Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mainz University obtains new DFG-CRC on "Nanodimensional polymer therapeutics for tumor therapy"

31.05.2013
Mainz chemists and physicians develop nanoparticle-based immunotherapy for cancer

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has established a new Collaborative Research Center on "Nanodimensional polymer therapeutics for tumor therapy" (CRC 1066) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P). Starting in October 2013, the Collaborative Research Center will receive grants totaling approximately EUR 11 million over four years to develop a nanoparticle-based cancer therapy to combat melanoma as an immunogenic tumor model.

The Mainz scientists will focus on a form of cancer immunotherapy that is specifically suitable for permanently eliminating minimal residual disease, such as hidden metastases. The new CRC is notable for its interdisciplinary approach: chemists will study the synthetic feasibility and the structure-property relationships of carrier materials, while immunologists and biomedical specialists develop models for the optimal use of such carriers – in the form of a new combination therapy for activating the body’s immune response against the cancer.

The coordinator of the new DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center is Professor Rudolf Zentel from the Institute of Organic Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Assistant coordinators are Professor Stephan Grabbe from the Department of Dermatology at the Mainz University Medical Center and Professor Katharina Landfester from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz. In addition, the Board of Directors will include Professor Detlef Schuppan from the Department of Internal Medicine I at the Mainz University Medical Center and Dr. Mathias Barz from the JGU Institute of Organic Chemistry as a representative of young researchers.

The combination of the expertise of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, one of the leading sites for polymer chemistry in Germany, together with the excellent research structure in the area of tumor immunotherapy at the Mainz University Medical Center, will enable the new CRC to conduct research at the broadest level. "This new Collaborative Research Center will bring together these very strong research areas to create new medical challenges for natural scientists as well as to provide medical research with a stronger natural scientific orientation," said the coordinator of the CRC, Professor Rudolf Zentel.
"Researchers from the field of chemistry, alongside immunologists and biomedical specialists, will develop novel, multifunctional, nanodimensional therapeutic agents with the aim of releasing agents and combinations of agents in as cell-specific a way as possible, and to also make it possible to make very sensitive agents, such as RNA, therapeutically usable. In an intensively interdisciplinary process, we will combine innovative therapeutic approaches from immunology and oncology with the synthesis of a broad array of well-characterized, suitably functional polymeric nanoparticles with clear physicochemical characterization in the biological environment."

For the chemists, the challenge is to synthesize well-defined polymeric carrier systems and to modify them, render them functional, and to load them with suitable therapeutic agents. Building on these initial synthetic steps, the scientists will go on to test these carrier systems in cross-sectional projects with respect to their interactions in extracellular media, cellular uptake, and distribution in the body. "Our biomedical specialists will then test these systems in combined tumor immunotherapy based on the targeted induction of inflammation in the tumor, stimulation of the immune response, and neutralization of tumor tolerance," said Professor Stephan Grabbe, Director of the Department of Dermatology at the Mainz University Medical Center.

"This Collaborative Research Center is the fruit of decades of excellent research achievements by Mainz scientists in chemistry and medicine and demonstrates the success of building profiles and specialties in science and research at our university," said the President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Professor Georg Krausch. Mainz has distinguished itself through its many years of successful activity in the field of polymer research and its current work in CRC 625: From single molecules to nanoscale structured materials, Mainz has become renowned for its great expertise in creating and characterizing the physicochemical nature of nanoparticular systems. This makes it possible to create narrowly distributed functional polymer structures and to investigate their aggregate formation in a biological context. In addition, the new CRC will benefit from extensive expertise in the organic chemistry of natural substances, concentrated in the Center for the Synthesis of Natural Products, which is funded by the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, BASF and Boehringer Ingelheim and which contributes to the knowledge of linkers and identification structures as well as a radiopharmaceutical division with outstanding chemical processing options, for example in the field of labeling chemistry and in vivo imaging using PET at the JGU Institute of Nuclear Chemistry. The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research is also a competent partner for the synthesis and characterization of polymeric carriers.

The Mainz University Medical Center has established a specialty area in immunology with experience in immunotherapy as well as a Center for Translational Oncology (TRON) in combination with new spin-off firms, such as GANYMED, which can supply anti-tumor antibodies. Overall, there is a longstanding tradition of basic research in tumor immunology at the Mainz University Medical Center with the development of new concepts in tumor immunotherapy, culminating in clinical trials focused on melanoma, for example, in Collaborative Research Center 432, which concentrates on tumor immunology and experimental therapy. In addition, the Center for Natural Sciences and Medicine, headed by Professor Stephan Grabbe, has encouraged similar kinds of collaboration between medicine and the natural sciences at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz for more than 30 years.

"The new Collaborative Research Center shows that it makes sense to encourage the development of strong network structures in Mainz and the region. The concept of the CRC is promising because initial successes, specifically in melanoma treatment, have demonstrated that this treatment concept may contribute to making it possible in the future to successfully treat cancers that are now incurable," emphasized Professor Förstermann, Chief Scientific Officer of the Mainz University Medical Center.

Further information:
Professor Rudolf Zentel
Institute of Organic Chemistry
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)
D 55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-20361
fax +49 6131 39-24778
e-mail: zentel@uni-mainz.de

Professor Stephan Grabbe
Director of the Department of Dermatology
Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
D 55131 Mainz
phone +49 6131 17-4412
e-mail: stephan.grabbe@unimedizin-mainz.de

Petra Giegerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/16451_ENG_HTML.php

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>