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Klinik für Innere Medizin IHämatologie, Onkologie und Stammzelltransplantation

Scherer Laboratory

Our laboratory's research is focused on developing improved molecular biomarkers and novel strategies to attain a better understanding of factors underlying cancer biology and to improve the clinical management of cancer patients.

Our group develops and applies approaches for ultrasensitive detection of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in blood, saliva, and cerebrospinal fluid of a broad variety of human cancers, including Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid cancer, hematological cancers, and brain tumors. Projects involve the application of next-generation sequencing- and PCR-based methods to minimal-invasively acquired body fluids at various time points throughout tumor diseases to answer specific clinical questions and to optimize treatment. Based on ctDNA profiling, we aim to identify patients at high risk for future disease progression, to characterize genetic factors driving cancer progression and treatment resistance, and to early predict response to chemotherapy and targeted therapeutic strategies.

We are also interested in developing novel prognostic and predictive models through the integration of genetic, clinical, and radiographic features for prediction of clinical and therapeutic outcomes in patients with brain cancers, including primary CNS lymphomas.

As clinician scientists, we are applying our knowledge toward the ultimate goal of translating promising findings into the clinic and incorporating them into clinical trials.

Dr. med. Florian Scherer

Principal Investigator

Sabine Bleul

Lab Manager
Technical Assistant


Jurik Mutter
Dr. med. Eliza Lauer
Dr. med. Anna Katharina Foerster
Dr. rer. nat. Jan Mitschke
Dr. med. Johanna Haag
Miriam Mozaffari Jovein

*Equal contribution


  1. Ibrutinib in patients with relapsed/refractory central nervous system lymphoma: a retrospective single center analysis
    Lauer EM, Waterhouse M, Braig M, Mutter J, Bleul S, Duque-Afonso J, Duyster J, Marks R, Reinacher PC, Prinz M, Illerhaus G, Finke J, Schorb E, Scherer F
    British Journal of Haematology. in press. 2020
  2. Capturing tumor heterogeneity and clonal evolution by circulating tumor DNA profiling
    Scherer F
    Recent Results in Cancer Research. 2020. Review
  3. Development and clinical validation of discriminatory multi-target digital droplet PCR assays for the detection of hot spot KRAS and NRAS mutations in cell-free DNA
    Hussung S, Follo M, Klar RFU, Michalczyk S, Fritsch K, Nollmann F, Hipp J, Duyster J, Scherer F, von Bubnoff N, Boerries M, Wittel U, Fritsch RM
    The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. 2020


  1. Dynamic Risk Profiling Using Serial Tumor Biomarkers for Personalized Outcome Prediction
    Kurtz DM*, Esfahani MS*, Scherer F*, Soo J, Jin MC, Liu CL, Newman AM, Dührsen U, Hüttmann A, Casasnovas O, Westin JR, Ritgen M, Böttcher S, Langerak AW, Roschweski M, Wilson WH, Gaidano G, Rossi D, Bahlo J, Hallek M, Tibshirani R, Diehn M, Alizadeh AA
    Cell. 2019
  2. Determining cell type abundance and expression from bulk tissues with digital cytometry
    Newman AM, Steen CB, Liu CL, Gentles AJ, Chaudhuri AA, Scherer F, Khodadoust MS, Esfahani MS, Luca BA, Steiner D, Diehn M, Alizadeh AA
    Nature Biotechnology. 2019
  3. Age-Related gliosis promotes central nervous system lymphoma through CCL19-mediated tumor cell retention
    O’Connor T, Zhou X, Kosla J, Adili A, Beccaria MG, Kotsiliti E, Pfister D, Johlke AL, Sinha A, Sankowski R, Schick M, Lewis R, Dokalis N, Seubert B, Höchst B, Inverso D, Heide D, Zhang W, Weihrich P, Manske K, Wohlleber D, Anton M, Hoellein A, Seleznik G, Bremer J, Bleul S, Augustin HG, Scherer F, Koedel U, Weber A, Protzer U, Förster R, Wirth T, Aguzzi A, Meissner F, Prinz M, Baumann B, Höpken Ü, Knolle PA, von Baumgarten L, Keller U, Heikenwalder M.
    Cancer Cell. 2019


  1. Circulating Tumor DNA Measurements As Early Outcome Predictors in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma
    Kurtz DM*, Scherer F*, Jin MC, Soo J, Craig AFM, Esfahani MS, Chabon JJ, Stehr H, Liu CL, Tibshirani R, Maeda LS, Gupta NK, Khodadoust MS, Advani RH, Levy R, Newman AM, Duehrsen U, Huttmann A, Meignan M, Casasnovas RO, Westin JR, Roschewski M, Wilson WH, Gaidano G, Rossi D, Diehn M, Alizadeh AA
    Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2018


  1. High-throughput sequencing for noninvasive disease detection in hematologic malignancies
    Scherer F*, Kurtz DM*, Diehn M, Alizadeh AA
    Blood. 2017. Review
  2. Early Detection of Molecular Residual Disease in Localized Lung Cancer by Circulating Tumor DNA Profiling
    Chaudhuri AA, Chabon JJ, Lovejoy AF, Newman AM, Stehr H, Azad TD, Khodadoust MS, Esfahani MS, Liu CL, Zhou L, Scherer F, Kurtz DM, Say C, Carter JN, Merriott DJ,
    Dudley JC, Binkley MS, Modlin L, Padda SK, Gensheimer MF, West RB, Shrager JB, Neal JW, Wakelee HA, Loo BW Jr, Alizadeh AA, Diehn M
    Cancer Discovery. 2017


