Research Research groups Translational CRC research

About this research group

This research group is a cross-disciplinary research collaboration of four Radboudumc groups, with the aim of advancing clinical translation for colorectal cancer.

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About this research group

This research group is a cross-disciplinary research collaboration of four Radboudumc groups, with the aim of advancing clinical translation for colorectal cancer.

It is our mission to improve the outcome of patients with CRC, to enlarge our understanding of CRC biology, and to educate researchers and clinicians at all levels of their careers. Our innovative collaboration of cancer biologists, pharmacologists, pathologists, and medical oncologists enables purposeful research that goes from molecules to cells and to the patient, and vice versa.

We focus our translational research on new treatment paradigms: novel targets, improved treatment regimes, and synergistic combination strategies. Our specific expertise includes targeted therapy, regimen optimization, drug development, pharmacology, pathology, biomarkers, microbiota, and the tumour immune microenvironment.

By combining our strengths, we aim to break new ground in overcoming patient-specific drug resistance and immune evasion mechanisms; to develop and test individual therapy combinations in patient-derived 3D models; and to translate our findings into the clinic. We believe this cross-disciplinary approach can significantly improve CRC treatment efficacy while reducing adverse effects.


Underlying research

This collaborating research group is led by multiple researchers.

  • This research is led by Daniele Tauriello (Cell Biology).

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    TiMElab

    In the Tumour Immune MicroEnvironment lab, we study immune evasion in the colorectal cancer metastatic microenvironment. We think that a better understanding of the cancer ecosystem will allow the normalization of the corrupted tumour milieu, boosting anti-tumour immunity.

    Our ambition is to contribute to fundamental understanding, using innovative cancer models (mouse and human) to perform purposeful research that goes from molecules to cells and to the patient. Therefore, we have a strong focus on translational research, aiming to develop novel targets, improved treatment regimes, and synergistic combination strategies. This is only possible in the context of interdisciplinary collaborations, both at the Radboudumc and with outside partners.

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Aims

Our group has several aims.

  • Development of new tumour models
  • Understanding the biology
  • Development of new treatment strategies
  • Optimized dosing of anticancer agents
  • Clinical trials
  • Dissecting resistance mechanisms
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Aims

Development of new tumour models

We have expertise in using both mouse models and in vitro (culture) models to dissect molecular and cellular mechanisms in areas such as tumour microenvironment and immunology; or drug kinetics, response and resistance. The relevance of these models is verified using patient samples and e.g. pathological analysis. In fact, we are developing models derived from patient-specific tumour tissue. We think that these patient-specific mini-tumours can contribute to more personalized treatment composition.

Understanding the biology of CRC

Most new therapies arise from research with a strongly fundamental character: how does it work, exactly? Through the answering of these questions, and by trying to align these questions with pressing clinical problems, we learn something new about the context and complexity of the disease. This can give us fresh ideas to develop a new therapeutic approach or prompt us to combine existing treatments in an innovative way.

Development of new treatment strategies

Using our innovative models to gain new insights of molecular mechanisms of CRC biology, we expect to identify promising targets to interfere with crucial steps in advanced disease - focusing on metastasis. These putative treatment opportunities will be validated across models (both mouse and human) to provide additional rationale to bring them to the clinic. Ideally, patient-specific models (under development) will predict to a high degree of certainty whether a proposed treatment combination will lead to good responses.

Optimized dosing

We apply our experience in pharmacology in both preclinical and clinical studies to better understand the actions of therapeutic agents. This will guide the selection of dosing schemes that are most likely to succeed. This is especially important (and challenging) for combination treatment strategies.

Clinic trials

We want to translate our preclinical findings to the clinical setting. Besides developing treatments targeted at specific molecules or pathways and establishing the concentration required for antitumor activity in preclinical models, we will look for associated biomarkers that predict treatment efficacy. Together with patient-specific mini tumour models, these will help selecting candidates for clinical trials.

Dissecting resistance mechanisms

To overcome observed cases of drug resistance, we take this clinical problem back to the laboratory and study the root cause in terms of cell biology and/or pharmacology. This deeper insight may lead to a different combination of agents or alternative dosing scheme, as well as provide biomarkers that may predict resistance.

Part of four research departments

Research group leaders


Daniele Tauriello PhD

assistant professor

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Nielka van Erp PhD

associate professor

+31 (0)24 309 36 17
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Henk Verheul MD PhD

full professor
internist oncologist

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Iris Nagtegaal MD PhD

full professor

+31 (0)24 309 31 47
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