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Rhine-Main Cancer Retreat 2020

End of October 2020, the annual DKTK Retreat of the partner site Frankfurt/Mainz took place for the 6th time. Joining forces with the Frankfurt Cancer Institute (FCI) and the Mildred Scheel Career Center (MSNZ) for the second time, the DKTK Retreat became part of the 2nd Rhine-Main Cancer Retreat.

As at many other events this year, the 190 registered participants with 30 speakers came together only virtually and due to the virtual format, the meeting was shortened in time with focus on the three main research areas: acute myeloid leukemia, gastrointestinal oncology and brain tumors. The presentations ranged from basic research to clinical applications and showed successful examples of translational cancer research across all locations and networks. Numerous DKTK scientists from Frankfurt and Mainz contributed to this meeting, including the DKTK junior research group leader Dr. Henner Farin, whose organoid-stroma biobank supports many translational projects in gastrointestinal oncology, and DKTK Professor Dr. Thomas Oellerich, whose research makes an important contribution to AML research.

Each session started with an overview talk, which highlighted all contributions by researchers across the Rhine-Main area but also the networking and interaction between FCI, MSNZ and DKTK Frankfurt/Mainz. On the second day of the event, the agenda contained new technologies and methods of data integration – a session in which the newly recruited DKTK Professor Dr. Florian Büttner presented his bioinformatics work program. A concluding session on “Emerging Fields” already showed that further promising, exciting research results can be expected in the coming years.

Two poster sessions complemented the retreat program. The posters were available as video presentations via the media gallery of the Goethe University. With 43 posters they gave the participants the opportunity to immerse themselves into scientific data for more than 3.5 hours and discuss them with the presenters in a live chat. The DKTK School of Oncology Fellows contributed with several posters and the young scientists successfully managed to think outside the box by also acting as “poster discussants” outside their own research area and location.

In his closing remarks the spokesperson for the DKTK site, Prof. Dr. Hubert Serve, looked back with satisfaction on the two days of the retreat. The positive feedback from the participants also confirmed the success of the event.


Birgit Rosiejak, Wissenschaftliche Koordinatorin DKTK Frankfurt