Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the standard therapies for local tumor treatment and results commonly in a significant loss of quality of life and, moreover, in many cases effectiveness is limited. For example, in the case of prostate cancer, about one-third of patients will develop progressive or metastatic disease within 10 years after conventional treatment [Oefelein, M.G. et al., J Urol 158 (1997) 1460-1465]. In early metastatic disease androgen ablation is effective, but in most cases androgen-independent tumors develop. Subsequently, no effective treatment for androgen-independent prostate disease is available.
A promising possibility to render a therapeutic cancer treatment more effective could be the development of cancer-specific vaccines. The idea behind this approach is to activate the body's own defense system (especially, cytotoxic T lymphocytes) against cancer cells.
The activities of our laboratory “Applied Immunology” are focussing on the development and preclinical characterization of new therapeutic vaccines against cervical and prostate cancer.
Currently, the research is addressing on the following projects:
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