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Targeting cancer

Published on 15. September 2015, 17:12 h
Researchers from all over the world meeting in Bielefeld

The fight against cancer with chemotherapy frequently has many unwanted and severe side effects such as hair loss, nausea, and vomiting. Medicines that fight cancer are poisons; they don’t just attack and damage the tumour, but all other cells as well. Internationally renowned scientists engaged in academic and industrial research will be meeting in Bielefeld between the 20th and 23rd of September. At the 5th International CeBiTec Research Conference ‘Drug Conjugates for Directed Therapy’, they want to discuss strategies with which these side effects may be circumvented.

The Logo for this year’s CeBiTec conference ‘Drug Conjugates for Directed Therapy’ presents the potential anti-tumour agent cryptophycin that recognizes specific structures particularly in cancer cells. This conjugate interferes with the cell division process, leading to the death of the cells. Photo: Bielefeld University
The Logo for this year’s CeBiTec conference ‘Drug Conjugates for Directed Therapy’ presents the potential anti-tumour agent cryptophycin that recognizes specific structures particularly in cancer cells. This conjugate interferes with the cell division process, leading to the death of the cells. Photo: Bielefeld University
The researchers’ goal is to develop methods that make it possible to combine chemotherapeutic agents with a kind of molecular address label so that they can be delivered specifically to tumour cells. In contrast to conventional chemotherapies, the majority of healthy cells would then remain unaffected. The methods combine cancer medicines e.g. with peptides, that are smaller protein molecules that recognize highly specific targets on the tumour cells. These peptide–drug conjugates then home in on just the cancer cells and destroy only these. ‘Conjugates between such chemical address labels and an anti-tumour drug could fulfil the Nobel laureate Paul Ehrlich’s early vision of magic bullets,’ says Norbert Sewald, Professor of Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry at Bielefeld University and the organizer of this year’s Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec) conference. Paul Ehrlich (1854–1915) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 1908.

This year, the 5th International CeBiTec Research Conference is being organized by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network ‘Magicbullet’ that is currently being funded by the European Union as part of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The conference will open on Sunday 20 September at 6 p.m. with a public popular scientific lecture by Dr. Ravi Chari from the US-American company ImmunoGen in the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF). Ravi Chari will report (in English) on the latest findings and achievements in targeted cancer therapy and discuss the first antibody–agent conjugates that are already being applied in clinical treatments. The interested public is cordially invited to attend the opening lecture at Bielefeld University’s ZiF. Admission is free of charge.

Further information is available online at:
www.cebitec.uni-bielefeld.de/index.php/events/conferences/426-2015-09-20-5th-int-cebitec-research-conference-3
www.magicbullet.de

Contact:
Professor Dr. Norbert Sewald, Bielefeld University
Faculty of Chemistry, Organic Chemistry
Telephone: 0521 106-2051
Email: norbert.sewald@uni-bielefeld.de

Posted by UPrange in General
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