Tanja Limberger awarded Carl von Rokitansky-Prize

Tanja Limberger was awarded the Carl von Rokitansky-Prize at the autumn meeting of the Austrian Society for Clinical Pathology and Molecular Pathology. As lead author of a research team led by Lukas Kenner from MedUni Vienna’s Clinical Institute of Pathology as part of a joint project with CBmed (Centre for Biomarker Research in Medicine), a COMET K1 centre funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), Tanja Limberger studied the causes of metastasis in prostate cancer. The study was published in the prestigious journal Molecular Cancer.

The -KMT2C Methyltransferase Domain regulated INK4A expression suppresses Prostate Cancer metastasis- study was published in the highly respected Molecular Cancer journal on 30 March 2022. For her outstanding achievement in the field of pathology, lead author Tanja Limberger was awarded the Carl von Rokitanksy Prize, sponsored by Roche, at the autumn meeting of the Austrian Society for Clinical Pathology and Molecular Pathology, which is bestowed in memory of the Austrian pathologist Carl von Rokitansky (1804-1878).

The study investigated the role of the KMT2C protein in prostate cancer. KMT2C is a genetic component that plays a key role in regulating important cell processes. As it turned out, this protein loses its regulatory ability due to cancer-typical mutations, which stimulates the activation of the proliferative MYC signalling pathway. This in turn leads to increased cell division and to the growth and spread of the tumour. "In this work, we were able to demonstrate, using a transgenic prostate cancer mouse model, that a loss of the catalytically active domain of the epigenetic regulator KMT2C is associated with aggressive prostate tumours and promotes metastasis," according to Tanja Limberger. "In the course of analysing data from a publicly available cohort of prostate cancer patients, we were able to identify expression patterns similar to the model system in KMT2C-mutated tumours and show that these mutations are associated with a worse prognosis." Thus, this scientific research offers new insights into the still poorly understood transition from localised to metastatic prostate cancer.

About the Recipient
Tanja Limberger studied biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna from 2008-2014. In 2015, she began her doctoral studies with Lukas Kenner at the Medical University of Vienna, during which she focused on molecular mechanisms of oncogenesis in prostatic carcinoma. Since 2021, Tanja Limberger has been a research associate at the Centre for Biomarker Research in Medicine (Cbmed GmbH), where MedUni Vienna is also represented.