Press Releases

No. 36 | 08. June 2018 | by Eck

Malaria: Cooperating antibodies enhance immune response

Neighbouring antibodies directed against "repetitive" epitopes of the patho...
© Katharina Imkeller/DKFZ

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.

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No. 35 | 05. June 2018 | by Sch/Koh

Quality of life after breast cancer

© Fotolia

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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No. 34 | 04. June 2018 | by Koh

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

© Fotolia

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.

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No. 33c | 30. May 2018 | by Eck

Breast cancer: Microproteins essential for cancer growth

The breast cancer cell line MCF7 produces the microprotein CASIMO1 (green)....
© M. Polycarpou-Schwarz; S. Diederichs, DKFZ

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.

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No. 31 | 14. May 2018 | by Eck

"Universal antibodies" disarm various pathogens

The common pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae
© Niaid, Wikimedia

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have been studying how the immune system succeeds in keeping pathogens in check. For the first time, the researchers have now discovered antibodies that are capable of disarming not only one specific bacterium but a whole variety of microorganisms at once. The newly discovered antibodies recognize a tiny sugar structure found on the surface of various germs. Thus, a limited number of antibodies is sufficient to control a wide variety of microorganisms.

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No. 30 | 11. May 2018 | by Mat

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

MRT picture of a medulloblastoma
© Wikimedia/Hellerhoff

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.
The "Hopp Children's Cancer Center at the NCT Heidelberg" (KiTZ) is a joint initiative of Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ).

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No. 29a | 07. May 2018 | by Koh

High science distinction for Michael Baumann

Michael Baumann
© Philip Benjamin, NCT Dresden

At its 100th Annual Meeting, the American Radium Society honored Michael Baumann, Chairman and Scientific Director of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), with the Janeway Gold Medal. The medal, which is awarded for outstanding contributions in cancer therapy, is one of the most prestigious distinctions in radiation oncology.

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No. 25c3 | 19. April 2018 | by Koh

ERC Advanced Grants for Hellmut Augustin and Christof Niehrs

Hellmut Augustin

The European Research Council ERC's Advanced Grants promote visionary projects of fundamental research. This year, Hellmut Augustin (University of Heidelberg and DKFZ) and Christof Niehrs (University of Mainz and DKFZ) received the prestigious funding.

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No. 25c2 | 18. April 2018 | by Eck

Cancer therapy: An interaction map of genes shows the best targets

© Benedikt Rauscher/DKFZ

Most genes are team players. Only when interacting with other genes can they perform properly. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now found a possibility to exploit this for the development of new cancer therapies. They generate maps of genetic interactions in cancer cells. These maps can then be used to determine the sites where it would be most effective to interfere with the interplay of cancer genes.

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No. 25c | 13. April 2018 | by Koh

Alcohol: redefined upper limit for low-risk consumption

© Gina Sanders, Fotolia

Consuming regularly more than 100 grams of alcohol per week shortens life, according to the results of an international research consortium published in the latest issue of the journal "Lancet". Those who consistently consume more than two liters of beer or a bottle of wine per week risk more strokes, deadly aneurysms and heart failure, and a higher overall mortality.

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