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Press Releases

No. 37 | 01. August 2014 | by Koh

The Long and Winding Road to Gene Regulation

The Long and Winding Road to Gene Regulation

Small chemical modifications such as DNA methyl groups can tell the cell whether a given gene is expressed or not. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have now discovered how the methyl marks can regulate gene activity: They influence where the DNA wraps around its packaging proteins to form complexes called nucleosomes. The removal of the methyl groups makes these nucleosomes unstable, and previously inaccessible DNA regions are released for binding of enzymes that affect gene activity.

No. 36b | 24. July 2014

A protein couple controls flow of information into the brain’s memory center

A protein couple controls flow of information into the brain’s memory center

Neuroscientists in Bonn and Heidelberg have succeeded in providing new insights into how the brain works. Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) analyzed tissue samples from mice to identify how two specific proteins, ‘CKAMP44’ and ‘TARP Gamma-8’, act upon the brain’s memory center. These molecules, which have similar counterparts in humans, affect the connections between nerve cells and influence the transmission of nerve signals into the hippocampus, an area of the brain that plays a significant role in learning processes and the creation of memories. The results of the study have been published in the journal Neuron.

No. 36 | 21. July 2014 | by Sel

Using light to control the cell

Using light to control the cell

Researchers from the University of Heidelberg and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have developed a new method that uses light to control processes in living cells. This system facilitates studies on the movement of proteins within cells and is of interest for both basic and applied research. The scientists have now published their results in the journal “Nature Communications.”
Joint press release of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the University of Heidelberg

No. 35b | 15. July 2014 | by Sok/Munich

Poor prognosis for leukemia patients with trisomy 13

Poor prognosis for leukemia patients with trisomy 13

Some cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are accompanied by a mutation which gives patients an extra copy of chromosome 13. This is usually associated with a very unfavorable course of the disease and also exhibits a unique mutation profile. In a clinical collaboration between the Helmholtz Zentrum München and Munich University (LMU) Hospital, a team of researchers has conducted comprehensive genetic investigations in a national study on leukemia patients. Their results have just been published in the journal “Blood”.
Joint press release of the German Cancer Consortium and Helmholtz Zentrum München

No. 34 | 10. July 2014 | by Koh

Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe visits the German Cancer Research Center and the National Center for Tumor Diseases

Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe visits the German Cancer Research Center and the National Center for Tumor Diseases

This year, the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) celebrates its 50th anniversary, and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg celebrates its 10th anniversary. On the occasion of this joint anniversary, Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe made a visit to both institutes in Heidelberg.

No. 32 | 25. June 2014 | by Koh

First positive results toward a therapeutic vaccine against brain cancer

First positive results toward a therapeutic vaccine against brain cancer

Tumor vaccines might help the body fight cancer. A prerequisite to the development of such a vaccination is to find protein structures in cancer cells that differ from those of healthy cells. Such differences are often created by gene mutations in tumor cells, which lead to altered proteins that cells of the immune system can potentially recognize. Cancer researchers from Heidelberg have now been able to develop a mutation-specific vaccine targeting a protein that is mutated in brain cancer. In the journal “Nature”, the researchers report that the vaccine arrested tumor growth in mice.
Joint press release of the German Cancer Research Center and the Heidelberg University Hospital

No. 31 | 24. June 2014 | by Ter/Sel

Protein test instead of cystoscopy

Protein test instead of cystoscopy

A recent study from the Heidelberg-based company Sciomics, a spin-off from scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), has presented an advanced method to predict the recurrence of bladder cancer after surgery. The method, which can help avoid frequent cystoscopy examinations in a majority of patients, is based on an analysis of the protein composition of cancer tissue obtained during surgery. The test detects proteins relevant to cancer that are suspected to promote recurrence, thus facilitating a prognosis for the disease.

No. 30 | 23. June 2014 | by Koh

Cancer genes hijack enhancers

Cancer genes hijack enhancers

Medulloblastoma is the most common type of malignant brain tumor in children. Unlike most other forms of cancer, it exhibits very few mutations in growth-promoting genes. Thus the reasons for the aggressive growth behavior of medulloblastomas have been unclear. In collaboration with an international team of colleagues, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now made an important discovery about a particularly malignant subgroup of medulloblastomas: often the cancer-causing genes have not undergone alterations, but instead are transcribed at higher or lower levels than normal. This change is due to regulatory mechanisms in cells that were previously unknown. For example, one cancer-gene hijacks a so-called “enhancer”.
The researchers have published their results in two articles in Nature. German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) have provided funds for this work.

No. 24 | 20. May 2014 | by Sel

Towards individualized cancer medicine for each patient: Dietmar Hopp Foundation will support an initiative at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg with €15 million

Towards individualized cancer medicine for each patient: Dietmar Hopp Foundation will support an initiative at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg with €15 million

Comprehensive genome analyses of cancer cells have shown that each tumor and cancer patient are unique and need to be treated individually. To pave the way, by 2015 the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg aims to offer cancer patients at the NCT analyses of their individual cancer genomes to be used as the basis for personalized recommendations for treatment. This initiative from the DKFZ and NCT has been made possible by generous support from the Dietmar Hopp Foundation. The long-term goal is to facilitate the transition of research findings into applications and thus make individualized cancer treatment a part of standard clinical care. Leading technology companies including SAP, Molecular Health and GATC Biotech are collaborating in the project.
Joint Press Release of the Dietmar Hopp Foundation and the German Cancer Research Center

No. 23 | 16. May 2014 | by Koh

Blocking cancer stem cells in the brain prolongs survival in mice

Blocking cancer stem cells in the brain prolongs survival in mice

In a study of malignant brain tumors in mice, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have identified a key molecule that is responsible for the dangerous properties of tumor stem cells. When this stem cell marker was switched off, cancerous mice survived longer. Switching off the marker in human brain tumor cells causes cancer stem cells to lose their capacity for self-renewal. Blocking the marker may therefore also slow down the growth of aggressive human brain cancers.

last update: 30/08/2011 back to top