Link to page: Tracking down resistant cancer cells
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Tracking down resistant cancer cells

In multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, relapse almost always occurs after treatment. Initially, most patients respond well to therapy. However, as the disease progresses, resistant cancer cells spread in the bone marrow, with fatal consequences for the patients. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg have now used single-cell sequencing to elucidate how myeloma cells with different genetic characteristics change in interaction with the surrounding immune cells in a patient during relapse. The results point to new approaches to counteract relapse.

Link to page: Prestigious research prize for the discovery of new liver regeneration mechanisms
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Prestigious research prize for the discovery of new liver regeneration mechanisms

The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy's national science academy, has awarded this year's Francesco De Luca Prize to Donato Inverso from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in recognition of his research achievements, which have permitted previously unimagined insights into how liver function is steered by blood vessels.

Link to page: Overcoming resistance to treatment for breast, bowel, and pancreatic cancer
DKTK

Overcoming resistance to treatment for breast, bowel, and pancreatic cancer

As cancer progresses, the tumor cells continually change, ultimately resulting in a tumor consisting of a large number of different cell clones with different characteristics. This is referred to as "tumor heterogeneity". In many cases, the cancer cells become resistant to the treatments available. The interdisciplinary SATURN3* research network aims to study pancreatic, breast, and bowel cancer to unravel the molecular causes that lead to the development of treatment resistance. The goal is to find new ways of preventing resistance and even to overcome it using more efficient treatment methods.

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Link to page: Overcoming resistance to cancer treatment: Bone and soft tissue tumors in adolescents as a model system
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Overcoming resistance to cancer treatment: Bone and soft tissue tumors in adolescents as a model system

Treatment resistance is a central problem in the treatment of cancer. Bone and soft tissue tumors – known as sarcomas – in adolescents and young adults often stop responding to treatment too. This is because cancer cells develop a large number of new characteristics as the disease progresses and often become resistant to drugs that were originally effective. The interdisciplinary research consortium HEROES-AYA now aims to discover how the molecular heterogeneity of sarcomas leads to treatment resistance. The researchers hope to obtain fundamental insights into the development of treatment resistance in tumors and to develop options for overcoming it.

Link to page: Mucus reprograms immune cells and promotes airway inflammation
Cystic fibrosis & COPD:

Mucus reprograms immune cells and promotes airway inflammation

Scientists of the Translational Lung Research Center Heidelberg (TLRC) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have discovered a new link between excessive airway mucus and chronic airway inflammation that is characteristic of cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The researchers showed that mucus in the airways reprograms certain cells of the immune system, called macrophages, disrupting their functions and causing them to develop pro-inflammatory properties. In the future, airway macrophages could become the target of novel therapies to treat cystic fibrosis and COPD.

Link to page: Using T cells to target malignant brain tumors
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Using T cells to target malignant brain tumors

Doctors and scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and from Heidelberg University's Medical Faculty Mannheim have successfully tested a neoantigen-specific transgenic immune cell therapy for malignant brain tumors for the first time using an experimental model in mice.

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Link to page: Mail order service for researchers as a business idea
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Mail order service for researchers as a business idea

Scientists are obliged to make all the reagents cited in their specialist publications available to their colleagues throughout the world. These include what are known as plasmids – ring-shaped DNA molecules that are vital for molecular biology research. A new company called the European Plasmid Repository GmbH has been set up at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) to allow researchers to deposit their plasmids free of charge. The company ships the plasmids across the globe, for which it charges customers a fee.

Link to page: Tumor organoids can help overcome therapy resistance of colorectal cancer
DKTK Munich

Tumor organoids can help overcome therapy resistance of colorectal cancer

The development of therapy resistance often prevents advanced colorectal cancer from being successfully treated in the long term. Scientists from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), partner site at LMU Munich, are now demonstrating in laboratory experiments how patient-specific mini-tumors, so-called tumor organoids, can help to specifically adapt therapy to the individual disease and thus possibly overcome resistance.

Link to page: DKFZ proposal nominated as first funded project of beLAB2122
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DKFZ proposal nominated as first funded project of beLAB2122

To translate results from academic research in the Rhine-Main-Neckar life science region, the drug discovery and development company Evotec, in collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb, recently launched the "beLAB2122" research network. The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) as one of the academic partners of the new BRIDGE academic partnership. Evotec has now selected a DKFZ project for initial funding.

Link to page: Genomic tracking of the COVID-19 pandemic in England
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Genomic tracking of the COVID-19 pandemic in England

The COVID-19 crisis that gripped England between September 2020 and June 2021 can be thought of as a series of overlapping epidemics, rather than a single event, say researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the German Cancer Research Center. During this period, the country wrestled with multiple variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that possessed different growth rates and required a different public health response.

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