Basler leukaemia researcher awarded prestigious research prize
Claudia Lengerke has been recognised for her research into how acute blood cancer could be cured using a combination of treatment methods.
The professor of medicine was awarded the research prize from the «Fondation Peter Anton & Anna Katharina Miescher pour la recherche en hématologie» and the Swiss Society of Haematology. The award, which carries prize money of 100,000 Swiss francs, is given away every two years. Dr Lengerke is a senior physician at the clinic of haematology at the University Hospital Basel and treats patients suffering from blood diseases. She also manages a research group studying blood cancer at the department of biomedicine at the university. Together with her team, she discovered that in certain forms of acute leukaemia, a follow-on treatment after chemotherapy could reduce the risk of the cancer returning. Her method is not yet ready to be used on humans, but her lab results give hope that certain forms of leukaemia could be better cured using a combination of therapies.
Leukaemia, or blood cancer, is a malign cancer of the hematopoietic cells, which fight infection. Aggressive, quickly progressing forms among adults are mostly a consequence of genetic problems which show up in cells during the course of a patient’s life. Acute leukaemia can however be reduced to a so-called «residual disease». Patients reaching this stage after chemotherapy appear to be cured. However, this apparent recovery is deceiving – without further intense treatments carrying numerous side-effects as well as a stem cell transplant, the disease can return.
Adjusting treatment to the stage of disease
Dr Lengerke researches the theory that different stages of acute leukaemia can be treated with different treatments. At the start of the disease, the plentiful cancer cells must be eliminated with the help of chemotherapy. In the phase of residual disease, however, gentler treatments can be used. The treatment strategy developed by Dr Lengerke could potentially be used for around 80 per cent of leukaemia patients. In such cases, leukaemia cells release a protein called «dickkopf-1» which is detrimental to healthy blood cells in the bone marrow. They lose their adhesion in the bone marrow and are replaced by diseased leukaemia cells which can spread freely. In lab research, Dr Lengerke proved that this can be counteracted by so-called WNT activators and therefore healthy blood stem cells can be protected while leukaemia cells can be impeded. The processes have to be further researched before a clinical study on patients can be started.
100,000 francs awarded every two years for research on haematological diseases
The «Fondation Peter Anton & Anna Katharina Miescher pour la recherche en hématologie» and the Swiss Society of Hematology have awarded Claudia Lengerke 100,000 francs for discovering new paths to finding better treatment for leukaemia patients. Dr Lengerke herself is engaged in the promotion of science. Since 2017, she has been a member of the scientific board at the «propatient» research foundation which promotes hands-on medical research and innovation at the University Hospital in Basel.
Baseball club and a melon involved in fight between neighbours in Lörrach
A row between two neighbours in Lörrach-Stetten escalated when one allegedly threatened the other with a baseball bat and took two of his bicycles.
According to police investigations, the two men had begun arguing for no apparent reason. One of them, a 34-year-old man, then allegedly threatened his neighbour before taking his bikes. They were later found in the flat of the accused man and together with the baseball bat, which were secured by the police. When the police arrived, the man was allegedly throwing marijuana out of the window as well as a honey melon, which burst open on the ground next to where the police officers were standing.
FC Concordia Basel plays in St. Jakob Park
In the first round of Helvetia Swiss Cup, FC Concordia Basel plays against title holder FC Zürich in St. Jakob Park.
The game will take place at St. Jakob Park at 6pm on Saturday, 18thAugust. The Swiss Football Association and the partner clubs FC Concordia Basel and FC Basel 1893 have agreed that the game could only take place in St. Jakob Park. On the weekend of 18th/19thAugust 2018, the big summer tournament of the Football Association of Northwest Switzerland will take place on the sports grounds St. Jakob. Therefore, the athletics stadium, the home stadium of Concordia Basel, will not be available for the cup match. Security-relevant aspects had to be considered as well. It is assumed that FC Zürich will arrive in Basel together with a big group of supporters and therefore St. Jakob Park is the best solution to warrant security for this football event. FC Concordia Basel is working closely with the Swiss Football Association and FC Basel 1893 in all operational respects.