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Applied ViroTherapeutics Group

Engineering, combining, and translating virus-based cancer therapeutics


In our research group, we aim at engineering, combining, and translating novel oncolytic virus-based immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. Combining expertise in clinical oncology, immunology and molecular biology we target research question in virotherapy with an emphasis on the translational application. Our multi-layer approach includes many steps from advanced genetic engineering, to virological and immunological characterization of novel oncolytic viruses, to utilizing (patient-derived) 3D tumor models, all with the goal of translating promising oncolytic immunotherapies from bench to bedside.

We primarily, but not exclusively, work with vaccine strain-derived Measles viruses, which are enveloped, ssRNA viruses that have an excellent safety record and some level of inherent oncotropism. In addition, measles viruses can be genetically engineered on multiple levels for increased tumor specificity and anti-cancer efficacy.

Some of our core project include:

In our research activities, we closely collaborate with local, national or international researchers and clinicians with respect to viruses, molecular tools and patient-derived tumor models for characterization of our virotherapy approaches (see project outlines).

The Applied ViroTherapeutics Group of the CCU Virotherapy


German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) - project grant, Alois Hirdt-Erben und Wieland-Stiftung - project grant, German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe) - fellowship


Mathias F. Leber, MD, PhD

mathias.leber (at)

Katia Dittus, M.Sc.

katia.dittus (at)

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