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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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Lasker Award for Ralf Bartenschlager

Ralf Bartenschlager, Virologist and cancer researcher at the Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) has received the Lasker-DeBakey Medical Research Award endowed with 250 000 Dollar. This prize, which is awarded annually in three categories by the Lasker Foundation in New York, is the highest distinction for medical science in the USA. Many prize winners have later gone on to receive the Nobel Prize. Bartenschlager and his group were the first to propagate the hepatitis C virus in the lab. This has made it possible to develop targeted therapies against the virus that can lead to chronic infection and cirrhosis or cancer of the liver.

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Medication against schizophrenia inhibits pancreatic cancer

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, and from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, have discovered that a receptor for the dopamine neurotransmitter promotes growth and spread of pancreatic cancer. Medications against schizophrenia, which block the function of this receptor, slowed down tumor growth and metastatic spread in mice.

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Preventing obesity – preventing cancer!

Cancer can be prevented by preventing obesity: Experts from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have re- evaluated available data for the new edition of the Handbook of Cancer Prevention. Rudolf Kaaks from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) has made major contributions to the current evaluation. 

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Changeover in the Cancer Prevention Unit: Ute Mons is taking over from Martina Pötschke-Langer

On September 1, 2016 Dr. Ute Mons will take over as Head of the Cancer Prevention Unit at the German Cancer Research Center, which also serves as the WHO Collaboration Center for Tobacco Control. She will be replacing Dr. Martina Pötschke-Langer, who headed the unit since it was established 19 years ago, and is now retiring.

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DKTK Dresden: CRISPR/Cas9 technology to diagnose cancer mutations

As for many other biomedical and biotechnology disciplines, the genome scissor "CRISPR/Cas9" also opens up completely new possibilities for cancer research. Scientists of the National Center for Tumor Disease (NCT), the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and the Medical Faculty of the TU Dresden have shown that mutations that act as cancer drivers can be targeted and repaired. The most relevant mutations could therefore be diagnosed faster, improving personalized therapies.

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