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Supported by funding from the EFU, Gerok’s doctorate, Dr. med. Nina Wagener, at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Prof. Dr. Felix Hoppe-Seyler, examined the role of different molecular signal chains that can influence the programmed cell death of kidney cancer cells . They have been able to show that certain proteins inhibit the initiation of cell death and are present in renal cell carcinomas.

An unfavorable effect of these proteins (Decoy Receptor 3, Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2, Livin) on the course of the disease could also be demonstrated by referring to clinical treatment data. In particular the protein “Livin” could be identified as a new independent factor for the prediction of the disease course.

A part of these new findings was provided by studies on so-called “tissue microarrays”: in this modern examination technique, between 50 and 200 tissue cylinders of various cancer findings can be evaluated in one examination procedure. This makes it possible to use the scientifically valuable sample material of the Heidelberg tumor tissue library carefully.

If the results obtained in cell culture are confirmed in animal experiments and subsequently in clinical trials, new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of the renal cell carcinoma will become apparent.