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Technische Universität München, Klinikum rechts der Isar
Department of Surgery
Ismaningerstrasse 22
81675 Munich, Germany

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Project leader

Prof. Jörg Kleeff

Prof. Jörg Kleeff

Phone: +49 89 41402121
Fax: +49 89 41404870
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Project staff

Dr. Christoph Michalski

Dr. Christoph Michalski

Phone: +49 89 41402121
Fax: +49 89 41404870
Email  
   
Prof. Irene Esposito

Prof. Irene Esposito

Phone: +49 89 41402121
Fax: +49 89 41404870
Email  
   
Dr. Mert Erkan

Dr. Mert Erkan

Phone: +49 89 41402121
Fax: +49 89 41404870
Email  

Institute presentation

The “Klinikum rechts der Isar”, Technische Universität München (TUM-MED) is one of the largest tertiary referral centers for pancreatic diseases. Annually, more than 200 patients with pancreatic tumours are operated on in the Department of Surgery. During the last 15 years, our projects have been continuously funded by renowned organizations such as the DFG (German Research Foundation), the German Cancer Aid (DKH), the German Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF), the Sander foundation, the Dietmar Hopp foundation and others. Recently, we have contributed to elucidating the role of the cancer-associated stroma both in carcinogenesis and in the progression of late-stage cancer. To this end, we have established the world’s largest cell bank of primary pancreatic stellate cells from normal donors, patients with chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, neuroendocrine tumours and rare cystic tumours. Using analyses of a large number of patient tissues, expression profiling, in vitro and in vivo tumour modelling as well as signal transduction analyses, we were able to define that stroma activation determines the outcome of pancreatic cancer patients; that epigenetic programs of pancreatic stellate cells of distinct disease entities are different; and that cancer-stellate cell interactions contribute to the progression of advanced pancreatic cancers. Furthermore, we identified major regulators of stellate cell activation (i.e. periostin, tenascin c). By modifying an available genetically-engineered mouse model of pancreatic cancer, we have established both strongly and weakly fibrogenic mouse tumours. We are among the largest contributors (regarding both patients and specimens) to the ESPAC trials which assess adjuvant treatment for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).

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