Tumours and Inflammation What does chronic inflammation have to do with tumours?

Around one-fifth of all tumorous diseases are now thought to be caused by chronic inflammation. It has long been known that patients who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, chronic gastritis and ulcerative colitis, have a higher risk of a tumour developing in the affected tissues or organs. Many environmental and lifestyle factors – for instance smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity and sunburn – cause inflammatory reactions in the body and therefore increase the risk of cancer. The LOEWE research cluster “Tumours and inflammation” is studying the precise interaction of inflammatory cells and tumour cells, and hopes to use this knowledge to develop new cancer treatment strategies.

Research continues after LOEWE funding

Nine of the 19 research groups within the LOEWE research cluster are continuing their work in the Collaborative Research Centre TRR81 “Chromatin Changes in Differentiation and Malignancies”, which is funded by the DFG. Researchers from Philipps-Universität Marburg, Justus Liebig University Giessen, the Max-Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research and the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam are taking part in this joint research initiative.

A further seven research groups will be working together in the newly established Centre for Tumour and Immunobiology (ZTI), which will be opened in February 2014 and is located near to the University Hospital and the Biomedical Research Centre (BMFZ). Excellent opportunities for further close cooperation will thus be created.

LOEWE Research Cluster


  • Philipps-Universität Marburg
  • Justus Liebig University Giessen

Fields of study

  • Cell biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular biology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Immunology
  • Medicine

Funding period

2008 to 2012

Project Coordinator

  • Prof. Dr. Rolf Müller,
    Prof. Dr. Harald Renz,
    Prof. Dr. Michael Lohoff,
    Philipps-Universität Marburg


  • Marburg

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