Research Program Infection and Cancer
Coordinator Prof. Dr. Lutz Gissmann
Viruses play a crucial role in a number of cancers. This Research Program investigates the mechanisms by which viruses cause cancer and the ways by which the body defends itself. In addition, researchers are isolating and characterizing unknown viruses from tumor material. Special attention is directed to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of such viral infections. Furthermore, scientists are working on methods using viruses to selectively kill cancer cells or as vehicles for introducing therapeutic genes into cells. Current focuses of tumor-virological research are:
- Papilloma viruses and their role in cancers of the genital organs, the mouth and throat, and the skin
- Parvoviruses as direct inhibitors of tumor growth and as gene vectors for cancer treatment
- Retroviruses (HIV, spumaviruses) for developing specific therapies
- Anelloviruses (TT viruses) and their effect on the host cell genome
- Herpesviruses (Epstein-Barr virus) in the development of malignant tumors and as gene vectors for cancer therapy.