Ependymoma Awareness Day celebrating breakthroughs in cooperative ependymoma research
Ependymoma is a rare but aggressive brain tumor that occurs in both children and adults. Only large international collaborative efforts such as the Cooperative Ependymoma Research Network (CERN) and the Ependymoma Consensus Conference Series enable researchers and clinicians worldwide to decipher the biology, design innovative clinical trials, and ultimately improve survival of patients suffering from this devastating disease. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center have significantly contributed to the latest breakthroughs in ependymoma research.
Plant compound protects healthy cells from chemotherapy drugs
Chemotherapy drugs attack not only cancer cells but more generally rapidly dividing tissues. This can cause side effects ranging from hair loss to nausea to deadly infections. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have now discovered that the plant compound rocaglamide protects healthy cells from the toxic effects of chemotherapy drugs. This discovery may help reduce the side effects of cancer therapies.
Abnormal blood stem cells reprogram their environment
Blood arises from stem cells in the bone marrow; in patients with a myelodysplastic disorder (MDS), defective stem cells reprogram their neighbors in the marrow to create a “niche” that promotes their own survival. A recent report by scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) in collaboration with colleagues from the University Medical Centre Mannheim, suggests that blocking the molecules involved in this process may lead to an effective therapy against this life-threatening blood disorder.
50 years of research for life without cancer
"The prevention, detection and treatment of cancer are preeminent goals in health policy. The DKFZ is the flagship of cancer research in Germany. It has brought forward the development of new approaches in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The DKFZ is an institution that, ever since its inception, has promoted creativity and helped innovative ideas flourish. I congratulate the DKFZ with all its employees on these accomplishments." These were the opening words of the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka, in her welcome address at a press conference held in Berlin on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ).
Five years of successful stem cell research at HI-STEM
Joint Press Release of the Dietmar Hopp Foundation and the German Cancer Research Center
The Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine (HI-STEM) at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) is celebrating its fifth anniversary and looking back on five successful years. HI-STEM, a nonprofit institute, was founded in 2008 as a public-private partnership between the DKFZ and the Dietmar Hopp Foundation. Its aim is to conduct innovative basic research on stem cells as a basis for the development of new therapies and diagnostic methods for cancer patients.
Inflammation stimulates the mobility of cancer cells
Joint press release of the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Scientists have known for some time that inflammations can promote the development of cancer and the migration of cancer cells through the body. The mechanisms that connect these events, however, have long remained unclear. Scientists from the Munich and Frankfurt partner sites in the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK) have now uncovered a feedback mechanism that explains how chronic inflammation contributes to the development of cancer.
Stem cell gene therapy: Chances and risks
Physicians and scientists from Munich and Heidelberg have now proven the long-term effectiveness of stem cell gene therapy, based on a study of patients from the first clinical trial worldwide using gene therapy to treat Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. Yet several years after the therapy, the researchers also observed an increased incidence of acute leukemia among the patients.
DKTK Frankfurt: German Cancer Award for Simone Fulda
Joint press release of the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research and the University Hospital Frankfurt
Professor Simone Fulda, a pediatrician and cancer researcher in the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK) of the University Cancer Center (UCT) of the University Hospital Frankfurt, has been honored with the 2014 Cancer Research Award in the category “Translational Research.”
New vaccine against papillomaviruses protects mice from skin cancer
Scientists have suspected that non-melanoma skin cancer in patients who have received organ transplants can be caused not only by UV radiation, but also by simultaneous infection with specific types of human papillomaviruses (HPV). Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Charité University Hospital Berlin have now used a vaccine for the first time to protect mice against such skin tumors. The vaccine is even effective in animals with suppressed immune systems and mice that have previously been infected with papillomaviruses.
DNA tags as targets for new therapy against brain cancer
Ependymoma is an aggressive type of brain cancer that primarily affects infants. A comprehensive molecular analysis of these tumors has now been carried out with the major participation of scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital. They discovered that ependymomas with a good prognosis differ significantly from those with a poor prognosis. In aggressively growing tumors, a large number of genes are turned off as a result of methylation, a particular type of chemical change involving DNA. Drugs can remove methyl tags and this slows down the growth of cancer cells. The scientists have published their findings in the latest issue of Nature.