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Interview Viktor Arnhold

In January, the team around Patrick Hundsdörfer and BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Viktor Arnhold received the Paper of the Month award. We have previously spoken with them about their research and the paper.

What is at the focus of your research?

We are researching new therapy approaches for the treatment of children and adolescents with cancer. Neuroblastoma, one of the most common childhood tumors, is the central focus of our research group. The aim of our research is to improve treatment options and thus to improve the chances of recovery, and at the same time, to reduce the side effects associated with therapy.

What motivates you to perform this research?

This work focuses on the transcription factor p53, the deactivation of which often leads to the uncontrolled growth of neuroblastoma cells. We were able to show, in both cell culture models and animal models, that tumor cell growth is inhibited by the substance DS-3032b. We were also able to identify the initiation of cell death (apoptosis) as the most important mechanism of growth inhibition.

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

This work resulted from the close cooperation between the individual research groups within the department of Pediatric Oncology at Charité. In addition to our research group, the working groups around Prof. Dr. Schulte, PD Dr. Deubzer, and Dr. Künkele were involved.

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

In the next stage, we will investigate how the reactivation of p53 via DS-3032b can be combined with conventional cytostatics and other “small molecules” to identify the distinctions between the various therapeutic approaches. The most promising combination therapy is to then be tested in a Phase I/II clinical trial on children with neuroblastoma who do not respond to other therapies, or for whom conventional therapies have significant side effects.