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ECRC News 2011

October 22, 2011

KAP fellow Dr. Verena Schöwel MD received a poster prize

KAP fellow Dr. Verena Schöwel MD received a poster prize at the Meeting of the World Muscle Society in Portugal, 19 - 23. October 2011 for her work on myostatin blockade in dysferlin deficient muscular dystrophy (LGMD2B/MM). The KAP stipend allows physicians of the Charité Medical Faculty to receive a structured scientific education in close cooperation between a group at the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and a complimentary group at the Charité, University Medicine Berlin, Germany.

No. 17/ August 4, 2011

Disappearance of Genetic Material Allows Tumor Cells to Grow

Loss of a gene regulator is crucial for a rare type of skin cancer

Scientists at the Max Delbrück Centrum für Molekulare Medizin (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Genetik Berlin, and four other German institutes have succeeded in proving a specific gene loss in a certain human lymphoma, the genesis of which is largely unexplained to date. The researchers investigated the Sézary syndrome, an aggressive cancer disease from the group of primary skin lymphomas, the so-called "primary cutaneous lymphomas." The results of the study, which were published in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine(Vol. 208, No. 8, 1585-1593; doi/10.1084/jem.20101785)*, provide fundamentally new insights into the genesis and development of Sézary syndrome and possibly other human lymphomas as well.


No. 10/June 17, 2011

Tapeworm Drug Inhibits Colon Cancer Metastasis First Results in Mice – Clinical Trials Planned

A compound that for about 60 years has been used as a drug against tapeworm infection is also apparently effective against colon cancer metastasis, as studies using mice have now shown. The compound silences a gene that triggers the formation of metastases in colon cancer. Professor Ulrike Stein (Experimental and Clinical Research Center, a joint cooperation between the Charité Medical Faculty and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, (MDC)) and her research group made this discovery in collaboration with Professor Robert H. Shoemaker of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, Maryland, USA (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 103, No. 12, June 17, 2011)*. Plans are already underway with Professor Peter M. Schlag (Charité Comprehensive Cancer Center) to conduct a clinical trial.


No. 8/ June 6, 2011

Survival Niche for Cancer Cells

Cancer cells do not grow equally well everywhere in the body. Often, they first create the conditions in which they can grow. Many years ago researchers discovered that solid tumors attract blood vessels to ensure their supply of nutrients by secreting specific factors. Now the immunologist Dr. Uta Höpken (Tumor and Immunogenetics Research Group at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, MDC, Berlin-Buch in the Helmholtz Association) and the hematologist Dr. Armin Rehm (Charité – Virchow-Klinikum, Department of Hematology, Oncology and Tumor Immunology, MDC) have shown for the first time that specific forms of lymphoma also create their own survival niche (Blood, doi:10.1182/blood-2010-11-321265)*.


April 20, 2011

New MRI Methodology Revolutionizes Imaging Of The Beating Heart

Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch have developed a highly efficient approach for imaging the beating human heart. The images produced in one of the world's most powerful MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) systems whose power is equivalent to 150.000 times the earth's magnetic field are of a much higher detail than cardiac images commonly generated in current clinical practice.


February 16, 2011

Researchers Link Gene Mutations to Ebstein’s Anomaly

Ebstein’s anomaly is a rare congenital valvular heart disease. Now, in patients with this disease, researchers of the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the University of Newcastle, UK and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch have identified mutations in a gene which plays an important role in the structure of the heart. The researchers hope that these findings will lead to faster diagnosis and novel, more specifically targeted treatment methods (Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics, DOI: 10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.110.957985)*.


January 26, 2011

MDC Researchers and Clinical Partners Identify Mediator of Blood Pressure Regulation in the Liver - Pressor Reflex Triggered Simply by Drinking Water

For 60 years, scientists have puzzled over the possibility of a hepatic osmoreceptor that influences blood pressure regulation. Now, researchers of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC) of the MDC and Charité and the Hannover Medical School (MHH) appear to have made a breakthrough discovery. Dr. Stefan Lechner and Professor Gary R. Lewin (both of MDC), Professor Friedrich C. Luft (ECRC) and Professor Jens Jordan (ECRC; now MHH) have discovered a new group of sensory neurons in the mouse liver which mediates the regulation of blood pressure and metabolism. This peripheral control center outside of the brain is triggered simply by drinking water and leads to an elevation of blood pressure in sick and elderly people. (Neuron, Vol. No. 69 (2) pp. 332-344)*