How can I participate?
Help us to shape the future of medicine!

  • Your Contact persons for participation in the study (blood donation):
    Jacqueline Hermann
    Telefon: 089.4400.59250

  • Scientific Project leader and the contact for scientific enquiries:
    Mihaela Žigman, Dr. rer. nat.
    Email: mihaela.zigman @

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does the L4L Project involve?

The project Lasers4Life (L4L) is an interdisciplinary research project in which physicists, mathematicians and bioscientists at Ludwig‐Maximilians University (LMU) Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, in collaboration with leading clinical institutions, are engaged in developing a novel analytical method for the early diagnosis of cancer. The idea for the project comes from the field of laser physics, and is based on the latest insights and advances in laser-based technologies.

What are the aims of the L4L Project?

The primary goal of the Lasers4Life project is to detect cancers at an early stage (in which they can be effectively treated) by means of a novel, non-invasive, laser-based spectroscopic method.

The longer-term goal is to use the method to classify the type of cancer concerned as accurately as possible, so that the best available therapies can be employed to eliminate it. In addition, we hope that the method can serve as a tool to monitor the effects of therapies, thus enabling clinicians to quickly determine whether the patient responds to the treatment selected, and detect any recurrence of the disease.

How can I participate in the L4L project?

Voluntarily donated blood samples will enable the L4L researchers to assess the range of variation in molecular fingerprints within the general population. This is an essential prerequisite for the next step – recognizing deviations that point to pathological changes in the tissues.

We will therefore be pleased if you decide to visit the LMU Medical Center in Grosshadern and donate a 10-ml sample (equivalent to about two tablespoons) of blood for use in our study. The procedure takes only a few minutes and all samples will be processed using a pseudonym. Your blood will not be screened for any specific disorder. The study is designed to define the range of variation, within the general population, in levels of the metabolites detected by the laser method.


Jacqueline Hermann
Tel.: 089/4400 52969

Where and when can I donate blood for the L4L project?

You can donate blood for the project at the LMU Medical Center in Grosshadern.


Kommen Sie zu diesen Zeiten in die Urologische Poliklinik; Würfel xx, 4. Stock.

How big is the sample taken?

The sample volume needed is 10 ml, approximately equivalent to two tablespoonfuls.

Who will benefit from my donation?

The L4L project is developing an innovative and promising method for non-invasive detection of cancers. By donating 10 ml of blood you will make an important personal contribution to cancer research, play a part in shaping the future of clinical medicine, and hopefully help to save lives.

Who is eligible to donate blood for the L4L project?

With this appeal, we are seeking voluntary blood donors of all ages who are free of malignant disease. If you have a primary disorder other than cancer (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, allergies, asthma, etc.), you are eligible to take part.

I have cancer. Can I participate in the L4L project?

In the course of our Lasers4Life project, we will also investigate blood samples from cancer patients. However, such participants must satisfy particular criteria for inclusion. For this reason, please note that cancer patients cannot donate blood samples – at this point – in response to the present appeal.

I am pregnant. Can I donate blood for the L4L project?

Participation of pregnant women in clinical studies is subject to special regulations. For this reason, those who are pregnant cannot take part in this study.

I have a primary disease (diabetes, allergy ...). Can I donate blood for the L4L project?

Donors who have a primary disease are eligible to take part in the Lasers4Life study – provided they do not have a malignant disease. Please note that – at this point – cancer patients cannot donate blood samples in response to this present appeal.

I recently donated blood. How long must I wait before I can donate for the L4L project?

The sample volume needed for Lasers4Life is quite small (10 ml, approximately equivalent to two tablespoons of blood), so it does not matter when your last regular blood donation took place.

How long must I wait after a vaccination before I can donate for the L4L project?

Since vaccinations can alter the cellular composition of the blood, please wait for at least two weeks after a vaccination before donating blood to Lasers4Life.

What should I bring with me?

There is nothing particular that you need to bring with you when donating blood to Lasers4Life. The blood sample is taken from the crook of the arm, so it is helpful if the arm is easily accessible. You should also make sure to drink enough before and after donating blood.

What does the process involve?

Before giving your donation, you will be given an explanatory briefing including a detailed description of the project, and a member of the study team will inform you about the benefits and risks involved. You will then be asked to sign a consent form and to fill out a questionnaire in which you will be asked for information about your age, sex, current illnesses and medication.

Then a 10-ml sample (approximately equivalent to two tablespoons of blood) will be taken by a trained member of the clinical staff.

The sample is then immediately frozen and stored until required for analysis. The molecular fingerprinting analysis is carried out in the Faculty of Physics at LMU Munich and at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching near Munich.

How long does the process take?

The donation itself takes only a few minutes. The entire procedure, including the time needed for the preliminary briefing and completion of the study questionnaire, lasts between 20 and 30 minutes.

What is done with my personal data?

The study is subject to all the standard provisions governing medical confidentiality and data protection. All data are collected and anonymized by employees of the LMU Medical Center before the samples are made available to researchers at the Institute of Laser Physics at LMU Munich. Neither the donor’s name, initials or exact date of birth are incorporated into the coding of the individual samples. The data obtained from sample analysis will be evaluated exclusively in the context of the Lasers4Life project.

Will I be informed of the results of the blood test?

Since the method of analysis to be used in the study is still in the experimental phase, the results cannot be communicated to donors.

What is done with the donated blood sample?

Immediately after the sample is taken, its components are separated into blood plasma and blood serum. The plasma and serum fractions are then frozen and stored until required. The molecular fingerprinting analysis is carried out in the Faculty of Physics at LMU Munich and at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching near Munich.

If you subsequently decide to withdraw from the study, the remaining portion of the sample that you donated will be destroyed.

Where can I obtain further information about the L4L project?

If you have any further questions about the Lasers4Life project or need any further information, please contact:

Dr. Mihaela Žigman
Leader of the Research Group in Broadband Infrared Diagnostics
Tel.: +49.89.32905.354