Press Releases

No. 03c | 27. January 2021 | by Koh

How blood stem cells maintain their lifelong potential for self-renewal

Their self-renewal potential is the prerequisite for blood stem cells to pr...
© Adobe Stock

A characteristic feature of all stem cells is their ability to self-renew. But how is this potential maintained throughout life? Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine* (HI-STEM) have now discovered in mice that cells in the so-called "stem cell niche" are responsible for this: Blood vessel cells of the niche produce a factor that stimulates blood stem cells and thus maintains their self-renewal capacity. With the decades of life, the production of this factor ceases and blood stem cells begin to age.

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No. 03 | 25. January 2021 | by Koh

Protein anchors as a newly discovered key molecule in cancer spread and epilepsy

The figure shows the association (white dots) of the anchor protein G3BP1 w...
© Marti Cadena Sandoval/UIBK Innsbruck

Certain anchor proteins inhibit a key metabolic driver that plays an important role in cancer and developmental brain disorders. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the University of Innsbruck, together with a Europe-wide research network, discovered this molecular mechanism, which could open up new opportunities for personalized therapies for cancer and neuronal diseases. They published their results in the journal Cell.

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No. 02a | 20. January 2021 | by Koh

DKFZ and EMBL intensify cooperation


The development of new strategies for processing and analysing life science data, the further development of scientific imaging, the search for new active substances for drugs: These are the tasks that the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) want to tackle together in the future. The two research institutions, which are among the international leaders in their fields, have now signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding to intensify their cooperation.

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No. 02c2 | 18. January 2021 | by Koh

How a protein variant could explain resistance to sleeping sickness drug

African trypanosomes, the causative agent of sleeping sickness, in a blood ...
© Wikimedia Commons, Alan R Walker

A specific variant of the surface protein VSG of African trypanosomes, the causative agents of sleeping sickness, is associated with resistance to the important drug Suramin. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center have now been able to find a possible explanation for the formation of resistance based on the crystal structure of this protein variant.

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No. 01 | 05. January 2021 | by Koh

Anticoagulants reduce the number of brain metastases in mice

Pictures in the upper row: Inhibition of a blood clotting factor (von Wille...
© Frank Winkler/ DKFZ, UKHD

Brain metastases can only develop if cancer cells first exit the fine blood vessels and enter into the brain tissue. To facilitate this step, cancer cells influence blood clotting, as scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital have now been able to show in mice. The cancer cells actively promote the formation of clots, which helps them to arrest in the fine brain vessels and then penetrate through the vessel wall into the brain. Drugs that inhibit the clotting factor thrombin were able to reduce the number of brain metastases in this experimental model.

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No. 77 | 09. December 2020 | by Koh

Artificial intelligence enables new imaging methods

Lena Maier-Hein
© DKFZ/Schwerdt

With its "ERC-Consolidator Grants", the European Research Council (ERC) supports excellent young scientists in developing their independent career. Lena Maier Hein from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) now receives the renowned grant for her project to analyze molecular tissue properties simply with light. What is special about her approach is that she uses methods of artificial intelligence (AI) on the one hand to develop realistic "digital twins" of medical devices and human tissue. In addition, AI helps to decode clinical data with algorithms trained in the virtual environment.

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No. 76 | 07. December 2020 | by Koh

One for all

nnU-Net handles a broad variety of datasets and target image properties. Al...
© Isensee et al. / Nature Methods

AI-based evaluation of medical imaging data usually requires a specially developed algorithm for each task. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now presented a new method for configuring self-learning algorithms for a large number of different imaging datasets – without the need for specialist knowledge or very significant computing power.

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No. 75 | 07. December 2020 | by Moos

Childhood cancer: Molecular super-enhancers determine progression of neuroblastomas

Stained neuroblastoma cells of a liver metastasis.
© F. Westermann/KiTZ

Childhood neuroblastomas display extreme differences in the way they develop: they can shrink spontaneously or spread aggressively to healthy tissue. It is molecular super-enhancers that activate the regulatory circuits that steer the tumor down one path or the other. These are the findings of research conducted by scientists from the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the University of Heidelberg.
The Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), University Hospital Heidelberg (UKHD) and the University of Heidelberg (Uni HD).

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No. 74ce | 04. December 2020

Neurobiologist Hannah Monyer Receives Lautenschläger Research Prize

Hannah Monyer
© Sabine Arndt/Universität Heideberg

Heidelberg neurobiologist Prof. Dr Hannah Monyer, an internationally renowned expert in the field of brain research, is being honoured with the 2020 Lautenschläger Research Prize. The prize is endowed with 250,000 euros. The award sponsor Dr h.c. Manfred Lautenschläger is Honorary Senator at the Heidelberg University. The awards is Germany's most highly endowed research prize from a private donor.

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No. 74 | 02. December 2020 | by Koh

Biomarkers for a long life

Bernard Srour
© Photo up

Epidemiologist Bernard Srour from the German Cancer Research Center receives one of the prizes for young scientists awarded annually by the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller. The young scientist investigates how lifestyle factors and metabolic markers can be used to predict disease risks and also life expectancy.

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