Neuroendocrine Oncology and Metabolism

Department of Internal Medicine I

Group Members

Stephanie Fliedner (Junior Group leader)

Research Interests

Dr. Fliedner investigates the molecular and cell biological characteristics of neuroendocrine malignancies, mainly focusing on paragangliomas. Paragangliomas are catecholamine-producing tumors of the sympathetic nervous system, including the adrenal-derived pheochromocytomas. Most frequently, paraganglioma patients suffer from symptoms related to catecholamine excess, such as hypertension, tachycardia, headaches, sweating, or panic attacks. Tumor removal cures all symptoms, however complete resection may not be possible, once metastases are present. Currently, therapeutic options for malignant disease are limited and the five-year survival rate is 55%. Thus, identification of new therapeutic targets and new diagnostic tools for early recognition of the disease are urgently needed.

In order to detect characteristic expression patterns for better disease stratification and identification of novel therapeutic strategies, Dr. Fliedner performed protein-, gene- and metabolite-profiling studies, involving biological samples of human paraganglioma patients with different genotypes as well as in-vitro models. Dr. Fliedner’s current projects focus on oncogenic consequences of imbalances in energy metabolites.

In addition to her basic research, Dr. Fliedner coordinates the participation of the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck in two clinical multicenter studies, focusing on improving the diagnosis and treatment of paragangliomas (PMT and FIRST-MAPPP, respectively). You can find more information about the studies here: 


Latest Publications

  1. Currás-Freixes M, Piñeiro-Yañez E, Montero-Conde C, Apellániz-Ruiz M, Calsina B, Mancikova V, Remacha L, Richter S, Ercolino T, Rogowski-Lehmann N, Deutschbein T, Calatayud M, Guadalix S, Álvarez-Escolá C, Lamas C, Aller J, Sastre-Marcos J, Lázaro C, Galofré JC, Patiño-García A, Meoro-Avilés A, Balmaña-Gelpi J, De Miguel-Novoa P, Balbín M, Matías-Guiu X, Letón R, Inglada-Pérez L, Torres-Pérez R, Roldán-Romero JM, Rodríguez-Antona C, Fliedner SMJ, Opocher G, Pacak K, Korpershoek E, de Krijger RR, Vroonen L, Mannelli M, Fassnacht M, Beuschlein F, Eisenhofer G, Cascón A, Al-Shahrour F, Robledo M. PheoSeq: A Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing Assay for Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma Diagnostics. J Mol Diagn. 2017 Jul;19(4):575-588
  2. Rao D, Peitzsch M, Prejbisz A, Hanus K, Fassnacht M, Beuschlein F, Brugger C, Fliedner S, Langton K, Pamporaki C, Gudziol V, Stell A, Januszewicz A, Timmers HJLM, Lenders JWM, Eisenhofer G. Plasma methoxytyramine: clinical utility with metanephrines for diagnosis of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. Eur J Endocrinol. 2017 Aug;177(2):103-113
  3. Pamporaki C, Hamplova B, Peitzsch M, Prejbisz A, Beuschlein F, Timmers HJLM, Fassnacht M, Klink B, Lodish M, Stratakis CA, Huebner A, Fliedner S, Robledo M, Sinnott RO, Januszewicz A, Pacak K, Eisenhofer G. Characteristics of Pediatric vs Adult Pheochromocytomas and Paragangliomas. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Apr 1;102(4):1122-1132
  4. Fliedner SM, Shankavaram U, Marzouca G, Elkahloun A, Jochmanova I, Daerr R, Linehan WM, Timmers H, Tischler AS, Papaspyrou K, Brieger J, de Krijger R, Breza J, Eisenhofer G, Zhuang Z, Lehnert H, Pacak K.Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 2α Mutation-Related Paragangliomas Classify as Discrete Pseudohypoxic Subcluster. Neoplasia. 2016 Sep;18(9):567-76
  5. Fliedner SM, Yang C, Thompson E, Abu-Asab M, Hsu CM, Lampert G, Eiden L, Tischler AS, Wesley R, Zhuang Z, Lehnert H, Pacak K. Potential therapeutic target for malignant paragangliomas: ATP synthase on the surface of paraganglioma cells. Am J Cancer Res. 2015 Mar 15;5(4):1558-70