Press Releases

No. 32c | 25. August 2016

Preventing obesity – preventing cancer!

Prof. Rudolf Kaaks
© Tobias Schwerdt/DKFZ

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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No. 31 | 23. August 2016 | by Koh

Low-protein diet enhances glucose metabolism

In mice and men, a low protein diet leads to lower blood glucose and insuli...
© Wikimedia Commons/Olearys

Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have shown in mice that a low-protein diet increases fat and carbohydrate burning, thus raising energy expenditure. Changing the animals' diet to low-protein intake even led to the regression of insulin resistance – independent of their body weight and total energy intake. A temporary low-protein diet also lowered insulin and glucose levels in young human volunteers. This effect is regulated by a central stress response by liver cells.

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No. 28 | 12. August 2016

Drug against psoriasis slows down cancer cell growth and metastasis

Immunofluorescence of a cutaneous T cell lymphoma after treatment with DMF ...
© Blood, Photo: Anne Schröder/Karin Müller-Decker

Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) are examining a promising agent against cancer of the immune system. In this type of cancer, the tumor cells have lost their ability to respond to signals that cause programmed cell death, or apoptosis. The new substance restores this ability, thus slowing down tumor growth and, above all, metastatic spread.

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No. 27c2 | 08. August 2016

One million € funding for the development of norovirus therapeutics

Electron micrograph of norovirus virus-like particles (VLPs) and a cartoon ...
© Dr. Grant Hansman, DKFZ

Grant Hansman, head of the CHS Research Group noroviruses, has raised funding under the BMBF funding program "Validation of the Technological and Social Innovation Potential of Scientific Research" in the amount of € 1,164,000. Hansman will develop new antiviral Nanobodies in the project, which can be used as a norovirus therapeutics and diagnostics.

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No. 26 | 29. July 2016 | by Por

The melody of epigenetics


David Brocks, a PhD student at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), has developed a method that enables him to make epigenetic differences between cancer cells and healthy cells audible. To do so, he transforms the sequence of special chemical labels on DNA into musical melodies. Changes in this sequence, which is called epigenetic pattern, are reflected in the melodies. The labels in the DNA influence which genes are translated into proteins in a cell. Thus, they also play an important role in the development of cancer.

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No. 25c4 | 27. July 2016 | by Koh

Lutz Gissmann has received the Maurice Hilleman Award for groundbreaking accomplishments in vaccine research

Lutz Gissmann

Lutz Gissmann from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) has been honored with the award in recognition of his research results, which were seminal contributions to the development of a vaccine against human papillomaviruses (HPV). Gissman took a major part in the discovery of the two most common cancer-causing HPV types. In addition, he developed an important method to produce a preventive vaccine from viral proteins.

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No. 27 | 01. August 2016 | by AM

DKTK Berlin and Heidelberg: New Biomarker for cancer immunotherapy?

Different number of PD-L1 gen copies (green) in the chromosoms (blue) from ...
© J. Budczies, Charité/ A. Stenzinger, Uniklinikum Heidelberg

The Ligand PD-L1 is one of the most important targets for cancer immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors. But not all tumors have sufficient quantities of PD-L1 ligands on their surface. Scientists from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) have now shown that different types of cancer possess different quantities of PD-L1-Gen copies. Genetic analysis of the PD-L1 gene may in the future help to predict which patients will benefit from checkpoint inhibitors. In the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) is serving as a core center that joins up with university institutes and hospitals all over Germany that are specialized in research and treatment with a focus on oncological diseases.

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No. 25c3 | 19. July 2016 | by Koh

2016 Windaus Award for Dietrich Keppler

© Yan de Andres

Dietrich Keppler, who was head of a research division at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) until 2007, has been awarded the 2016 international Adolf Windaus Award for his research achievements. Keppler, a biochemist, has made seminal contributions towards unraveling the molecular mechanisms of how substances are transported into the liver and from the liver into the bile. The Windaus Award has been given by the Falk Foundation since 1980 for outstanding achievements in the field of bile acid research. The award comprises €15,000.

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No. 25c | 29. June 2016 | by Koh

Misaligned chromosomes give breast cancer cells a selection advantage

Legend: In the mammary cells, both the cancer gene KRAS and Mad2, which cau...
© Rocio Sotillo/DKFZ

If chromosomes are distributed unevenly during cell division, this has a negative effect on the survival of daughter cells. However, in many cancer types, misaligned chromosomes are associated with a negative prognosis, meaning that they appear to benefit the cancer. Scientists at DKFZ have conducted trials with mice to investigate the effect of unevenly misaligned chromosomes on breast cancer. When the scientists triggered aberrant distribution of chromosomes in the mammary gland cells of mice, this delayed the development of breast cancer. However, the developing tumors appeared to have a selection advantage: they continued to grow even when the growth-promoting cancer gene had been switched off.

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No. 25 | 20. June 2016 | by HC

Tricks of Ticking time bomb Hepatitis B Virus

HBV (green) in liver cells (red): Only virions of the N-Type (left) are tra...
© Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg/S. Seitz

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.

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