to Content

Personalized Cancer Medicine

Plenary / Panel
german language

One third of Europeans will fall ill from cancer in their lifetimes. Worldwide, 20,000 people die each day from cancer. Technologies to decode individual genomes enable everybody to know their individual risk factors. But how much do people really want to know? And what can personalised cancer therapies offer?


Director, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Oncology and Hematology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin Abstract
This lecture will provide an introduction to and overview of personalized medicine approaches in pediatric cancer. Empowering technologies in genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, single-cell analysis, liquid biopsies and computational strategies enable a comprehensive approach to pediatric cancer medicine that strives to unveil pathogenic mechanisms of tumor entities and subgroups, identify disease biomarkers and develop new strategies for drug target discovery. The integration of multidimensional high-throughput 'omics' measurements from tumor tissues and corresponding blood specimens together with new systems strategies for diagnostics allows identification of predictive and prognostic cancer biomarkers enabling early diagnosis, risk stratification, disease progression assessment, evaluation of patient response to therapy and early relapse identification.
Pediatric cancer entities are perfect model diseases to analyze molecular mechanisms, understand them with systems medicine approaches, and transfer this knowledge not only to clinical care of pediatric patients, but transfer the whole discovery system to other cancer types. Since diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cancer is highly standardized in Germany, with more than 95% of patients and their biomaterial involved in national trials, researchers have been able to draw on comprehensive and well-documented patient samples for their analyses. In particular, relapses from high-risk pediatric cancers pose an enormous clinical challenge in pediatric oncology.
The German INFORM study (INdividualized therapy FOr Relapsed Malignancies) addresses this problem using an integrated next-generation sequencing approach to rapidly identify patient-specific therapeutic targets in real time in all treatment centers of the German Society of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH). Whole-exome, low-coverage whole-genome and RNA sequencing is complemented by microarray-based expression and DNA methylation profiling. Identified alterations are validated, discussed and prioritized in a standardized fashion according to biological significance and potential druggability in a weekly molecular tumor board. Potential therapeutic drug targets and follow-up data are deposited in a central database. In the feasibility phase (2014-2016) for molecular characterization, tumors from > 180 patients have been profiled with a 21-day turnaround time. Entities included brain tumors, sarcomas, leukemias, neuroblastomas and a small group of rare high-risk entities. High-confidence druggable alterations were identified in 61% of the patients. Tyrosine kinases, the PI3K/mTOR pathway, MAPK pathway and cell cycle regulators were commonly affected. The INFORM program is currently being extended to other European countries. An innovative personalized medicine clinical trial including a series of biomarker-driven phase I/II combination basket trials with 2-3 targeted compounds each under the roof of an umbrella treatment protocol will be launched as Inform2 in Q1/2017.
Professor emeritus, Department of Hematology-Oncology, Medical School, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz; Co-Founder and Advisor, TRON - Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz gGmbH, Mainz
Director, Center of Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer, University Clinic of Cologne Abstract
Epidemiological studies suggest that heritable factors contribute to one third of the major solid tumor entities, i.e. breast, colon and prostate cancer. However, to date only a handful of high-risk genes that explain only up to 5% of these tumors were identified by linkage analyses. With the explosion of high-throughput platforms and innovative computational approaches in the last two decades the remaining heritability is now being unveiled. The identification of such heritable driver mutations gives new insides in genetically driven tumorigenesis and provides toeholds for targeted preventive and therapeutic measures.
Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer subtypes provide a prominent example to unravel these molecular mechanisms and to gain insights into genotype-/phenotype-correlations that are relevant for risk-adjusted prevention. For instance, BRCA1 and BRCA2 associated breast cancers constitute specific phenotypes with respect to histo-pathological features, natural disease course and therapeutic response. Therefore, preventive options need to be discussed not only in light of disease penetrance but also disease course. Germline mutations constitute driver mutations that may be relevant not only for hereditary but also for sporadic tumor subtypes. Recently it could be demonstrated that ovarian cancer can be initiated by hereditary as well as somatic BRCA mutations (BRCA-ness tumors). This opened up new strategies in targeted therapy leading to the approval of PARP inhibitors for both tumor subtypes.
The German Consortium of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (GC-HBOC) is dedicated to unravel the missing heritability of breast and ovarian cancer in collaboration with international consortia and to translate these findings into targeted prevention including risk-calculation, -communication and -perception and the offer and elaboration of evidence-based risk-adjusted preventive measures. This raises new challenges with respect to the optimal setting of prevention studies and programs, the clinical interpretation and consequences of genetic test results, the requirements for preference sensitive decision making of counselees and the improvement of genetic literacy of counsellors. Ethical, legal and psychosocial aspects consider rights and responsibilities of counselees and health care providers, the development of decision algorithms for the offer of preventive measures in light of a risk continuum and the implementation of risk-adjusted preventive measures in the health care system. Value-based concepts to implement risk-adjusted prevention need to consider these multi-dimensional aspects in order to provide patient benefit and avoid over-prevention.
President, Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, Berlin Chair

