Cookie Settings

We use cookies to optimize our website. These include cookies that are necessary for the operation of the site, as well as those that are only used for anonymous statistic. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Further information can be found in our data privacy protection .


These cookies are necessary to run the core functionalities of this website and cannot be disabled.

Name Webedition CMS
Purpose This cookie is required by the CMS (Content Management System) Webedition for the system to function correctly. Typically, this cookie is deleted when the browser is closed.
Name econda
Purpose Session cookie emos_jcsid for the web analysis software econda. This runs in the “anonymized measurement” mode. There is no personal reference. As soon as the user leaves the site, tracking is ended and all data in the browser are automatically deleted.

These cookies help us understand how visitors interact with our website by collecting and analyzing information anonymously. Depending on the tool, one or more cookies are set by the provider.

Name econda
Purpose Statistics
External media

Content from external media platforms is blocked by default. If cookies from external media are accepted, access to this content no longer requires manual consent.

Name YouTube
Purpose Show YouTube content
Name Twitter
Purpose activate Twitter Feeds

Takeda Oncology Research Award 2022 to Arlou Kristina Angeles

No. 57 | 17/10/2022 | by Koh

In some patients with non-small cell lung cancer, tumor cells carry genetic alterations that accelerate cancer growth. There are agents that prevent this, but cancer cells often develop resistance to these drugs. Arlou Kristina Angeles (German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg) has shown that tracking tumor DNA in the patient's blood is one way of detecting therapy resistance or disease progression at an early stage. This research can help adapt the treatment strategy for those affected as quickly as possible. Arlou Kristina Angeles received the 2022 Takeda Oncology Research Award for her findings.

Arlou Kristina Angeles
© Jutta Jung / DKFZ

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for about 75 percent of all cases of lung cancer. This form of lung cancer generally grows slower than small-cell lung carcinomas and therefore, in principle, has a better prognosis. However, in three to seven percent of those affected, the cancer cells carry a genetic alteration involving the ALK gene: this change causes the enzyme anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) to be overactive in the cancer cells, thereby accelerating tumor growth.

Patients with non-small cell lung cancer and ALK alterations are treated with so-called TKI inhibitors that blocks the activity of the ALK enzyme. However, the tumor cells often develop resistance against the drug and the therapy must be urgently adapted. In lung cancer, it is often difficult to take repeated tissue biopsies to detect the emergence of resistance mutations, so new ways of monitoring therapy response are urgently needed.

Arlou Angeles (DKFZ and NCT Heidelberg), investigated whether detection of tumor DNA in the blood plasma of NSCLC patients with ALK alteration is useful for assessing treatment response or early treatment failure. Tumor DNA was obtained from blood samples, sequenced, and analyzed for alterations in the ALK gene. In 19 of 43 patients, the scientist and her colleagues were able to detect disease progression earlier thanwith conventional imaging methods. This highlights the sensitivity of the liquid biopsy approach in detecting disease progression.

In their comprehensive analysis, Arlou Angeles and her colleagues were also able to link the pro-inflammatory proteins IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 to disease progression. The combination of these biomarkers further increased the accuracy of detecting disease progression. She sees an opportunity for the liquid biopsy approach to tangibly improve clinical care for these patients.

To encourage outstanding research in the field of non-small cell lung cancer, the company Takeda Pharma offered a high-profile research award. Arlou Angeles' project was awarded the first prize, which is endowed with 30,000 euros.

Arlou Kristina Angeles studied biology and biotechnology at the University of the Philippines. In 2015, she began her doctoral research at the German Cancer Research Center in the Division of Cancer Genome Research, where she has been working as a PostDoc since receiving her doctorate in 2019.

A picture of Arlou Angeles is available for download: 

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: Jutta Jung / DKFZ ".
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: Any commercial use is prohibited.

With more than 3,000 employees, the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is Germany’s largest biomedical research institute. DKFZ scientists identify cancer risk factors, investigate how cancer progresses and develop new cancer prevention strategies. They are also developing new methods to diagnose tumors more precisely and treat cancer patients more successfully. The DKFZ's Cancer Information Service (KID) provides patients, interested citizens and experts with individual answers to questions relating to cancer.

To transfer promising approaches from cancer research to the clinic and thus improve the prognosis of cancer patients, the DKFZ cooperates with excellent research institutions and university hospitals throughout Germany:

  • National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT, 6 sites)
  • German Cancer Consortium (DKTK, 8 sites)
  • Hopp Children's Cancer Center (KiTZ) Heidelberg
  • Helmholtz Institute for Translational Oncology (HI-TRON Mainz) - A Helmholtz Institute of the DKFZ
  • DKFZ-Hector Cancer Institute at the University Medical Center Mannheim
  • National Cancer Prevention Center (jointly with German Cancer Aid)
The DKFZ is 90 percent financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and 10 percent by the state of Baden-Württemberg. The DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.


Subscribe to our RSS-Feed.

to top
powered by webEdition CMS