In Germany, approximately 2,200 children and adolescents up to the age of 18 are newly diagnosed with cancer every year. This makes cancer the most common life-threatening disease in this age group. The primary goal of the Frankfurt Foundation for Children with Cancer is to specifically advance research in the field of childhood and adolescent cancer so that all young patients can be cured in the future and have a chance of a life without long-term consequences.
Childhood cancers differ fundamentally from adult cancers in their causes, frequency and course. Some forms of cancer occur exclusively in childhood.
Although many of the childhood cancers are now well treatable, there are still no effective therapies for some other forms of cancer. Furthermore, many of the currently available therapies are associated with far-reaching late effects that young patients often have to live with for the rest of their lives.
It is a sad reality that the pharmaceutical industry shows little interest in paediatric cancer research because of low profitability due to “low” case numbers.
So that one day cancer can be beaten in all children and a life without impairment of the quality of life becomes possible for those affected, the research groups in our hospital are investigating the questions:
In order to find answers to these questions, the Frankfurt Foundation for Children with Cancer provides the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Paediatric Tumour and Virus Research, headed by Prof. Dr. Jindrich Cinatl, and the Institute for Experimental Tumour Research in Paediatrics, which is affiliated with the Goethe University Frankfurt, with state-of-the-art laboratories with the latest technical equipment.
The Interdisciplinary Laboratory investigates, for example, why cancer cells in some types of paediatric cancer become resistant to the drugs used and uses this information to develop new strategies for overcoming this resistance. This research work is carried out on the basis of a cell bank established by this laboratory, which is unique worldwide.
Among other things, the Institute for Experimental Tumour Research is investigating the question of why the naturally intended “suicide programme” for cancer cells does not work in children and adolescents.
The work of the scientists in the Foundation’s research house is carried out in close connection and intensive exchange with doctors and researchers at the University Hospital Frankfurt am Main.
Another important concern of the Frankfurt Foundation for Children with Cancer is the promotion of young scientists. Since 2008, it has awarded the Dr. Maresch Klingelhöffer Prize for the best work by young scientists in paediatric cancer research or related fields.
The Dr. Maresch-Klingelhöffer Prize has been awarded by the Frankfurt Foundation for Children with Cancer since 2008. It originates from an endowment by the couple Dr. Otto Maresch and Doris Maresch-Klingehöffer. The honour, endowed with 10,000 euros, honours the best work of young scientists in paediatric cancer research and related fields.
In 2019, Dr Constanze Schneider received the prize for her scientific work on the identification of a biomarker. With the help of this biomarker, the effectiveness of the standard chemotherapeutic Cytarabine in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) can be predicted.
(In picture from left: Prof. Dr. Jindrich Cinatl, Dr. Constanze Schneider, Dr. med. Jürgen Vogt)
for children with cancer
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