Mainz, June 2017 - On June 10, TRON participated in the charity event „Run for Children®“. The event is initiated by the SCHOTT AG and organized in cooperation with the Pediatric Neurology Center Rhineland-Palatine, the University Children’s Hospital and the TSV SCHOTT. The 12th Run for Children took place at the TSV SCHOTT Mainz stadium where, during a period of 10-hours, participants ran 400m laps for donations. The donations are then given to regional children’s charities in Mainz that focus on sick or handicapped children or those in tough social situations.
Our TRON team consisted of 16 runners that finished the race with 333 completed rounds – a distance of over 133km!! This is the first time TRON has participated in this event, where we achieved an excellent 24th place out of the 70 teams that participated. However, as in all charity events, the main focus of the participation was not the placement of the team but the donations and the motto of the day “Together for a good cause – Helping can be that simple”. Overall that day, more than 22,000 laps were run, resulting in donations of at least 140,000 €. Congratulations to all the participants and also the organizers, who once again organized an excellent event.
At this point, we would also like to congratulate the team “Schlossrunners” for finishing the event with an incredible 469 laps! Second place went to the “Bereitschaftspolizei Mainz” ahead of “Power Azubis von Schott”.
Mainz, June 2017 - On June 10, TRON participated in the charity event „Run for Children®“.
Mainz, June 2017 – Lena Kranz, PhD, has been awarded for her doctoral thesis the 2017 NMFZ prize of the Natural Science and Medical Research Center Mainz (NMFZ), part of the University Medical Center of Mainz. The NMFZ awards the prize for research on the molecular mechanisms behind structure and function of biologically active systems, which has resulted from an interdisciplinary collaboration of at least two members of different disciplines of the Johannes Gutenberg-University. TRON, whom Lena Kranz cooperated with very closely throughout her studies, congratulates her on this achievement.
During her thesis work, Lena worked on messenger RNA (mRNA-based) cancer vaccines for intravenous application. The goal was to achieve targeted translation of tumor antigens in antigen-presenting cells and generate a systemic antitumoral immune response. In June of last year, she published the results under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Ugur Sahin (Department of Immunology/Medicine) and in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Peter Langguth (Department of Pharmacy) as well as the partners TRON and BioNTech in the scientific journal Nature. This is the first example of an intravenously administered and clinically relevant cancer vaccine. First results of a Phase I melanoma study to assess dose, safety and tolerance, performed in part at the University Medical Center Mainz, show a strong T cell immune response and type I interferon cytokine profile already at very low doses. Very good safety and tolerance were confirmed also for higher doses.
In recent years, cancer immunotherapy has celebrated its first lasting successes. This branch of cancer therapy, marked by high specificity and low occurrence of side effects, is up and coming and will continue to shape the future of cancer therapy.
Mainz, June 2017 – Lena Kranz, PhD, has been awarded for her doctoral thesis the 2017 NMFZ prize of the Natural Science and Medical Research Center Mainz (NMFZ), part of the University Medical Center of Mainz.
Mainz, May 2017 – On May 10, 2017, Prof. Dr. Cornelis (Kees) Melief will be honored for life-time achievements in cancer immunotherapy research. The Dutch immuno-haematologist is professor emeritus at Leiden University and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Research Institute for Translational Oncology (TRON). The prize, which is endowed with 10,000 EUR, will be awarded for the first time by the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy CIMT on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the Association at the Frankfurter Hof in Mainz, Germany.
Find more information on the official announcement at the CIMT website.
Mainz, May 2017 – On May 10, 2017, Prof. Dr. Cornelis (Kees) Melief will be honored for life-time achievements in cancer immunotherapy research.
Mainz, April - Mustafa Diken, PhD, presented on this year’s AACR conference 2017 our recent work on nanoparticles and RNA vaccine for cancer therapy. Immunotherapy has evolved as a promising alternative to conventional treatments against cancer. Thanks to its unique characteristics, mRNA can act not only as a source for antigen but also as an adjuvant for stimulating the immune system. Vaccination with tumor antigen-coding RNA has been shown to efficiently induce T cell responses and anti-tumor immunity in preclinical models and RNA-based vaccines are currently being tested in clinical trials with promising results.
