The NCT and DKTK MASTER (Molecularly Aided Stratification for Tumor Eradication) Program is a central platform for comprehensive, multidimensional characterization of young cancer patients and patients with rare cancers seen at NCT Dresden, NCT Heidelberg, or one of the sites of the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK; Berlin, Essen/Düsseldorf, Frankfurt/Mainz, Freiburg, Munich, Tübingen).
The ultimate goal of this multidisciplinary effort is to enable clinically meaningful precision cancer medicine by applying current and future technologies that capture the molecular, cellular, and functional properties of individual human tumors in an integrated fashion. To this end, the NCT MASTER team of physicians, scientists, and study assistants as well as investigators at the Department of Translational Oncology, Institute of Pathology Heidelberg, the DKFZ Genomics and Proteomics Core Facility, the DKFZ Omics IT and Data Management Core Facility, the Division of Applied Bioinformatics at DKFZ, as well as the Department for Translational Medical Oncology, the Department of Human Genetics and the Pathology Department of the NCT in Dresden work jointly on strategies for rapid-turnaround molecular profiling and streamlined data acquisition and analysis in a clinical setting.
As of May 2018, more than 1000 younger patients with advanced-stage malignancies and patients with rare tumors have been enrolled and discussed in a molecular tumor board dedicated to the identification of novel treatment approaches based on molecular profiling. Evaluation of the data has allowed formulation of evidence-based recommendations for clinical management in more than 80% of cases.