Wolfgang Wick will be the new Chairman and Scientific Member of the Management Board of the German Cancer Research Center
Professor Wolfgang Wick has been appointed today by the board of trustees as the new Scientific Director and Chairman of the Management Board of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). He will succeed Professor Otmar D. Wiestler who will leave the DKFZ for the position of the president of the Helmholtz-Association in Berlin at September 1, 2015.
Large publicity campaign for Cancer Information Service launched
For many cancer patients and their families, the Cancer Information Service (KID) at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) is an important resource for all questions concerning cancer. People from all over Germany use the service; however, most users are from the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg and its neighboring states. In order to make the Cancer Information Service more widely known throughout Germany, the DKFZ will launch a major campaign consisting of posters, TV spots and online banners in 2015.
Award-winning agent developed for prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment
Joint Press Release by the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital
Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have developed an agent called PSMA-617, which is capable of attaching specifically to prostate cancer cells. This agent can be labeled with various radioactive substances. When chemically bound to a weakly radioactive diagnostic radionuclide, it can detect prostate tumors and their metastases in PET scans. If labeled with a strongly radioactive therapeutic radionuclide, PSMA-617 can specifically destroy cancer cells. A first clinical application of this radiopharmaceutical at Heidelberg University Hospital has now delivered promising results.
Cancer brake failure leads to brain cancer: novel method facilitates the study of gene defects
Tumor suppressor genes protect against cancer. Until now, scientists have had to perform complex experiments to detect whether or not a mutation or loss of this gene type does, in fact, cause cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now used a new gene technology method called CRISPR/Cas9 technology for this detection. Using this method, they were able to turn off specific tumor suppressor genes in the brains of mice and prove that this loss leads to the onset of brain cancer. As a result, scientists now have a comparatively simple method for examining cancer-promoting genetic defects.
Alternative routes to immortality
Every time a cell divides, the ends of chromosomes – the threads of DNA residing in the nucleus – shorten a bit. Once the chromosome ends, called telomeres, become too short, cells normally stop dividing. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now discovered how cancer cells make use of specific DNA repair enzymes to extend the telomeres. In this way, they escape the natural stop signal and can divide without limits. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports the project as part of the e:Med research initiative.
Call for help to killer cells improves cancer rejection
Many tumors are infiltrated by cells of the innate immune system called eosinophils. Immunologists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) are now the first to show that eosinophils do, in fact, improve the body’s defense against cancer. By releasing special agents, they attract killer T cells into cancerous tissue; the T cells then attack the cancer cells. This finding may help develop more effective cancer immunotherapies.
Lean despite many calories
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have identified an enzyme in mice that is involved in obesity and metabolic disruptions associated with it, such as type 2 diabetes. When the investigators turned off the enzyme in experiments, the animals did not gain any weight despite being fed a diet that was rich in fat and caloric content. Furthermore, they did not develop diabetes. So far, however, there is still not much evidence that this mechanism also plays a role in humans.
Targeted attack against brain cancer
With the goal of enhancing the treatment of glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain cancer, scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have been searching for specific structures that could lend themselves as drug targets. The researchers have now discovered an enzyme that drives the growth of these tumors. Agents that block this enzyme have already been approved as drugs and may consequently be utilized to halt the growth of these brain tumors.
World No Tobacco Day 2015 – Put an end to the illicit trade of tobacco products
For World No Tobacco Day 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on countries to band together to stop tobacco smuggling. An important political tool for achieving this goal is the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. For this year’s World No Tobacco Day, the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum - DKFZ) will publish an official German version of the protocol, with the goal of raising awareness to policy makers and the public about its value as a tool for combating illicit trade. DKFZ also aims to encourage policy makers to ratify the protocol, since 40 parties that have signed the protocol will also have to ratify it in order to implement effective enforcement strategies.
Epigenetic profiles allow for more precise predictions in brain cancer
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have analyzed the DNA methylation patterns in 500 ependymomas - tumors that occur in the brain and spinal cord. They were able to distinguish nine molecular subgroups. This classification enables clinicians to better predict the widely varying courses of disease that this type of cancer can take. In addition, key molecules in the various molecular groups have been identified as promising targets for more effective drug treatment in cases where chemotherapy is virtually ineffective.