LifeTime – a visionary proposal for an EU Flagship

Reliably predicting the onset and trajectory of a disease might seem like a distant dream. But a European consortium is aiming to achieve exactly this using a set of emerging technologies with the analysis of single cells at their core. Researchers from leading European science institutions have now submitted a proposal for a so-called "Future and Emerging Technologies Flagships". The large-scale project, which also involves scientists from the German Cancer Research Center, is called LifeTime.

Start of the third funding period

Ten years of successful research on cancer stem cells

HI-STEM, the Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), is looking back on ten successful years. In numerous types of cancer, HI-STEM researchers have been able to show the role of stem cells in the development, spread and therapy resistance of malignant tumors. The results show new approaches towards treating the threatening diseases more specifically and more effectively in the future. HI-STEM, a nonprofit institute, will now receive support amounting to €7.5 million from the Dietmar Hopp Foundation for the third consecutive five-year funding period. In addition, the Dietmar Hopp Foundation has agreed to support another two research projects at HI-STEM with funds amounting to €2.25 million.


Are high blood glucose levels an effect rather than the cause of the disease?

Insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose levels are considered to be the cause of type 2 diabetes. However, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital have now provided evidence that things might be completely different. They showed in flies that elevated levels of the metabolite MG (methylglyoxal) cause the typical diabetic disturbances of the metabolism and lead to insulin resistance, obesity and elevated blood sugar levels.

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Hopp Children's Cancer Center at the NCT

Combination therapy in neuroblastoma: It`s all about the mix

The combination of two cell division inhibitors causes malignant nervous system tumors to die off, as scientists from the "Hopp Children's Cancer Center at the NCT Heidelberg" (KiTZ) have shown in experimental studies.The combination strategy could be the key to new targeted therapies against this aggressive type of tumor.

Hopp Children's Cancer Center at the NCT

A molecular map of childhood cancers

Researchers led by Professor Stefan Pfister from the "Hopp Children's Cancer Center at the NCT Heidelberg" (KiTZ) have been able to draw an extremely detailed molecular map of childhood cancers. In close collaboration with the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and the Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH), they screened almost 1,000 tumor samples from 24 cancer types for genetic alterations and then classified these alterations. In 50 percent of the samples, they found targets for novel anticancer drugs, thus opening up new therapy approaches. The findings have now been published in Nature.

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Metastasis: Cell polarity matters

Not only the number of migrating cancer cells determines the risk for metastasis but also their characteristics, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now reported. For circulating cancer cells to be able to invade tissues and settle at other sites in the body, they have to exhibit a specific polarity. This discovery might in future help to better predict individual risk for metastasis and find appropriate therapies that can reduce it.


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March: Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer: Combined analysis enhances risk prediction

If first-degree relatives are affected by colorectal cancer, this indicates a person's own elevated risk of developing bowel cancer. The same holds true for people who have large numbers of genetic risk markers in their genome. Both factors are usually used alternatively, not combined, to predict risk. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg have now shown that a combination of family history and an analysis of genetic markers helps determine a person's colorectal cancer risk more precisely.


German Cancer Award for Michael Baumann

Michael Baumann, Chairman and Scientific Director of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, receives the 2017 German Cancer Award in the category "Translational Research". The science award, which is sponsored by the German Cancer Society and the German Cancer Foundation, is one of the most prestigious distinctions in cancer medicine in Germany.

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Breast cancer: How advanced imaging technologies will help avoid unnecessary biopsies

Enhancing the diagnosis of breast cancer is the stated goal of a research team at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. The scientists have combined an advanced method of diffusion-weighted MR imaging with intelligent image analysis methods to detect malignant changes in tissues. This method may help avoid many control biopsies following suspicious findings from mammography screening, the scientists have now demonstrated in a study that was supported by the Dietmar Hopp Foundation. This advancement holds promise for substantial improvements in the diagnosis of breast cancer.

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