Translational Radiation Oncology


Translational research aims to apply principles explored in basic research in a clinical setting (“bench-to-bedside approach”). In other words, we seek to test promising novel therapies or techniques developed in the (biological or technological) laboratory in clinical trials. Things we are most intersted in are i) finding and/or improving therapies for brain tumors, ii) understanding and preventing second cancers after radiotherapy and iii) finding strategies how we can digitize the delivery of care.

Our research is funded by grants of the Klaus-Tschira-Stiftung (Vpr and Glioma) the H.W. & J. Hector Stiftung, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (TeleGraPH trial) and the German Research Foundation (IMRT and second cancer). 

Clinical Trials

INTRAGO I/II: INTRAGO is the first prospective phase I/II trial on intraoperative radiotherapy for glioblastoma.The trial aims to establish the MTD for this setting (IORT plus radiochemotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy) and was started in 2014. It was completed in 2016. The trial is registered with (NCT02104882). Read the protocol here.

INTRAGO II: INTRAGO II resembles a multicentric, prospective, randomized, 2-arm, open-label clinical phase III trial which tests if the median progression-free survival (PFS) of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) can be improved by the addition of intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) to standard radiochemotherapy. The trial was launched in Q3 2016 and will involve approx. 15 centers from 5 countries including Canada, Germany, Spain and USA. The trial is registered with (NCT02685605).

TeleGraPH: This trial is a prospective trial evaluating the impact of telemonitoring in elderly patients using handheld devices. Patients aged 60 years of older are equipped with smart devices (iPhone 6 and AppleWatch) which are used for communication with the medical center using an App (humediQ) and with on-demand drug dispensers (vitaphone PICO) that continously monitor patient needs and activities. The trial is the first of its kind and funded by the H.W. & J. Hector Stiftung (owned by Hans-Werner Hector, a co-founder of SAP). The trial is registered with (NCT03196050).

GLIAA/NOA-10: This is a randomized phase II trial led by the University Medical Center Freiburg (see The study is designed to test if a radiotherapy target volume delineation based on Amino-acid PET (AA-PET) leads to an improvement in progression free survival in patients with recurrent GBM treated with re-irradiation, compared to target volume delineation based on Gadolinium contrast enhanced T1 weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging (T1Gd-MRI).

Gamma-GBM: The aim of this trial is to evaluate if the early use of radiosurgery to deplete areas of residual tumor identified in early postoperative MRI scans will provide a relevant benefit in terms of progression-free survival (which means a prolongation of the time that patients do not experience a re-growth of the tumor) in newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Radiosurgery is a non-invasive technique to delete cells without using a blade but a highly focused beam of gamma rays. The machine that focusses these rays (like a magnifying glass that can focus light), is called 'gamma knife'. Gamma knife radiosurgery is a safe and effective treatment for a plethora of malignant and benign brain tumors and the technique is used since the 1950s and there has been a continuous improvement of precision and patient comfort up to now. The trial is registered with (NCT03055208).

ICON: ICON is a single-center, prospective trial evaluating treatment outcomes after adaptive fractionated stereotactic Gamma Knife radiotherapy using integrated stereotactic cone-beam-CT and adaptive re-planning (a-gkFSRT).

NONK-3/NOA12: This is a phase I/II, randomized, open-label, multi-centre study of BIBF1120 plus re-irradiation (R-RT) versus reirradiation alone in the treatment of patients with first or second progression of glioblastoma. 

MSC2490484A: This is a multicenter, open-Label, dose-escalating phase I trial of the DNA-PK inhibitor MSC2490484A in patients with advanced solid tumors. DNA-PKs are enzymes that repair DNA after radiation-induced double-strand breaks. MSC2490484A is an investigational drug that is being evaluated for the treatment of subjects with advanced solid tumors or chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that likely differs from other cancers in how it repairs damaged DNA (genetic material). This is a first-in-man Phase I study, which means that it is the first time the study drug is being used in humans. The main purpose is to determine the highest dose that does not cause unacceptable side effects. The second is to determine the appropriate dose to use in future research for subjects with cancer. Othergoals of the study are to learn about the drug's safety and side effects, how it affects the tumor, and how the body processes the drug. The trial is registered with (NCT02316197).


