Examples of new diagnostic and prognostic approaches from the NGFN

  • Within the NGFN Biomarkers have been identified for a large spectrum of diseases, for example for Obesity, Alcoholism, Allergies, Breast cancer, Epilepsy, Cardiac insufficiency, Cardiomyopathies, Leukemia, Morbus Crohn,  Myocardial infarction, Neuroblastoma, Oligodendroglioma, Pancreatic cancer, Parkinson disease, Prostate cancer, Sarcoidose and others.

  • Furthermore, the causal cellular disease mechanisms of numerous diseases as for example of heart diseases, lung cancer, migraine, neuroblastoma, schizophrenia and others had been discovered.

  • Another result from NGFN is the technological development in co-operation with Siemens AG for the genetic diagnosis of cardiac insufficiency: Genetic disease loci for myocardial diseases, ionic channel diseases and cardiac insufficiency can be more easily analyzed and interpreted in future. In cooperation with industrial partners, new methods based on bioinformatics and statistics have been developed in order to optimize the processing and interpreting within a clinical setting of the data derived from high throughput sequencing. This is meant to further improve the personalized diagnosis and therapy of the patients.

  • A metabolite analysis facilitates an earlier diagnosis and a better risk assessment of cardiac insufficiency. Within NGFN-Transfer, in co-operation with metanomics AG key metabolites have been identified, improving the early diagnosis and contributing to predict more precisely the course of the disease for various forms of cardiac insufficiency. Several of the diagnostic metabolites have been filed as patents and the development is to be pushed on towards a clinical application.

  • It was possible to develop a new and sensitive diagnostic procedure which allows more patients suffering from breast cancer to benefit from the therapy with antibodies against HER2: the test detects cancer cells even if the molecule HER2 is just active and transmitting signals („Liquid Morphology“). This methodical approach can also be used for other biomarkers, particularly in biopsies of other tumor entities. For the first time, the scientists used their innovative method developed in cooperation with an industrial partner: the method to dissolve intact proteins away from tissue samples fixed with formalin and embedded in paraffin (product of the company Qiagen). Such tissue samples are standard in hospitals. The kit is being used in the clinical research and by large pharmaceutical companies.

  • Furthermore, a prognostic classifier of gene expression of the neuroblastoma (tumor in child) has been developed which considerably improves the prediction of the clinical course. A more precise classification of the patient categories can spare some patients chemotherapy and operation. Since 2001, studies on the neuroblastoma are being supported within NGFN, a reason why Germany is leading the way in this field. The sustainable funding enabled results alongside the technical progress.

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