We focus on infections in cancer patients

Infections are the major cause of treatment-related mortality in patients with malignant diseases. This is commonly believed to be due to a profound immunosuppression, which makes patients susceptible to opportunistic infections. Invasive fungal infections are a good example for such opportunistic infections, which almost never occur in healthy individuals and which are exceptionally difficult to diagnose. In addition, treatment of invasive fungal infection is often toxic and not very successful. For these reasons, invasive fungal infections in patients with hematological malignancies have a very high mortality rate. Besides opportunistic infections, cancer patients are at risk of common infections, which often take a more severe clinical course than in healthy individuals. This is believed to be the case with infections concerning respiratory viruses like influenza or adenovirus.

We aim at understanding the pathogenesis and clinical course of some of these infections with the goal to improve diagnostics and clinical treatment of these patients.


Marie von Lilienfeld-Toal

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Goldmann M, Schmidt F, Cseresnyés Z, Orasch T, Jahreis S, Hartung S, Figge MT, von Lilienfeld-Toal M, Heinekamp T, Brakhage AA (2023) The lipid raft-associated protein stomatin is required for accumulation of dectin-1 in the phagosomal membrane and for full activity of macrophages against Aspergillus fumigatus. mSphere [Epub ahead of print]
Fendler A, de Vries EGE, GeurtsvanKessel CH, Haanen JB, Wörmann B, Turajlic S, von Lilienfeld-Toal M (2022) COVID-19 vaccines in patients with cancer: immunogenicity, efficacy and safety. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 19(6), 385-401. (Review)
Hoang TNM*, Cseresnyés Z*, Hartung S*, Blickensdorf M, Saffer C, Rennert K, Mosig AS, von Lilienfeld-Toal M, Figge MT (2022) Invasive aspergillosis-on-chip: A quantitative treatment study of human Aspergillus fumigatus infection. Biomaterials 283, 121420.