UniStem Day 2017 in Heidelberg

Multi-talented Jack of all trades, miracle healer or the root of all evil?

On March 17, an unusual subject was on the agenda: Stem cells. More than 1000 high school students in ten German cities visited Institutes and Universities on a quest for stem cells in research and medicine. In Heidelberg, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the University Hospital and the University opened their doors for talks and lab visits for the second time. The idea is a European one: More than 27,000 young people set out on UniStem Day in Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Sweden, Poland, Serbia, Denmark and Germany, to find out more about this Jack of all trades in the world of cells.

Latest News

DNA labels predict mortality

Methyl labels in the DNA regulate the activity of our genes and, thus, have a great influence on health and disease. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and from the Saarland cancer registry have now revealed that an altered methylation status at only ten specific sites in the genome can indicate that mortality is increased by up to seven times. Smoking has a particularly unfavorable impact on the methylation status.

Tsungming Tu prize

Taiwan’s highest scientific award goes to Hannah Monyer

The Taiwanese science council has awarded Hannah Monyer of the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital the Tsungming Tu prize for her groundbreaking work on memory. The prize is the highest academic honor in Taiwan for foreign scientists and carries with it an endowment of $75,000.

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DKTK Freiburg

Physicists simplify production of hypersensitive contrast agent for cancer diagnostics

To make even the smallest tumor clusters and other pathological metabolic processes visible with the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Physicists from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) at the University Hospital of Freiburg have come one step closer to this goal. The scientists used the highly sensitive hyperpolarization MRI, which uses magnetic contrast agents to be several times more sensitive than classic MRIs. The Freiburg researchers managed to radically simplify the production of such contrast agents, which had previously been both very complicated and expensive. This will allow the production of contrast agents that can be used to observe pathological metabolic processes in cancer in real time. The production procedure of these contrast agents has been published in the journal "Nature Communications."

German Cancer Award

Skin from the Petri dish helps cancer research

How does skin cancer develop? This is the central question around which Petra Boukamp's research revolves. Boukamp, who led a research department at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) for many years, studied the role of genetic alterations in the development of skin cancer. In addition, she developed organ models that closely resemble human skin and enable researchers to track the development of skin cancer in culture. For this research, the scientist has now been honored with the experimental part of the German Cancer Award (Deutscher Krebspreis).

New Helmholtz Institute

Personalized cancer immunotherapy

The new Helmholtz Institute HI-TRON is a collaboration of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and the Research Institute for Translational Oncology (TRON) at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. The goal of the partnership is to develop effective immunotherapies and to identify novel biomarkers for assessing the effectiveness of treatment.

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Reprogrammed blood vessels promote cancer spread

Tumor cells use the bloodstream to spread in the body. To reach the blood, they first have to pass the wall of the vessel. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and from the Medical Faculty Mannheim of Heidelberg University have now identified a trick that the cancer cells use: They activate a cellular signal in the vessel lining cells. This makes the passage easier for them and promotes metastasis. In experiments with mice, the researchers were able to block this process using antibodies.

Joint Press Release

Epstein-Barr virus and cancer: new tricks from an old dog

Almost everybody has it: Scientists estimate that approximately 98 percent of adults around the world are infected with the Epstein-Barr virus. In rare cases, an infection with this virus causes cancer. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), at the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), and at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) have now discovered that a component of the Epstein-Barr virus infectious particle promotes carcinogenesis. This viral protein interferes with cell division and impairs proper distribution of the genetic material to the two daughter cells. This confers a risk of subsequent cancer development.

DKTK Berlin

The Variety of the Tumor in 3D

During its formation, every tumor receives a specific genetic profile, which can be utilized for personalized cancer therapy. But even within one tumor, various regions can develop which have distinct features. By making a three-dimensional tumor model, researchers at the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) at the Charité Medical University of Berlin, at the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital in Dresden, and at the Technical University in Munich, were able to show for the first time how cancer-relevant genes in colorectal cancer are amplified in specific tumor regions. The results could help to improve routine molecular diagnostics. The DKTK is made up of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg as the core location, along with renowned oncology departments of universities in various partner locations across Germany.

DKFZ - A Video

Research For A Life Without Cancer
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