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 to detect 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 tumor, while at the same time ensuring patient safety. Furthermore, in contrast to current available treatments - including surgical removal of the tumor, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy - a modern therapy should focus on the selective recognition and destruction of tumor cells. Admittedly, the specific targeting of malignant cells in practice is strongly compromised by the exceedingly high genetic and phenotypic variability of most tumors. However, an elegant way to circumvent this hindrance is the use of microorganisms capable of selectively accumulating in tumor tissues and displaying anti-tumor activity.
The major aim of our research projects is the development of novel cancer therapeutics either based on attenuated Vaccinia virus strains, or attenuated bacteria like Salmonella and Eschericha coli spp. In addition to the destruction of tumor cells, these microorganisms may also be able to aid in the diagnosis of cancer and in the localisation of metastases.
Current Research Projects:
1. Anti-cancer vaccines on the basis of intracellular bacteria and viruses
2. Protein and DNA delivery systems for development of subunit vaccines
Hope Realized Medical Foundation, USA