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Viennese researcher given German Novartis Award for pathology study

(C) Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft © Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft

Pencik, Deputy Head of the Clinical Institute for Pathology, who also works at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research and the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, shared the prize with Georg Gydnia of the Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Heidelberg. The Czech-born scientist published a study last year in "Nature Communications" in which he and his team were able to show that the oncogene STAT3, controlled by the immune system messenger Interleukin-6, which normally promotes the growth of cancer cells, has the opposite effect in the case of prostate cancer.

Avoiding unnecessary operations

The team of scientists was able to identify two genes as new tumor markers which are more suitable to forecast the further development of the prostate carcinoma than other such characteristics. Only ten percent of prostate cancer patients die from the disease, precise forecast factors are important to prevent unnecessary operations and other therapies or to treat the cancer in a more aggressive manner, if required.

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