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discovered 02_2012

FOCUS// The HZDR Research Magazine WWW.Hzdr.DE 14 15 With a nod to the future, Hans-Jürgen Pietzsch and his team emphasize the great potential of antibodies and their ability to attach to docking stations on the surfaces of cancer cells. “Antibodies can be reliably produced in the lab using modern-day biotechnological methods. And what‘s more is they can be precisely modified in such a way as to change their biological characteristics. Antibodies normally have an exceptionally high binding affinity to specific docking stations on the surfaces of cancer cells, which is why they naturally accumulate in the tumor tissue. Using suitable methods for radioactively labeling different substances as well as being able to guarantee their stability in the human organism for use in diagnostic and therapeutic application is one of our central research topics at the Institute of Radiopharmacy.“ Radiopharmaceutical toolbox Radiation damages cellular DNA. When cells are not able to repair this damage, they die off, most likely during one of THE FUTURE OF CANCER THERAPY: Scientists at the Institute of Radiopharmacy are studying the basic principles underlying internal radiation. It is important to know and exploit the special properties of cancer cells in order to deliver the radioactive molecules to the tumor or metastasis. Image credit: Frank Bierstedt CANCER DIAGNOSIS: As of June 2011, Germany’s first ever PET/MRI device has been in use at the HZDR for patient examination. So far, more than 600 cancer patients could be examined using the device. Image credit: Frank Bierstedt