Link to page: Engineering T cells for cancer therapy efficiently and safely
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Engineering T cells for cancer therapy efficiently and safely

Genetically enhancing a patient's immune cells by adding therapeutic genes to them outside the body is regarded as a promising new treatment approach in oncology. However, the production of these therapeutic cells using viruses is not only expensive but time-consuming. Researchers at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have developed an innovative non-viral vector that can efficiently introduce therapeutic genes into immune cells. At the National Center of Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg, therapeutic T cells produced with the novel vector were able to target and fight cancer more efficiently than conventionally produced cellular therapies.

Link to page: A new bridge connects research and industry
beLAB 2122

A new bridge connects research and industry

Drug discovery alliance and development partnership company Evotec launches „beLAB2122", translating academic innovation from leading German Life Science Region in collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb. The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) is one of the academic partners of the cooperation project.

Link to page: Which patients benefit from immunotherapy?
Liver cancer:

Which patients benefit from immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy using checkpoint inhibitors is effective in around a quarter of patients with liver cancer. However, to date, physicians have been unable to predict which patients would benefit from this type of treatment and which would not. Researchers from the German Cancer Research Center have now discovered that liver cancer caused by chronic inflammatory fatty liver disease does not respond to this treatment. On the contrary: in an experimental model, this type of immunotherapy actually promoted the development of liver cancer, as now reported in the journal Nature.

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Link to page: Vaccination against mutated protein tested in brain tumor patients for the first time
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Vaccination against mutated protein tested in brain tumor patients for the first time

Tumor vaccines can help the body fight cancer. Mutations in the tumor genome often lead to protein changes that are typical of cancer. A vaccine can alert the patients' immune system to these mutated proteins. For the first time, physicians and cancer researchers from Heidelberg and Mannheim have now carried out a clinical trial to test a mutation-specific vaccine against malignant brain tumors. The vaccine proved to be safe and triggered the desired immune response in the tumor tissue, as the team now reports in the journal Nature.

Link to page: Apply now for a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the DKFZ!
Deadline 15 September 2021

Apply now for a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the DKFZ!

Are you looking for an excellent research environment to make your next step? Apply now!

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Link to page: New single-cell analysis of leucemic stem cells
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New single-cell analysis of leucemic stem cells

A new method allows stem cells and cancer stem cells to be studied at the single cell level and the resulting cell clones to be traced directly. The method was developed by scientists from the Stem Cell Institute HI-STEM*, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the Center for Genome Regulation in Barcelona. Studying thousands of individual cells in parallel, the researchers combined the analysis of the genomic cancer mutations with the associated expression profiles.

Link to page: How novel pathogens may cause the development of colorectal cancer
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How novel pathogens may cause the development of colorectal cancer

Do BMMFs, the novel infectious agents found in dairy products and bovine sera, play a role in the development of colorectal cancer? Scientists led by Harald zur Hausen detected the pathogens in colorectal cancer patients in close proximity to tumors. The researchers show that the BMMFs trigger local chronic inflammation, which can cause mutations via activated oxygen molecules and thus promote cancer development in the long term. BMMFs and inflammatory markers were significantly more frequently detectable in the vicinity of malignant intestinal tumors than in the intestinal tissue of tumor-free individuals.

Link to page: Induced pluripotent stem cells reveal causes of disease
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Induced pluripotent stem cells reveal causes of disease

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are suitable for discovering the genes that underly complex and also rare genetic diseases. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), together with international partners, have studied genotype-phenotype relationships in iPSCs using data from approximately one thousand donors.

Link to page: Supposedly "silent" mutation with serious consequences
DKTK Essen

Supposedly "silent" mutation with serious consequences

So-called silent mutations have no effect on the composition of a protein. They are therefore not considered to promote cancer. However, scientists from the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), partner site Essen, now describe in a case of kidney cancer an overlooked silent mutation with a major impact on prognosis.

Cancer in the EU

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