Press Releases

No. 14a | 20. March 2017 | by Sel

Multi-talented Jack of all trades, miracle healer or the root of all evil?

High school students were given a glimpse of stem cell research on UniStem ...
© Philipp Benjamin, DKFZ

On March 17, an unusual subject was on the agenda: Stem cells. More than 1000 high school students in ten German cities visited Institutes and Universities on a quest for stem cells in research and medicine. In Heidelberg, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the University Hospital and the University opened their doors for talks and lab visits for the second time. The idea is a European one: More than 27,000 young people set out on UniStem Day in Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Sweden, Poland, Serbia, Denmark and Germany, to find out more about this Jack of all trades in the world of cells.

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No. 13 | 16. March 2017 | by Koh

Taiwan’s highest scientific award goes to Hannah Monyer

Hannah Monyer

The Taiwanese science council has awarded Hannah Monyer of the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital the Tsungming Tu prize for her groundbreaking work on memory. The prize is the highest academic honor in Taiwan for foreign scientists and carries with it an endowment of $75,000.

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No. 14 | 20. March 2017 | by Koh

DNA labels predict mortality

DNA methylation
© Schuster, DKFZ

Methyl labels in the DNA regulate the activity of our genes and, thus, have a great influence on health and disease. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and from the Saarland cancer registry have now revealed that an altered methylation status at only ten specific sites in the genome can indicate that mortality is increased by up to seven times. Smoking has a particularly unfavorable impact on the methylation status.

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No. 10 | 06. March 2017 | by AM

DKTK Freiburg: Physicists simplify production of hypersensitive contrast agent for cancer diagnostics

© DKFZ / Tobias Schwerdt

To make even the smallest tumor clusters and other pathological metabolic processes visible with the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Physicists from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) at the University Hospital of Freiburg have come one step closer to this goal. The scientists used the highly sensitive hyperpolarization MRI, which uses magnetic contrast agents to be several times more sensitive than classic MRIs. The Freiburg researchers managed to radically simplify the production of such contrast agents, which had previously been both very complicated and expensive. This will allow the production of contrast agents that can be used to observe pathological metabolic processes in cancer in real time. The production procedure of these contrast agents has been published in the journal "Nature Communications."
The DKTK is made up of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg as the core location, along with renowned oncology departments of universities in various partner locations across Germany.

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No. 09a2 | 02. March 2017 | by Koh

Skin from the Petri dish helps cancer research

Petra Boukamp
© Jutta Jung/DKFZ”

How does skin cancer develop? This is the central question around which Petra Boukamp's research revolves. Boukamp, who led a research department at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) for many years, studied the role of genetic alterations in the development of skin cancer. In addition, she developed organ models that closely resemble human skin and enable researchers to track the development of skin cancer in culture. For this research, the scientist has now been honored with the experimental part of the German Cancer Award (Deutscher Krebspreis).

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No. 09a | 01. March 2017 | by Koh

Personalized cancer immunotherapy


The new Helmholtz Institute HI-TRON is a collaboration of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and the Research Institute for Translational Oncology (TRON) at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. The goal of the partnership is to develop effective immunotherapies and to identify novel biomarkers for assessing the effectiveness of treatment.

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No. 09 | 01. March 2017 | by Koh

Reprogrammed blood vessels promote cancer spread

© Alberto Puime Otín

Tumor cells use the bloodstream to spread in the body. To reach the blood, they first have to pass the wall of the vessel. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and from the Medical Faculty Mannheim of Heidelberg University have now identified a trick that the cancer cells use: They activate a cellular signal in the vessel lining cells. This makes the passage easier for them and promotes metastasis. In experiments with mice, the researchers were able to block this process using antibodies.

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No. 07 | 13. February 2017 | by Koh

Epstein-Barr virus and cancer: new tricks from an old dog

© Henri-Jacques Delecluse/DKFZ

Joint press release of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), and the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm)
Almost everybody has it: Scientists estimate that approximately 98 percent of adults around the world are infected with the Epstein-Barr virus. In rare cases, an infection with this virus causes cancer. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), at the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), and at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) have now discovered that a component of the Epstein-Barr virus infectious particle promotes carcinogenesis. This viral protein interferes with cell division and impairs proper distribution of the genetic material to the two daughter cells. This confers a risk of subsequent cancer development.

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No. 05 | 02. February 2017 | by AM

DKTK Berlin: The Variety of the Tumor in 3D

The three-dimensional tumor model shows in which areas the copy number of t...
© Christine Sers, Soulafa Mamlouk / Charité Berlin

During its formation, every tumor receives a specific genetic profile, which can be utilized for personalized cancer therapy. But even within one tumor, various regions can develop which have distinct features. By making a three-dimensional tumor model, researchers at the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) at the Charité Medical University of Berlin, at the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital in Dresden, and at the Technical University in Munich, were able to show for the first time how cancer-relevant genes in colorectal cancer are amplified in specific tumor regions. The results could help to improve routine molecular diagnostics. The DKTK is made up of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg as the core location, along with renowned oncology departments of universities in various partner locations across Germany.

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No. 04b | 01. February 2017

Immune System with a Timer

© Dr. Marco Binder

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and the Heidelberg University Hospital have discovered a previously unknown feedback mechanism of the human immune system. Their research shows how the innate immune system is quickly activated in the case of a viral infection, but is inhibited after just a few hours. This prevents an excessive immune reaction that might result in cell damage. The results of the study have been published in the journal "Molecular Cell."

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