Associate Professor of Surgery
Surgical Research Laboratories
Department of Surgery
Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 (0)1 40400 - 73744
FAX: +43 (0)1 40400 - 67820
Tumor immunology; viral immunology; oncolytic viruses; genetic engineering of influenza virus; immune-stimulatory agents; tumor-immune infiltrate; interleukin-24; inflammatory bowl disease; telomere regulation.
Translational Molecular Oncology and Inflammation
It is known that viruses and tumors suppress the immune system. We try to understand this virus/host and cancer/host interaction. The understanding of this interaction might provide us with new concepts to design viral vaccines, to develop drugs against viruses and to restore the function of the immune system to fight solid cancer.
With respect to viral immunology, we have characterized the influenza NS1 protein as an antagonist of the cellular antiviral response cascade. The deletion of this viral pathogenicity factor led to a new vaccine concept, which we tested up to phase I within a EU –sponsored consortium approach. Based on the NS1 deletion we have also engineered stable influenza A virus vectors, expressing foreign antigens or cytokines. Those vectors are now being tested as antigenic vectors or oncolytic viruses.
We are also interested in new antiviral drugs, which have the capability to restore the function of antiviral signal cascades, which are otherwise suppressed by viral proteins. In this line we test new agents developed by pharma. We test such pro-inflammatory drugs to restore the disabled immune function in cancer. We hypothesize, that pro-inflammatory agents such as oncolytic viruses or small molecule drugs will support current standard therapy in the future.
We further try to better characterize the immune response of the patients to cancer, as this might have prognostic of predictive impacts.
Analyzing the contribution of retroviral elements in cancer development, we found a significant tumor ablative impact of reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Therefore we are currently very interested in the role of reverse transcriptases in cancer development.
Kuznetsova I, Shurygina A-P, Wolf B, Wolschek M, Enzmann F, Sansyzbay A Khairullin B, Sandybayev N, Stukova M , Kiselev O, Egorov A, Bergmann M. Adaptive mutation in NEP allows stable transgene expression in a chimeric influenza A virus vector. J Gen. Virol. 2014 Feb;95(Pt 2):337-49
Petricevic B, Längle J, Singer J, Steger G, Bartsch R, Jensen-Jarolim E, Bergmann M. Metastatic disease progression of HER2/neu breast cancer patients does not influence trastuzumab mediated antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity or phagocytosis. J Transl. Med. 2013 Dec 12;11:307
Weiss R, Sachet M, Zinngrebe J, Aschacher T, Krainer M,Hegedus B, Walczak H, Bergmann M. IL-24 sensitizes tumor cells to TLR3-mediated apoptosis, Cell Death and Differentiation, 2013 Jun;20(6):823-33.
Aschacher T, Sampl S, Käser L, Bernhard D, Spittler A, Holzmann K, Bergmann M. The combined use of known antiviral reverse transcriptase inhibitors AZT and DDI induce anticancer effects at low concentrations. Neoplasia. 2012 Jan;14(1):44-53.
Wolschek M, Samm E, Seper H, Sturlan S, Kuznetsova I, Schwager C, Khassidov A, Kittel C, Muster T, Egorov A, Bergmann M. Establishment of a chimeric, replication-deficient influenza A virus vector by modulation of splicing efficiency. J Virol. 2011 Mar;85(5):2469-73.