Press Releases

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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No. 27 | 16. May 2017 | by Rei/Koh

Defective intercellular connections cause hydrocephalus

Scanning electron microscopy image of impaired ependymal cell layer within ...
© Anja Feldner, Manfred Ruppel, DKFZ

A defective gene leads to changes in the cellular layer between cerebrospinal fluid and brain nervous tissue, thus causing a buildup of fluid in the brain. This link, which scientists from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have now discovered, is the first known mechanism underlying genetic hydrocephalus.

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No. 24c | 09. May 2017 | by Koh

Second European Conference on Epigenetics and Cancer

© Schuster/DKFZ

From May 11th to May 13th the German Cancer Research Center is hosting the Second European Conference on Epigenetics and Cancer. About 200 scientists from all over the world will be exchanging views on how small chemical changes in DNA or in their packaging proteins contribute to cancer development, how they could improve cancer diagnosis, or even how they could serve as the target for new cancer therapies.

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No. 24 | 05. May 2017 | by Rei/Koh

Vitamin A deficiency is detrimental to blood stem cells

Vitamin A, which is contained in foods like carrots, broccoli and fish, reg...
© Iris Joval/DKFZ

Lack of vitamin A in the body has a detrimental effect on the hematopoietic system in the bone marrow. The deficiency causes a loss of important blood stem cells, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Heidelberg Institute of Stem Cell Research and Experimental Medicine (HI-STEM) now report in the latest issue of the journal CELL. These are dormant stem cells that only become active in an emergency such as heavy blood loss or infection. These findings will contribute to better comprehending the maturation process of blood cells and also open up new prospects in cancer therapy.

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No. 22c | 24. April 2017 | by Koh

No publication without authentication


The International Journal of Cancer accepts articles for publication only if the identity of the cell lines used in the experiments is certified by a genetic test. The specialist journal of the UICC (Union for International Cancer Control), which is edited chiefly by scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), thus takes a pioneering role in quality assurance of biomedical research results.

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No. 20c | 10. April 2017 | by Koh

Human blood cells develop in a continuous process instead of a stepwise one

© Tobias Wüstefeld/EMBL

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine (HI-STEM) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) used a new combination of analysis methods to study in single cells how blood stem cells in the bone marrow differentiate into mature blood cells. Their results have turned textbook knowledge of the past decades upside down.

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No. 20a | 07. April 2017 | by Sel

European million grants for three DKFZ researchers

From left to right: Bernd Bukau, Hans-Reimer Rodewald, Tobias Dick
© Roman Jowanowitsch/DKFZ

Three scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have each been awarded one of the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grants comprising €2 million. One of the grants goes to Hans-Reimer Rodewald, who has developed a barcode system that makes it possible to track the path of immune system cells in the living organism. Tobias Dick is studying how reactive oxygen compounds in altered metabolism influence an organism's resistance. Bernd Bukau, who also pursues research at the University of Heidelberg, wants to find out how proteins are given their final outfit.

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No. 21 | 11. April 2017 | by Koh

What obese fruit flies may tell us about the evolution of cold tolerance

The adipose tissue of a THADA knockout fly (right side) has more lipid per ...
© DKFZ/Teleman

Researchers have hypothesized that migrations into higher, colder latitudes may lead to evolution of fast-burning metabolisms that keep cells warm, boosting cold tolerance. Researchers of the German Cancer Research Center now show that a gene called THADA helps flies burn energy from fat. When the gene is knocked out in flies, they become obese and burn less energy. This finding may be a clue to previously observed correlations between ancestral latitudes and metabolism in humans.

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