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Individualized Multimodal Immunotherapy (IMI):
March 2024: In this new publication, the team of experts at the IOZK explains the Individualized Multimodal Immunotherapy in the treatment of glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain tumor. The results show that this innovative treatment method can significantly extend the survival time of patients.
An abridged version of the paper can be found here


Beacon of hope
in cancer research:

Zwei T-Zellen an einer Krebszelle, Rasterlelektronenmikroskopie. Foto: Steve Gschmeissne

Two T cells on a cancer cell, scanning electron microscopy. (Steve Gschmeissner/Science Photo)

Immunotherapies target the patient's immune system and thus the body's self-healing powers. The IOZK has been a pioneer in this field since 1985.
With the help of the foundation, the implementation of scientific results for use on patients and information work will be strengthened in order to be proactive in the fight against cancer.

The aim is to consistently develop active-specific immunotherapy and to promptly transfer research findings into practice and make them generally accessible. Another focus is discourse and external communication: the  participants are committed to initiating scientific exchange and informing the public about cellular immunotherapy.

Retrospective 2023

The year 2023 was quite successful in terms of translational activities. For example, colleagues from our team were able to contribute the knowledge gained on immunological cancer therapy to the international scientific exchange with a series of publications. In addition, our translational projects on cell-based therapies continue.

This same year, many students received support in experiments, which they carried out in exchange with our experts at the IOZK. The future medics, biologists or biotechnologists researched for their bachelor, master or doctoral theses and obtained very interesting results.

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The Immuno-Oncological Centre Cologne
The IOZK is a translational institution in the field of immunological oncology, where promising results of basic research are transferred into medical therapy. In 2015, the centre became the first institute in Europe to receive approval for the for the production of the individual IO-VAC® vaccine for the treatment of tumours.

The vaccination is carried out with the patient's own cells and tumour antigens in combination with oncolytic viruses and serves the tumour-specific activation of the immune system.

The working group of scientists, medical specialists, nursing and laboratory staff currently comprises 60 employees.

More at

Bone Marrow: The Central Immune System
August 2023: Prof. Dr. Volker Schirrmacher's new publication looks back at 20 years of research that has developed since the discovery of bone marrow as a site of T-cell response. Many of these discoveries are little known to the public and, despite their potential, are not yet sufficiently considered in standard therapies. The article provides an overview of the immunological functions of bone marrow, including in the fight against of cancer. In order to emphasise the central role of the bone marrow Prof. Schirrmacher coins the term "central immune system". He is head of the scientific advisory board of the IOZK Foundation.

An abridged version of the paper can be found here

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Dr. Wilfried Stücker – in representation of the IOZK – received a distinction for outstanding performance.

The prestigious award is granted to “trend setters of medicine“ who have made themselves particularly worthy by a medical innovation that improves patient care. In the category for innovation in oncology, the IOZK was granted, in the person of Dr. Stücker, the second place on November 17th, 2020. It is a public distinction for the work of many years in the area of immuno-oncology and for the innovative therapy approach at the same time.

“In his therapy, Dr. Stücker tries not to introduce a substance from without, but to strengthen and activate the body‘s own defences so that they can act against the tumour tissue. Since it is the body‘s own tissue, the defence system does not recognize or fight it. The trick is to make a kind of vaccine with a virus. The virus moves into the tumour tissue, so the body recognizes it as foreign and the immune system begins to fight the tumour – a very elegant method“, commented Prof. Dr. med Matthias Keidel from Bad Neustadt in his laudation. Dr. med Christian Weißenberger from Freiburg added: “The idea is to use viruses to improve the body‘s own defences, so that these will find all tumour cells and continue to do so life-long.“

The German Medical Award exists as a specialized prize for medicine of the future since 2015, in collaboration with the state capital Düsseldorf, under the auspice of Karl-Josef Laumann, minister of labour, health and social affairs of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and supported by MEDICA Düsseldorf. The award is the leading and only distinction for medicine in ­Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Logo German Medical Award

Further information​

In the foundation's magazine IOZK Consilium and our technical brochure, you will receive further information on the context and the scientific background of our immunotherapy.​

Info Foundation


Info Foundation




Consilium 1


Foundation for immuno-oncological research -
IOZK non profit organisation

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Donation account IOZK foundation:
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IBAN: DE29 3806 0186 8304 2140 16

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