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Section of Radiobiology

Laboratory of Radiobiology and Tumor Immunotherapy
Principal Investigator/Head:

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Niedermann

short CV

E-mail: gabriele.niedermann@uniklinik-freiburg.de

Our research focuses on three major themes:

  • Evaluation of combinations of radiotherapy and immunotherapy (e.g., with immune checkpoint inhibitors, CAR T cells or cytokine derivatives) for the therapy of advanced/metastatic tumours
  • Non-invasive imaging to track immune and cancer cells
  • Radiosensitization and immunotherapeutic elimination of tumour stem cells


  • Dr. Ren Luo, former doctoral student of the Niedermann group, Radiation Biology Section at the Dept. of Radiation Oncology at the University Hospital, has been awarded the 2023 Dissertation Award of the German Society for Radiation Oncology (DEGRO). The award ceremony took place on June 23 at the DEGRO annual congress in Kassel. The award recognizes his work entitled "Use of platinum derivatives to enhance the radiation-induced abscopal effect in combination with anti-PD-1". The prize honors the nation’s best dissertation in the field of radiation oncology every year.
  • Dr. Michael Hettich (a former PhD student of the Niedermann Lab) received the 2017 Dissertation Award of the German Society for Radiation Oncology (DEGRO). He was awarded for his PhD thesis "Combined immunoradiotherapy of B16 melanomas and immunoPET monitoring of the programmed death pathway“.
  • Best of ASTRO 2016. The abstract entitled “Positron Emission Tomography Imaging of the PD-1/PD-L1 Checkpoint in Naïve and Irradiated Tumor-Bearing Mice" by M. Hettich, F. Braun und G. Niedermann has been selected for oral presentation at the 2016 Annual ASTRO (American Society for Radiation Oncology) Meeting in Boston. This abstract was also one of the few abstracts, which was presented at the 2016 Best of ASTRO meeting in Fort Lauderdale in November 2016. Best of ASTRO only presented the most relevant and highly influential abstracts from the 2016 ASTRO Annual Meeting.
  • Best of ESTRO 2015. The European Society of Radiation Oncology ESTRO awarded the submission The Extent of Synergy between Tumour Gamma Irradiation and Checkpoint-Blocking or T Cell-Recruiting Antibodies by Michael Hettich, Jayashree Lahoti and Gabriele Niedermann as the Highest Scoring Abstract in the category Radiobiology.
  • Preis Mobi 2015. Dr. Hua Jing (postdoctoral fellow in the section of Radiobiology) won the 1st prize at the 15th Meeting of the Interdisciplinary German Network Molecular Imaging (October 14–16, Freiburg) for her presentation titled Imaging and Selective Elimination of Glioblastoma Stem Cells with Theranostic Near-Infrared-Labeled CD133-Specific Antibodies.

