Unique Environment

    Molecular Mechanisms

    Precision Oncology

    Teamspirit

    Clinical Translation Programs are the Strategic Core of FCI.

    Research in FCI

    Clinical Translation Programs
    Strategic Core of FCI

    Multidisciplinary teams consisting of clinicians, tumor biologists, biochemists, chemists and bioinformaticians work together in these interdisciplinary research projects. The teams rely on the technology platforms provided by the five research areas.

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    R1
    Molecular Diagnostic and Biomarker

    The goal of Research Area 1 is to find individual parameters that can improve the diagnosis of tumors or better predict the response to therapy. For example, the composition of all proteins in a cell can be qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed by means of mass spectrometry. .

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    R2
    Molecular Mechanisms of Tumor Pathogenesis

    Elucidating the underlying causes of the individually different treatment responses in order to develop new therapeutic or diagnostic concepts based on the findings, is a fundamental goal of Research Area 2. To achieve this goal, it is essential to understand the molecular mechanisms that drive tumor development and progression.

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    R3
    Preklinical Models

    This area is the essential link transferring new therapeutic strategies to the clinic. Far too often, promising substances fail in later clinical development. The lack of meaningful preclinical models is an important reason for this low success rate. The aim of Research Area 3 is therefore to develop new models enhancing the clinical success of a drug identified in basic research by better predicting the response in patients.

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    R4
    Drug Development and Novel Therapeutic Approaches

    The goal of Research Area 4 is to develop new therapeutic approaches and to advance them to the development of new drugs. The extensive chemical, pharmaceutical and structural biology expertise at the Goethe University in Frankfurt enables the development and optimization of new drug candidates against validated target structures.

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    R5
    Clinical Trials

    The integration of clinical trials into FCI is essential both as an end point of drug development and as a starting point for research on response and resistance mechanisms. The aim is to initiate such studies in close cooperation with the University Cancer Center (UCT). UCT Frankfurt has been continuously working on the development of a comprehensive clinical research unit, which will be fully available to the FCI. The practical implementation of early translational studies at the FCI site is guaranteed.

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    Discovery & Development

    The primary objective of this program is to address excellent hypotheses on basic biological mechanisms of tumorigenesis, progression, diagnosis, and therapy.

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    R1

    Molecular Diagnostic and Biomarker

    Tumor cells are changing at tremendous speed. On the one hand, this property promotes their rampant growth and the development of resistance to therapy, on the other hand, it results in no tumor being the same as the other, making reliable prognoses for individual patients often difficult.
    The goal of Research Area 1 Molecular Diagnostic and Biomarker is to find individual parameters that can improve the diagnosis of tumors or better predict the response to therapy. For example, the composition of all proteins in a cell can be qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed by means of mass spectrometry. The measured profile (“proteome”) contains unique information – similar to a fingerprint – and by comparing tumor cells with healthy cells of the same patient, new prognostic and diagnostic criteria can be identified.

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    R2

    Molecular Mechanisms of Tumor Pathogenesis

    Elucidating the underlying causes of the individually different treatment responses in order to develop new therapeutic or diagnostic concepts based on the findings, is a fundamental goal of Research Area 2 Molecular Mechanisms of Tumor Pathogenesis.

    To achieve this goal, it is essential to understand the molecular mechanisms that drive tumor development and progression.
    Research Area 2 Molecular Mechanisms of Tumor Pathogenesis combines the expertise in structural biology, biochemistry and cell biology within the FCI to analyze the tumorigenesis, the response to therapy and resistance mechanisms systematically and functionally in the overall cellular context at the molecular level.

    In line with the interdisciplinarity of the FCI, the molecular-pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie the clinical observations are elaborated on the basis of individual tumor samples.

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    R3

    Preclinical Models

    This area is the essential link transferring new therapeutic strategies to the clinic. Far too often, promising substances fail in later clinical development. The lack of meaningful preclinical models is an important reason for this low success rate. The aim of Research Area 3 is therefore to develop new models enhancing the clinical success of a drug identified in basic research by better predicting the response in patients.
    Thus, Research area 3 Preclinical Models focuses on the development and application of patient-derived tumor models (PDX), new techniques for cultivating tumor cells in three-dimensional structures (organoid cultures) and the use of relevant genetically defined mouse models.

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    R4

    Drug Development and Novel Therapeutic Approaches

    The goal of Research Area 4 is to develop new therapeutic approaches and to advance them to the development of new drugs. The extensive chemical, pharmaceutical and structural biology expertise at the Goethe University in Frankfurt enables the development and optimization of new drug candidates against validated target structures. At the Georg-Speyer-Haus and at the Paul Ehrlich Institute, innovative “biologicals” and cell therapeutics are being developed for which there are certified production areas at the Institute of Transfusion Medicine.
    The Goethe University Frankfurt has also been one of the academic sites of the Global Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) since 2017, a public-private partnership aiming to accelerate drug development by exploiting previously untapped resources. The FCI will closely cooperate with SGC Site Frankfurt in drug development.

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    R5

    Clinical Trials

    The integration of clinical trials into FCI is essential both as an end point of drug development and as a starting point for research on response and resistance mechanisms. The aim is to initiate such studies in close cooperation with the University  Cancer Center (UCT). UCT Frankfurt has been continuously working on the development of a comprehensive clinical research unit, which will be fully available to the FCI. The practical implementation of early translational studies at the FCI site is guaranteed.
    Of particular importance to the FCI are the clinician scientists in Research Area 5 Clinical Trials, which are organized in multicenter study groups for therapy optimisation. They assist the FCI project groups with questions of clinical relevance and cover a broad spectrum of indications.

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    Discovery & Development Program

    The primary objective of this program is to address excellent hypotheses on basic biological mechanisms of tumorigenesis, progression, diagnosis, and therapy. For example, the proposed projects elucidate the molecular mechanisms of applied or new therapies, define potential target structures in tumors, identify oncogenic mutations, or serve model and method development to expand the repertoire of diagnostic assays, innovative technologies, and preclinical models. In the medium to long term, these projects can lead to a disease-specific clinical translation program.
    D&D projects are advertised annually internally and funded by the FCI in the sense of a start-up aid. They should always demonstrate a long-term perspective, which will allow them to attract additional research funding in the future.

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