Research Themes Tumors of the digestive tract Imaging getting ready for the next challenges

We have focused on metabolic characterization of pancreatic cancer using 18F-FDG PET, and demonstrated that increased metabolic heterogeneity associates with poorer overall survival. To this end, algorithms for advanced image analyses using PET and histology were developed. Currently features of the tumor microenvironment are further investigated that associate with metabolic heterogeneity, using quantitative histopathological techniques. Cancer-associated fibroblasts are identified as the orchestrator of the pancreatic tumor microenvironment and will be the focus of research for the coming years. In ongoing projects, new collaborations were established with the University Hospital Essen (DE) and Technical University Münich (DE) to expand our expertise and network. Via these collaborations, a pancreatic cancer mouse model has been acquired that replicates human disease to perform translational research.