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The working group

Experimental Immunobiology

Head: Assoc. prof. Dr. Brigitte Kircher

The working group Experimental Immunobiology is mainly concerned with immunological studies on multiple myeloma, an incurable disease in which B cells, called plasma cells, produce abnormal amounts of antibodies in the bone marrow. Clinical trials show that the use of a combination of myeloma-specific therapeutics (eg, bortezomib) and medications that improve the quality of life and avoid complications (eg, denosumab for the prevention / treatment of osteolyses (dissolution of the bone tissue)) results in prolonged restraint Disease. This effect, as well as the effect of further preclinical drugs on myeloma cell lines, and later on individual cell types of the immune system, is the subject of current research.

Furthermore, we investigate whether matrix metalloproteinases (zinc-dependent endopeptidases, which enzymatically cleave peptide bonds within a protein) can be established in the blood plasma of myelopathies as a biomarker for distinguishing high-risk and low-risk patients and also a prediction for the response of patients The therapy. Subsequently, the exact mechanism of action of the matrix metalloproteinases on the bone marrow microenvironment (milieu in the bone marrow) of the myelopathies is to be investigated. In this area, we are working closely with the working group Jöhrer-Deym.

The testing of the biological activity of newly developed substances, which could have anti-tumoral or anti-leukemic activity, is another area of ​​research. At present, further development, including the identification of new mechanisms of action, of non-platinum-containing metal complexes (such as salt complexes), substances based on sulfur ureas, and the biological activity of estrogen receptor agonists 30 (G protein coupled membrane bound estrogen receptor, GPR30). In this area, close co-operation with the working group of Prof. Dr. Ronald Gust (Institute for Pharmacy of the Freie Universität Berlin and Institute of Pharmacy, Innsbruck), Prof. Mark McLachlan (University of Vancouver) and Prof. Fabian Mohr (Department C - Inorganic Chemistry, Bergische Universität Wuppertal).

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The Tyrolean Cancer Research Institute has the goal to develope new cancer therapy concepts and to get them to clinical use. This ambitious achievement underlines the creative optimism wich inspires the whole initiative.
Head: Assoc. prof. Dr. Brigitte Kircher


Würtenberger I1, Follia V, Lerch F, Cwikla C, Fahrner N, Kalchschmidt C, Flögel B, Kircher B, Gust R.. J Med Chem 2014, 58(2)588-97