Dr. med. Angelika EGGERT

Director, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Oncology and Hematology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

1986-1993 Medical School, University of Essen
1991-1993 Doctoral thesis (Dr. med.), Essen Medical School with Prof. Dr. H. Esche, Dept. of Molecular Biology
1993-1997 Resident in Pediatrics, University Children s Hospital Essen
1997-2000 Postdoctoral Fellow (DKH + Wolfson Career Development Grant), The Children s Hospital of Philadelphia
1998 Evans Prize from the "Advances in Neuroblastoma Research" (ANR) International Symposium, Philadelphia
2000-2002 Clinical Fellow and Junior Group Leader, Dept. of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, University Hospital Essen
2000 Dr. Odile Schweisguth Prize from the International Society for Pediatric Oncology (SIOP)
2001 Kind-Philipp Prize for Pediatric Oncology from the German Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH)
2001 Young Investigator Award, American Assoc. for Cancer Research (AACR)
2003-2004 Senior Attending Physician (Oberärztin) and Group Leader, Dept. of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, University Hospital Essen
2004 Habilitation in Pediatrics and Pediatric Oncology
2004-2008 Professor of Pediatric Oncology Research (C3) and Deputy Director, Dept of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, University Hospital Essen
2004-2013 Head, Pediatric Cancer Research, University Hospital Essen
2007-2013 Director, WTZ Essen (Comprehensive Cancer Center)
2008-2013 Full Professor of Pediatrics and Director, Dept. of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Essen
2009-2011 Executive MBA in International Hospital and Health Care Management, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management
since 2013 Full Professor of Pediatrics and Director, Dept. of Pediatric Oncology / Hematology, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Charité University Medicine, Berlin
since 2013 Endowed Einstein Chair in Pediatric Oncology, Charité University Medicine

Dr. Christoph HUBER

Professor emeritus, Department of Hematology-Oncology, Medical School, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz; Co-Founder and Advisor, TRON - Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz gGmbH, Mainz

1990-2009 Chaired the Department of Hematology-Oncology at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. Before he was director of the Clinical Immunobiology and Stem Cell Transplantation program of the Leopold-Franzens University in Innsbruck. In Mainz he founded the Collaborative Research Centre Tumor Immunology, the Clinical Research Group Allogeneic Lymphocyte Therapy and the Interdisciplinary Immunology Program ICE.
 He has received his Medical Degree at the Leopold-Franzens-University in Innsbruck. He was trained in tumor immunology in the 1970ies at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and the Wallenberg Laboratories in Uppsala. In the early 80es he was trained in stem cell transplantation at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle. His preclinical and translational research foci are tumor immunology and stem cell transplantation. He has published more than 300 original articles, is editor of standard textbooks and member of the editorial boards of distinguished scientific journals. As reviewer he serves most of the leading national and many other European research foundations.
since 2001 Chairs the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy CIMT, the leading European research consortium in the field. He is now VP for Clinical and Regulatory Affairs of the Translational Oncology Institute TRON at the University Medical Centre in Mainz.

