Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

BMBF funds translational project to improve radiotherapy

10.05.2017

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will be supplying the ZiSStrans research consortium with around four million euros over the next five years. The joint project, which is being coordinated at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, has the objective of investigating new possibilities to personalize radiotherapy of head and neck cancer.

The term ‘head-neck cancer’ is used to refer to various tumor types that occur in this part of the body, for example, cancer of the oral cavity or pharynx. Radiotherapy, either alone or combined with surgery and/or chemotherapy, is a central element in the complex treatment strategies.


Irradiation planning of a head-neck tumor

Source: Klinikum der Universität München

Difficulties arise, however, if the tumors demonstrate so-called radiation resistance and do not respond to the treatment as desired, or if undesirable effects occur that make it necessary to stop the treatment.

“This is where the ZiSStrans project comes in,” explains coordinator Prof. Dr. Horst Zitzelsberger, head of the Radiation Cytogenetics Research Unit at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. “Our objective is to identify molecular signaling pathways and target structures for the radiation response and to examine them in patient studies.”

In this field, this step is called translation, which also explains the project's name. Because ZiSStrans is the translational follow-up project of “Targets and signaling pathways of radiation hypersensitivity and resistance” or ZiSS for short, which ran from 2012 to 2017.
http://www.bfs.de/EN/bfs/science-research/third-party-funded-research/ziss.html;...

The researchers particularly hope to gain new insights by comparing tumor and normal tissue. “The radiosensitivity of the surrounding healthy tissue limits the radiotherapy intensity which can be applied, because this is where undesirable effects can occur,” Zitzelsberger explains.

By understanding the signaling networks in the tumor and normal tissue, the researchers want to explore how the radiation response and resistance can be selectively influenced and how the treatment success can be improved by molecular substances.

A further focus of the research consortium is on personalized treatment. The use of new markers should make it possible to predict whether or not the particular patient will be able to profit from the planned action, even before the first radiation treatment. “In the future, we want to be able to say with great certainty that a particular patient is either a ‘responder’ or a ‘non-responder’, which means if the patient will respond to the treatment or if other options must be considered in advance,” says coordinator Zitzelsberger.

Of the total of four million euros that the BMBF will be providing to the project between 2017 and 2022, around 800,000 will be allocated to the Helmholtz Zentrum München. In addition to Research Unit Head Zitzelsberger, the groups of Dr. Julia Heß and Dr. Kristian Unger are also involved. Furthermore, the following partners are participating in the project:

• University Hospital of Munich (LMU, Department for Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, Prof. Lauber, Prof. Belka)
• Essen University Hospital (Institute of Cell Biology, Prof. Jendrossek, PD Dr. Klein)
• Medical Center – University of Freiburg (Center for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Radiology, Prof. Henke)
• Charité University Hospital Berlin (Institute of Pathology, Prof. Blüthgen)
• German Federal Office for Radiation Protection Neuherberg (Biological Radiation Effects, Dr. Hornhardt, Dr. Gomolka)
• Clinical cooperation group "Personalized radiotherapy of head-neck tumors" involving the Department for Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, University Hospital of Munich (LMU) and the Radiation Cytogenetics Research Unit, Helmholtz Zentrum München

Further information

Background:
Almost one year ago, researchers in the consortium had already developed a new method of predicting disease progression of certain brain tumors after standard treatment. In the journal ‘Oncotarget’, they were able to show that four miRNAs can provide the crucial indications. A direct application for a corresponding patent has already been made: https://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/press-media/press-releases/all-press-releas...

In the thyroid gland, the researchers have also been able to identify markers for tumors induced by radiation: https://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/press-media/press-releases/all-press-releas...

The Helmholtz Zentrum München, the German Research Center for Environmental Health, pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich and has about 2,300 staff members. It is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 37,000 staff members. http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en

The Research Unit Radiation Cytogenetics (ZYTO) investigates radiation-induced chromosome and DNA damage in cell systems and human tumours. The focus is on clarifying the mechanisms associated with radiation-induced carcinogenesis and radiation sensitivity of tumour cells. The aim of this research is to find biomarkers associated with radiation-induced tumours in order to develop personalized radiation therapy for the stratification of patients. ZYTO is a part of the Department of Radiation Sciences (DRS). http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/zyto

Contact for the media:
Department of Communication, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg - Tel. +49 89 3187 2238 - E-mail: presse@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Scientific Contact at Helmholtz Zentrum München:
Prof. Dr. Horst Zitzelsberger, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Research Unit Radiation Cytogenetics, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg - Tel. +49 89 3187 3421, E-mail: Zitzelsberger@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Sonja Opitz | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

Further reports about: BMBF Cytogenetics Environmental Health Radiation radiotherapy tumors

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Tracking down pest control strategies
31.01.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Polymers and Fuels from Renewable Resources
29.01.2018 | DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

When Proteins Shake Hands

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

Cells communicate in a dynamic code

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>