Discovering New Paths towards Our Goal: Our Research Concept
Childhood cancer follows its own laws of biology: children are more likely to have leukemia and embryonic tumors. So-called epithelial tumors such as lung, breast and colon cancer – typical for adults – hardly occur at all in children. This difference in biology may explain the contrasting cure rates. But even though today some 80 percent of all children with cancer can be cured: cancer is still the second leading cause of death in children and adolescents in Germany. This we are seeking to change.
We are therefore looking for new approaches to diagnosis and therapy. It is our hope that if we understand cancer at the molecular level, we can find new targets to develop targeted effective therapies – with as few adverse side effects and long-term damage as possible. We focus on issues that are important for children with cancer: leukemia and brain tumors, which are the most common childhood cancers; neuroblastoma, a solid tumor cancer that arises in immature nerve cells and occurs almost exclusively in children; and on fundamental questions of carcinogenesis as well as on the optimization of stem cell transplantation, an important treatment method in the fight against cancer.