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Press Releases

No. 63c | 29. November 2023

Tracing the Evolution of the Cerebellum

© Wikipedia/ErMED14

Heidelberg scientists unveil genetic programmes controlling the development of cellular diversity in the cerebellum of humans and other mammals. The research results have now been published in the journal Nature.

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No. 63 | 29. November 2023 | by Koh

EU funds research into causes and new therapies for multiple sclerosis

© Adobe Stock

The progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) can usually be slowed down with medication, but a cure is currently not possible. It is now established that Epstein-Barr viruses are involved in the development of MS. However, it is not known how the pathogens trigger the disease. The European Union is now funding the international research consortium BEHIND-MS as part of its HORIZON Europe program, which aims to clarify these associations in order to identify specific biomarkers and targeted therapeutic approaches. The consortium, led by the German Cancer Research Center, will receive 7.1 million euros over a period of five years.

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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

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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

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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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