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Hanno Glimm Group

Translational Medical Oncology: Understanding and targeting alterations in cancer

Portrait Hanno Glimm

The Department for Translational Medical Oncology investigates the molecular and cellular mechanisms for cancer development, proliferation and evolution and engages in clinical as well as experimental activities to ensure a rapid turnaround of scientific results into clinical application and clinical outcome into new hypotheses.

Understanding and targeting alterations in cancer

Unique alterations within tumor cells can be targets for novel treatment approaches. Scientists of the department for Translational Medical Oncology are working on identifying pivotal gene alterations and cellular subtypes that are responsible for initiating or fueling tumor growth and metastasis formation. Within individual patient tumors, a small fraction of all cells drives long-term tumor growth and metastases. Targeting this tumor-initiating cells (TIC) activity is essential to improve the long-term outcome in advanced solid cancers. The lab has developed and extensively characterized a bank of primary in vitro and in vivo models derived from solid patient tumors, e.g. CRC, PDAC and sarcomas. These functionally and genetically heterogeneous models are utilized to identify therapy relevant alterations and synthetic lethal interactions, e.g. by large scale shRNA knockdown or overexpression screening approaches. Following functional testing of potential therapeutic target alterations, targeted therapeutic strategies are developed and translated into the clinic.

The Glimm Lab, represented by the Department of Translational Medical Oncology in Dresden and the Translational Functional Cancer Genomics group in Heidelberg, welcomes researchers at both NCT partner sites to join their expertise in collaborating on these research questions.

NCT MASTER Registry trial for patients

In an interdisciplinary approach, new discoveries are directly transferred into treatment recommendations using the NCT/DKTK MASTER registry trial. The NCT-MASTER (Molecularly Aided Stratification for Tumor Eradication) protocol consents young patients or patients with rare tumor diseases for molecular diagnostics approaches with the explicit purpose of evaluating and stratifying for the best molecular treatment strategy and enrolment in diagnostic and therapeutic trials. The NCT MASTER is a joint NCT program between NCT Heidelberg and NCT/UCC Dresden.

Center for Personalized Oncology

The NCT/UCC Dresden Center for Personalized Oncology aims at translating latest research as well as innovative technologies and cancer therapies into clinical practice. A dedicated personalized oncology outpatient clinic provides consulting appointments to discuss innovative diagnostic approaches, results of genetic tumor profiling and molecularly guided treatment strategies. Clinical data and results of molecular analyses as well as potential therapeutic implications are discussed within a personalized oncology tumorboard participated by an interdisciplinary team of specialists in molecular diagnostics, targeted cancer therapy as well as involved clinical departments.

Professor Hanno Glimm in conversation with a lab member, in the background other lab members working

Future Projects and Goals

  • Understand transcriptional and functional heterogeneity in primary tumors and model systems
  • Identify novel molecular targets underlying resistance or sensitivity against targeted therapies or immunotherapies
  • Define molecular profiles that can be used as biomarkers for response to targeted therapies or immunotherapies
  • Discover effects of clonal heterogeneity and plasticity on treatment response in patient-derived tumor models

Methodological and Technical Expertise

  1. Patient derived tumor models (e.g.Organoids, Spheroids, Xenografts)
  2. Characterization of patient derived tumor models
  3. Identification of candidate genes regulating tumor cell functions by functional genomics (e.g. shRNA Screens/CRISPR screens)
  4. Functional analysis of tumor cell properties
  5. Drug sensitivity testing on Patient derived tumor models
  6. In depth molecular analysis of patient tumors and derived tumor models (bulk and single cell technologies)


Since 2018
Managing Director NCT Dresden, Head of Dept. Translational Medical Oncology, NCT Dresden; Translational Functional Cancer Genomics, NCT Heidelberg; Center for Personalized Oncology at University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden at TU Dresden

Section head Personalized Oncology, NCT Heidelberg

Since 2011
Full professor (W3), Translational Hematology and Oncology

Clinical senior attending, section head Applied Stem Cell Biology, Dept. of Translational Oncology, NCT Heidelberg

Clinical attending and section head Medical Cell Therapy and Cell Research, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Freiburg University Medical School

Group leader Applied Stem Cell Biology, Institute for Molecular Medicine and Cell Research, Freiburg University Medical School

Group leader Applied Stem Cell Biology, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Freiburg University Medical School

Post-doctoral research fellow, Terry Fox Laboratory, Vancouver, Canada

Clinical resident, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Freiburg University Medical School

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Selected Publications

Heining C, Horak P, …, Glimm H#
NRG1 Fusions in KRAS Wild-Type Pancreatic Cancer.
Cancer Discov 8(9):1087–1095 (2018)

Wünsche P, Eckert ESP, …, Ball CR, Herbst F#, Glimm H#
Mapping Active Gene-Regulatory Regions in Human Repopulating Long-Term HSCs.
Cell Stem Cell 23(1):132–146 (2018)

Giessler K, Kleinheinz K, …, Ball CR#, Glimm H#
Genetic Subclone Architecture of Tumor Clone-Initiating Cells in Colorectal Cancer.
J Exp Med 214(7):2073–2088 (2017)

Weischenfeldt J, …, Glimm H#, Korbel JO#
Pan-cancer analysis of somatic copy-number alterations implicates IRS4 and IGF2 in enhancer hijacking.
Nat Genet. 49(1):65–74 (2017)

Dieter SM, …, Glimm H#
Distinct types of tumor-initiating cells form human colon cancer tumors and metastases.
Cell Stem Cell 9(4):357–65 (2011)