Florian Grebien of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research (LBI-CR) will receive a coveted Starting Grants of the European Research Council (ERC). It is the first ERC Grant, for a researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft. With the aid of EUR 1.5 million funding Grebien will expand its research group, which he founded in January 2014 with the support of the Institute. He explores how blood cancer develops and progresses with a specially developed technology platform.
The goal of the meeting is to promote and support scientists by offering them a stage to present their work and to give them a chance to assert themselves within the scientific setting, connect with other players of the health sciences community and to start new cooperations. Therefore every research area had its own session including a key note lecture and four oral presentations of the best submitted abstracts. The oral presentations in oncology were moderated by Prof. Richard Moriggl, who welcomed Prof. Nancy Hynes from the FMI in Basel to present her research on breast cancer.
Human allergies are an overreaction of the immune system and are studied in the Contact Hypersensitivity Assay (CHS), which serves as a faithful model of the human condition. In the immune system the Stat5 transcription factors are essential both for lymphocytes development and acute immune responses.
Tumor progression is associated with distinct histopathological changes that are indicative for prognosis. The acquired ability of tumor cells to locally invade adjacent tissues is the first important step in the invasion-metastasis cascade. Two general strategies have been pursued in mice to investigate invasive tumor progression.
The JAK-STAT signaling pathway is an important pathway in malignant transformation. On the basis of these observations, JAK2 kinase inhibitors have been developed for clinical use, and ruxolitinib, a JAK2/JAK1 inhibitor is approved for primary myelofibrosis. More importantly, different JAK2 inhibitors have entered clinical trials for use in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), acute lymphoblastic T-cell leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome patients.
A comprehensive review of the 71 reported cases of breast implant associated ALCL (iALCL) is presented indicating the apparent risk factors and main characteristics of this rare cancer. The average patient is 50 years of age and most cases present in the capsule surrounding the implant as part of the periprosthetic fluid or the capsule itself on average at 10 years post-surgery suggesting that iALCL is a late complication. The absolute risk is low ranging from 1:500,000 to 1:3,000,000 patients with breast implants per year. The majority of cases are ALK-negative, yet are associated with silicone-coated implants. The mechanism of tumorigenesis which is discussed in relation to chronic inflammation, immunogenicity of the implants and sub-clinical infection reamins to be determined. However, capsulotomy alone seems to be sufficient for the treatment of many cases suggesting the implants provide the biological stimulus whereas others require further treatment including chemo- and radiotherapy although reported cases remain too low to recommend a therapeutic approach.
The contribution of the innate immune system to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is under intensive investigation. While research in animal models has demonstrated that type I interferons (IFN-Is) protect from IBD, studies of patients with IBD have produced conflicting results concerning the therapeutic potential of IFN-Is. Now a team of researchers based in Vienna with a contribution of the LBI-CR have resolved this issue.
Recently Emilio Casanova and co-workers published their findings on growth hormone resistance in liver disease. Their work has now been released online by the Journal "Hepatology" and the findings were featured in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology by Claire Greenhill:
Together with the company Tissuegnostics, the pathologist Lukas Kenner and his colleagues have developed a software that is able to identify cancer cells in tissue sections and demonstrate the presence of specific biomarkers on cells. "The recently developed software offers, for the first time, the option of eliminating the so-called inter-observer-variability, which is the systematic variability of judgement among different observers," chief investigators Lukas Kenner and Helmut Dolznig explain.
The European Research Initiative on Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-related malignancies (ERIA) celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the discovery of ALK at its annual meeting in Monza on June 20-21, 2014. The meeting was attended by Prof Tom Look (Dana Faber Institute, Harvard), the co-discoverer of the fusion gene NPM-ALK in lymphomas, and Dr. Robert Ghelfi (Pfizer), who developed the first compound to inhibit ALK, crizotinib.