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Press Releases

No. 56 | 30. October 2023 | by Koh

German Prize for Cancer Prevention Research awarded for the second time

Rita Schmutzler
© Christian Wittke

Cancer prevention can save lives and prevent great suffering. Yet research on cancer prevention issues often receives little visibility. In order to recognize outstanding achievements in cancer prevention research and to draw more public attention to them, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) has announced the German Prize for Cancer Prevention Research. The award is sponsored by the Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation.

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No. 54c3 | 25. October 2023 | by Koh

Epigenetically acting drugs could support cancer immunotherapy

© Adobe Stock

Epigenetically active drugs enable the cell to read parts of the genome that were previously blocked and inaccessible. This leads to the formation of new mRNA transcripts and also new proteins, as scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and the University Hospital Tübingen have now published. These "therapy-induced epitopes" could help the immune system recognize cancer cells.

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No. 54 | 18. October 2023 | by Koh

SARS-CoV-2: Alert immune system in the respiratory tract protects children from severe courses of the disease

© Wikipedia

Why are severe courses of SARS-CoV-2 infection less common in children and adolescents than in adults? Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have now discovered that the immune system in the upper respiratory tract is much more alert and active in children before infection than in adults and is therefore better equipped to fight the virus.

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No. 51 | 13. October 2023 | by Koh

Takeda Oncology Research Award 2023 to Ann-Kathrin Daum

Ann-Kathrin Daum
© Massimo Del Prete

In some patients with non-small cell lung cancer, tumor cells carry a mutation that accelerates cancer growth. Although there are drugs that prevent this, the tumors often develop resistance to these treatments. Ann-Kathrin Daum has shown that fibroblasts of the tumor microenvironment boost the lipid metabolism of the cancer cells and contribute to the development of therapy resistance. The result could be an approach for the development of new treatment strategies.
Ann-Kathrin Daum conducts research at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg and is a junior researcher at the German Center for Lung Research (DZL). For her results, she was awarded the 2nd prize of the Takeda Oncology Award 2023.

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No. 49 | 27. September 2023 | by Koh

Transgenic T cells against malignant brain tumors

© Adobe Stock

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the University Medical Center Mannheim (UMM) successfully tested a new form of cellular immunotherapy against brain tumors in mice for the first time.

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No. 48 | 26. September 2023 | by Koh

Obesity as a risk factor for colorectal cancer underestimated so far - weight loss before diagnosis masks the association

© Fotolia

Obesity is a known risk factor for colorectal cancer. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now demonstrated, using data from nearly half a million participants in the UK Biobank cohort, that this association has probably been significantly underestimated to date. The reason: Many affected individuals unintentionally lose weight in the years before a colorectal cancer diagnosis. If studies only consider body weight at the time of diagnosis, this masks the actual association between obesity and colorectal cancer risk.

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No. 46c3 | 21. September 2023

Mutated protein keeps cancer program of childhood connective tissue tumors in infinitive loop

© Nezha Benabdallah/KiTZ

An altered protein, which is also used for the diagnosis of malignant connective tissue tumors in adolescents and young adults, contributes decisively to the development and aggressive course of these tumors. This has been discovered by a team of researchers at the Hopp Children's Cancer Centre Heidelberg (KiTZ) and the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ). The current study uncovers a new molecular circuit that could also be a promising therapeutic target for other cancers.
The Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and the University of Heidelberg (Uni HD).

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No. 46c | 21. September 2023 | by Koh

Mutation-specific peptide vaccine against midline gliomas used in patients for the first time

© Adobe Stock

Tumor vaccines can help the body fight cancer. These vaccines alert the patient's immune system to proteins that are harbouring cancer-typical alterations. Physicians and cancer researchers from Heidelberg and Mannheim have now treated adult patients with advanced midline gliomas, difficult-to-treat brain tumors, with a peptide vaccine for the first time. The vaccine mimicked a mutational change in a histone protein typical of this type of cancer. The vaccine proved to be safe and induced the desired immune responses directed against the brain tumor.

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No. 46 | 20. September 2023 | by Koh

Better distinguish chronic inflammation and cancer of the pancreas

© Adobe Stock

Current diagnostic methods do not always reliably distinguish between chronic inflammation of the pancreas and pancreatic cancer. About one third of all diagnoses are inconclusive. Scientists from the German Cancer Research (DKFZ) and from Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) therefore searched for molecular markers that could specify this diagnosis. Supported by machine learning, they were able to identify a pattern of DNA methylations that allowed high accuracy in distinguishing between chronically inflamed and malignantly altered tissue samples. First preliminary results suggest that diagnosis could be performed on blood samples.

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No. 45 | 13. September 2023 | by Koh

A protein on cancer cells supports immune response against tumors

© Adobe Stock

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) identify a new and surprising function of a membrane protein on the surface of cancer cells: It supports and stabilizes an important "co-stimulatory" factor that enhances the activation of T cells, thus improving the immune response against the tumor. The study was conducted in collaboration with researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute.

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