Together with colleagues we have recently developed a novel class of systemically administered nanoparticulate RNA vaccines (RNA-LPX) acting by body-wide delivery of encoded antigens to APCs and simultaneous initiation of a strong type I IFN-driven immunostimulatory program. The RNA-to-lipid ratio was discovered to rule the biodistribution of RNA-LPX, irrespective of the types of lipids used, and a slightly negative particle net charge was enabling APC-specific internalization of RNA-LPX. RNA-LPX vaccines mimic the infectious non-self and thus mobilize both adaptive and innate immune mechanisms leading to strong effector and memory CD8 and CD4 T cell immunity against viral, mutant neo-antigens as well as self-antigens. These mechanisms were then able to reject progressive tumors in various mouse models of carcinoma. The simple but highly versatile design and production of RNA-LPX propose a universally applicable, first-in-class vaccine platform for cancer immunotherapy.
Mainz, April - Mustafa Diken, PhD, presented on this year’s AACR conference 2017 our recent work on nanoparticles and RNA vaccine for cancer therapy.
Mainz, April - The 32nd Annual Meeting of the Rheumatology Working Group (ARRP) and the cooperative Rheumazentrum Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. was held in Bad Kreuznach from March 31 to April 1, 2017, to discuss the various aspects and current topics of rheumatology with a focus on interdisciplinary exchange!
Sebastian Boegel, PhD, presented a poster of his work at TRON during the 32nd annual meeting. In particular, he spoke about the concept of precision medicine and the central role of Next Generation Sequencing and bioinformatic evaluation for the development of diagnostic, prevention and treatment strategies, taking into account the individual molecular variability of a patient. With his poster "Mit bioinformatischer Präzision dem Immunsystem auf der Spur ", he mainly focused on the novel immunologically relevant applications of these technologies, since these are also of interest to rheumatologists.
Mainz, April - The 32nd Annual Meeting of the Rheumatology Working Group (ARRP) and the cooperative Rheumazentrum Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. ...
Mainz, March 2017 – On March 14, 2017 the 7th Ci3-Cluster conference took place in Mainz. The conference looked back at the successes resulting from the past five years of funding for projects in the Cluster for Individualized ImmunIntervention (Ci3) via the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Matthias Graf of Kielmansegg, Ministerialdirektor and Head of BMBF Abteilung 1 - Grundsatzfragen; Strategien; Digitaler Wandel, praised the extraordinary results of the Ci3 Cluster and emphasized the success of the entire BMBF Excellence Cluster program.
Graf von Kielmansegg, along with representatives from the project management organizations Jülich and VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH, also got the opportunity to visit TRON gGmbH in Mainz during their conference visit. At TRON, they were given a short overview over structure, mission, as well as technological and methodological competences established at the research institute, focusing on the longstanding collaboration and achievements with the BMBF. Although the limited time at TRON did not allow for a more detailed discussion, attention could also be directed to future perspectives of new, innovative therapy and diagnostic approaches in immunotherapy.
TRON wishes to thank Matthias Graf von Kielmansegg and the representatives of the project management agencies Jülich and VDI for their visit. More information on the BMBF can be found on their website (www.bmbf.de). Information regarding the Ci3 cluster as well as the press release for the 7th Cluster conference can be found under www.ci-3.de.
Mainz, March 2017 – On March 14, 2017 the 7th Ci3-Cluster conference took place in Mainz. The conference looked back at the successes resulting from the past five years of funding for projects in the Cluster for Individualized ImmunIntervention (Ci3) via the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).
TRON in the Media
Welcome to TRON
TRON – Translational Oncology at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is a biopharmaceutical research organization that pursues new diagnostics and drugs for the treatment of cancer and other severe diseases with high medical need. A focus of TRON is the development of novel platforms for individualized therapies and biomarkers, translating basic research into drug applications. TRON partners with academic institutions, biotech companies and the pharmaceutical industry, executing research with leading-edge technologies and supporting the development of innovative drugs to promote human health.
These are pretty dramatic results in the mouse model [of human cancers]. Studies like this are paving the way for effective vaccine approaches.
This study in mice provides the first evidence that we may be on the threshold of being able to produce individualised vaccines directed against specific mutations present in a patient’s tumour. Rapid production of purpose-built vaccines appears to be possible and can now be tested in carefully designed clinical trials. As yet, this approach must be seen as experimental but it potentially represents a new way of harnessing the power of the immune system against cancer.