When will we cure all diseases

Field of activity 1: Research funding - preventing and curing diseases

Health research has already achieved great success. It is now important to use the new opportunities offered by scientific and technological progress to protect people's health even better and to treat diseases more effectively. Common diseases such as cancer and mental illness are the focus of the new framework program.

One framework program - two guidelines

The supporting program is shaped by two guidelines: “The focus is on people” and “Digitization and personalization as the key”.

Why these two? On the one hand, people with their respective living conditions and needs must be more closely involved in health research - right from the start. Then the latest research results really reach you in everyday life. On the other hand, modern technologies such as digitization and personalization must be used responsibly and profitably in health research. Because they will significantly shape the medicine of the future. They enable broad access to efficient care. And you also help to tailor health promotion, prevention, diagnosis and therapy to the individual affected.

In the future, research will focus even more strongly on the various needs and wishes of the different population groups, for example on children and young people, but also on socially disadvantaged people and on the citizens who live in rural regions.

Another focus of health research is to combat the poverty-related diseases from which people in emerging and developing countries suffer particularly. Internationally bundled research capacities and resources are intended to contain dangerous pathogens and antibiotic resistance before they can spread.

With a National Decade Against Cancer the federal government will strengthen cancer research in Germany. Its aim is to improve the patient's chances of recovery and to prevent as many new diseases as possible.

Creating optimal research conditions in order to be able to combat common diseases better - that is the aim of the BMBF and the federal states funded German Centers for Health Research (DZG). Between 2009 and 2012, six centers were founded with long-term funding. Two more new German centers are currently planned: a center for child and youth health and a center for mental health.

cancer

Thanks to medical advances, many types of cancer can already be treated well today. Nevertheless, there is still a great need for research: A major goal of cancer research is to enable each patient to have an individually tailored treatment that is particularly effective in combating the tumor and has as few side effects as possible.

Further information: German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research

Personalized lung cancer tumor models

Scientists have succeeded in isolating tumor cells from a blood sample from patients with lung cancer and then growing patient-specific tumors in the laboratory. For example, they can test which drugs can help a patient.
Read the full newsletter article here.

Molecular map shows new therapy options for children with cancer

Today, childhood cancers are often curable. Nevertheless, around a quarter of children suffer a relapse. For the first time, scientists have mapped the genetic repertoire of childhood cancers in order to enable new therapies.
Read the full newsletter article here.

Cancer drugs with multiple uses

Scientists from the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK) have assigned new functions to numerous well-known cancer drugs. The findings are already being used for treatment recommendations.
Read the full newsletter article here.

Fight black skin cancer more effectively

Every year in Germany more than 20,000 people develop black skin cancer. If it is recognized too late, treatment is difficult. Systems medicine specialists want to change that - with a combination therapy, tailor-made for each individual patient.
Read the full newsletter article here.

Infections

Modern medicine has taken the horror of many infections. Nevertheless, infectious agents remain a major challenge even today. One of the reasons for this is that they are becoming increasingly resistant to our drugs.

Find out more: Infections dossier

Further information: German Center for Infection Research

On the trail of the optimal vaccine

Vaccinations have proven themselves in the fight against disease. But there is still no effective and safe vaccination against many dangerous pathogens. A Berlin research team is working on modern combination vaccines.
Read the full newsletter article here.

MERS coronavirus: first vaccine is clinically tested

In 2012 the MERS coronavirus was discovered in humans, and in 2018 the clinical testing of a vaccine will start at the German Center for Infection Research. Research into the virus that causes severe respiratory disease is a success story.
Read the full newsletter article here.

Detect multi-resistant germs quickly and easily

Multi-resistant germs are an increasing threat in hospitals around the world. The new technology from SpinDiag can test patients for dangerous pathogens within 30 minutes and thus prevent their spread.
Read the full newsletter article here.

Epstein-Barr virus: from harmless to serious

DZIF scientists are investigating the causes of serious courses of Pfeiffer's glandular fever and are looking for the “risk markers”. In addition, the connection between the pathogen - the Epstein-Barr virus - and cancer is being investigated.
Read the full newsletter article here.

Child and youth health

More and more children suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes or allergic reactions. Mental illnesses are also increasing in this age group. Scientifically based therapy approaches that are specifically geared towards children are, however, the exception today. These are urgently needed.

Further information: Healthy funding initiative - for a lifetime

Medulloblastoma: Improved Diagnostics for Rare Brain Tumors

An international research team has developed a genetic testing algorithm that can help children with certain malignant brain tumors called medulloblastomas. Because it improves therapy and advice for those affected.
Read the full newsletter article here.

Molecular map shows new therapy options for children with cancer

Today, childhood cancers are often curable. Nevertheless, around a quarter of children suffer a relapse. For the first time, scientists have mapped the genetic repertoire of childhood cancers in order to enable new therapies.
Read the full newsletter article here.

Addiction and violence - help for those affected

There are many connections between an addiction and experiences of violence and neglect in childhood: Addiction can be both a cause and a consequence of violence. The connections are researched in order to improve prevention and therapy.
Read the full newsletter article here.

New active ingredients against rare hereditary diseases

Mitochondria are the cells' power plants. If they fail, it can lead to serious neurological disorders. So far there is no cure. A team of researchers from Berlin could soon change this with new drug tests.
Read the full newsletter article here.

Mental health

Our quality of life is also decisively determined by our mental health. However, mental health impairments are widespread and can lead to serious mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia or anxiety disorders. In Germany alone, around 40 percent of all people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives.

Learn more: - Depression - Shadows on the soul

- Anxiety, obsession and schizophrenia

Depression - International study sheds light on the causes of the eclipse of life

Little was known about the genetic causes of depression. Now 30 new genes have been discovered that contribute to the development of depression. With this knowledge, the causes of the disease can be further researched and new therapies can be developed.
Read the full newsletter article here.

AdvantageJena - prevention through social participation

More than 30 institutions in Jena are implementing a concept that enables citizens to participate more in society. This should positively influence and promote health.
Read the full newsletter article here.

Optical illusion for scientific purposes

People with schizophrenia react differently to optical illusions than healthy people. Is that an indication of changed processes in the brain? Scientists pursue this question with the help of a mathematical model.
Read the full newsletter article here.

According to a recent study, if children are neglected or mistreated, this has a permanent effect on their stress hormone levels. Early therapy and support programs can potentially avert these consequences.
Read the full newsletter article here.

Global health

One of the central global challenges is the health of people in emerging and developing countries. Because more than a billion people in these regions suffer from neglected and poverty-favored diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria or sleeping sickness. In addition, the mobility of people, goods and services has increased and more and more people live together in a confined space. This accelerates the spread of infectious diseases, also across the borders of countries and continents.

Find out more: International - Global Health

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