Tumor

  • “Personalized Tumor Therapy” at Fraunhofer ITEM – project group will become an institute division

    Isolation of a single disseminated cancer cell by micromanipulation. Knowledge about the characteristics of such a single cell provides the basis for development of more effective systemic therapies. Photo: Ralf Mohr; Fraunhofer ITEM

    (Hannover, Germany) The Fraunhofer Project Group for Personalized Tumor Therapy will become a division of the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM in Hannover as of January 2017 and will thus be included in the financing model of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The project group was founded in December 2010 as a research collaboration between the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Land of Bavaria, and the University of Regensburg. During the past five years, the team of scientists in Regensburg has been organizationally attached to the Fraunhofer ITEM in Hannover, funded by the Bavarian government.

  • 3D Images of Cancer Cells in the Body: Medical Physicists from Halle Present new Method

    A picture of a tumor (green) generated with the newly developed technique. Jan Laufer

    Making tumour cells glow: Medical physicists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have developed a new method that can generate detailed three-dimensional images of the body's interior. This can be used to more closely investigate the development of cancer cells in the body. The research group presents its findings in "Communication Physics", a journal published by the Nature Publishing Group.

  • A New T-cell Population for Cancer Immunotherapy

    Picture of a healthy human T-cell.

    Scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland have, for the first time, described a new T cell population that can recognize and kill tumor cells. The open access journal eLife has published the results.

    T lymphocytes (short T cells) are a special type of cells that recognize germs and protect our body from infections. Their second important job is to ride the body of harmed cells, such as tumor cells. T cells are able to identify tumor cells because they look different than normal healthy cells. The way in which they do this is governed by surface expression of T-cell receptors (TCR). Each receptor interacts with a specific molecule on the surface of the target cell.

  • Basel researchers identify drug against the formation of metastasis

    The image represents an artistic coloration of a cluster of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), isolated from the blood of a patient with breast cancer, trapped on a microfluidic device. © M Oeggerli / Micronaut 2018, supported by Pathology-, C-CINA / Biozentrum-, and I Krol, and N Aceto, Faculty of Medicine-, University Hospital and University Basel.

    The most deadly aspect of breast cancer is metastasis. It spreads cancer cells throughout the body. Researchers at the University and the University Hospital of Basel have now discovered a substance that suppresses the formation of metastases. In the journal Cell, the team of molecular biologists, computational biologists, and clinicians reports on their interdisciplinary approach. The development of metastasis is responsible for more than 90% of cancer-related deaths, and patients with a metastatic disease are considered incurable.

  • Blood flow under magnetic magnifier

    Arterial Spin Labeling allows to visualize vascular territories in the brain without the need of contrast agents – one of many applications. © Photo Fraunhofer MEVIS

    A training workshop at Fraunhofer MEVIS will deliver information about the possibilities of perfusion magnetic resonance imaging.

    When diagnosing strokes and heart diseases or looking at tumors, perfusion magnetic resonance imaging offers a gentler way to capture the blood flow circulation in the organs. However, the method is far from being implemented to its full potential at many clinics. The Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS in Bremen, Germany is organizing a workshop entitled “Measurement of Perfusion and Capillary Exchange” from June 21 to 23 to promote adoption of the method. The event will provide information about its applications and the current state of research.

  • Cancer Detection with Sugar Molecules

    Like a spaceship, the complex sugar molecule (coloured) lands exactly on the tumor protein galectin-1, which here looks like a meteorite and is shown in black and white. Picture: Workgroup Seibel, VCH-Wiley

    Scientists from the University of Würzburg have synthesized a complex sugar molecule which specifically binds to the tumor protein Galectin-1. This could help to recognize tumors at an early stage and to combat them in a targeted manner. Galectins are a family of proteins that have become a promising source of cancer research in recent years. A representative thereof is galectin-1. It sits on the surface of all human cells; on tumor cells, however, it occurs in enormous quantities. This makes it an interesting target for diagnostics and therapy.

  • Comprehensive Atlas of Immune Cells in Renal Cancer

    Fluorescent imaging of a tumor section identifies different types of macrophages (green) and T cells (blue) present in the microenvironment of kidney cancer. (image: Karina Silina, UZH)

    Researchers from the University of Zurich have individually analyzed millions of immune cells in tumor samples from patients with renal cell carcinoma. They are now presenting an immunological atlas of the tumor environment for the first time, leading to possible further developments of immunotherapies.

