CEO of ActiTrexx GmbH and Department Head of Skin and Lymph Node Sonography at the University Medical Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany
Andrea Tüttenberg has shown that malignant melanoma can be fought by loading a special type of immune cells from the blood with tumour elements and reintroducing these cells into the body as a vaccine. This enables the immune system to recognize the tumour cells as foreign and kill them. Together with colleagues in Mainz, Andrea Tüttenberg also developed a new strategy for treating graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), which can occur after transplanting blood stem cells in leukemic patients. Her approach exploits the body’s own ability to maintain immunologic tolerance using regulatory T cells and thus avoids the severe side effects of conventional GvHD treatments, such as infections and relapse of leukemia. At ActiTrexx, she is developing this approach further to enable the safe transplantation of blood stem cells and new options to treat autoimmune diseases.