Research Departments Tumor Immunology

About us Department of Tumor Immunology

This department investigates how the immune system can be used in the treatment of tumors. read more

About us Department of Tumor Immunology

The immune system has the tremendous task to eliminate pathogens and eradicate arising tumors, while preventing auto-reactive responses that are harmful to the host. In keeping with balancing this dual task, a complex interplay between immune cells exists and many stimulatory and inhibitory circuits are in place. Deregulation of this intricate balance is directly associated with human diseases, ranging from inflammatory and autoimmune disorders to infection and cancer.  

The mission of the Department of Tumor Immunology is to provide a comprehensive scientific and educational research program in the field of cellular and molecular immunology and translational research aimed at clinical application in cancer. To this end molecular and cell biological research is being carried out on receptors at the surface of so-called dendritic cells (DC). These are cells with long fimbriae which make tumor cells eminently 'recognisable' to the immune system. Clinical research in which cancer patients are vaccinated with these dendritic cells is also being conducted.

Merging of departments

As of February 2023, this department is part of the new Medical BioSciences department.

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prof. dr. Jolanda de Vries
head of department

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Our researchers Tumor Immunology

A list of researchers connected to this department. read more


Tumor Immunology Faculty are specialists in their respective fields. Together they manage and supervise a group of about 60 employees within this department. see staff members


The main teaching tasks of the department of Tumor Immunology are within the Faculty of Medical Sciences and of Sciences. read more


The main Bachelor's blocks of these curricula are: Immunology and Oncology. Furthermore, the department coordinates the optional block for curriculum Medicine Gene and Immunotherapy and heavily participate in newly developed optional block of Biomedical Sciences: Cancer Research.

International Master's courses have been developed for Biomedical Sciences and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease.

The department plays an important role in the international Master's program Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (MMD), since Tumor Immunology is one of the core themes of the program. Faculty members of the department coordinate the main courses: Excellence in Communication and Core Fundamental Theme a (Immune Regulation). Regularly, members of our department organize Master's classes within the MMD education.

Within the Faculty of Science our department participates in the Master's curriculum of Molecular Life Sciences in the blocks Understanding of Molecular basis of the disease, Cellular communication, and Cause and effect in tissue damage and in the Master curriculum of Biology/Medical Biology in the blocks Immunology, and Molecular and Translational Oncology.

In addition, the members of the department are active in the Honours program of the Medical Faculty, in the activities organized by research institutes RIMLS and Research Institute for Oncology, as well as in Capita Selecta series.


Dendritic Cell (DC) therapy represents a promising immunotherapeutic approach for the treatment of cancer. The beauty of DC therapy is that it exploits the body's own immune system to fight cancer. read more


Dendritic Cell (DC) therapy represents a promising immunotherapeutic approach for the treatment of cancer. The beauty of DC therapy is that it exploits the body's own immune system to fight cancer. Since 1997 we perform clinical trials to test the potency of this approach. For each patient a specialized vaccine is prepared from immune cells isolated from the blood. In specialized cleanrooms, a personalized DC vaccine is prepared after which patients are vaccinated.

So far, our clinical trials are mainly focused on melanoma, a cancer of the pigmented cells of the skin. We have treated more than 350 patients until now and observed that DC vaccination is well tolerated with minimal side effects.

> more information in Dutch at

Job opportunities and internships Tumor Immonology

Throughout the year the Department of Tumor Immunology recruits motivated PhD candidates, postdocs or technicians for new projects. Please visit the Radboudumc site for more information and to apply for current positions. You are welcome to inform at any time also for vacancies not outlined. We advise you to send your CV accompanied with a motivation letter by email to  


Motivated undergraduate students are always welcome for internships within our department. Be aware that you make inquiries at least 6-9 months in advance to prevent disappointments. Please fill out the application form at


Our department closely collaborates with the Departement of Haematology and the Department of Medical Oncology.


Getting there

Postal address

278 Tumor Immunology
P.O. Box 9101
6500 HB Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Go to Floor 5 and follow route 278


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