Member                                      Position                         Ext (+49 621 383 - )
Frank A. Giordano (bio)               head                               2517
Marilyn Murch                               Secretary                        3736   (Fax 3493)
Stefanie Kirschner                        DVM/veterinarian            3858
Mario Grimm                                 MD                                  6020
Jens Kübler                                   MD                                  6020
Elisabeth Scherzinger                   MD                                  6020
Lisa Sautter                                  MD                                  6020
Kaga Gomarteli
                            PhD student                    3773 (Office)  2931 (S1 Lab)
Barbara Link                                PhD student                    2931 (S1 Lab)
Yun Liu                                         PhD student                    2932 (S2Lab)
Miriam Bierbaum                          Technician                       2931 (S1 Lab)
Marianne Hahn                            MD undergrad                 2931 (S1 Lab)
Ulrich Koeppen                            MD undergrad                 6644 (Gammaknife)
Victor Siefert                                MD undergrad                 3418 (TeleGraPH study central)
Vivien Sommerlath                       MD undergrad                 6020
Caroline Steenken                       MD undergrad                 2931 (S1 Lab)


Saskia Harth, MD
Xiang Bao, MSc
Julian Gehweiler, MD

Selected Publications (full list here)

*shared first or senior authorship
Kübler J, Kirschner S, Hartmann L, Welzel G, Engelhardt M, Herskind C, Veldwijk MR, Schultz C, Felix M, Glatting G, Maier P, Wenz F, Brockmann MA*, Giordano FA*. The HIV-derived protein Vpr52-96 has anti-glioma activity in vitro and in vivo. Oncotarget. 2016 Jun 2.
This work was awarded with the 'Basic/Translational Science Abstract Award’ at the 57th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology. Read the press release here or the paper here.
Image-guided radiotherapy using a modified industrial micro-CT for preclinical applications. Felix MC, Fleckenstein J, Kirschner S, Hartmann L, Wenz F, Brockmann MA, Glatting G*, Giordano FA*. PLoS ONE 2015 in press.
This work was presented in part during the 'Best of ASTRO’ session at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology. Read the paper here.

Metronomic chemotherapy with daily low-dose temozolomide and celecoxib in elderly patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme: a retrospective analysis. Welzel G, Gehweiler J, Brehmer S, Appelt JU, von Deimling A, Seiz-Rosenhagen M, Schmiedek P, Wenz F, Giordano FA. J Neurooncol. 2015 Jun 5

Impact of flattening-filter-free radiation on the clonogenic survival of astrocytic cell lines. Steenken C, Fleckenstein J, Kegel S, Jahnke L, Simeonova A, Hartmann L, Kübler J, Veldwijk MR, Wenz F, Herskind C*, Giordano FA*. Strahlenther Onkol. 2015 Mar 13.

In vivo micro-CT imaging of untreated and irradiated orthotopic glioblastoma xenografts in mice: capabilities, limitations and a comparison with bioluminescence imaging. Kirschner S, Felix MC, Hartmann L, Bierbaum M, Maros ME, Kerl HU, Wenz F, Glatting G, Kramer M, Giordano FA*, Brockmann MA*. J Neurooncol. 2015 Apr;122(2):245-54.
The key figure of this paper was selected for the title page of the April issue,
read the paper here

INTRAGO: intraoperative radiotherapy in glioblastoma multiforme—a phase I/II dose escalation study. Giordano FA, Brehmer S, Abo-Madyan Y, Welzel G, Sperk E, Keller A, Schneider F, Clausen S, Herskind C, Schmiedek P, Wenz F. BMC Cancer. 2014 Dec 22;14:992. Read the paper here (open access)

Second cancer risk after 3D-CRT, IMRT and VMAT for breast cancer. Abo-Madyan Y, Aziz MH, Aly MM, Schneider F, Sperk E, Clausen S, Giordano FA, Herskind C, Steil V, Wenz F, Glatting G. Radiother Oncol. 2014 Mar;110(3):471-6.
Estimation of intracranial failure risk following hippocampal-sparing whole brain radiotherapy. Harth S*, Abo-Madyan Y*, Zheng L, Siebenlist K, Herskind C, Wenz F, Giordano FA. Radiother Oncol. 2013 Oct;109(1):152-8.
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last modified: 19-Jul-17
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