PD Dr. Ivaylo Gentschev
Due to the increasing life expectancy of humans, the incidence of cancer is rising. Technical advancement of diagnostic procedures, which have improved the ability todetect cancerous diseases, has also likely contributed to this. Hence, the need for the development of new and more effective therapies to combat cancer is even more pertinent considering the current situation. The main objective of a modern cancer therapy should be the complete elimination of metastases as well as eradication of the primary tumour, while at the same time ensuring patient safety. Furthermore, in contrast to current available treatments - including surgical removal of the tumour, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy -a modern therapy should focus on the selective recognition anddestruction of tumour cells. Admittedly, the specific targeting of malignant cells in practice is strongly compromised by the exceedingly high genetic and phenotypic variability of most tumours. However, an elegant way to circumvent this hindrance is theuse of microorganisms capable of selectively accumulating in tumour tissues and displaying anti-tumour activity.
The major aim of our research projects is the development of novel cancer therapeutics based on either attenuated vaccinia virus strains, or attenuated bacteria like Salmonellaand Eschericha coli spp. In addition to the destruction of tumour cells, these microorganisms may also be able to aid in the diagnosis of cancer and in the localisationof metastases.
Current Research Projects:
- Type I protein secretion system in gram-negative bacteria
- Protein and DNA delivery systems for development of subunit vaccines
- Anti-cancer vaccines on the basis of intracellular bacteria and viruses
Genelux , San Diego, USA
Deutsch-Französisches Graduiertenkolleg 1141/1
- Prof. Dr. Werner Goebel, Uni Würzburg/ Uni Munich
- Dr. Guido Dietrich, Berna Biotech, Berne, Switzerland
- Prof. Dr. Ulf R. Rapp, Uni Würzburg
- Prof. Dr. Roland Benz, Biotechnologie, Uni Würzburg