Germany sets up cancer research center at four more sites

Germany's National Center for Tumor Diseases (Nationales Zentrum für Tumorerkrankung, NCT) is opening new facilities in Berlin, Cologne/Essen, Tübingen/Stuttgart-Ulm, and Würzburg. The NCT is a key component of cancer research in Germany.

Illustration "leukemie"; Source: fotolia/Sebastian Kaulitzki
© fotolia/Sebastian Kaulitzki

The expansion brings the number of NCT sites in Germany to six. The latest initiative is part of the National Decade against Cancer, which was launched by the BMBF in early 2019. Each of the four sites can receive up to EUR 13 million annually from the BMBF. Additionally, the federal states where the facilities are located are to provide buildings and infrastructure and funding each year as well. Heidelberg and Dresden were the first two NCT locations.

An international committee of experts led by British molecular biologist Sir Alex Markham recommended the expansion and selected the locations from a pool of applicants. The BMBF followed the advice given by the thirteen experts from eight countries to the letter. The criteria for site selection – in addition to scientific excellence – were existing patient care and research. Beyond that, says the BMBF, the applicants for hosting NCT facilities had to offer clearly recognizable added benefits for patients and contribute to an innovative, personalized type of oncology.

The NCT's mission is to ensure that cancer research and patient care are closely linked. At NCT facilities, cancer patients' therapies are based on the latest research findings. The proximity of laboratories and clinical settings is expected to drive research and progress. By going beyond the limits of traditional areas of study, the aim is to provide each patient with modern precision oncology – individualized therapies tailored to meet specific needs.

This latest project illustrates Germany's continued commitment to research and development (R&D) in diagnosing and treating cancer. The NCTs are allied with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), which has been advancing cancer treatment now for over half a century.

The Export Initiative for the German Healthcare Industry, HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY, is the place to learn more about synergies between research, business, and government that help make Germany a world leader in cancer research. Among the initiative's publications are profiles of the country's medical technology and medical biotechnology sectors.