Hochschulmedizin Zurich SKINTEGRITY


Skin cancer, wound healing, inflammatory skin disease

Project Overview

SKINTEGRITY.CH is a collaborative research initiative, which brings together experts from different disciplines from Swiss and selected external institutions to address the following overarching aims:

  • To gain a mechanistic understanding of skin repair and disease using a highly interdisciplinary approach
  • To develop novel approaches for improved diagnosis and treatment of impaired wound healing and inflammatory and malignant skin diseases
  • To provide an interdisciplinary training for the next generation of scientists, clinicians and engineers

SKINTEGRITY.CH is based on the Zurich Initiative “SKINTEGRITY”, which was selected as flagship project of “Hochschulmedizin Zürich” (University Medicine Zurich) in 2016. Due to its remarkable success and positive evaluation of new projects, the program was prolonged and extended to various Swiss universities and research institutions in 2021.

SKINTEGRITY.CH unites leading experts in basic science, engineering and clinical medicine with the aim to better understand, diagnose and treat major human skin diseases, including various types of skin cancer. It also provides unique training opportunities for young investigators at the interface between disciplines. The project strongly benefits from the knowledge and expertise of researchers from twelve Swiss universities/research institutions.


Dr. Maarten Schledorn, Scientific Coordinator of SKINTEGRITY.CH


Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) is a genetically modified herpes simplex 1 virus (HSV-1) approved for cancer therapy. A team of SKINTEGRITY.CH researchers and colleagues investigated its effect on the clinical, histological, single-cell transcriptomic, and immune repertoire level using repeated fine-needle aspirates (FNAs) of injected and noninjected lesions in primary cutaneous B cell lymphoma (pCBCL). Oncolytic virotherapy resultd in a rapid eradication of malignant cells. It also lead to interferon pathway activation and early influx of natural killer cells, monocytes, and dendritic cells. These events were followed by enrichment in cytotoxic T cells and a decrease of regulatory T cells in injected and noninjected lesions.

From: Ramelyte, E., Tastanova, A., Balázs, Z., Ignatova, D., Turko, P., Menzel, U., Guenova, E., Beisel, C., Krauthammer, M., Levesque, M. P., & Dummer, R. (2021). Oncolytic virotherapy-mediated anti-tumor response: a single-cell perspective. Cancer Cell, 39(3), 394-406. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2020.12.022 (Authors in bold are SKINTEGRITY.CH Principal or Young Investigators)