Division of Genome Modifications and Carcinogenesis
Prof. Dr. Lutz Gissmann
Because currently available vaccines against certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) for the prevention of cervical cancer are far from perfect, our group is developing second-generation vaccines, i.e. the generation of cheaper prophylactic vaccines, the development of an HPV16 therapeutic DNA vaccine for the treatment of cervical neoplasia, the generation of an HPV16 particle-based vaccine with combined prophylactic and therapeutic properties and the development of a vaccine for the prevention of skin papillomatosis in organ transplant recipients.
Our vaccine program includes basic research to generate a vaccine against different strains of HIV. Based on a high-throughput plattform for multiplex detection of antibodies and nucleic acids we are participating in large epidemiologic trials to evaluate the role of HPV and other microbes in cancer for which an infectious etiology has not yet been established.
The program on Foamyviruses from different animal species deals with their host restriction and the evaluation of a possible inter-species transmission (zoonosis) with the potential for acquiring transforming properties in humans. We study the role two classes of molecules (cyclooxygenases and lipoxygenases) that are central in chronic inflammation which is a well-defined risk factor for cancer development.
We plan to evaluate our candidate vaccines as described above in clinical trials with the aim to develop them into commercial products. Our high-throughput platform that is suited to simultaneously screen for antibodies against a variety of viruses and bacteria will be expanded to evaluate so far undescribed links between infection and cancer. These analyses will include foamyviruses to evaluate their potential role in human cancer. The high-throughput multiplex platform will also be used to test for HPV-specific nucleic acids as early biomarker for development of cervical cancer.
Senger T, Schädlich L, Textor S, Klein C, Michael KM, Buck CB, Gissmann L. Virus-like particles and capsomeres are potent vaccines against cutaneous alpha HPVs Vaccine Vaccine 2010, 28:1583-93
Schmitt M, Dalstein V, Waterboer T, Clavel C, Gissmann L, Pawlita M. Diagnosing Cervical Cancer and High-Grade Precursors by HPV16 Transcription Patterns Cancer Res 2010, 70:249-256
Dell K, Koesters R, Linnebacher M, Klein C, Gissmann L. Intransasal immunization with human papillomavirus type 16 capsomeres in the presence of non-toxic cholera toxin-based adjuvants elicits increased vaginal immunoglobulin levels. Vaccine (2006)24:2238-2247
Schädlich L, Senger T, Gerlach B, Mücke N, Klein C, Bravo IG, Müller M, Gissmann L: Analysis of modified HPV 16 L1 capsomeres: The ability to assemble into larger particles correlates with higher immunogenicity. J Virol 2009, 83:7690-705