Press Releases

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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No. NCT 01 | 09. June 2016 | by Fel

Immunotherapy in metastatic colorectal cancer for the first time utilizes the innate immune system

The HIV drug Maraviroc blocks the surface protein CCR5. This activates the ...

Metastasized colorectal cancer is difficult to treat. Scientists at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) and the Heidelberg University Hospital in collaboration with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now discovered that the immune system acts as an accomplice to the metastases. Macrophages, also called scavenger cells, play a vital role in this process. The metastases in the liver influence macrophages in a way that helps tumor cells grow and spread. The reason for this is a signal pathway which is also used by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as an entry point into human cells. One inhibitor is already being used therapeutically in HIV patients. The scientists have now tested this drug in pre-clinical experiments and in a subsequent study involving 14 patients with advanced metastatic colorectal cancer. This Phase I study was funded by the Dietmar-Hopp Foundation and the promising results have just been published in Cancer Cell.
The NCT is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Aid (Deutsch Krebshilfe).

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No. 21 | 01. June 2016 | by Koh

Pancreatic cancer: Aggressive behavior from the start

A pancreatic cancer cell. The nucleus is stained blue, the fibers of the cy...
© Dr. Nathalie Giese, Chirurgische Universitätsklinik Heidelberg

A microRNA suppresses the ability of cancer cells in the pancreas to invade surrounding tissue and spread metastases, researchers at the German Cancer Research Center and colleagues revealed in their latest study. In patients with pancreatic cancer, the researchers discovered that the lower the detected levels of this microRNA in the tumor are, the more unfavorably the disease progresses. Levels of this microRNA are often already reduced in chronic pancreatitis, which often precedes cancer.

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No. 22 | 03. June 2016 | by Koh

A tumor where the soul resides

Caption: DKFZ radiologists are evaluating a brain tumor.
© Tobias Schwerdt, DKFZ

World Brain Tumor Day: Interview with Professor Wolfgang Wick, head of the Clinical Cooperation Unit “Neurooncology” of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Managing Director of the Neurology Department at Heidelberg University Hospital.

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No. 19c | 31. May 2016 | by Koh

Hans-Reimer Rodewald has been elected EMBO Member

Hans-Reimer Rodewald

Hans-Reimer Rodewald from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) has been elected to join the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in recognition of his research achievements in immunology. The more than 1,700 EMBO Members are internationally leading scientists in their fields.

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No. 19e | 30. May 2016 | by Sel

Natural Killer cells contain powerful toxin against tumors

HMGB1 positive (red color indication) immune cells infiltrate a colon carci...

Scientists at the University Hospital and the DKFZ in Heidelberg have discovered that a protein from immune cells paralyzes the energy supply in tumor cells. The German Society of Pathology has awarded them with the Novartis Prize. The scientists have now published their findings in Nature Communications.

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No. 18c4 | 09. May 2016

How fasting helps fight fatty liver disease

Fatty liver disease
© Nephron, Wikimedia Commons

Jointly with colleagues from Helmholtz Zentrum München, scientists at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have new information on what happens at the molecular level when we go hungry. In cooperation with the German Center for Diabetes Research they were able to show that upon deprivation of food a certain protein is produced that adjusts the metabolism in the liver.

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No. 17c2 | 20. April 2016 | by Sel

Founding of an International Cancer Genome Consortium for medicine: Scientists combine data from cancer genome with information on disease progression

© US Department of Energy Human Genome Program Wikimedia Commons

During the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, members of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) announced their entering of a new phase: The ICGCmed now combine data from cancer genome with information on disease progression. The objective of this initiative is to make optimal use of the consolidated information for prevention, early detection, diagnostics, prognosis and tailor-made cancer therapies.

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