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Gene fusion opens up treatment possibilities for aggressive brain cancer

Glioblastoma, an extremely aggressive type of brain cancer, is still mostly untreatable in children. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg University Hospital and an international consortium including the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (MPIMG) undertook a comprehensive analysis of glioblastoma genomes. In about ten percent of the cases, they found a previously unknown mutation that is treatable with a targeted drug that has already been approved. In experiments with mice, the investigators successfully used this agent to halt the growth of brain tumors with this mutation.

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No billboard advertising of tobacco products - for the protection of minors

Germany is the only European country still allowing unrestricted advertising of tobacco products on large billboards. This type of advertising deliberately targets young consumers. A current publication by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) shows that two thirds of adolescents and young adults are consciously aware of billboard advertising, and are thereby encouraged to start smoking. At the same time, a current survey suggests that the majority of the population supports a ban of billboard advertisement for tobacco products.


DKFZ-Junior scientist is awarded for vaccination against brain tumors

For her work on the development of a vaccine against brain tumors, the Bayer Science & Education Foundation has awarded Dr. Theresa Bunse from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) the 'Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award' 2016. The molecular biologist works in the Clinical Cooperation Unit of Neuroimmunology and Brain Tumor Immunology, investigating how the immune system can help in the defense against rare brain tumors by specifically blocking the growth of brain tumor cells.

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Making efficient use of Big Data in medicine

Large experiments and simulations in science today generate ever increasing amounts of data. In order to turn this data and information into insights and knowledge however, scientists also need storage capacities and analytical potential of a new quality. The Helmholtz Association is now leading the way in storing data permanently, securely and re-usably. In order to manage Big Data in science, the association has founded the Helmholtz Data Federation (HDF). Around 49.5 million Euros will be invested over the next 5 years in multi-thematic data centers and in modern data management. In the context of the HDF initiative coordinated by KIT in Karlsruhe, the DKFZ is responsible for the data accruing in healthcare.


Diet myths and cancer

Fasting starves tumors, foregoing sugar slows down cancer growth, alkaline foods protect from cancer: Many special diets and dietary patterns supposedly have the potential to prevent cancer or an existing disease from spreading in the body. Do these theories withstand scientific scrutiny? An interview with Dr. Susanne Weg-Remers, head of DKFZ's Cancer Information Service (KID), on World Food Day on October 16.

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DKFZ spin-off company has raised funds totaling €40 million

iOmx Therapeutics, a company that was founded by scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), develops new anticancer agents. The startup specializes in drugs that are intended to prevent cancer from escaping the body's immune system. Its concept appeals to a consortium of life science investors, which will now give €40 million to finance the young company's research.


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German Immunology Award for Hans-Reimer Rodewald

For his groundbreaking research, Hans-Reimer Rodewald from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg has been honored by the German Society for Immunology (DGfI) with the 2016 German Immunology Award. Rodewald's work focuses on the question of how various types of immune cells develop from stem cells and join up to form a functioning immune system. Rodewald received the € 10,000 award at the Annual Meeting of the DGfI in Hamburg.

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Michael Baumann, a Dresden cancer specialist, will be the new scientific director of the German Cancer Research Center.

The board of trustees at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg has unanimously elected Prof. Michael Baumann as chairman and scientific director of the German Cancer Research Center. Over the past years, Michael Baumann has proven to be a successful physician, cancer researcher and science manager. He has worked as the director of Radiation Therapy at the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, the Institute for Radiation Oncology at the Helmholtz-Center in Dresden-Rossendorf and the OncoRay-Center. The employment contract has been signed, allowing Michael Baumann to move to the German Cancer Research Center, that he will lead together with administrative director Prof. Josef Puchta, as of November 1, 2016.

Photograph by Graham Beards, distributed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 and present on Wikimedia Commons.
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Liquid Biopsy: Level of mutated DNA in the blood corresponds to patient outcome

New findings from a scientific collaboration between the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg and the Thoraxklinik Heidelberg suggest liquid biopsy as a promising tool to monitor lung cancer patient tumors early. Scientists associated liquid biopsy readouts with clinical data and were able to track tumor responses to cancer drugs in real-time. Their paper has just been published in the latest issue of Scientific Reports.

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