Latest News

Key molecule of aging discovered

Every cell and every organism ages sooner or later. But why is this so? Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have now discovered for the first time a protein that represents a central switching point in the aging process. It controls the life span of an individual - from the fly to the human being. This opens up new possibilities for developing therapies against age-related diseases.

Deadline 15 September 2018

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Latest News

14 new breast cancer risk genes discovered

Many genetic markers associated with the familial breast cancer risk are outside the protein-coding regions of the genome and are likely to regulate the activity of neighboring genes. In a large international network, in which numerous DKFZ researchers were also involved, scientists have now combined genome-wide association studies with an estimation of the gene activity. They identified 48 genes whose activity is associated with breast cancer risk. Among them are 14 genes that have not yet been associated with breast cancer. The functional analysis of these genes can provide further information on the tumor biology of breast cancer and thus possibly identify target structures for new therapies.


Cooperating antibodies enhance immune response

Malaria is one of the most inflicting infectious diseases worldwide. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany, and from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada, have studied how the human immune system combats malaria infections. In this study, the researchers discovered a previously unnoticed characteristic of antibodies against the malaria parasite: They can cooperate with each other, thus binding even stronger to the pathogens and improving the immune response. The results, now published in Science, are expected to help develop a more effective vaccine against the disease.


Quality of life after breast cancer

Five years after the diagnosis, the quality of life of breast cancer survivors has largely returned to that of the general population, scientists at the German Cancer Research Center have found. However, breast cancer survivors continued to suffer significantly more from sleep problems, cognitive impairment, and fatigue. The results of the recently published study should help to better tailor breast cancer follow-up to the patients' complaints.


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Latest News

What is the economic value of a life year? An international comparison

Whether or not a medical treatment is added to the catalogue of services covered by a national health care scheme, in many jurisdictions largely depends on the economic assessment of its cost benefit ratio. The so-called "value of a statistical life year" (VSLY) is an important point of reference for this assessment. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now conducted a comprehensive analysis of economic studies to deduce the willingness to pay for a statistical life year gained in an international comparative overview*. In Europe, the median value is €158,448 or approximately five times the gross domestic product per capita. The results obtained are substantially higher than international benchmarks currently used to determine the cost effectiveness of health care interventions. The new VSLY estimates may support the assessment of medical interventions.

Breast cancer

Microproteins essential for cancer growth

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women worldwide. In order to develop new therapies, it is necessary to understand exactly how breast cancer cells function. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center have taken an important step in this direction: In tumor tissue from breast cancer patients, they discovered a tiny protein that is essential for the growth of the tumor cells. If the gene for the microprotein is switched off, the growth of the breast cancer cells is inhibited.

Hopp Children's Cancer Center (KiTZ)

Genetic analysis for certain childhood brain tumors soon a standard-of-care?

An international team of researchers from the Hopp Children's Cancer Center at the NCT Heidelberg (KiTZ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) together with colleagues at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto has summarized hereditary gene defects which can trigger the development of certain malignant brain tumors (medulloblastoma). From their findings, the team has derived recommendations for routine genetic screening in medulloblastoma patients.

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