Berlin - “Das (DKFZ) is the flagship of German cancer research. It makes decisive contribution to the development of new approaches to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer ”. With these words Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka (CDU) honored the work of the DKFZ yesterday on the 50th anniversary of the DKFZ. The center is an institution that promotes innovative ideas and creativity and allows them to flourish, she added.
Otmar D. Wiestler, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cancer Research Center, recalled that the institution had received double mandate from the start : to research the biological basis of cancer and to translate these results into improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. In the first few years, the focus was on basic research, but for long time the center has also endeavored to translate results into clinical applications.
Ten years ago, the “National Center for Tumor Diseases” was founded in collaboration with the Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Aid. In the "German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research", the DKFZ cooperates with seven other university clinics in order to advance the translation of promising research results even faster, as Wiestler explained.
On the occasion of the anniversary, the board also mentioned the commitment to “personalized oncology”. As part of recently started study, for example, all children with cancer across Germany who suffer relapse are to be searched for drug that exactly matches their tumor and may still help them heal.
" We are particularly proud of the successes of my predecessor Harald zur Hausen, ”explained Wiestler. "His discovery that cervical cancer is caused by papilloma viruses was the basis for the development of vaccine that will protect women from this serious disease in the future." This research was rightly crowned with the Nobel Prize. More than 2,500 employees currently work at the DKFZ. More than 1,000 scientists research cancer. The center also owes its good reputation to the work of the cancer information service. Its employees advise those affected and interested citizens about the widespread disease cancer. The German Cancer Research Center is financed 90 percent by the Federal Ministry of Research and ten percent by the state of Baden-Württemberg. It is member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.