Heidelberg Cancer Collaboration Enables Targeted, Comprehensive Molecular Tumor Profiling

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Original Post from GeneomeWeb

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A partnership between three medical and academic institutions in Heidelberg has made molecular tumor profiling available to cancer patients across Germany, impacting the treatment of many.

The initiative involves Heidelberg University Hospital’s Center for Molecular Pathology, the National Center for Tumor Diseases’ (NCT) Precision Oncology Program, and the German Cancer Research Institute’ (DKFZ) Center for Personalized Oncology.

The collaborators are pursuing a two-pronged approach: targeted sequencing of formalin-fixed tissue with entity-specific gene panels, for routine diagnostics of primarily late-stage cancer patients, and comprehensive whole-exome or whole-genome sequencing for a subset of patients with advanced disease, a program called NCT MASTER (Molecularly Aided Stratification for Tumor Eradication).

According to Albrecht Stenzinger, head of the Center for Molecular Pathology, which is part of the Institute of Pathology Heidelberg, the two strategies complement each other and have enabled clinicians involved in routine diagnostics to join forces with those grounded in a clinical research environment. Stenzinger talked about the partnership last month at the Association for Molecular Pathology Global Congress in Berlin.

The Center for Molecular Pathology began analyzing tumors by targeted next-generation sequencing in early 2013 and has sequenced more than 10,000 FFPE samples since then from patients across


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