., Beutel, M.E., Pfeiffer, N., Münzel, T., Faber, J., Wild, P.S. 2021. Promotion of Arterial Stiffness by Childhood Cancer and Its Characteristics in Adult Long-Term Survivors. J Am Heart Assoc. 10(5), e015609. 
  • Panova-Noeva, M., Wagner, B., Nagler, M., Arnold, N., Prochaska, J.H., Eckerle, S., Spronk, H.M., Merzenich, H., Wingerter, A., Schneider, A., Danckwardt, S., Ten Cate, H., Faber, J., Wild, P.S. 2019. Relation between platelet coagulant and vascular function, sex-specific analysis in adult survivors of childhood cancer compared to a population-based sample. Sci Rep. 9(1), 20090.

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