Interview Anton Henssen

In November, BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Anton G. Hennsen and his team received the Paper of the Month award.

What are you researching? What is the core of your research?

My lab investigates the underlying causes of the emergence of tumors in childhood. We are trying to find out whether new options for treatment can be derived from these mechanisms. I am particularly motivated by the prospect of improving the treatment of children suffering from cancer

What is the core message of your publication and how does your study differ from the work of other scientists in this field?

We have found a new approach to the treatment of tumors in children. The approach is based on a tumor-specific factor, making this treatment more targeted and reaching the tumor at a very vulnerable site that does not exist in non-tumorous tissue. This makes the treatment more tolerable because it only destroys tumor tissue and does not affect healthy tissue.

Which cooperation partners have contributed to the publication? Who was significantly involved?

This work is based on an important collaboration with scientists from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Alex Kentsis and Dr. John Petrini have been lead collaborators on this project.

What are the next steps planned for the project and what are the possible implications of your results for patients?

The results are based on data from laboratory models that had not yet been tested on people. The next step is to investigate this treatment's effectiveness on people. If this proves to be successful, this treatment could be used to help children with serious tumors to overcome their illness. We still have a long way to go before that happens, but because of the very promising data we have, we are ready and motivated to take on this challenge.