68th Heidelberg Grand Rounds - Microbiome and Cancer



This year, the NCT Heidelberg is again organizing several Heidelberg Grand Rounds. The format is aimed at clinicians as well as  researchers and provides a platform for effective scientific exchange. Recognized experts will present the latest clinical and research results in selected oncological fields.

We look forward to welcoming you to the virtual conference room.  

Participation is free of charge. 

Thanks to our sponsor: 

MSD Sharp & Dohme GmbH - 1.500 €


The NCT Heidelberg is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and German Cancer Aid (DKH).

Organizer: Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD)
Event language: English

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    • 16:00 16:30
      Host Microbiome interactions in health and disease 30m

      The mammalian intestine contains trillions of microbes, a community that is dominated by members of the domain Bacteria but also includes members of Archaea, Eukarya, and viruses. The vast repertoire of this microbiome functions in ways that benefit the host. The mucosal immune system co-evolves with the microbiota beginning at birth, acquiring the capacity to tolerate components of the community while maintaining the capacity to respond to invading pathogens. The gut microbiota is shaped and regulated by multiple factors including our genomic composition, the local intestinal niche and multiple environmental factors including our nutritional repertoire and bio-geographical location. Moreover, it has been recently highlighted that dysregulation of these genetic or environmental factors leads to aberrant host-microbiome interactions, ultimately predisposing to pathologies ranging from chronic inflammation, obesity, the metabolic syndrome and even cancer. We have identified various possible mechanisms participating in the reciprocal regulation between the host and the intestinal microbial ecosystem, and demonstrate that disruption of these factors, in mice and humans, lead to dysbiosis and susceptibility to common multi-factorial disease. Understanding the molecular basis of host-microbiome interactions may lead to development of new microbiome-targeting treatments.

      Speaker: Prof. Eran Elinav (German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Weizmann Institute of Science )
    • 16:30 17:00
      The viral microbiome and cancer 30m

      The World Health Organization estimates that 15.4% of all human cancers are attributable to infections and 9.9% are linked to viruses. The nowadays large amount of available high throughput sequencing data enables to analyses cancer virus associations with a largely unbiased approach in unprecedented detail. We have analyzed a large cohort of 2658 tumors across 38 tumor types aggregated within the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) Consortium and identified known tumor associated viruses such as Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human papilloma virus (HPV). Furthermore, for specific tumour associated viruses a link to relevant genomic and expression changes could be shown. Now we are extending our analyses to additional patient cohorts understanding the link between viral infections and human cancers in more detail.

      Speaker: Dr Marc Zapatka (German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ))
    • 17:00 17:30
      Gut microbial biomarkers for CRC diagnosis 30m

      Georg Zeller is a Team Leader at EMBL Heidelberg. His group develops computational tools and analysis strategies to investigate microbiota-host interactions relevant to disease and therapy. He trained as a Computational Biologist at the Universities of Tübingen and Uppsala. After PhD work with Gunnar Rätsch and Detlef Weigel (Max Planck Institutes Tübingen) he did a postdoc with Peer Bork (EMBL).

      Speaker: Dr Georg Zeller (EMBL Heidelberg)
    • 17:30 18:00
      Gut microbiota and anti-cancer therapies. Mechanistic insights in proximal colon cancer 30m

      Besides tumor cell–intrinsic oncogenic pathways, host and environmental factors have a major impact on cancer immunosurveillance and the efficacy of immunotherapeutics. Several modalities of anticancer treatments including immunogenic chemotherapies and immunotherapies with checkpoint inhibitors lose therapeutic efficacy in patients treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics, pointing to a key role for the gut microbiota. The complex interactions between intestinal microbes, gut immunity and anti-tumor responses constitute an emerging field of investigation. Our recent works unravel the interplay between ileal factors including the local microbiota, intestinal epithelial cells and immune system impacting on the immunosurveillance of colon cancers and dictating the prognosis of proximal colon cancer patients.

      Speaker: Dr Maria Paula Roberti (German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ))