Press Officer and Head of Press and Public Relations
Recent Press Releases
Tricks of Ticking time bomb Hepatitis B Virus
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes hepatitis B, an infectious disease that afflicts 230 million people worldwide, thereof 440 000 in Germany. Persistence of the virus in liver cells leads to progressive organ damage in the patient and contributes to a high risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer development. Providing a new paradigm to hepatitis B understanding, researchers at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany, and Department of Infectious Diseases, Molecular Virology, Heidelberg University Hospital have now uncovered a novel maturation mechanism employed by HBV to improve its infection success. Their findings are reported in the newest issue of Cell Host & Microbe.
Immunotherapy in metastatic colorectal cancer for the first time utilizes the innate immune system
Metastasized colorectal cancer is difficult to treat. Scientists at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) and the Heidelberg University Hospital in collaboration with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now discovered that the immune system acts as an accomplice to the metastases. Macrophages, also called scavenger cells, play a vital role in this process. The metastases in the liver influence macrophages in a way that helps tumor cells grow and spread. The reason for this is a signal pathway which is also used by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as an entry point into human cells. One inhibitor is already being used therapeutically in HIV patients. The scientists have now tested this drug in pre-clinical experiments and in a subsequent study involving 14 patients with advanced metastatic colorectal cancer. This Phase I study was funded by the Dietmar-Hopp Foundation and the promising results have just been published in Cancer Cell.
The NCT is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Aid (Deutsch Krebshilfe).
A tumor where the soul resides
World Brain Tumor Day: Interview with Professor Wolfgang Wick, head of the Clinical Cooperation Unit “Neurooncology” of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Managing Director of the Neurology Department at Heidelberg University Hospital.