Fatty acid increases performance of cellular powerhouse – Fundamentally new biological signaling pathway discovered
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have discovered an entirely new control mechanism that regulates the function of mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell. Surprisingly, a fatty acid is playing a key role in this process. The scientists have now reported in the journal Nature that using fatty acid as a food additive improved disease symptoms in flies that suffer from Parkinson’s-like symptoms due to dysfunctional mitochondria.
Selective agent keeps blood vessels in check
Blood vessels in the eye that grow out of control and damage the retina may cause blindness in certain affected people. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have now discovered that a molecule, called semaphorin 3C (Sema3C), may halt this process. Sema3C is produced by the body and its normal function is to control the growth of neurons. In an animal model, this protein effectively inhibits pathogenic angiogenesis.
Researchers discover a possible reason for drug resistance in breast tumors
HER2 membrane proteins play a special role in certain types of breast cancer: amplified levels of HER2 drive unrestricted cell growth. HER2-tailored antibody-based therapeutics aim to prevent cancer cell growth. However, two-thirds of HER2 positive breast cancer patients develop resistance against HER2-targeting drugs. The reason for this is not yet understood. Researchers now found out, that HER2 dimers appeared to be absent from a small sub-population of resting SKBR3 breast cancer cells. This small subpopulation may have self-renewing properties that are resistant to HER2-antibody therapy and thus able to seed new tumor growth.
Iron regulators join fight against pathogens
Proteins responsible for controlling levels of iron in the body also play an important role in combatting infection, according to a study published today in Cell Host & Microbe.
Succession of DKFZ Chairman and Scientific Director open
Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center have announced that, following a short period of negotiations, the Medical Director of the Department of Neurology at Heidelberg University Hospital, Professor Dr. Wolfgang Wick, will no longer be assuming the position of Chairman and Scientific Member of the Management Board of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ).
No tolerance for tumors
Dying cells can suppress the immune system. In this way, they prevent immune cells from mounting an undesired defense response against the body’s own tissues and organs. In cancer treatment, however, this immunological tolerance has negative effects because it suppresses the fight against the tumor. Immunologists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg are now the first to find a cause for this tolerance. In dying cells, special intracellular proteins called annexins are transported to the cell surface, thereby preventing an immune response.
Farewell party for DKFZ Chairman and Scientific Director Otmar D. Wiestler
On Thursday, July 2, 2015, the Chairman and Scientific Member of the Management Board of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Professor Otmar D. Wiestler, hosted a festive reception to say farewell to the DKFZ after eleven years. About 500 friends and supporters from government, industry and science, as well as employees, came to the reception to thank the Scientific Director for his work and to offer their best wishes in his future endeavor as President of the Helmholtz Association.
Urgent call for comprehensive tobacco advertising ban
Tobacco advertising is ubiquitous in this country. Germany is almost the only country – besides Bulgaria – where large-sized tobacco advertising on billboards is still legal. In addition to traditional marketing, the tobacco industry also seeks direct contact with young people in order to entice them to smoke, according to a new report by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg.
Wolfgang Wick will be the new Chairman and Scientific Member of the Management Board of the German Cancer Research Center
Professor Wolfgang Wick has been appointed today by the board of trustees as the new Scientific Director and Chairman of the Management Board of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). He will succeed Professor Otmar D. Wiestler who will leave the DKFZ for the position of the president of the Helmholtz-Association in Berlin at September 1, 2015.
Large publicity campaign for Cancer Information Service launched
For many cancer patients and their families, the Cancer Information Service (KID) at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) is an important resource for all questions concerning cancer. People from all over Germany use the service; however, most users are from the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg and its neighboring states. In order to make the Cancer Information Service more widely known throughout Germany, the DKFZ will launch a major campaign consisting of posters, TV spots and online banners in 2015.