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Conclusion Meeting in Seggau presents highlights of cancer research

We are grateful to our partners and sponsors for enabling an impressive scientific programme with many outstanding international colleagues. The presentations included updates about tumour surveillance, new therapeutics and super enhancers. We had many fruitful discussions and due to the generosity of the sponsors we could include many junior researchers to participate in this meeting. Joining into scientific discussions with leaders in their field of research will foster their scientific education.

Annual Meeting in Seggau

The team leaders of the LBI-CR welcome many leading cancer researchers in Seggau (image: courtesy P. Look)

From Receptors and Kinases to Transcriptional Regulators: Cancer Genome Landscapes and their Therapeutic Targets

On May 6 many cancer researchers converge to Seggau Castle for a final meeting of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research (LBI-CR) within a historic landscape. 

Molecular drivers of Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease revealed

The Tasmanian devil faces extinction due to devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), which is transmitted between individuals by bites during fighting. Cancer cells do not usually transmit between individuals. To unveil the molecular underpinnings of DFTD, we designed an approach that combines sensitivity to drugs with an integrated systems-biology characterization. Sensitivity to inhibitors of the ERBB family of receptor tyrosine kinases correlated with their overexpression, suggesting a causative link.

New strategy to target transcription factor STAT5 to combat leukaemia

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is the most common type of acute cancer of the blood and bone marrow in adults. This type of cancer usually progresses quickly and only 26 percent of the patients survive longer than 5 years as resistance against established treatments arises. The most common molecular cause is FLT3 mutations, which result in hyper-activation of STAT5. An international consortium of researchers now report on an early preclinical development to target STAT5 directly, which cooperates well with existing therapies. 

PhD student Tahereh Javaheri receives doctorate "magna cum laude"

Tahereh Javaheri worked on murine models of Ewing sarcoma, a rare childhood tumor that frequently metastasises.  During her PhD she contributed to eight LBI-CR publications, most notable "Increased survival and cell cycle progression pathways are required for EWS/FLI1-induced malignant transformation" in the Journal "Cell Death and Disease". She received her PhD magna cum laude.

Established cancer therapeutics are effective against aggressive blood cancer with mutations in STAT5

Research teams from Vienna investigated a typical mutation in STAT5 that renders tumors more aggressive but susceptible to established drugs.

The prestigious Journal of Clinical Investigation is now publishing an important contribution to leukemia and lymphoma research. This study by scientists at the Veterinary University of Vienna, the Medical University of Vienna, the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Academy of Sciences, and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research focused on the mutated form of the STAT5B oncogene.

SR-BI is crucial for the metastatic phenotype in melanoma

Metastatic melanoma is characterised by metabolic abnormalities. But how aggressive tumor behaviour is altered by metabolic state remains ill understood.  Researchers from Vienna in collaboration with the LBI-CR now report high-density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor SR-BI expression can predict melanoma progression in patients. The metastasis-associated epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) was perturbed by SR-BI knockdown, but not functional inhibition of its cholesterol transporting capacity.

First evidence of single agent activity of BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax

T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) is a rare and aggressive T-lymphoid malignancy usually refractory to current treatment strategies and associated with a short overall survival. A group of researchers from Vienna led by CeMM and in collaboration with colleagues from the LBI-CR pursued to identify novel effective treatments for T-PLL patients by functional testing of primary patient-derived lymphoma cells using a library of 106 FDA-approved anti-cancer drugs or compounds currently in clinical development.