German Cancer Aid grants EUR 180,000 in support of new research project at the Mainz University Medical Center
The immune system plays a decisive role in the fight against tumor cells. However, when tumor cells themselves prevent activation of the immune system, the immune system fails to destroy cancer cells. The cancer drug interferon-α could probably neutralize this blockade. This cytokine is being used successfully to treat various forms of cancer. However, some patients experience undesirable autoimmune reactions on administration of the drug. The German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe e.V.) is donating EUR 180,000 to fund a research project at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz that is to identify mechanisms underlying the effects of the cancer drug interferon-α (IFN-α) when it comes to fighting cancer cells by means of the blockade of so-called immunological tolerance processes. In addition, the researchers want to discover novel approaches to increase the efficacy of type I interferons in the treatment of cancer.