Investigating treatment resistance in cancer

Melanoma and liver cancer are becoming more widespread in Europe and the US. Whilst both diseases progress very differently, they are among the types of cancer which are most likely to be fatal in the Western world. Three groups of researchers from the Institute of Biochemistry at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) led by Prof. Dr. Anja Bosserhoff, Dr. Peter Dietrich and Prof. Dr. Claus Hellerbrand have jointly discovered a mechanism used to steer the growth of the cancer cells in both types of cancer, a discovery which is highly significant for future treatment strategies. The researchers’ work has now been recognised with a prestigious award from the Deutsche Leberstiftung (German Liver Foundation) for a groundbreaking publication in the field of liver research.

At first glance, there are not many similarities between two such different types of cancer as black skin cancer (malignant melanoma) and liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). The main risk factors for melanoma are too much exposure to the sun, sunburn and genetic predisposition. Liver cancer, on the other hand, very often occurs in a liver which has been damaged by alcohol or obesity or as a result of chronic viral hepatitis. However, what both types of cancer have


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