vom 07/27/2017

22nd anniversary of the German Society of Genetic- Therapy e.V. in Heidelberg. Genetic-Therapy: treating diseases with genetic surgery

To repair or exchange defect gens in order to grab diseases at their roots: this is the goal of genetic-therapy.  During a congress in September, scientists will discuss how far science and practice has actually come. The German Society of Genetic-Therapy and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg invite to an international meeting at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ. Welcome are all interested physicians and members of the society.

With the help of genetic-therapy, defect and disease-triggering gens are meant to be repaired or exchanged in order to implement new features into the cells. Scientists want to treat hereditary or acquired diseases with the tool of genetic surgery. The tool box holds viruses and molecular scissors as support systems for gens that are to be exchanged. At present, modern genetic scissors revolutionize the research in biology and medicine like the PCR-method with its highly sensible DNA-evidence before.

Currently, scientists test several different experimental genetic-therapies to treat cancer. One approach consists of smuggling genes of toxic molecules into cancer cells. Other concepts are aiming at the correction of cancerous mutations or to activate processes that normally remove these defects. A lot of other ideas originate from the knowledge of how tumors remain undetected from the immune system, how they are supplied with blood or sustain their growth and develop metastases. First genetic medications are approved by the European Medicine Agency. However, many approaches are far from being clinically implemented. 

The program of the DG-GT annual conference will address several facets of genetic-therapy in lectures and poster-presentations: What are the newest findings? What makes it so difficult and risky to make changes to genotypes? What potential does genetic-therapy have for personalized medicine? "We expect many internationally renowned national and international colleagues”, reports Prof. Dr. Christof von Kalle, President of this years’ conference and Managing Director at the NCT Heidelberg.

Five impulsive-lectures will be dedicated to the focus area of genetic-therapy: oncolytic viruses that can directly kill tumor cells, genetic-editing, coordination of studies, imaging modality and viral vectors.

The DG-GT e.V. (www.dg-gt.de) unites fundamental scientists and clinicians who engage in genetic-transfer and genetic-therapeutic radiation strategies. The DG-T views it as their task to connect scientists. Together with other national expert associations the society works to apply genetic-therapeutic approaches clinically as fast as possible.