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Press Releases

No. 09 | 12. February 2024 | by Koh

AI-supported image analysis: metrics determine quality

AI can support the evaluation of medical images - provided the metrics used...
© Adobe Stock

How well do the algorithms used in the AI-supported analysis of medical images perform their respective tasks? This depends to a large extent on the metrics used to evaluate their performance. An international consortium led by scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg has compiled the knowledge available worldwide on the specific strengths, weaknesses and limitations of the various validation metrics. With "Metrics Reloaded", the researchers are now providing a widely available online tool that supports users in selecting the most suitable algorithm for their task.

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No. 08c | 08. February 2024 | by Koh

Next generation models for brain tumor research


"GLO", glioblastoma-like organoids grown in the laboratory from human stem cells, are a suitable model for investigating the correlation between genetic mutations and molecular subtypes in glioblastoma. This was published by scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). When investigating the GLOs, they discovered that glioblastoma development is characterised by a reprogrammed lipid metabolism. This could be the starting point for developing new drugs.

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No. 08 | 07. February 2024 | by Koh

The unexpected long-term consequences of female fertility

Ovarian follicle
© TiagoLubiana/Wikimedia Commons

The constant remodeling of the organs of the female reproductive tract during the reproductive cycle leads to fibrosis and chronic inflammation over the years. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now uncovered these unexpected long-term consequences of female reproductive function in mice. The results have been published in the scientific journal CELL.

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No. 06 | 02. February 2024 | by Koh

Epigenetic status determines metastasis

Partially extravasated metastasizing tumor cells (pink) exiting from the pu...
© Augustin/DKFZ

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Medical Faculty Mannheim of the Heidelberg University investigated in mice how spreading tumor cells behave at the site of metastasis: Some tumor cells immediately start to form metastases. Others leave the blood vessel and may then enter a long period of dormancy. What determines which path the cancer cells take is their epigenetic status. This was also confirmed in experiments with human tumor cells. The results of the study could pave the way for novel diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

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No. 05c | 31. January 2024

Precursor of Cholesterol Protects Cancer Cells From Cell Death and Makes them Aggressive

Cancer Cells die from Ferroptosis
© H. Alborzinia/DKFZ

A precursor of cholesterol can protect cancer cells from a form of cell death known as ferroptosis. Scientists of the University of Würzburg, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and the Stem Cell Institute HI-STEM* published this finding in the journal Nature. The results opens up exciting prospects for further improving the treatment of cancer and other diseases associated with oxidative stress and ferroptosis.

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No. 04c | 18. January 2024 | by Koh

Indicator for liver health status identified

© Adobe Stock

A high-fat, high-sugar diet damages the liver in the long term. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now identified a characteristic change in the molecular signaling pathways of liver cells in mice that were exposed to such a diet for weeks. It fuels the division activity of hepatocytes and correlates with the risk of patients suffering liver failure after liver surgery

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No. 04 | 17. January 2024 | by Koh

AI-based support system for skin cancer diagnostics explains its decisions

Study director Titus Brinker demonstrates the AI dermatoscope to Minister K...
© Anspach/DKFZ

Artificial intelligence (AI) can help dermatologists to detect skin cancer. However, many dermatologists distrust the algorithms' decisions, which they cannot comprehend. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center have now developed an AI-based support system for skin cancer diagnostics that explains its decisions. The system uses established diagnostic features that relate to specific areas of suspicious lesions. The explanations increased doctors' confidence in the machine's decisions - as well as in their own diagnoses.

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No. 01c | 08. January 2024 | by Moos

Brain tumors in children: Cancer cells become less aggressive as they migrate within the tumor

Microscopic image of the tumor cells, which develop differently depending o...
© Ghasemi/KiTZ

Certain brain tumors in small children contain cells that develop very similarly to normal brain cells and others that have already developed malignantly, depending on where they are located within the tumor. By analyzing individual cells, a team of researchers from the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) were able to characterize the genetic programs of the individual cells in detail and identify their developmental pathway within the tumor.
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 (Uni HD).

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No. 01 | 03. January 2024 | by Koh

Reprogrammed fat cells support tumor growth

© Wikipedia

Mutations of the tumor suppressor p53 not only have a growth-promoting effect on the cancer cells themselves, but also influence the cells in the tumor's microenvironment. Scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Israel and at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now shown that p53-mutated mouse breast cancer cells reprogram fat cells. The manipulated fat cells create an inflammatory microenvironment, impairing the immune response against the tumor and thus promoting cancer growth.

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No. 65c | 22. December 2023 | by Koh

ERC Starting Grant for DKFZ researcher Angelika Feldmann

Angelika Feldmann
© privat

Funding from the European Research Council (ERC) is regarded as an accolade for scientists at all career stages. With its "Starting Grants", the ERC aims to pave the way to an independent career for excellent young scientists. This year, Angelika Feldmann from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) has been awarded the prestigious grant: she wants to explore the molecular processes that are required during the development of an organism so that all cells can read the right genes at the right time. Defects in this process can result in developmental disorders or cancer.

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