New diagnostic method improves treatment options for breast cancer - Protein test finds hidden molecule

Immunotherapy can be a successful treatment option for breast cancer patients. The method uses antibodies, which bind to the surface molecules of the tumor, hindering its growth. One of these antibodies targets the HER2 protein, which is not actually present in all variants of the tumor. Now researchers have developed a sensitive new diagnostic method that could allow more patients to benefit from the treatment. This new test also detects cancer cells that appear to be free of HER2 – but which do actually carry the molecule.  more

Targeted diagnosis for cardiomyopathies

In a NGFN-Transfer funded study scientists from Heidelberg have developed an analytical method allowing a rapid and efficient search for genetic defects. So far, mutations in more than 30 different genes have been found to cause inherited cardiomyopathies or have an unfavorable influence on their course. For the first time it is now possible to check simultaneously and cost-efficiently all of the yet known genetic catalysts for the myocardial insufficiency. For patients and their relatives this means a more certain diagnosis and, thus, a more selective consultation, treatment and attendance.

How to stop the malaria parasite – New high throughput method simplifies the search for agents

Within a NGFN-Transfer project scientists under the guidance of Dr. Friedrich Frischknecht from the Heidelberg University Hospital have developed a method that allows fully automated imaging and analysis of morphological changes in plasmodium sporozoites.
The application of this transformation screen can be applied to define the extracellular requirements for sporozoite transformation as well as for high-throughput screening of small-molecule inhibitors of transformation or inducers of cell death of plasmodium.

Breast Cancer: Immune Cells Prevent Metastases

Researchers from the NGFN have discovered the immune system´s significance in the prognosis of breast cancer: A high number of active B- and T-cells in the tumor tissue is noticeably reducing the risk of developing distant metastases.
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