  1. Distinct biological subtypes and patterns of genome evolution in lymphoma revealed by circulating tumor DNA
    Scherer F*, Kurtz DM*, Newman AM*, Stehr H, Craig AF, Esfahani MS, Lovejoy AF, Chabon JJ, Klass DM, Liu CL, Zhou L, Glover C, Visser BC, Poultsides GA, Advani RH,
    Maeda LS, Gupta NK, Levy R, Ohgami RS, Kunder CA, Diehn M, Alizadeh AA
    Science Translational Medicine. 2016
  2. Integrated digital error suppression for improved detection of circulating tumor DNA
    Newman AM*, Lovejoy AF*, Klass DM*, Kurtz DM, Chabon JJ, Scherer F, Stehr H, Liu CL, Bratman SV, Say C, Zhou L, Carter JN, West RB, Sledge GW, Shrager JB, Loo BW Jr, Neal JW, Wakelee HA, Diehn M, Alizadeh AA
    Nature Biotechnology. 2016
  3. Circulating tumor DNA profiling reveals heterogeneity of EGFR inhibitor resistance mechanisms in lung cancer patients
    Chabon JJ*, Simmons AD*, Lovejoy AF, Esfahani MS, Newman AM, Haringsma HJ, Kurtz DM, Stehr H, Scherer F, Karlovich CA, Harding TC, Durkin KA, Otterson GA, Purcell WT, Camidge DR, Goldman JW, Sequist LV, Piotrowska Z, Wakelee HA, Neal JW, Alizadeh AA, Diehn M
    Nature Communications. 2016
  4. Selection patterns of B-cell receptors and the natural history of follicular lymphoma
    Scherer F, van der Burgt M, Kiełbasa SM, Bertinetti-Lapatki C, Dühren von Minden M, Mikesch K, Zirlik K, de Wreede L, Veelken H, Navarrete MA
    British Journal of Haematology. 2016
  5. Isotype-switched follicular lymphoma displays dissociation between activation-induced cytidine deaminase expression and somatic hypermutation
    Scherer F, Navarrete MA, Bertinetti-Lapatki C, Boehm J, Schmitt-Graeff A, Veelken H
    Leukemia & Lymphoma. 2016


  1. Noninvasive monitoring of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma by immunoglobulin high-throughput sequencing
    Kurtz DM*, Green MR*, Bratman SV, Scherer F, Liu CL, Kunder CA, Takahashi K, Glover C, Keane C, Kihira S, Visser B, Callahan J, Kong KA, Faham M, Corbelli KS, Miklos D, Advani RH, Levy R, HIcks RJ, Hertzberg M, Ohgami RS, Gandhi MK, Diehn M, Alizadeh AA
    Blood. 2015
  2. Comparative genomics reveals multistep pathogenesis of E2A-PBX1 acute lymphoblastic leukemia
    Duque-Afonso J*, Feng J*, Scherer F, Lin CH, Wong SH, Wang Z, Iwasaki M, Cleary ML
    The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2015
  3. Organocatalytic removal of formaldehyde adducts from RNA and DNA bases
    Karmakar S*, Harcourt EM*, Hewings DS*, Scherer F, Lovejoy AF, Kurtz DM, Ehrenschwender T, Barandun LJ, Roost C, Alizadeh AA, Kool ET
    Nature Chemistry. 2015

Complete list of published work:

Internal collaborations:

  • Dr. Elisabeth Schorb, Klinik für Innere Medizin I
  • Dr. Peter Reinacher, Abteilung Stereotaktische und Funktionelle Neurochirurgie
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Melanie Börries, Insitut für Bioinformatik und System-Medizin
  • Prof. Dr. Marco Prinz, Institut für Neuropathologie
  • Dr. Dieter Henrik Heiland, Klinik für Neurochirurgie
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Meyer, Klinik für Nuklearmedizin
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Finke, Klinik für Innere Medizin I
  • Dr. Frank Meiß, Klinik für Dermatologie und Venerologie
  • Dr. Miguel Waterhouse, Klinik für Innere Medizin I
  • Dr. Dietmat Pfeiffer, Klinik für Innere Medizin I
  • Dr. Timo Volk, Klinik für Neurologie


External collaborations:

  • Ash A. Alizadeh MD/PhD, Stanford University
  • Stefan Alig, MD, Stanford University
  • David M. Kurtz MD/PhD, Stanford University
  • Prof. Dr. Gerald Illerhaus, Klinikum Stuttgart
  • Prof. Dr. Nikolas von Bubnoff, Universitätsklinikum Lübeck
  • PD Dr. Lorenz Thurner, Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes, Homburg/Saar
  • Prof. Dr. Björn Chapuy, Universitätsklinikum Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Oliver Weigert, LMU Klinikum
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Thiede, Universitätsklinikum Dresden

Principal Investigator

Dr. med. Florian Scherer


Phone: +49 761 270 34010

Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
Klinik für Innere Medizin I
Hugstetter Str. 55

D-79106 Freiburg

Mail Address:

Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
Hugstetter Straße 55
D-79106 Freiburg


Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
Zentrum Translationale Zellforschung (ZTZ), 3. OG
AG Scherer
Breisacher Straße 115
D-79106 Freiburg

Phone Laboratory:

+49 761 270 71870