Press Releases

No. 35 | 23. June 2017 | by Koh

MRI without contrast agents? Yes, with sugar!

Visualization of brain cancer by conventional contrast agents (left) and by...
© Paech D, et al. T1ρ-weighted dynamic glucose enhanced MRI in the human brain. Radiology (in press). © RSNA

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), in collaboration with colleagues from Heidelberg University Hospital, have been able to visualize brain cancer using a novel MRI method. They use a simple sugar solution instead of conventional contrast agents, which can have side effects in the body.

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No. 34 | 12. June 2017 | by Koh

How bile duct cancer develops and how it can be prevented

The artistic illustration depicts the role of reactive oxygen species, TNF,...
© Peter von Walter/DKFZ

What promotes the development of bile duct cancer in the liver? Are these factors different from those that are responsible for the much more common hepatocellular carcinomas? Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have been the first to uncover the molecular and cellular causes that selectively lead to the development of bile duct cancer in mice. The researchers also discovered that antioxidants or an inhibitor of a specific key enzyme can be used to stop this cancer-promoting process.

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No. 33 | 12. June 2017 | by Rei/Koh

Mysterious gene transcripts after cancer therapy

© Schuster, DKFZ

Drugs that are used in cancer therapy to erase epigenetic alterations in cancer cells simultaneously promote the production of countless mysterious gene transcripts, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) now report in Nature Genetics. The substances activate hidden regulatory elements in DNA. The unusual gene activity has the potential to stimulate the immune system – a previously unnoticed effect that may increase the effect of therapeutic agents.

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No. 32 | 06. June 2017 | by FB

Cancer prevention: Colonoscopy could save even more lives

© Dr. Lutz Langbein / DKFZ

Colonoscopy presumably prevented more than 25,000 deaths from colorectal cancer in Germany in the years 2008-2011, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) report. They also calculated that mortality from colorectal cancer in persons aged between 55 and 79 years could still drop by more than a third if all individuals in this age group made use of the screening program.

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No. 30 | 31. May 2017 | by AM

DKTK Essen/Düsseldorf: New findings support immunotherapy of skin cancer

© Prof. Lorenzo Cerroni /Medizinischen Universität Graz

Merkel cell carcinoma of the skin is often invisible for the body’s immune defense because it silences specific genes of the immune system. Scientists from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) at the Medical Faculty of Duisburg Essen University at Essen University Hospital have found a way how to make the tumor a target for the immune system again. Thus, immunotherapeutic approaches in the treatment of skin cancer might become much more effective. In the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg joins up as a core center in long-term collaborations with partner university institutes and hospitals all over Germany that are specialized in research and treatment with a focus on oncology.

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No. 29 | 30. May 2017 | by Koh

Blocking cancer-specific mutations in leukemia and brain tumors

© Stefan Pusch/DKFZ

The substitution of a single amino acid in a metabolic enzyme can be the cause of various types of cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital, collaborating with Bayer AG, have now been able to develop a candidate for an agent that is intended to specifically block the altered enzyme. First studies in mice have demonstrated preclinical effects of this investigational compound.

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No. 28c | 29. May 2017 | by mas/Koh

Macrophages control the development of nerves and blood vessels in the brain

During the early postnatal development of the brain, macrophages (green) ar...

Nerve cells and blood vessels have striking common features during their development. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have shown that macrophages control the growth and branching of nerves as well as blood vessels in the brain. A molecule called CD95 plays a key role in this process.

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No. 23 | 02. May 2017 | by Koh

Tailor-made viruses for enhanced cancer therapy

Computer-generated image of a parvovirus
© Antonio Marchini, DKFZ

Scientists collaborating in a new bi-national research unit that was officially inaugurated on May 2 in Luxemburg aim to develop a second-generation viral therapy for cancer. The two partners in the new alliance are the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH). The researchers plan to develop a method that combines the benefits of oncolytic viruses and of gene therapy. One goal is to treat brain cancer more effectively.

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No. 27c | 18. May 2017 | by Koh

Stop signal for dangerous immune responses

Molecular model of Annexin
© Lijealso, Wikimedia Commons

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have copied a trick that dying cells use to prevent an undesired immune response. They now plan to develop this biological principle into a therapy method that specifically blocks allergic reactions or autoimmune responses without suppressing the whole immune system. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) contributes funds of €1.3 million to this project.

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No. 26 | 10. May 2017 | by AM

Diagnosis of children’s brain tumors – not every tumor marker is helpful

Medulloblastomas (yellow circle) are one of the most common malignant tumor...
© Marc Remke / Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf

With the help of molecular tumor diagnostics, cancer medicine is able to filter out individual cancer properties, in order to recommend the most promising and potentially successful treatment options to patients. However, just how reliable such prognoses are also depends on the spatial distribution of the tumor markers inside a tumor. A current study by scientists at the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) at the University Hospital Düsseldorf shows that for children's brain tumors a single tissue sample suffices in order to make reliable prognoses using gene activity patterns. Comparatively, genetic markers are usually too unevenly distributed in the tumor, thus making several biopsies necessary, the study shows. The DKTK combines the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg as the core center together with various university locations across Germany with a specific oncological focus.

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