Examples of research


The length of research projects most often exeeds 2 years. Major breakthroughs might take many years. Because of their long term character projects are highly capital intensive and without private funding impracticable. Our foundation supports promising projects right from the beginning and enables researchers at hospitals and universities to carry out 2 to 3 new studies and projects per year.

Blood building and leucemia 

The Down syndrome ist characterized by a number of conspicuous features : on one hand the generally known appearance and development delays and on the other affected children often suffer from congenital heart deseases, organic malformations or  abnormalities of the digestive and theurogenital tract. The rate ofrisk for acute lymphatic leukaemia might be increased – a desease characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer precursor cells (blasts  of normal white blood cells.

A specific form of leucemia -  themegacaryoblatic lucemia Leukämie that seldomly is diagnosed in children with noDown syndrome appears about 500 times more often in patients with Down syndrome.Through means of close control right after birth is has been found 10% ofchildren with Down syndrome experience a short period of lucemia right afterbirth whereafter they fully recover.    

Report Sylvia Höller, Univ.-Spital Basel - German only (0.23 MB)

ALDH and ALK, two stem cell-associated genes involved in NB tumour initiation and progression?

Neuroblastoma (NB) is a typical paediatric embryonal cancer, originating from neural crest-derived sympathetic progenitors, a highly heterogeneous and multipotent cell population. Our interest in this disease lies in its malignant and extremely complex behaviour, as it exhibits a wide range of differentiated phenotypes, from undifferentiated tumours, to tumours containing a neural crest-derived differentiated cell range. The considerable heterogeneity of the disease is mirrored by the range of clinical outcomes, which extends from spontaneous regression to extreme malignancy. The clinical and biological heterogeneity of NB is strongly believed to reflect its tissue of origin. 

We focused our investigations on 2 selected genes from the S-profile: Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) and PTN/ALK. The findings represent the first demonstration of an oncogenic activity of both ALK-wt and ALKR1275Qmutation, in addition to the ALK-F1174L mutant. They also strengthen the hypothesis of an essential involvement of the wild-type and mutated ALK gene in driving NB development as well as in the later steps of tumour progression.

Report Nicole Gross, CHUV Lausanne (0.14 MB)

Research into Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is the most common malignant tumor in newborns and still one of the most severe illnesses with cancer. Goal of the project: examination of biological characteristics of neuroblastoma using latest molecular biological techniques. This should give a better understanding why this desease might be cured with less therapy in few children while other patients die while heaviliy treated. In the course of this project researchers also study new investigation techniques that will be of major interest for further turmor related research.

Diagnostics of the juvenilevPolyposis syndrome

This project supported examines mutaitions of certain genes and shall enable for differentiation of  sporadically occurring polyposis in the digestive tract against hereditary juvenile polyposis syndrome. The results will help exclude healthy persons from unneccessary long-term examination and  stressful diagnostics.

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