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Neuro- and Tumor Cell Biology Group

PD (Assistant Professor) Rainer Probstmeier

Department of Nuclear Medicine

University of Bonn

Uncovering the Achilles heels of tumor cells and the successful implementation of this knowledge into therapeutic approaches are amongst the main challenges of tumor biology.

Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizienship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citiziens of that other place.“ - Susan Sonntag: Illness as metaphor.


(As quoted by Siddhartha Mukherje: „The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer“; Pulitzer Price 2011).

Within this frame, we examine the behavior of tumor cells of neural and non-neural origin in different model systems. In the following, we have summarized the main topics of our research.

Once a tumor cell, always a tumor cell? - The potential of redifferentiation

Collective behavior of tumor cells - the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Tumor cell lines: models for primary tumors? - A look through Darwin's eyes

„Nothing in cancer makes sense without evolution. This evolution can be genetic and irreversible, or epigenetic and potentially reversible.“ (van Staveren WC et al. 2009; BBA 1795, 92)

Tumor cell lines do not form a homogenous entity - monoclonal but heterogeneous

„One - of course provocative - interpretation of the seemingly contradictive findings on cancer stem cells is that these cells are neither a defined nor a definable sub-population of cells within the tumor, but rather a highly dynamic state in which only few cells at a time are in“. (Welte Y et al. 2010; Cell Comm Sig 8, 6)

New targets for glioma treatment? - Galectin-3, Runx2 and more

Pharmaceuticals can produce opposite effects in tumor cells - the yin-yang effect







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