Tumor 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 Platform 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, Platform 3 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. The close integration with the Biobank of the University Cancer Center (UCT) makes it possible to investigate the expected effects on the patient at an early stage and to obtain decisive information for further development. With the help of targeted CRISPR / Cas9-mediated gene editing, mutations can be induced in primary tumor material, genome-wide screening studies can be performed, and immunocompetent mouse models with patient-specific mutations can be developed in a short time.


Technology Platform 3 Tumor Models benefits from extensive resources that built up by the Georg Speyer Haus (GSH) and the University Hospital. A comprehensive organoid biobank (headed by Henner Farin) for colon carcinomas exists at the GSH, which aims to establish non-transformed colon organoids, tumor organoids, and the corresponding tumor-associated fibroblast lines from each patient. Organoids as well as tumor tissues are molecularly extensively characterized, both at the level of transcriptome and proteome. In addition to an organoid biobank for colon carcinomas, biobanks for rectal carcinomas (Florian Greten), pancreatic carcinomas (Canan Arkan), as well as head and neck tumors (Christian Issing), ovarian carcinomas (Klaus Strebhardt) and neuro-oncological organoids (Ann-Christin Hau/Karl H. Plate) are currently being established. The close interaction with the tumor biobank at UCT and the DKTK permits anticipation of treatment effects on patients at an early stage and to obtain decisive information for further development.

Moreover, numerous new mouse models are established and further developed at GSH, which very well reflect the complex pathology of human tumors (PDX models). In this context, the diagnostic options for small animals have been significantly expanded, so tumor-bearing mice can be examined by means of bioluminescence, magnetic resonance imaging, mini-endoscopy and in vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Corresponding tumor models can also be applied to multimodal therapeutic approaches using the recently established CT-supported small animal irradiation facility.

Methods portfolio of Plattform 3; (TCF) transgenic core facility, (MRT) Magnetic resonance therapy


Technology Platform 3 Tumor Models is led by FCI spokesperson Florian Greten, who as Director of Georg-Speyer-Haus has been instrumental in driving strategic investments in preclinical tumor models.
This platform in the FCI is strengthened by a Staff Scientist, who supervises the cooperative projects and establishes contact between the already existing technologies and the FCI projects.

The following scientists participate in Technology Platform 3:

  • Henner Farin
  • Emmanouil Fokas
  • Florian Greten
  • Phillip Grote
  • Hind Medyouf
  • Lisa Sevenich
  • Staff Scientist: Zhaodai Bai (TCF)
  • Staff Scientist: N.N. (human organoids)