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Press Releases

No. 41 | 11. July 2024 | by Koh

Presentation of the DKFZ Innovation Award and DKFZ Patient Expert Award

Markus Wartenberg (left) and Titus Brinker
© Carina Kircher/DKFZ

The "Friends of the German Cancer Research Center" association supports the DKFZ and aims to help strengthen its position in international competition. With the DKFZ Innovation Award presented at this year's DKFZ annual reception, the association honored Titus Brinker as a researcher whose highly innovative work builds a bridge from research to practical application with commercialization potential. The DKFZ Patient Expert Award was also presented, this year going to Markus Wartenberg, spokesman of the Patient Research Council of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT).

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No. 39 | 04. July 2024 | by Koh

Antibody can improve immune cell therapy against leukemia

Peripheral blood smear showing chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
© Mary Ann Thompson / Wikipedia

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) have shown that the combination of therapeutic immune cells, known as CAR T cells, and a bispecific antibody could improve the treatment of leukaemia. In the culture dish and in mice, they tested CAR-T cells directed against the B-cell marker CD19 in combination with bispecific antibodies that bind to the B-cell-specific protein CD20. The combination therapy increased the proliferation of CAR-T cells, also activated normal T cells against the blood cancer and destroyed more malignant leukemia cells.

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No. 34c2 | 13. June 2024 | by Koh

Position of the cell nucleus affects epigenetics and therefore gene activity and cell function

Wing of a female Drosophila
© Martin Hauser Phycus / Wikimedia Commons

Depending on whether the cell nucleus of an epithelial cell is located on the outer or inner side of the tissue, the genome is more or less acetylated - genes can therefore be translated easier or harder. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have demonstrated this for the first time in the development of the Drosophila wing. The results have now been published in the journal Nature.

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No. 34c | 13. June 2024 | by Koh

Which of the two DNA strands is damaged influences the cell's mutation profile

© Adobe Stock

Cancer genomes are the result of diverse mutation processes that have often accumulated over decades. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh have analyzed the molecular evolution of tumors after exposure to mutagenic chemicals. DNA lesions that persists unrepaired over several cell generations lead to sequence variations at the site of damage, the quantification of which provides insights into the kinetics and mechanisms of DNA repair. This enabled the researchers to distinguish the contribution of the triggering lesion from that of the subsequent repair in shaping the mutation pattern. These results have now been published in the journal Nature.

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No. 33 | 11. June 2024 | by Koh

DKTK Munich: Phagocytes from the culture dish for cancer therapy

© Adobe Stock

Cell-based cancer therapies often fail nowadaystoday because the immune cells are unable to penetrate the tumor efficiently. The use of certain phagocytes is considered a promising alternative - but until now it has not been possible to grow them in sufficient quantities in the culture dish. Researchers from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) at the LMU Munich Hospital have now found a solution: Using a transcription factor that can be switched on or off via an activator in the cells' culture medium.

In the DKTK, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, as a core center, is joining forces on a long-term basis with university partner sites with special oncological expertise.

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No. 32b3 | 29. May 2024

Leonardo Ayala receives Helmholtz Doctoral Prize 2024

Leonardo Ayala
© DKFZ/Jung

A multispectral imaging system developed by Leonardo Ayala at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) allows for the first time tissue perfusion to be monitored in real time during a minimally invasive surgery. The Helmholtz Association recognizes this excellent achievement and has awarded Leornardo Ayala the annual doctoral prize in the field of health.

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No. 31 | 23. May 2024 | by Koh

Predicting cancer risks on the basis of national health data

© Fotolia

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Bioinformatics Institute EMBL-EBI, Hinxton, UK, are using the Danish health registers to predict individual risks for 20 different types of cancer with a high degree of accuracy. The prediction model can also be transferred to other healthcare systems. It could help to identify people with a high risk of cancer, for whom individualized early detection programs could be tested in studies.

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No. 29 | 16. May 2024 | by UV

Colorectal cancer: tracking down subtypes

© Fotolia

Colorectal cancer differs from patient to patient. That is why scientists are looking for characteristic tumors markers that allow to make predictions about the likely response to certain therapies and the individual prognosis. The aim is to identify colorectal cancer subtypes so that these can then be treated in a customized manner. Two informative markers are microsatellite instability (MSI) and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). As researchers at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have shown, it makes sense to combine the two markers.

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No. 28 | 15. May 2024 | by Koh

Prostate cancer screening: longer screening intervals are safe with low baseline PSA

© Adobe Stock

The aim of the PROBASE* study is to develop a prostate cancer screening strategy that significantly reduces the problem of overdiagnosis. Based on PROBASE data, scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now determined that men who have a low-risk PSA value of less than 1.5 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) at the age of 45 develop prostate cancer extremely rarely in the following five years (9 out of 14,248) and do not require a repeat PSA test during this period if they have no symptoms.

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No. 27c | 14. May 2024

Ana Banito receives Hella Bühler Prize 2024

Ana Banito
© Tobias Schwerdt / DKFZ

Her outstanding research on the biology of soft-tissue sarcomas, a kind of tumor occurring in particular with children and young adults, has earned Ana Banito the Hella Bühler Prize – which comes with 100,000 euros in prize money. The award granted by Heidelberg University goes to young researchers from the Heidelberg research location who have already drawn attention to themselves through the outstanding scientific quality of their cancer research. Ana Banito is a junior research group leader at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ). The award ceremony is taking place on 16 May 2024. Frauke Melchior, Rector of Ruperto Carola, will present the prize.

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