Cancer development and immune defense About theme
In order to improve the success of treatment and to further individualize such treatment, we need to gain a better understanding of the molecular,(epi)genetic and immunological processes that are implicated in the transformation of normal (stem) cells to malignant cancer cells.read more
Cancer development and immune defense About themeAnnually, more than 100,000 people in the Netherlands, or one-third of the population, currently develop cancer at some point in their lives. About 40% of these patients will die within five years. For patients with a localized solid tumor, prospects are quite good, but for most patients with disseminated disease, unfortunately, prognosis is still poor. This also holds for some hematological cancers. In order to improve the success of treatment and to further individualize such treatment, we need to gain a better understanding of the molecular,(epi)genetic and immunological processes that are implicated in the transformation of normal (stem) cells to malignant cancer cells.
We investigate therapy resistance, the tumor micro-environment, cancer cell trafficking and the interaction between the immune system and cancer. We translate this basic knowledge into novel forms of therapy targeting tumor cells. We also develop strategies to expand and manipulate immune cells for clinical use, exploiting and boosting the power of the immune system. For the translational part, we are directing phase I, II and III clinical trials.
- We aim to identify all genetic ‘driver’ lesions that underlie the pathogenesis of cancer.
- We study epigenetic mechanisms implicated in aberrant gene expression in cancer.
- We study immune cell and cancer cell trafficking.
- We investigate to what extent the immune system is capable of recognizing tumor cells.
- We study mechanisms to stimulate specific anti-tumor immune responses.
- We will perform clinical trials to test compounds that specifically target the molecular pathways that are disturbed.
- We will perform clinical trials in which manipulated immune cells are used to eradicate cancer cells.
- We direct prospective, population-based cancer registries to analyze prognosis, therapy response, quality of life and economic aspects.