The Radboudumc receives 2.56 million Euros from the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) for three studies to ensure oncological progress during COVID-19. The projects that have been awarded focus on innovative research into ovarian cancer and groundbreaking immunotherapy.
Preventing Hereditary Ovarian Cancer - Joanne de Hullu
Women with an inherited error in the genes BRCA1 or BRCA2 have a greatly increased risk of ovarian cancer. They are advised to have their fallopian tubes and ovaries removed. This procedure is very effective, reducing the risk of ovarian cancer by 80-96%, but ovarian removal also leads to early menopause, with all its adverse consequences.
Joanne de Hullu, gynecologist, is investigating whether it is safe to remove the fallopian tubes (the presumed origin of ovarian cancer) first and only later the ovaries. The results of her previous KWF research show that this improves quality of life, especially in terms of menopausal symptoms and sexual functioning.
In a large international study, Joanne de Hullu is now going to further map the risks. Together with nine other countries, she is investigating how often ovarian cancer occurs in women who opted for the new approach and what their quality of life is like. De Hullu hopes to show that the risk of ovarian cancer remains the same, but that patients experience a much better quality of life.
Improving immunotherapy - Harry Dolstra and Gosse Adema
There are also two studies that focus on immunotherapy. This research focuses on a groundbreaking treatment that helps the patient's immune system to clear cancer cells on its own.
Harry Dolstra, associate professor at the Laboratory of Hematology, is working on immunotherapy for ovarian cancer using 'natural killer' cells. He is investigating the possibility of growing these types of immune cells in large quantities so that they can be injected directly, rather than small amounts for each patient individually. In addition, these "natural killer" cells are equipped with a CAR (chimeric antigen receptor), which serves as a kind of "grappler'' that enables them to better recognize and clear cancer cells.
Gosse Adema professor of molecular immunology in the Radiotherapy & Oncoimmunology (ROI) laboratory of the Department of Radiotherapy, is researching sialic acids and their receptors. Sialic acids are sugars that cancer cells produce in increased amounts to protect themselves from attacks by the immune system. Gosse Adema is investigating whether the effect of immunotherapy can be improved by blocking these sialic acids or their receptors on immune cells.
The awards are part of the latest round of funding from KWF, in which more than 30 million Euros will be awarded to Dutch cancer research.
Related news items
Call Dutch L’Oréal UNESCO for Women in Science fellowships12 May 2021
The Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO invite you to nominate eminent women scientists for the 2022 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards. Deadline 31 May 2021.read more
Dried pepper and video games: novel proteins to generate small RNAs11 May 2021
Joep Joosten and colleagues determined the composition of PIWI protein complexes to provide novel insights into the piRNA pathway of virus-transmitting mosquitoes. They published this recently in Cell reports.read more
Four NWO Open Competition Grants for Radboud researchers11 May 2021
Four researchers from Radboud University and Radboudumc receive a NWO Open Competion grant from the NWO Domain Social Sciences and Humanities.read more
Miniaturized microfluidic platform for automated epigenetic profiling6 May 2021
Together with Fluidigm, a US-based company focusing on microfluidics, the team of Hendrik Marks publishes in Genome Research the development of a powerful plug and play ChIP-seq platform for minute amount of cells, such as embryonic specimens or small biopsies.read more
Broken teeth coronastress poses a danger to our teeth6 May 2021
Teeth grinding and molars on top of each other: stress from corona causes an increase in dental damage. That's what they noticed at the department of dentistry at Radboudumc.read more
Annual Paper Awards of Research Theme Tumors of the Digestive Tract4 May 2021
The annual Paper Awards session of the Research Theme Tumors of the Digestive Tract took place at the 22nd of April. The selected candidates prepared wonderful informative movies, that were judged by the public of the RRR and by our patient representatives.read more