Dr. med. Rita K. SCHMUTZLER

Director, Center of Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer, University Clinic of Cologne

1978-1984 Medical School University of Bonn
1984 Doctorate from the University of Bonn
1984 Assistant in Clinical Biochemistry, University of Bonn
1984-1985 Fellowship of the German Academic Exchange Service, Reproductive Medicine at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA
1985 Foreign Medical Graduate Examination in the Medical Sciences (FMGEMS) USA
1988 Federal Licensing Examination (FLEX) USA
1985-1992 Resident in Ob/Gyn, University Womens Hospital of Bonn
1989 Practical training course in molecular biology at the EMBL, Heidelberg
1989-1991 Fellowship,German Research Community, Molecular Oncology, Mount Sinai Hospital New York
since 1992 Specialist in Ob/Gyn
1994-1997 Habilitation fellowship of the DFG at the University of Bonn
since 1997 Head of the Centre for Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer at the Universities Cologne/Bonn supported by German Cancer Aid
1998-2003 Assistant professor at the Dept. Ob/Gyn (C2), University Womens Hospital Bonn
1997 Postdoctoral lecturing qualification (Habilitation), University of Bonn
since 2003 Full professor at the Dept. Ob/Gyn (C3), Div. Molecular Gyneco-Oncology, University of Cologne
since 2012 Director of the Center for Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Dr. med. Dr. h.c. mult. Otmar D. WIESTLER

President, Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, Berlin

1975-1981 Medical school, University of Freiburg, Germany
1981 Final medical exam, University of Freiburg, Germany
1981 Medical license, Landesärztekammer Südbaden
1982-1984 Residency training in neuropathology, University of Freiburg
1984 MD degree, University of Freiburg
1984-1987 Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Pathology, University of California, San Diego
1987-1989 Residency training in neuropathology, Institute of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology, University of Zürich
1989-1992 Senior resident in neuropathology, Institute of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology, University of Zürich / Switzerland
1992-2003 Professor of Neuropathology, Head of the Department of Neuropathology, University of Bonn Medical Center
1994-2003 Head, German Brain Tumor Reference Center, Bonn
1994-1999 Member, Executive Committee, University of Bonn Medical Center
1994-2003 Coordinator, Collaborative Research Center for Clinical & Molecular Neurobiology, University of Bonn
1995-2003 Chairman, BONFOR research committee, University of Bonn Medical Center
1996-2004 Elected member Pathology Board, German Research Council (DFG)
1996-2004 Member of the Medical Advisory Board, German Cancer Aid
1997 Appointment as Head of the Department of Neuropathology, Charité Medical Center, Humboldt University Berlin (declined)
1998-1999 President, German Society of Neuropathology and Neuroanatomy
2000-2004 Head of the Review Board Theoretical Medicine, German Research Council
2001-2003 Vice-Coordinator, Transregional Collaborative Research Center Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsies, Universities of Bonn, Berlin, Freiburg and Magdeburg 2001-2012 Review Panel Member, NCCR Neural Plasticity & Repair, Zürich
2001 Election to the German Life Science Academy Leopoldina
2002-2003 Chief Scientific Officer, Neuroscience Technology Platform LIFE & BRAIN, University of Bonn Medical Center
2002-2003 Chairman of the Board, Competence Network for Stem Cell Research, State of Northrhine Westfalia
2004-2015 Chairman and Scientific Member, Management Board Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg
2004-2014 Chairman of the Advisory Board, Deutsche Krebshilfe
since 2004 Member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Krebshilfe
since 2004 Member Board of Trustees, Meyenburg Foundation, Heidelberg
2004-2010 Coordinator, Brain Tumor Network, National Genome Research Network 2
2004-2012 Member Scientific Advisory Board and Board of Trustees, German Institute for Nutrition Research, Potsdam
2004-2008 Member Scientific Advisory Board, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
since 2004 Member Board of Trustees, Heinrich F.C. Behr Foundation
since 2005 Member Board of Trustees, Alois Hirdt-Erben und Wieland-Stiftung
2005-2012 Coordinator of Biomedical Research, Helmholtz Association
since 2006 Member Board of Trustees, Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung, Frankfurt
2007-2014 Member Board of Trustees , Hertie-Institut für Klinische Hirnforschung, Tübingen
since 2007 Member Board of Trustees, Georg-Speyer-Haus, Frankfurt
2007-2012 Vice President, Helmholtz Association
2007-2011 Member, Advisory Board Molecular Diagnostics, Siemens Medical Solutions
2007-2011 Member, Founding Committee, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases
since 2009 Member, Scientific Committee Hansen Family Award Bayer
since 2010 Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Institute Gustave Roussy, Villejuif/Paris
since 2010 Member, International Scientific Advisory Board, INCA Paris
since 2010 Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Bayer Healthcare Berlin
since 2010 Member, Scientific Advisory Board, University of Cologne
since 2011 Coordinator, German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research
since 2012 Member of the European Academy of Tumor Immunology
since 2014 Member of Supervisory Board, BAYER AG
since 2015 Chair of SAB of National Sequencing Center
since 2015 President of the Helmhotz Association in Berlin
since 2016 Member of the Supervisory Board, Berlin Institute of Health

