International Cooperation

Accelerating drug development for children with cancer

Which drugs should be given priority for being tested against which childhood cancer types? A new European Union Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 project has been launched to address this question. Highly distinguished research institutions, big pharmaceutical companies and small biotech companies have joined forces to develop better models for investigating childhood cancer. The new research consortium is called "ITCC-P4" and will be coordinated jointly by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.

New funding

A vaccine against cervical cancer for poor countries

A novel vaccine against cancer-causing human papillomaviruses (HPV) is intended to help raise vaccination rates especially in developing countries. To this end, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg are developing a completely new vaccination concept based on a low-cost vaccine that protects from almost all known oncogenic HPV types. The project has now been chosen for funding from the Helmholtz Validation Fund. The Helmholtz Association uses this fund to support promising research projects on their way to marketable applications.

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Misregulated protein breakdown promotes leukemias and brain cancer

An enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of specific amino acids in food plays a key role in the development of leukemias and brain cancer, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg have now reported in Nature. The researchers have hence discovered a surprising link between energy metabolism and the so-called "epigenetic code". These labels in the DNA of cancer stem cells determine the activity of genes and, thus, many cellular functions. The authors think that blocking this enzyme is a promising possibility to combat cancer.

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Rare pancreatic cancer reveals targets for therapy

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have conducted comprehensive molecular analyses of a rare type of pancreatic cancer. They have discovered a variety of cellular alterations that can be targeted by drugs that are already available and in part even already approved for therapy.

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Sixty-five new genetic risk markers for breast cancer discovered

Until now, familial breast cancer has only partly been linkable to genetic risk markers. In a worldwide joint effort, researchers have now identified further genetic variants that affect the risk for breast cancer. The study, which was conducted with participation of researchers from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital, has now been published in Nature. Scientists expect that the results will lead to improved screening, earlier detection and better treatments for this disease.

Colorectal cancer screening

Nine different tests – but they deliver comparable results

The earlier colorectal cancer and its precancerous lesions are detected, the better. For this purpose, new immunological tests for hidden traces of blood in the stool have been in use since this year. These tests only deliver positive results if specific threshold values of hemoglobin are exceeded. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg have compared nine of these tests. Their result: All nine tests detect the vast majority of colorectal cancer cases and also many of its precancerous lesions. However, the manufacturers' specifications of the hemoglobin value above which there is a suspected case of colorectal cancer vary widely. Adjusting the thresholds, the scientists showed that all tests deliver very similar results. Even a smartphone test that functions without laboratory analysis can compete with test results from the laboratory.

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October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Towards personalized breast cancer screening

Many unnecessary mammography examinations and, thus, many falsely positive findings could be avoided if women who have a lower breast cancer risk were invited to mammography screenings at longer intervals, while women at increased risk could take screening examinations more frequently. However, how can one determine a woman's individual breast cancer risk accurately? Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg are working to enhance the mathematical models that are used for risk prediction. Blood samples collected as part of the EPIC study help them achieve this goal.

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Endowed chair at the German Cancer Research Centre commences work thanks to a one-million Euro donation from CTS EVENTIM

The German Cancer Research Centre (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) has created an endowed Chair in Chromatin Networks with the University of Heidelberg. Karsten Rippe, a biophysicist, will take up the Chair and will lead this department of the DKFZ. The new professorship is funded by CTS EVENTIM, one of the world’s leading providers of ticketing services and live entertainment. The company is providing the sum of one million Euro – the highest sum it has ever donated.

Bild: Christine Wagner on flickr
Collaboration

A shared vision of life without cancer

Two leading cancer research centres with a shared vision of life without cancer today announced they will collaborate to advance world-class research programs and education to benefit patients around the globe. The partners – Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, and the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum "DKFZ"), Heidelberg, – signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Toronto establishing the principles and framework for their collaboration.

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Research For A Life Without Cancer
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