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Press Releases

No. 02 | 11. January 2022 | by Koh

Obesity at a young age - a risk factor for early colorectal cancer

© Fotolia

The incidence of colorectal cancers in young adults is increasing. At the same time, the proportion of overweight and obese young people is also on the rise. Whether there is a connection between these two observations, however, was not known until now. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now shown that the risk of early colorectal cancer is significantly increased in overweight young people compared to normal-weight peers.

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No. 01c2 | 10. January 2022 | by Koh

Algorithm identifies cancer drivers

© Adobe Stock

Genetic alterations that promote the development and spread of tumors are difficult to identify. This is especially true for mutations in the non-protein-coding regions of the genome, which include all important regulatory sequences. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center have now published an algorithm that detects cancer drivers in both the protein-coding and non-coding regions of the genome.

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No. 67 | 07. December 2021 | by Koh/br

Özlem Türeci appointed new Professor of Personalized Immunotherapy at HI-TRON Mainz

Özlem Türeci
© BioNTech

The world-renowned immunologist, cancer researcher, and entrepreneur Özlem Türeci has accepted the professorship of Personalized Immunotherapy at the Mainz University Medical Center and the Helmholtz Institute for Translational Oncology (HI-TRON) Mainz, which was founded in 2019. HI-TRON is a partnership between the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and a subsidiary of the Mainz University Medical Center, TRON gGmbH, along with the Mainz University Medical Center and the University of Mainz. The aim of this collaboration is to develop effective immunotherapies and to identify new biomarkers for treatment.

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No. 68 | 07. December 2021 | by Koh

Moderate immune response is more effective against leukemia

© iStock

The development of immunotherapies against blood cancer could be more successful if T cells are activated moderately rather than excessively. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have now been able to show this in mice: If the researchers blocked a cytokine that slows down the immune system, the T cells became exhausted and failed in the fight against leukemia.

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No. 66c2 | 29. November 2021 | by Koh

Tracking down resistant cancer cells

In the bone marrow, the myeloma cells reprogram the cells of the immune sys...

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.

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No. 62 | 18. November 2021 | by Koh

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

Individual tumor cells can be used to grow miniature tumors known as tumor ...
© R. Jackstadt / HI-STEM

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.

SATURN3 is coordinated by researchers from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Essen University Hospital's West German Tumor Center (WTZ), the Institute for Stem Cell Technology HI-STEM**, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and Technische Universität München (TUM). As part of the National Decade Against Cancer, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing a total of more than 15 million euros to fund the project over a period of five years.

Press release by the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK)

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No. 61 | 18. November 2021 | by Koh

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

Even cells of a sarcoma cancer cell line grown in the laboratory grow diffe...
© Charles S. Umbaugh, Fröhling Lab/NCT Heidelberg

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.

The project is being led by scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg and Dresden, and the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) and involves a total of 12 research institutions. As part of the National Decade Against Cancer, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing a total of more than 15 million euros to fund the project over a period of five years.

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No. 65 | 23. November 2021 | by Koh

Prestigious research prize for the discovery of new liver regeneration mechanisms

Donato Inverso
© private

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.

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No. 59c | 16. November 2021

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

© Patrick J. Lynch, Wikipedia

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.

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No. 59 | 15. November 2021 | by Koh

Using T cells to target malignant brain tumors

© Adobe Stock

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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