Technology Symposium

show timetable


13:00 - 13:10OpeningPlenary
13:10 - 14:15RTI TalkPlenary
14:30 - 14:50From Austria to Silicon Valley - Cyber Security as a Global FactorPlenary
14:50 - 16:10Cybernetics in Advanced Energy and Production SystemsPlenary
16:30 - 17:45Complexity and the New EnlightenmentPlenary
20:00 - 20:15Best of Art and ScienceCulture
20:15 - 21:15Tickets to Berlin: Falling Walls Lab Austria and Alpbach Summer School on EntrepreneurshipPlenary
21:30 - 23:00Career LoungeSocial
21:30 - 23:30Evening ReceptionSocial


09:00 - 10:30Digital MedicinePlenary
09:00 - 18:00Junior Alpbach - Science and Technology for Young PeopleBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Ö1 Children's University Alpbach - Science and Technology for KidsBreakout
10:30 - 12:30Cross-sektorale Kooperationen von ClusternPartner
11:00 - 12:30Personalized Cancer MedicinePlenary
12:30 - 13:00Lunch Snacks for the Participants of the Breakout SessionsSocial
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 01: Innovation by Making: Paradigm Shifts and New Innovation CulturesBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 02: Silicon Austria: A Game Changer for Austria as a High-Tech Location?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 03: Creating the Future: How to Reinvent Innovation ProcessesBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 04: The Cycle of Innovation and its EcologyBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 05: Heavy Impact of Lightweight DesignBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 06: Looking Into the Unknown and Shifting HorizonsBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 07: Radical Innovations: More Courage to Take RisksBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 08: The Acceptance of Technologies by Pupils with Migration History - a Plea for Transcultural Competence as new EnlightenmentBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 09: Cyber Security: A Fundamental RightBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 10: Open Access & Open Innovation - Tools for a New Enlightenment?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 11: Realities and Futures of RoboticsBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 12: Energiewende - Empowering ConsumersBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 13: Security of Supply as a Locational FactorBreakout
19:00 - 20:30Innovation Marathon: Ideas Made to Order - 24 Hours NonstopPlenary


09:00 - 10:30Art Meets Science and Technology - Towards a New EnlightenmentPlenary
10:45 - 11:45Open Innovation: New Enlightenment? Participation - Democratisation - New SolutionsPlenary
12:15 - 13:30ETH Zurich, this Year's Special Guest at the Technology SymposiumPlenary
13:30 - 14:00Snack ReceptionSocial