    Renal cell carcinoma is one of the most frequent and deadly urogenital cancers. Even if the tumors are treated, they ultimately end in metastasis in about half of the patients. 90 percent of these patients die within five years. Thanks to new kinds of immunotherapies, the outlook of this patient group has improved, but the treatment only works for a minority of patients.

  • Cortisol excess hits natural DNA process and mental health hard

    Camilla Glad. Photo: Rickard Dahlén

    High concentrations of the stress hormone, Cortisol, in the body affect important DNA processes and increase the risk of long-term psychological consequences. These relationships are evident in a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy on patients with Cushing’s Syndrome, but the findings also open the door for new treatment strategies for other stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress. “If these results can be verified and repeated in other studies, they would have significance for future possibilities for treating stress-induced psychological consequences,” says Camilla Glad, postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition.

  • Designer Viruses Stimulate the Immune System to Fight Cancer

    This is a view of a modified lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). © UNIGE / Doron Merkler

    Swiss scientists have created artificial viruses that can be used to target cancer. These designer viruses alert the immune system and cause it to send killer cells to help fight the tumor. The results, published in the journal Nature Communications, provide a basis for innovative cancer treatments.

    Most cancer cells only provoke a limited reaction from the immune system – the body’s defense mechanism – and can thus grow without appreciable resistance. By contrast, viral infections cause the body to release alarm signals, stimulating the immune system to use all available means to fight the invader.

  • Dogs Help in Breast Carcinoma Research

    Dogs suffering from mammary tumors aid breat cancer research for humans. Michelle Aimée Oesch, University of Zurich

    Cancer of the mammary glands in dogs is very similar to human breast carcinoma. For this reason, treatment methods from human medicine are often used for dogs. Conversely, scientific knowledge gained from canine mammary tumors may also be important to human medicine. Researchers from the University of Zurich were able to show how similar these tumors are in both dogs and humans. Cancer is one of the most frequent diseases not only in people, but in pets as well. Like people, dogs can also suffer from cancer of the mammary glands (mammary tumors). Dog mammary tumors are very similar to breast carcinoma in humans, and much more so than those of rats or mice, for example. For this reason, research on canine mammary tumors is important for human medicine as well. A study performed at the University of Zurich has now shown how similar mammary tumors are in both people and dogs.

  • Easier Diagnosis of Esophageal Cancer

    New imaging technologies allow earlier diagnosis of tumors. Source: Murad Omar/Helmholtz Zentrum München

    The Institute of Biological and Medical Imaging at Helmholtz Zentrum München is heading the ”Hybrid optical and optoacoustic endoscope for esophageal tracking” (ESOTRAC) research project, in which engineers and physicians together develop a novel hybrid endoscopic instrument for early diagnosis and staging of esophageal cancer. The device may reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies and, importantly, facilitate early-disease detection leading to earlier start of therapy, which improves therapeutic efficacy over late-disease treatment and leads to immense cost-savings. ESOTRAC has been awarded four million Euros from Horizon 2020, the EU framework program for research and innovation.

  • Extensive Funding for Research on Chromatin, Adrenal Gland, and Cancer Therapy

    Source: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

    At the end of May, the Joint Committee of the German Research Foundation (DFG) decided on the funding for Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche, SFBs). The Helmholtz Zentrum München is participating in three of the selected projects. A total of around 5.3 million euros will be distributed to the participating institutes over a period of four years starting on July 1.

    The funding allows close transregional cooperation among universities and their researchers as well as networking and shared use of the resources. The DFG has a total of just under 600 million euros available in its annual budget for CRC/TRR projects. The DFG will consequently be funding a total of 267 Collaborative Research Centres starting in July 2017.

  • Flexible New Method for Early Cancer Diagnosis

    Göran Landberg. Photo: Johan Wingborg

    Earlier discovery of cancer and greater precision in the treatment process are the objectives of a new method developed by researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy and Boston University. Investments are now being made to roll out this innovation across healthcare and broaden the scope of the research in this field.

    “We can screen at-risk patient groups, and we also plan to spot the cancer patients who are relapsing so that we can adapt their treatment,” says Anders Ståhlberg, docent in molecular medicine and corresponding author for two articles about the method.
    The technique was created based on the fact that people with cancer also have DNA from tumor cells circulating in the blood, molecules that can be discovered in a regular blood sample long before the tumor is visible via imaging such as tomography, MRI, X-ray and ultrasound.

  • Flipping the switch to stop tumor development

    Expanding B-cell tumors. Image: Michael Reth

    Freiburg researchers show how a protein prevents the uncontrolled expansion of immune cells.

