Jolanda de Vries, Dept. of Tumor Immunology, theme Cancer development and immune defense has been awarded the 2017 Huibregtsen Prize for her work on natural dendritic cell vaccines. This award is given to a research project that is scientifically innovative and benefits society.Jolanda de Vries investigates the role of dendritic cells in the defence against various forms of cancer and studies the effectiveness of dendritic cell therapy. Dendritic cells play an important role in immune responses. In response to infection or inflammation, and in response to cancer, dendritic cells undergo a complicated maturation process, after which they ultimately present fragments (proteins) from the pathogens or cancer cells to T cells in the lymph nodes. These are the ‘killer cells’ of the immune system. Due to the priming from the dendritic cells, they are able to recognise and attack cancer cells.
About the prize (in Dutch)
Film about the research (in Dutch)
Vaccine to target cancer cellsFrom these dendritic cells, de Vries developed a vaccine against cancer. For this purpose, dendritic cells are removed from the patient and taken to the laboratory where they are primed with tumour proteins. These cells are then returned to the patient, causing the T cells to attack the targeted tumour cells. The major benefit of this therapy is that it attacks tumour cells throughout the body with very few side effects, partly because the T cells are natural to the patient’s body.
The only one in the world, entirely on her ownThe jury of the Huibregtsen Prize stressed that Jolanda de Vries is currently the only researcher in the world who is carrying out studies based on natural dendritic cell-based vaccines. Remarkably, she has taken her research to patients entirely on her own, without the intervention of the pharmaceutical industry. The fact that the treatment with natural dendritic cell vaccines is provisionally paid for by basic health insurance is also exceptional. These aspects indicate how unique and important this work is.
About the Huibregtsen PrizeWinners of the Huibregtsen Prize receive a bronze sculpture, De Denker, created by Wil van der Laan, and a sum of € 25,000 to be spent on research. Previous winners of the Huibregtsen Prize from Nijmegen were professors Bart Jacobs (2012), Rutger Engels (2011) and Theo Rasing (2008).
Every year the prize is awarded as part of the Avond van Wetenschap & Maatschappij (‘Evening of Science and Society’), an annual event in the Ridderzaal in The Hague that is attended by leaders from science, culture, business, politics, media and sports, and is chaired by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science.
Related news items
Laurens Verscheijden awarded doctorate degree 'cum laude'19 January 2022
Laurens Verscheijden of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, defended his PhD thesis, entitled "Mechanistic models for the prediction of brain drug exposure and response in the paediatric population: A virtual child reaching maturation.read more
Aerobe exercise has a positive effect on brain function in Parkinson's disease patients18 January 2022
Radboudumc researchers have shown that the brain function of patients with Parkinson's disease improved with regular exercise, which seems to strengthen the connections between different brain areas, while inhibiting brain shrinkage.read more
Last call for nominations for the RIHS Awards 2021 Deadline for submission is 25 January 202218 January 2022
RIHS researchers are invited to propose candidates for the RIHS PhD Award, the Societal Impact Award, the Science Award, the Supervisor of the Year Award, and the RIHS Patient Involvement Award.read more
Rogier Kievit and Geert Litjens both receive ERC Starting Grant of 1.5 million euros Board of Directors congratulates researchers on top grant13 January 2022
Researchers Rogier Kievit and Geert Litjens were today festively welcomed by the Board of Directors, because of the ERC Starting Grants they both received. With these European top grants, they can each design an ambitious research project and put together their own research group.read more
Improved AI will boost cancer research and cancer care Geert Litjens receives ERC Starting Grant13 January 2022
Geert Litjens from Radboud university medical center has received a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant.read more
Understanding fluctuation variation in cognitive abilities may provide insight into lifelong learning Rogier Kievit recieves ERC Starting Grant13 January 2022
Rogier Kievit from Radboud university medical center has received a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant.read more