Press Releases

No. 46 | 11. September 2017 | by Doy/Koh

Chronic cell death promotes liver cancer

A model for chronic liver disease: In this genetically modified mouse liver...
© Heikenwälder/DKFZ

Liver cancer occurs predominantly in patients whose liver has been damaged as a result of chronic disease. Until now it has remained in the dark how these events are linked at molecular level. An international team of scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and the University of Zurich has now shown that chronic cell death promotes the development of cancer. The more cells die, the more the remaining cells have to divide. In this process, they accumulate mutations: fertile ground for liver cancer to develop.

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No. 42c | 23. August 2017 | by Rei

Chaos in cell division – How chromosomal defects arise in cancer cells

Cell division with surplus centrioles at both spindle poles. The upper pane...
© Alwin Krämer/DKFZ

Cancer cells often have aberrant numbers of chromosomes. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have now discovered a new mechanism that plays a role in these typical chromosomal aberrations. The new findings question the current concept of how cancer cells survive the chaos during cell division. This might also make it necessary to rethink specific treatment approaches that interfere with the distribution of chromosomes.

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No. 42 | 16. August 2017 | by Rei

Using barcodes to trace cell development

© Nicole Schuster/DKFZ

There are various concepts about how blood cells develop. However, they are based almost exclusively on experiments that solely reflect snapshots. In a publication in Nature, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg now present a novel technique that captures the process in a dynamic way. Using a "random generator", the researchers label hematopoietic stem cells with genetic barcodes that enable them to trace which cell types arise from the stem cell. This method will facilitate whole new insights into the development of various tissues as well as cancer.

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No. 41c | 02. August 2017 | by Koh

Therapies for older leukemia patients

© The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), Wikimedia Commons

The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) will provide funding for a new research group at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and at the University of Freiburg and Freiburg University Medical Center. The scientists will jointly pursue fundamental and clinical research into acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The DFG will support the project with funds of approximately €4.2 million over the next three years.

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No. 41 | 28. July 2017 | by Koh

Cancer cells put the brakes on immune system

Macrophage after treatment with green colored exosomes (blue nucleus, red: ...

In order for cancer cells to successfully spread and multiply, they must find a way to avoid the body's own immune system. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have published an explanation for how this occurs with chronic lymphatic leukemia (CLL). The degenerated cells cause an inflammatory reaction and influence other blood cells with it so much, that the immune system is suppressed. They send out messages via exosomes, little bubbles, which the cells transmit to their surroundings. The discovery by the DKFZ scientists paves the way for new therapy approaches.

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No. 39 | 20. July 2017 | by Koh

Surprising genetic variety in childhood brain cancer

MRT-Image of a Medulloblastoma

An international research team led by scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Hopp Children's Tumor Center at the NCT Heidelberg (KiTZ) has identified new genetic alterations and mechanisms that lead to very aggressive types of childhood brain cancer. Their results, which have now been published in the journal Nature, will contribute to developing novel treatment approaches for previously incurable cancer cases and to targeting tumors more specifically.

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No. 38c | 18. July 2017 | by Koh

How blood vessels slow down and accelerate tumor growth

Co-culture of endothelial cells (green) and pericytes (red) results in sphe...
© Milde/DKFZ

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University have discovered a new mechanism that causes faster sprouting of blood vessels. Cells of a specific type called pericytes, which are attached to the outside of fine blood vessels, are involved in this process. If a particular protein molecule is switched off, this leads to the formation of significantly more, albeit immature, vessels, the scientists now report. As a result, the tumor gets supplied better and can grow faster.

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No. 38 | 17. July 2017 | by Koh

Visit to DKFZ - A clear signal


During the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the German Cancer Research Center, they will tour a laboratory and converse with patients.

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No. 37a | 11. July 2017 | by Koh

Young Investigator Award for DKFZ researcher

Lukas Bunse

For his work towards developing a vaccine against brain tumors, Lukas Bunse from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) has received the Young Investigator Award of the 2017 Württemberg Cancer Award. The award comes with a budget of €15,000.

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No. 37 | 30. June 2017 | by Koh

€5.7 million for novel treatment approaches in pediatric brain cancer

Examining tumor cells in the laboratory
© Philipp Benjamin/Heidelberg University Hospital

Children with low grade brain cancer usually suffer many years of distress. An international initiative that is coordinated at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Hopp Children's Tumor Center (KiTZ) at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg has now been established with the goal of changing this. Research teams from Heidelberg and London aim to gain better understanding of the biology of low grade pediatric brain tumors and to use these findings to develop novel treatment approaches. The British Brain Tumour Charity provides funds of €5.7 million to support the project, which was launched in late June.
The Hopp Children's Tumor Center at the NCT Heidelberg (KiTZ) is a joint institution of the Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ).

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