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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Böttcher S, Hartung S, Meyer F, Rummler S, Voigt K, Walther G, Hochhaus A, von Lilienfeld-Toal M, Jahreis S (2021) Human mucosal-associated invariant T cells respond to Mucorales species in a MR1-dependent manner. Med Mycol 59(5), 505-509.
Giesen N, Sprute R, Rüthrich M, Khodamoradi Y, Mellinghoff SC, Beutel G, Lueck C, Koldehoff M, Hentrich M, Sandherr M, von Bergwelt-Baildon M, Wolf HH, Hirsch HH, Wörmann B, Cornely OA, Köhler P, Schalk E, von Lilienfeld-Toal M (2021) Evidence-based management of COVID-19 in cancer patients: Guideline by the infectious diseases working party (AGIHO) of the German Society for Haematology and Medical Oncology (DGHO). Eur J Cancer 140, 86-104.
Rüthrich MM, Giessen-Jung C, Borgmann S, Classen AY, Dolff S, Grüner B, Hanses F, Isberner N, Köhler P, Lanznaster J, Merle U, Nadalin S, Piepel C, Schneider J, Schons M, Strauss R, Tometten L, Vehreschild JJ, von Lilienfeld-Toal M, Beutel G, Wille K (2021) COVID-19 in cancer patients: clinical characteristics and outcome-an analysis of the LEOSS registry. Ann Hematol 100(2), 383-393.