Press Releases

No. 05 | 21. January 2020 | by Koh

Appreciating the value of science

Rainer Wessel
© Jung/DKFZ

By creating the new position of Chief Innovation Officer (CIO), the German Cancer Research Center is helping to ensure that research results find their way to clinical application – and to commercialization – more often and faster. The position has been filled by Rainer Wessel, an established expert with 25 years of experience as a manager in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector.

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No. 04 | 15. January 2020 | by Mat

Ana Banito awarded for her research on soft tissue sarcomas

Ana Banito, scientist at the DKFZ and the KITZ, received the award of the B...
© Judith Affolter

Ana Banito, scientist at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg" (KiTZ) received the Award of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities for her work on sarcomas, a group of malignant tumors which is quite common in children. The prize, donated by the Monika Kutzner Foundation and endowed with 10,000 euros, is awarded annually for special achievements that advance cancer research.
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. 03 | 09. January 2020 | by Rei

How dying cells prevent dangerous immune reactions

© Shutterstock

Dying cells in the body can keep the immune system in check, thus preventing unwanted immune responses against the body's own tissues. Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have now identified a receptor on immune cells that activates this protective mechanism. This prevents dangerous autoimmune reactions in which the immune system is directed against the body's own structures, as the researchers have now been able to show in mice and human cells.

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No. 60 | 23. December 2019 | by Koh

3D atlas of the bone marrow - in single cell resolution

Three dimensional segmentation of a bone marrow region. Different niche cel...
© DKFZ, EMBL and University Hospital Zurich

Stem cells located in the bone marrow generate and control the production of blood and immune cells. Researchers from EMBL, DKFZ and HI-STEM have now jointly developed new methods to reveal the three-dimensional organization of the bone marrow at the single cell level. Using this approach the teams have identified previously unknown cell types that create specific local environments required for blood generation from stem cells. The study, published in Nature Cell Biology, reveals an unexpected complexity of the bone marrow and its microdomains at an unprecedented resolution and provides a novel scientific basis to study blood diseases such as leukemias.

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No. 59 | 20. December 2019 | by AM

Armed antibodies for cancer immunotherapy: DKFZ and DKTK scientists granted patent for innovative antibody design

Production of immunotherapeutics according to clinical standards in the GMP...
© G. Jung / University Tübingen

Scientists from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) at Tübingen University Hospital have managed to attach immunostimulatory cytokines to cancer-specific antibodies for the first time in such a way that they activate the immune response against cancer without causing a dangerous overreaction by the immune system. The research team has now been granted a European patent for the method to enable them to produce the modified cytokines on a large scale and subsequently test them in clinical trials. A license and cooperation agreement has been signed with the South Korean biotech company ABL Bio on the production of two substances of clinical quality.
In the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, DKTK's core center, cooperates on a long-term basis with certified German university hospitals specialized in oncology.

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No. 58 | 12. December 2019 | by Koh

Metabolic adaptation ensures survival of colon cancer cells

deficient cancer cells within the spheroids die from apoptosis (pink)
© DKFZ/ Almut Schulze

Colon cancer cells deficient in p53, one of the most important control proteins in cell growth, activate a particular metabolic pathway to adapt to the lack of oxygen and nutrients inside the tumor. Statins, which are often prescribed to lower cholesterol, block this metabolic pathway and cause the cancer cells to die, as scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now discovered. The researchers now intend to investigate this potential treatment strategy in more detail in cancer cells and animal experiments.

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No. 55 | 29. November 2019 | by Koh

Ursula Weyrich succeeds Josef Puchta as Administrative Director of DKFZ

Ursula Weyrich
© DKFZ/Jutta Jung

As of January 1, 2020, Ursula Weyrich will take over as Administrative Director of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). Weyrich will succeed Josef Puchta, who reached the legal retirement age on November 30 after more than 23 years on the Management Board at DKFZ.

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No. 54 | 19. November 2019 | by Koh

Cell death or cancer growth: a question of cohesion

CD95-activation in isolated cancer cells leads to apoptosis. In contrast, i...
© G. Gülcüler/DKFZ

Activation of CD95, a receptor found on all cancer cells, triggers programmed cell death – or does the opposite, namely stimulates cancer cell growth. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now shown that the impact of CD95 activation depends on whether there are isolated cancer cells or three-dimensional structures. Individual cells are programmed to die following CD95 activation. In contrast, CD95 activation stimulates growth in clusters of cancer cells, for example in solid tumors. This finding points to new ways of specifically transforming growth-stimulating signals into cell death signals for the cancer cells.

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No. 53 | 14. November 2019 | by Koh

Early detection of colon cancer: When is the right time for the follow-up colonoscopy?

© Fotolia

For the early detection of colorectal cancer, patients with statutory health insurance are entitled to two colonoscopies. If the first examination does not reveal any abnormal findings, a follow-up after a period of ten years is recommended. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center are now systematically investigating when and how often tissue lesions are detected during the follow up colonoscopy. Their conclusion: The ten-year period is usually reasonable. It is not yet possible to say whether and for which group of people the follow-up colonoscopy can be postponed even further.

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No. 51 | 06. November 2019 | by Koh

Meyenburg Prize 2019 for outstanding research on leukemia

Benjamin L. Ebert (left), Stefan Fröhling (Managing Director of NCT Heidelb...
© Carina Kircher/DKFZ

The Meyenburg Prize 2019, which carries prize money of 50,000 euros, goes to Benjamin L. Ebert from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for his outstanding research results on the pathogenesis and treatment of leukemia. The award ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 7, 2019 as part of a symposium at the German Cancer Research Center.

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