How does lymph node involvement affect lung cancer?

Photo: Marwitz

Dr. Sebastian Marwitz, ARCN PI, has been awarded the InCa grant by Novartis worth €20,000, which he will use to gain a better understanding of the unique characteristics of lung tumors that have already spread to the lymph nodes.

When a patient’s lymph nodes are affected, it indicates an advanced stage of cancer. But what distinguishes tumors in people with and without affected lymph nodes? Dr. Sebastian Marwitz from the Research Center Borstel can now investigate this in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) thanks to the InCa grant from Novartis.

Understanding the role of inflammation processes in cancer

“InCa” stands for “Innovation in Lung Cancer.” Marwitz’s project, titled “Good neighbour, bad neighbour: How spatial patterns influence local and distant inflammatory processes in lung cancer,” will investigate the differences in gene activity between patients with and without lymph node involvement. By identifying unique gene expressions in tumors, this knowledge could help identify new target structures for drug development.

Novartis supports risky research initiatives

Whether such differences exist is entirely open. This is precisely why it is essential to support this type of risky research: many funding bodies do not support such studies and instead focus on projects with a lot of prior knowledge. Sebastian Marwitz sees a benefit for research regardless of whether the results contradict his hypothesis. He says, “Even if the results contradict my hypothesis, a dataset of inestimable value will be generated for translational research, which will positively influence further research projects.”

Marwitz is Principal Investigator at ARCN and DZL. He is an expert in multiplex immunohistochemistry, multispectral imaging, and transcriptome. His particular interest lies in the spatial relationships and interactions within lung cancer tissue.

Novartis awarded the InCa grant to three young researchers in the fields of oncology and immunology, with each grant worth €20,000.



Website of Novartis  [in German]

Call for InCa Award 2023 – Deadline 15 August 2023 [in German]



updated 27 June 2023

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