The metabolic state of tumor cells contributes to signals that control the proliferation of tumor cells. Already the German biochemist and Nobel Prize laureate Otto H. Warburg observed in the 1920s that tumor cells radically change their metabolism. This process was termed "Warburg Effect", however neglected until recently by cancer research, but the latest results show it is indeed of fundamental importance for the development of aggressive tumors.
In 2016 keyresearchers of the LBI-CR succeeded in raising more funds for their research than ever before. We are proud to report an outstanding success rate of 60%, as of ten proposals we received funding for six projects totalling an overall volume of € 1.8 Mio. With the renewal of one SFB and the intitiation of a new one Richard Moriggl maintains outstanding financial support by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).
For the third time the LBG Health Sciences Meeting awarded the best research contributions with a prize. In the category "Cancer Research" Luisa Schmidt of the research group Florian Grebien at the LBI-CR was selected with her research on "Acute Myeloide Leukemia with CEBPA Mutations is sensitive against Blockade of Menin-MLL Interaction". We congratulate Luisa to this fine success.
In order to develop better therapies against cancer, researchers are now faced with ever-increasing efforts. Since cancer is a complex disease affecting the entire organism, genetically modified mice play an important role in cancer research. Above all in rare cancers, clinically relevant animal models are essential to investigate the effect of new drugs. For this reason, researchers have tried for many years but failed to develop a suitable model for Ewing sarcoma.
Cheryl Arrowsmith is Professor at the University Toronto and studies the structure, function and chemical modulation of proteins involved in epigenetics and nuclear signalling – cellular mechanisms that are disrupted in cancer. She visited the LBI-CR on October 12 to discuss modern approaches of translational cancer research with our scientists hosted by Florian Grebien and Giulio Superti-Furga (CeMM).
Lukas Kenner has contributed to a genome wide analysis of DNA methylation patterns in Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphomas, which was now published in Cell Reports. This research revealed that ALCL shows highly similar genome-wide DNA methylation patterns independent of their ALK status, one of the major oncogenes underlying the disease.
Many Austrians have never heard of fatty liver disease, but up to 30% suffer from this precursor to liver cancer. Fatty liver disease has become a common disease due to the usual risk factors that characterize the lifestyle in industrialized nations: obesity, lack of exercise and unhealthy diet with too much sugar.
More than 600.000 people suffer from diabetes in Austria and every third person is not yet aware of that metabolic disease. Even a greater number of the population is seriously overweight, which underlies many age-related diseases including development of type II diabetes. Preventive medications and detailed understanding to avert these diseases are therefore an important health issue.
Emilio Casanova contributed to a recent manuscript demonstrating that STAT3 protects from cholestatic liver injury. Specific ablation of STAT3 in liver cells aggravated liver damage and fibrosis in a mouse model for cholestatic disease. Upregulation of bile acid biosynthesis genes and downregulation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression were observed, the functional consequences of these processes in cholestatic liver injury remained unclear.