Within the framework of the 12 forimmun projects, new strategies are being developed together with 11 biotech companies to combat tumors and infections. The aim of the research network forimmun - New Strategies in Immunotherapy" is the development of novel concepts for the treatment of these diseases by means of defined manipulations of the body's defense mechanisms. Future achievements in this area will build upon recent progress made in the fields of genome research and molecular immunology. forimmun is funded by the Bavarian research foundation with 2.5 million Euro for three years. Despite increasing medical progress cancer and infectious diseases continue to be a substantial threat for the human population. Conventional therapies such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, surgery and irradiation have reached their limits. The occurrence of mutations and drug-resistance in pathogens and tumor cells cause considerable problems, as is the case for HIV (AIDS), where so far no vaccine has been developed. But also new variants of viruses and bacteria, like SARS or EHEC, are a great challenge for medical research. These examples point out that alternative therapeutic concepts for prevention and treatment of cancer and infections are required. Our immune system has the potential to recognize and respond to a variety of danger signals. Such signals may originate from attacks by infectious organisms, but may also result from internal harm caused by cancer cells. However, neoplastic cells and pathogens have gained skills to escape recognition and elimination by the immune response. Therefore, the new approach of immune therapy aims at restoring the bodys intrinsic capacity to recognize, attack and eliminate microbes and malignant cells.