Practical Course HP-F6: Oncolytic Viruses and Gene Therapy

Type: Practical Course with Student Seminars

Weeks 1-2: Autonomous Parvoviruses

Date: 22. February - 5. March 2021

Hosts/Supervisors: Jürg Nüesch (responsible organizer contact:, Christine Engeland, Guy Ungerechts, Antonio Marchini



Virotherapy represents a novel modality for cancer treatment based on tumor-selective virus infection, replication and spread (therefore also called Viral Oncolysis). Key advantages of this strategy are the implementation of a distinct means of cancer cell killing, amplification of the therapeutic agent in the patients’ tumor, and the opportunity to engineer the virus drug to match specific applications (for example virus capsid modification for targeted cell entry, insertion of therapeutic genes into the viral genome).



Principles of viral oncolysis as well as different oncolytic viruses will be introduced in a morning seminar by the group leaders of DKFZ virotherapy groups. The students will be provided with recent literature, which they will present in the seminar. Practical work will be performed in groups of two students in the different DKFZ virotherapy groups. Students will apply molecular biology, immunology, cell biology and virology techniques to address a scientific topic of oncolytic virus development or characterization.

Week 3: Gene Therapy/Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV)

Date: 8.-12. March 2021

Host: Dirk Grimm and co-workers (contact:

Topics and Content:

Gene therapy - Knockdown by RNAi and knockout by CRISPR

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