Contact

 

Prof. Dr. Dr. Guy Ungerechts
guy.ungerechts@nct-heidelberg.de

Dr. Dr. Christine Engeland
christine.engeland@nct-heidelberg.de


Developing oncolytic measles virus vectors...

 

for clinical translation of immunovirotherapy.

Virotherapy

DKFZ
 
 
 

Significant accomplishments in the past 5 years

Our translational research focuses on oncolytic measles viruses for cancer therapy. A Phase I/II clinical trial of immunovirotherapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer is currently in preparation.

Achievements:

  • Development of oncolytic Measles virus vectors encoding anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-L1 to enhance immunovirotherapy and reduce side effects of checkpoint blockade (Engeland et al., Molecular Therapy 2014)
  • Proof of concept that oncolytic Measles virus can induce tumor-specific immunity, resulting in a protective tumor vaccination effect (Grossardt et al., Human Gene Therapy 2013)
  • Post-entry targeting of measles virus vectors via insertion of microRNA to increase safety of oncolytic agents (Leber et al. Molecular Therapy 2011; Baertsch et al., Cancer Gene Therapy 2014)
  • Establishment of targeted chemovirotherapy against lymphoma (Ungerechts et al. Cancer Research 2007; Ungerechts et al. Gene Therapy 2010), pancreatic cancer (Bossow et al. Cancer Gene Therapy 2011), head and neck cancer (Zaoui et al. Gene Therapy 2011) and malignant melanoma (Kaufmann et al. J Invest Dermatol 2013)

5 Most Significant Recent Publications

  • Engeland CE, Grossardt C, Veinalde R, Bossow S, Lutz D, Kaufmann JK, Shevchenko I, Umansky V, Nettelbeck DM, Weichert W, Jäger D, von Kalle C, Ungerechts G. CTLA-4 and PD-L1 checkpoint blockade enhances oncolytic measles virus therapy. Mol Ther. 2014 Nov;22(11):1949-59. doi: 10.1038/mt.2014.160.
  • Ketzer P, Kaufmann JK, Engelhardt S, Bossow S, von Kalle C, Hartig JS, Ungerechts G, Nettelbeck DM. Artificial riboswitches for gene expression and replication control of DNA and RNA viruses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Feb 4;111(5):E554-62. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1318563111.
  • Grossardt C, Engeland CE, Bossow S, Halama N, Zaoui K, Leber MF, Springfeld C, Jaeger D, von Kalle C, Ungerechts G. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor-armed oncolytic measles virus is an effective therapeutic cancer vaccine.  Hum Gene Ther. 2013 Jul;24(7):644-54. doi: 10.1089/hum.2012.205.
  • Kaufmann JK, Bossow S, Grossardt C, Sawall S, Kupsch J, Erbs P, Hassel JC, von Kalle C, Enk AH, Nettelbeck DM, Ungerechts G. Chemovirotherapy of malignant melanoma with a targeted and armed oncolytic measles virus. J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Apr;133(4):1034-42. doi: 10.1038/jid.2012.459.
  • Leber MF, Bossow S, Leonard VH, Zaoui K, Grossardt C, Frenzke M, Miest T, Sawall S, Cattaneo R, von Kalle C, Ungerechts G. MicroRNA-sensitive oncolytic measles viruses for cancer-specific vector tropism. Mol Ther. 2011 Jun;19(6):1097-106. doi: 10.1038/mt.2011.55.

Funding

  • Deutsche Krebshilfe (PI: G. Ungerechts)
  • HIPO (Heidelberg Center for Personalized Oncology) (PIs: G. Ungerechts and C. E. Engeland)
  • Else-Kröner-Fresenius Stiftung (PI: C. E. Engeland)
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (PI: C. E. Engeland)

Awards

  • Helmholtz International Graduate School (Fellowships to M. F. Leber, C. E. Engeland, T. Speck)
  • Melanie and Eduard zur Hausen Foundation (Fellowship to R. Veinalde)
  • MD/PhD Program, Medical Faculty Heidelberg (Fellowship to C. E. Engeland)
  • Physician Scientist Program, Medical Faculty Heidelberg (Fellowships to C. E. Engeland, M. F. Leber)
  • Rahel Goitein-Straus Program, Medical Faculty Heidelberg (Fellowship to E. Czink)
  • Heinrich Behr Foundation (Fellowships to M. Singh, M. Bärtsch, K. Kubon)
  • Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) Investigator Award 2015 (G. Ungerechts)
  • Terry Fox New Investigator Award 2016 (G. Ungerechts)