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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Ascone L, Rohenkohl AC, Hurlemann R, Meisenzahl E, Riedel-Heller SG, Becker T, Bajbouj M, von Lilienfeld-Toal M, Gallinat J, Lambert M (2023) [Assessment of direct (COVID-19-Related) and collateral, psychosocial pandemic consequences for vulnerable groups by the example of serious mental illness]. Psychiatr Prax 50(7), 381-388.
Cesaro S, Mikulska M, Hirsch HH, Styczynski J, Meylan S, Cordonnier C, Navarro D, von Lilienfeld-Toal M, Mehra V, Marchesi F, Besson C, Masculano RC, Beutel G, Einsele H, Maertens J, de la Camara R, Ljungman P, Pagano L (2023) Update of recommendations for the management of COVID-19 in patients with haematological malignancies, haematopoietic cell transplantation and CAR T therapy, from the 2022 European Conference on Infections in Leukaemia (ECIL 9). Leukemia 37(9), 1933-1938.
Giesen N, Busch E, Schalk E, Beutel G, Rüthrich MM, Hentrich M, Hertenstein B, Hirsch HH, Karthaus M, Khodamoradi Y, Koehler P, Krüger W, Koldehoff M, Krause R, Mellinghoff SC, Penack O, Sandherr M, Seggewiss-Bernhardt R, Spiekermann K, Sprute R, Stemler J, Weissinger F, Wörmann B, Wolf HH, Cornely OA, Rieger CT, von Lilienfeld-Toal M (2023) AGIHO guideline on evidence-based management of COVID-19 in cancer patients: 2022 update on vaccination, pharmacological prophylaxis and therapy in light of the omicron variants. Eur J Cancer 181, 102-118. (Review)