    The mammalian immune system consists of millions of individual cells that are produced daily from precursor cells in the bone marrow. During their development, immune cells undergo a rapid expansion, which is interrupted by phases of differentiation to more mature lymphocytes. Alternate phases of proliferation and differentiation occur also during the maturation of antibody-producing B cells. Researchers in Prof. Dr. Michael Reth’s laboratory have come one step closer to understand how the proliferation to differentiation switch in B lymphocytes works, thereby providing new insights into the development of the most common types of tumors in children and potential therapies thereof. The team has published its study in the journal Nature Immunology.

  • Growing brain cancer in a dish

    Neoplastic cerebral organoid with GFP-positive tumor regions (green), which demonstrates glioblastoma-like cellularity. IMBA

    For the first-time, researchers at IMBA- Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences – develop organoids, that mimic the onset of brain cancer. This method not only sheds light on the complex biology of human brain tumors but could also pave the way for new medical applications.

     

  • Improved accuracy when testing cancer drugs

    Berglind Osk Einarsdottir. Photo: Cecilia Hedström

    A method to more accurately test anti-cancer drugs has now been developed at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. The method paves the way to much earlier assessment of who benefits from a specific drug and who does not.

    “It is common for cancer patients to be prescribed drugs that fail to help them, often with side effects. But, we have shown that this method can be used as early as in the drug development phase to determine which patient groups will benefit from the drug,” says Berglind Osk Einarsdottir, a researcher at Sahlgrenska Cancer Center.

  • Metabolism drives growth and division of cancer cells

    Richard Moriggl and his team identified activation of the leukemia factor STAT5 being connected to the modified metabolism of cancer cells. Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft

    Already the Nobel Prize laureate Otto H. Warburg observed in the 1920s that tumor cells radically change their metabolism. This process was termed "Warburg Effect", however neglected until recently by cancer research, but the latest results show it is indeed of fundamental importance for the development of aggressive tumors. Richard Moriggl and co-workers now published in the journal Leukemia how the tumor promoter STAT5 integrates metabolic signals that contribute to oncogenic transformation. Researchers from the VetmeduniVienna, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research and Meduni Wien may have thus identified a new target to tackle cancer.

  • Neues Kamerasystem zeigt Tumore farbig an

    Links: Die neue Kamera zeigt mit Fluoreszenzfarbstoffen eingefärbte Strukturen an, in diesem Fall in grün und blau. Quelle: Fraunhofer IPA

    Tumore zu entfernen, ist für Chirurgen ein besonders schwieriges Unterfangen. Denn die betroffenen Stellen sind vom gesunden Gewebe kaum zu unterscheiden. Das Fraunhofer IPA hat ein Kamerasystem entwickelt, das Fluoreszenz oder Farbe detektiert. Auf diese Weise kann der Chirurg die angefärbten Tumore besser sehen und gezielter behandeln. Um Tumore zu untersuchen, schaut sich der Chirurg die betroffenen Stellen zunächst mit dem Endoskop an. Allerdings sei es selbst mit geschultem Auge und Spezialausbildung in vielen Fällen äußert schwierig zu erkennen, wo der Krebs anfängt und wo er endet, kritisiert Nikolas Dimitriadis, Wissenschaftler der Fraunhofer-Projektgruppe für Automatisierung in der Medizin und Biotechnologie PAMB in Mannheim.

  • New Collaborative Research Center on a Fundamental Signaling Pathway in Development and Disease

    Signal Transduction Pathways Model.

    New Collaborative Research Center on a Fundamental Signaling Pathway in Development and Disease
    DFG supports interdisciplinary research network at Heidelberg University with approximately 8,5 million euros

    A new Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) will investigate the function of a fundamental cellular signaling pathway. Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the CRC will start its work at Heidelberg University. After successful review, the DFG approved approximately 8,5 million euros in funding for the next four years. Prof. Dr Thomas Holstein of the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) is the spokesperson for CRC 1324, “Mechanisms and functions of WNT signaling”. The research will focus on Wnt proteins which control the central processes of embryonic development, cell differentiation, and the development of tumours.

  • Progress in the Treatment of Aggressive Brain Tumors

    Prof. Dr. Ulrich Herrlinger and Dr. Christina Schaub with pictures of a glioblastoma patient after combination therapy. Photo: © Katharina Wislsperger/Kommunikation und Medien des UKB

    Cancer researchers at the University of Bonn have reported significant progress in the treatment of glioblastoma. About one third of all patients suffer from a particular variant of this most common and aggressive brain tumor. Survival of these patients treated with the new combination therapy increased on average by nearly half compared to patients who received the standard therapy. The study has now been published in the journal “The Lancet”.