Press Releases

No. 19 | 21. March 2019 | by Koh

The evolution of brain tumors

The evolution of a glioblastoma schematically illustrated
© DKFZ

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center found in a recent study that only three different genetic alterations drive the early development of malignant glioblastomas. At least one of these three cancer drivers was present in all tumors investigated. However, it is the activation of telomerase that leads to rapid growth. The tumors develop for up to seven years before they become noticeable as symptoms and are diagnosed. However, in contrast to their early development, glioblastomas, which return after therapy, share virtually no concurrent genetic alterations.

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No. 18 | 14. March 2019 | by Eck

From mirror-image biology to enhanced therapeutic proteins

Hands - a prime example of mirror-image biology
© Adobe Stock

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have succeeded in reconstructing biomolecules in their mirror-image form. The researchers' goal is to create a mirror-image artificial protein synthesis system. Their aim is to produce mirror-image therapeutic proteins, such as antibodies, which would be protected from biological breakdown in the body and do not provoke any immune response.

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No. 16 | 04. March 2019 | by Eck

Protein content as a marker for response to therapy in brain cancer

On the left the conventional morphological contrast enhanced imaging of a b...
© D. Paech/DKFZ

Brain tumors vary widely in how they respond to treatment. However, early assessment of therapy response is essential in order to choose the best possible treatment for the patient. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now been able to show in a study using non-invasive high-resolution 7-Tesla MRI scans that the protein content of tumors correlates with response to treatment and survival.

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No. 14 | 28. February 2019 | by Koh

Inflammation signals induce dormancy in aging brain stem cells

Aging brain stem cells also sleep, as a reaction to inflammatory signals f...
© Adobe Stock

In old age, the amount of stem cells in the brains of mice decreases drastically. The remaining ones protect themselves from completely vanishing by entering a state of dormancy, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now reported in "CELL". The old stem cells are hard to awaken, but once reactivated, they are just as potent as young ones. Their dormancy is promoted by inflammatory signals from the stem cells' environment. Anti-inflammatory substances may therefore be a key to awakening the stem cells and stimulating repair processes in the brain in old age.

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No. 11 | 21. February 2019 | by AM

Colon cancer: Different Wnt signaling pathways lead colon cells astray

The image shows a human colon polyp with immunohistochemistry staining for ...
© Henner Farin

Signaling molecules in the Wnt family are some of the most essential messengers for continuous regeneration of our stressed colon mucosa. At the same time, "too much" Wnt is a frequent trigger for colon cancer. Wnt is therefore regarded as an important biomarker and treatment target. The cellular response triggered by Wnt can indicate positive or negative disease progression in colon cancer patients. Scientists from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and Goethe University Frankfurt working at Georg Speyer House demonstrated this in a recent study.
The DKTK is a consortium centered around the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, which has long-term collaborative partnerships with specialist oncological centers at universities across Germany.

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No. 07 | 04. February 2019 | by Koh

Cancer research in Germany joins forces

The Chairmen of the first German Cancer Research Congress Frederik Wenz (Ge...
© Uwe Anspach/ DKFZ

At the 1st German Cancer Research Congress, taking place on February 4 and 5 in Heidelberg, around 500 participants meet to exchange knowledge and ideas about what excellent research in Germany can contribute to the fight against the widespread disease of cancer. Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research, and Theresia Bauer, State Minister of Science, Research and the Arts, participated in the opening event on World Cancer Day.
The German Cancer Society (Deutsche Krebsgesellschaft), German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe) and the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) jointly organize the 1st German Cancer Research Congress (GCRC). It is the first joint initiative of the "National Decade Against Cancer" campaign.

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No. 06 | 31. January 2019

The development of brain stem cells into new nerve cells and why this can lead to cancer

TOR activity (red) in the brain of a mouse. The newly generated immature ne...
© Ana Martin-Villalba/DKFZ

Stem cells are true "Jacks-of-all-trades" of our bodies, as they can turn into the many different cell types of all organs. This allows the tissues such as muscle or even brain to renew and to heal after injury. This amazing "multipotency" makes stem cells in the adult body key tools for the future of regenerative medicine. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) now publish in the journal "Nature" how brain stem cells make the decision to transform into new nerve cells.

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No. 04 | 28. January 2019 | by Mat

ERC grant for Stefan Pfister: “We must further advance pediatric cancer research”

KiTZ director Stefan Pfister has received an ERC Consolidator Grant.
© KiTZ

KiTZ director Stefan Pfister, professor of pediatric neurooncology at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Heidelberg University Hospital, succeeded in gaining one of the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grants for his project entitled "BRAIN-MATCH". The goal of BRAIN-MATCH is to characterize normal brain development using molecular-biological methods and to compare it with the development of brain cancer. Pfister and his team plan to use the results obtained as a basis for finding new approaches in the treatment of brain cancer in children. The European Research Council (ERC) awards "Consolidator Grants" to support excellent scientists who are expanding their research activities.
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.

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No. 03c2 | 23. January 2019 | by Koh

A major step towards digital oncology

© Fotolia

New AI infrastructure for cancer research facilitates more complex mathematical models

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No. 03 | 16. January 2019 | by Eck

Vaccination as a therapy: Experimental vaccine against cervical cancer successfully tested in mice

Computer-generated simulation of a HPV
© DKFZ

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have developed an experimental vaccine to fight cervical cancer caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV). This has already been accomplished successfully in mice. Tumors regressed in half of the vaccinated animals. The scientists' goal is to develop a therapeutic vaccine for people who are already suffering from cancer or cancer precursors and, thus, no longer benefit from preventive vaccination.

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