Strategic Communication and Public Relations

Ana Banito awarded for her research on soft tissue sarcomas

No. 04 | 15/01/2020 | by Mat

Ana Banito, scientist at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg" (KiTZ) received the Award of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities for her work on sarcomas, a group of malignant tumors which is quite common in children. The prize, donated by the Monika Kutzner Foundation and endowed with 10,000 euros, is awarded annually for special achievements that advance cancer research.
The "Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg" (KiTZ) is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and Heidelberg University.

Ana Banito, scientist at the DKFZ and the KITZ, received the award of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW) – donated by the Monika Kutzner Foundation – for her work on sarcomas
© Judith Affolter

"I feel very grateful and honored to receive this prestigious award and I am happy to see research on sarcoma receiving more visibility," says Ana Banito. The 38-year-old Portuguese leads a junior group at the KiTZ. Previously, she has worked at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York at the Institute of Cancer Researcher Scott Lowe for several years.

Ana Banito is an expert in the biology of soft tissue sarcomas, tumors that can emerge from a variety of tissues of the body. Soft tissue sarcomas account for about seven percent of all childhood and adolescent cancers. They are thus the third most common solid tumors in children and adolescents. Many subspecies of soft tissue sarcomas in children and young adults are based on a common genetic mechanism. Meanwhile, a number of characteristic mutations are known in the genetics of the sarcoma cells that drive the malignant growth of cancer cells.

Banito and her research group genetically mimic these changes in order to better understand the biological processes underlying the development of the disease and to find therapeutic molecules that can stop the tumor growth. The team also explores the role of incorrect regulation of chemical modifications of the genome, the so-called epigenetic modifications, in childhood sarcomas.

The prize of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities – donated by the Monika Kutzner Foundation – is endowed with € 10,000. It is awarded for outstanding achievements in the field of cancer research.

An image for this press release is available for download at:
https://www.kitz-heidelberg.de/fileadmin/media/kitz/news/2020/BBAW-Preis-Ana-Banito.jpeg 

Caption:
Ana Banito, scientist at the DKFZ and the KITZ, received the award of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW) – donated by the Monika Kutzner Foundation – for her work on sarcomas.

Note on use of images related to press releases
Use is free of charge. The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) permits one-time use in the context of reporting about the topic covered in the press release. Images have to be cited as follows: "Source: Judith Affolter".
Distribution of images to third parties is not permitted unless prior consent has been obtained from DKFZ's Press Office (phone: ++49-(0)6221 42 2854, E-mail: presse@dkfz.de). Any commercial use is prohibited.

The Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ)
The „Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg" (KiTZ) is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg University Hospital and Heidelberg University. As the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), which focusses on adult oncology, the KiTZ is based on the US model of so-called "Comprehensive Cancer Centers" (CCC). As a therapy and research center for oncologic and hematologic diseases in children and adolescents, the KiTZ is committed to scientifically exploring the biology of childhood cancer and to closely linking promising research approaches with patient care– from diagnosis to treatment and aftercare. Children suffering from cancer, especially those with no established therapy options, are given an individual therapy plan in the KiTZ, which is created by interdisciplinary expert groups in so-called tumor boards. Many young patients can participate in clinical trials which ensures access to new therapy options. Thus, the KiTZ is a pioneering institution for transferring research knowledge from the laboratory to the clinic.
While the KiTZ focuses on pediatric oncology, the focus of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), founded in 2004, is adult oncology. Both facilities in Heidelberg are based on the US model of so-called "Comprehensive Cancer Centers" (CCC).

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ)
The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) with its more than 3,000 employees is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. At DKFZ, more than 1,300 scientists investigate how cancer develops, identify cancer risk factors and endeavor to find new strategies to prevent people from getting cancer. They develop novel approaches to make tumor diagnosis more precise and treatment of cancer patients more successful.
DKFZ's Cancer Information Service (KID) provides individual answers to all questions about cancer for patients, the general public, and health care professionals.
Jointly with partners from Heidelberg University Hospital, DKFZ runs the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) located in Heidelberg and Dresden, and, also in Heidelberg, the Hopp Children's Cancer Center (KiTZ). In the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), one of six German Centers for Health Research, DKFZ maintains translational centers at seven university partnering sites. Combining excellent university hospitals with high-profile research at a Helmholtz Center at the NCT and DKTK sites is an important contribution to the endeavor of translating promising approaches from cancer research into the clinic in order to improve the chances of cancer patients.
DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers, with ninety percent of its funding coming from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the remaining ten percent from the State of Baden-Württemberg.

Heidelberg University Hospital and Medical Faculty
Internationally recognized patient care, research, and teaching
Heidelberg University Hospital is one of the largest and most prestigious medical centers in Germany. The Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University belongs to the internationally most renowned biomedical research institutions in Europe. Both institutions have the common goal of developing new therapies and implementing them rapidly for patients. With about 13,000 employees, training and qualification is an important issue. Every year, around 65,000 patients are treated on an inpatient basis, 56,000 cases on a day patient basis and more than 1,000,000 cases on an outpatient basis in more than 50 clinics and departments with almost 2,000 beds. Jointly with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and German Cancer Aid, Heidelberg University Hospital has established the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg, where promising approaches from cancer research are translated into the clinic. Currently, about 3,700 future physicians are studying in Heidelberg; the reform Heidelberg Curriculum Medicinale (HeiCuMed) is one of the top medical training programs in Germany. www.klinikum.uni-heidelberg.de

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