Clinical Research

In the department for stem cell transplantation and immunology several modern transplant procedures are performed.

The key aspects of our clinical research are:

  • Performance and optimization of haploidentical stem cell transplantation
  • Improvement of stem cell-based therapies for malignant and nonmalignant diseases
  • Application of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of graft versus host disease (GvHD) and tolerance induction
  • Early detection of relapse following allogeneic stem cell transplantation applying molecular biology techniques
  • Development of cellular immunotherapies, particularly of tumor-specific and leukemia-specific T cells, NK cells and cytokine-induced killer cells
  • Participation in various therapy optimization studies by the German Society of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH), EBMT, EWOG-MDS, I-BFM
  • Conduction of diverse clinical studies

    Translational Research

    In order to optimize and develop new therapies are we performing specific research at the interface of pre-clinical and clinical research.

    The key aspects of our translational research are:

      Development of cellular immunotherapies - „from bench to bedside“

      • Cytokine-induced killer cells (CIK)
      • CIK-cell-based therapy against viral infections
      • Tumor- und leukemia specific T cells
      • NK cells

        Immune reconstitution post stem cell transplantation

        • In vivo influence of cell therapies (In vivo monitoring of infused cells, influence of immunosuppressive drugs, „Tumor Escape“ mechanisms)
        • Specific immune reconstitution of lymphocyte subgroups regarding infections, GvHD and relapse

          Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) for treatment of GvHD and tolerance induction

          • Establishment of a MSC master cell bank
          • Identification and characterization of MSC subsets
          • In vitro and in vivo investigation of the mechanisms how MSCs improve the haematopoietic engraftment and alleviate GvHD

            Early detection of relapse after allogeneic stem cell transplantation by molecular biological methods

            • Characterization of minimal residual disease (MRD)
            • Characterization of haematopoietic chimerism

              Research accompanying ongoing clinical studies

              • „NeoImmun study“ - Development of the immune system in premature infants.
                (Cooperation with Prof. Dr. Rolf Schlösser, Dr. Horst Buxmann, Dr. Konrad Bochennek, Department of Neonatology)
              • „Neo-HIV-Chimerism study“
                (Cooperation with Prof. Dr. Rolf Schlösser, Dr. Horst Buxmann, Department of Neonatology)
              • Establishment of standard values for B-cell subpopulations in children.
                (Cooperation with Dr. Dr. Christoph Königs, Department of Haematology, Haemostaseology)
              • „Panobest study“ - Chimerism analysis and immune status in adult patients with HDACi-therapy after SCT.
                (Cooperation with PD Dr. Gesine Bug, Med. Clinic II, Department of Haematology/Oncology)
              • „VIDDA1 study“ - High dose vitamin D- substitution in diabetes.
                (Cooperation with Prof. Dr. Klaus Badenhoop, Med. Clinic I, Department of Diabetology und Endocrinology)

                Methods and technical equipment

                • Flow cytometry (5- and 10-color), dual and single platform, CFSE-proliferation assay, signal transduction
                • Cytotoxicity analysis (Europium cytotoxicity tests, flowcytometry-based cytotoxicity assay)
                • Cell separation and purification with MACS- and EasySep-technology
                • Elispot, ELISA, cytokine-bead-array
                • Real-Time-PCR, conventional PCR-systems, reverse transcriptase-PCR, sequencing
                • Cell biology; cultivation and expansion of human cells
                • In vivo Imaging
                • Various mouse-models


                  • Dr. Jan Sörensen, MD; Dr. Andrea Jarisch, MD
                    (clinical studies and patient care)
                  • Dr. rer. nat. Hermann Kreyenberg (clinical studies, molecular biology)
                  • Dr. André Willasch, MD (clinical studies, molecular biology)
                  • Dr. Selim Kuçi, MD; Dr. Zyrafete Kuçi, MD (mesenchymal stromal cells, cell biology and cell therapy)
                  • Dr. Eva Rettinger, MD; Dipl. Biol. Verena Pfirrmann,
                    Pharmacist Sarah Oelsner, Dipl. Biochem. Juliane Wagner, M.Sc. Lisa-Marie Pfeffermann
                    (clinical studies, CIK cell generation and -modification)
                  • Dr. phil. nat. Sabine Hünecke, Dr. phil. nat. Claudia Cappel,
                    Dr. phil. nat. Melanie Bremm (Immunotherapies, clinical studies, cellular immune status, specific immune reconstitution, flow cytometry)
                  • Dr. rer.nat. Sara Tognarelli (Immunomonitoring, flow cytometry, Cell sorting)