Double signal activates killer cells
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have found out that natural killer cells need at least two separate signals in order to be able to fight cytomegaloviruses. This finding might help to find more effective treatments against this virus, which is particularly dangerous for leukemia patients in the wake of bone marrow transplants.
Effective and safe – Evaluation of the first ten years of colonoscopy in cancer screening
Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have evaluated data from the first ten years of endoscopic gastrointestinal cancer screening (colonoscopy). The study concludes that the approximately 4.4 million screening examinations conducted during this period have prevented about 180,000 cases of colorectal cancer. By comparison, there were only 4,500 cases of over-diagnosis.
"Ring of Fire" wins the world championship in synthetic biology – a team of Heidelberg students wins over the judges in Boston
Joint press release of the German Cancer Research Center and the University of Heidelberg
For the second time in a row, a student team from Heidelberg University and the German Cancer Research Center has won the Grand Prize – and several special prizes – in the international iGEM competition in Boston. Last weekend, the Heidelberg team was ranked highest among 245 teams from 32 countries, leaving competitors from renowned universities such as Harvard, Yale and Stanford in their wake. This new triumph of Heidelberg scientists underscores Germany’s position as a world leader for research and training in the field of synthetic biology.
Everyone knows them, and one in five smokers tries them: E-cigarettes in Germany
Almost everybody in Germany knows what e-cigarettes are, and almost 10 percent of 16-to-19-year-olds have tried them – about the same rate as tobacco smokers in this age group. Interest in e-cigarettes is particularly high among smokers: About 25 percent of smokers between the ages of 16 and 39 years have tried them at least once. Even so, fewer than one percent of smokers are regular users of e-cigarettes. In 2014, e-cigarettes have been used less frequently as a means of quitting smoking than other nicotine replacement products, and only 0.2 percent of former smokers stated that they used e-cigarettes to quit smoking. These are the results of a survey conducted by the Society for Consumer Research (GfK) under a commission by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), now summarized in two publications.
DKFZ Chairman and Director Otmar D. Wiestler has been elected Helmholtz President
The Senate of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers has unanimously elected Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Otmar D. Wiestler, Chairman of the Management Board and Scientific Director of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), to become the next President of the Helmholtz Association. The Senate followed a unanimous proposal submitted by the Assembly of Members on September 17, 2014. The new President’s term of office will start on September 1, 2015. The current Helmholtz President, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mlynek, came into office in 2005 and will resign after two terms of office, in accordance with the Statutes.
Red carpet for Stefan Hell at the DKFZ
On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, about 500 employees of the DKFZ in Heidelberg celebrated “their” Nobel Prize winner, Professor Stefan Hell. In attendance were Theresia Bauer, the Minister of Science, Research and the Arts of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Helmholtz Association President Jürgen Mlynek, and Heidelberg’s Mayor Dr. Eckart Würzner. Hell received two valuable presents from two Directors of the DKFZ, Professor Otmar D. Wiestler and Professor Josef Puchta: A gift certificate for a portrait to be painted by an artist of his choice and the promise of five years of funding for a junior research group that will be named after the Nobel Prize winner.
New method can predict side effects of anticancer drugs
Every new anticancer drug can improve patients’ chances of survival. In some cases, however, these drugs can cause severe adverse side effects through mechanisms that are often unclear. An international team of researchers from Munich, Heidelberg, Sweden and Singapore has now succeeded in developing a new method that helps explain and even predict side effects that occur at cellular level.
Nobel Prize winner at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and the German Cancer Research Center: Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Stefan Hell
For the second time a researcher at the DKFZ has been awarded the highest distinction in science: Professor Stefan Hell, director of the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and department head at the DKFZ, has been awarded this year´s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering work in the field of ultra high resolution fluorescence microscopy. This follows the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine for Harald zur Hausen.
DKTK partner site Essen/Düsseldorf starts new cooperation with industry
Joint Press Release of the German Cancer Consortium and the Lead Discovery Center
The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC), a renowned translational research organization, and the Helmholtz Association, Germany’s biggest scientific organization, will be collaborating more closely in future. An initial pilot project in cooperation with Professor Schulte’s research group at the DKTK partner site Essen/Dusseldorf has just been launched. Together with the LDC, they will be developing a novel cancer therapy approach with the aim of identifying new drug candidates for the treatment of neuroblastoma and other cancer types.
Cancer stem cells – The long road to targeted therapies
Researchers working on cancer, stem cells and cancer stem cells convened for the fifth time at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) in Heidelberg on September 28th to 30th, 2014. About 400 experts from around the world discussed the role of cancer stem cells in various forms of the disease, considering questions such as how they sustain tumors and cause metastases and how they interact with their immediate environments, known as “stem cell niches.” Researchers have gained an ever better understanding of the fatal tricks that cancer stem cells play to survive, and the first attempts to target these cells through therapies have delivered positive results. The next major milestone will be to translate discoveries about the cells into novel treatments. The symposium was funded generously by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and by the Heidelberg-based Heinrich F.C. Behr Foundation, which has supported seven other international meetings at the DKFZ in the past.