Link to page: Bridging antibodies plus enhancer can destroy breast cancer cells
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Bridging antibodies plus enhancer can destroy breast cancer cells

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have developed antibodies that have two antigen-binding sites and can couple cancer cells with effector cells of the immune system. In laboratory tests, these bridging antibodies, together with an enhancer antibody, were able to specifically mobilize the body's own immune defenses and destroy breast cancer cells.

Link to page: Cancer-promoting metabolic pathways as targets of new therapies
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Cancer-promoting metabolic pathways as targets of new therapies

Christiane Opitz, scientist at the German Cancer Research Center, is being awarded this year's Ita Askonas Prize of the European Federation of Immunological Societies. Opitz has discovered how tumor cells use certain metabolites to protect themselves against the immune system. Her research findings may provide important clues for the development of new therapeutic concepts.

Link to page: Blood vessels produce growth factor that promotes metastases
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Blood vessels produce growth factor that promotes metastases

On the one hand, blood vessels supply tumors with nutrients and, on the other, enable cancer cells to spread throughout the body. The settlement of circulating tumor cells in a distant organ is promoted by factors whose production is induced by the primary tumor itself. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, have now identified a new growth factor produced by blood vessels that enables tumor cells to metastatically colonize organs. In mice, an antibody directed against this factor was able to slow the growth of metastatic tumors.

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Link to page: Superspreading events as drivers of SARS-CoV-2 evolution
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Superspreading events as drivers of SARS-CoV-2 evolution

What evolution has SARS-CoV-2 undergone since the beginning of the pandemic? Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center, in collaboration with colleagues from the Applied Biomedical Science Institute, San Diego, USA, analyzed this using data from the U.S. national SARS-CoV-2 sequence database. The combination of mutations plus "super spreading events" fuels the spread of genetic viral variants in the population.

Link to page: Blood-based micro-RNAs indicate the risk of colorectal cancer
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Blood-based micro-RNAs indicate the risk of colorectal cancer

The risk of colorectal cancer can be predicted more accurately by determining seven blood-based micro-RNAs (miRNAs) than by using traditional methods - and can be done so many years before a diagnosis is made. In a current study, researchers from the German Cancer Research Center and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg show that miRNA profiles provide greater predictive accuracy than genetic or lifestyle-based risk stratification methods. This might help make more targeted use of colorectal cancer screening in future.

Link to page: How much does it really cost to develop a new drug?
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How much does it really cost to develop a new drug?

Along with direct investments, the high risk of failure and the considerable time to market all determine the costs of drug development. Yet how much does it really cost to develop a new drug? Published estimates arrive at very different results. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center investigated the possible reasons for these discrepancies. The study they have now presented is based on a systematic analysis of the scientific literature.

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Link to page: What leads to the exhaustion of immune cells in the tumor microenvironment?
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What leads to the exhaustion of immune cells in the tumor microenvironment?

Guoliang Cui, of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), receives one of the 2021 Lloyd J. Old STAR Awards providing a grant of $1.25 million. Guoliang Cui is studying the mechanisms of T cell exhaustion in the context of cancer.

Link to page: Vaccination against hereditary colorectal cancer successful in mice
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Vaccination against hereditary colorectal cancer successful in mice

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital have for the first time been able to delay the development of hereditary colorectal cancer with a protective vaccination. Mice with a hereditary predisposition to colorectal cancer survived significantly longer after vaccination than unvaccinated animals. Combining the vaccination with an anti-inflammatory drug increased the protective effect.

Link to page: Patient care in certified cancer centers - longer survival at a lower cost
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Patient care in certified cancer centers - longer survival at a lower cost

Quality assurance in cancer medicine has a reputation for being expensive and involving considerable outlay. For the first time, a cost-effectiveness analysis has now shown that patients treated in certified cancer centers not only survived longer than patients in non-certified hospitals, but also cost less, despite the greater resource commitment required. This was established by health economists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in collaboration with health services researchers from TU Dresden, taking colon cancer as an example. Their study shows that the cost and effort associated with certifying cancer centers is more than offset by the enhanced efficiency of patient care: treating colon cancer patients in certified centers is likely to improve their prognosis without placing any additional economic strain on the health system.

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