Selected publications

  1. Onyshchenko K, Luo R, Guffart E, Gaedicke S, Grosu A-L, Firat E, Niedermann G. 2023. Expansion of circulating stem-like CD8+ T cells by adding CD122-directed IL-2 complexes to radiation and anti-PD1 therapies in miceNat Commun 12:2087.
  2. Luo R, Onyshchenko K, Wang L, Gaedicke S, Grosu A-L, Firat E, Niedermann G. 2023. Necroptosis-dependent Immunogenicity of Cisplatin: Implications for Enhancing the Radiation-induced Abscopal Effect. Clin Cancer Res 2023 29:667-683.
  3. Gkika E, Firat E, Adebahr S, Graf E, Popp I, Radicioni G, Lo SS, Nestle U, Nicolay NH, Niedermann G, Duda DG, Grosu A-L. 2023. Systemic immune modulation by stereotactic radiotherapy in early-stage lung cancer. NPJ Precis Oncol. 2023 2:24.
  4. Wu Y, Zhou L, Zhang X, Yang X, Niedermann G, Xue J. 2022. Psychological distress and eustress in cancer and cancer treatment: Advances and perspectives. Sci Adv. 2022 25: eabq7982
  5. Taromi S, Firat E, Simonis A, Braun LM, Apostolova P, Elze M, Passlick B, Schumacher A, Lagies S, Frey A, Schmitt-Graeff A, Burger M, Schmittlutz K, Follo M, von Elverfeld D, Zhu X, Kammerer B, Diederichs S, Duyster J, Manz MG, Niedermann G*, Zeiser R*. 2022. Enhanced AC133-specific CAR T cell therapy induces durable remissions in mice with metastatic small cell lung cancer. Cancer Lett. 22 10, 215697. * split senior authors
  6. Watanabe T*, Firat E*, Scholber J*, Gaedicke S, Heinrich C, Luo R, Ehrat N, Multhoff G, Schmitt-Graeff A, Grosu AL, Abdollahi A, Hassel JC, von Bubnoff D, Meiss F, Niedermann G. 2020. Deep abscopal response to radiotherapy and anti-PD-1 in an oligometastatic melanoma patient with unfavorable pretreatment immune signature. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 9:1823-1832. Split first authors
  7. Yin L, Xue J, Li R, Zhou L, Deng L, Chen L, Zhang Y, Li Y, Zhang X, Xiu W, Tong R, Gong Y, Huang M, Xu Y, Zhu J, Yu M, Li M, Lan J, Wang J, Mo X, Wei Y, Niedermann G, Lu Y. 2020. Effect of Low-Dose Radiation Therapy on Abscopal Responses to Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy and Anti-PD1 in Mice and Patients With Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 108:212-224.
  8. Watanabe T, Gaedicke S, Guffart E, Firat E, Niedermann G. 2020. Adding Indoximod to Hypofractionated Radiotherapy with Anti-PD-1 Checkpoint Blockade Enhances Early NK and CD8+ T-Cell-Dependent Tumor Activity. Clin Cancer Res. 26:945-956.
  9. Luo R, Firat E, Gaedicke S, Guffart E, Watanabe T, Niedermann G. 2019. Cisplatin Facilitates Radiation-Induced Abscopal Effects in Conjunction with PD-1 Checkpoint Blockade Through CXCR3/CXCL10-Mediated T-cell Recruitment. Clin Cancer Res. 25:7243-7255.
  10. Jing H, Hettich M, Gaedicke S, Firat E, Bartholomä M, Niedermann G. 2019. Combination treatment with hypofractionated radiotherapy plus IL-2/anti-IL-2 complexes and its theranostic evaluation. J Immunother Cancer. 7:55.
  11. De Ruysscher D, Niedermann G, Burnet NG, Siva S, Lee AWM, Hegi-Johnson F. 2019. Radiotherapy toxicity. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 5:13.
  12. Zhang X, Niedermann G. 2018. Abscopal Effects With Hypofractionated Schedules Extending Into the Effector Phase of the Tumor-Specific T-Cell Response. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 101:63-73.
  13. Hettich M, Braun F, Bartholomä MD, Schirmbeck R, Niedermann G. 2016. High-Resolution PET Imaging with Therapeutic Antibody-based PD-1/PD-L1 Checkpoint Tracers. Theranostics. 6:1629-40.
  14. Hettich M, Lahoti J, Prasad S, Niedermann G. 2016. Checkpoint Antibodies but not T Cell-Recruiting Diabodies Effectively Synergize with TIL-Inducing γ-Irradiation. Cancer Res. 76:4673-83.

Recent Alumni

  • Shruthi Prasad (former PhD student)
    iTeos Therapeutics, Gosselies, Belgium
  • Michael Hettich (former PhD student and postdoc)
    Scientist - Imaging, Cancer Immunotherapy at Roche, Basel, Switzerland
  • Xuekai Zhu (former postdoc)
    R&D Director, Nanjing IASO Biotherapeutics
    (till 2020: Research Associate Professor,
    Shanghai Institute of Advanced Immunochemical Studies, Shanghai)
  • Xuanwei Zhang (former M.D. student)
    Resident, Department of Thoracic Oncology, Cancer Center and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy,
    West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.
  • Tsubasa Watanabe (former postdoc)
    Kyoto University, Institute for Integrated Radiation and Nuclear Science, The Hakubi Project
    Program-Specific Associate Professor
  • Hua Jing (former postdoc)
    Senior Manager, Innovent Biologics Inc. Suzhou
  • Elena Guffart (former PhD Student)
    Postdoc, Prinz lab, Freiburg University

Press Release

Freiburger Wissenschaftler machen Tumorstammzellen sichtbar [Freiburg Scientists visualize tumor stem cells]



Principal Investigator/Head:

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Niedermann


E-mail: gabriele.niedermann@uniklinik-freiburg.de