The focus of this group is the establishment of orthotopic tumour models and preclinical image-guided precise irradiation of these tumours.
For experimental radiooncological studies different mouse models are successfully established. Here, subcutaneous transplantation of tumour material is one standard method. In human tumours parameters like microenvironment, including para- and endocrine humoral interactions with the surrounding tissue and tumor growth induced endogenous processes such as hypoxia (lack of oxygen) or necrosis play an important role. These processes are only reflected partially in a subcutaneous model. To simulate interactions and endogenous processes that take place in a human tumour “orthotopic” tumour models are increasingly used. In such models, the tumor material is transplanted into the appropriate organ of origin. Therefore in many studies it has been shown that such models better reflect the actual characteristics of human tumors.
A key objective of this group is the systematic comparison of orthotopic tumour models with already established subcutaneous tumour models regarding radiooncological issues. Various imaging modalities such as micro-CT, small animal PET/MRI, small animal ultrasound and optical imaging (OI) are used within the different experiments. Using the SAIGRT system (Small-Animal Image-Guided Radiotherapy) enables image-guided, precise irradiation of orthotopic experimental tumours.