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Immunology

Divisions

Groups within research area Immunology

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Jannie Borst

Division
Immunology
Specialisation
Deciphering molecular mechanisms that govern the T cell response

Introduction

Our research focuses on molecular mechanisms that govern the T cell response. We study the mechanism of action of TNF receptor family members that provide costimulatory signals impacting on T cell survival and death, metabolism, effector- and memory function.

More about the Jannie Borst group

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Christian Blank

Division
Immunology
Specialisation
Combination of targeted and immunotherapy

Introduction

Both targeted and immunotherapy are currently the most promising therapy approaches for cancer patients. While targeted therapies are characterized by fast responses in a high percentage of patients, but short duration of the response, immunotherapy requires time to respond, induces in only subgroups of patients responses, but if they occur they are often long lasting and cure is possible. Thus the combination of such approaches might be synergistic in that way of increasing the response percentage and long-term outcome. Unfortunately the first phase 1 trial testing the combination of a BRAF inhibitor with CTLA-4 blockade in melanoma patients failed due to toxicity. Thus more preclinical work identifying the optimal combination partners in models resembling the patients is required.

More about the Christian Blank group

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John Haanen

Division
Immunology
Specialisation
Translational Immunotherapy of Cancer

Introduction

John Haanen is a medical oncologist and immunologist, who spends about 50% of his time treating cancer patients in the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital and 50% doing research at the NKI. His research is directed towards the development of novel immunotherapy-based strategies for the treatment of cancer patients. His focus at the moment is on treatment of advanced stage melanoma, but other types of cancer are likely to follow since immunotherapy appears to be effective beyond melanoma as well. John Haanen heads to clinical immunotherapy group that is involved in clinical trials focused on the treatment of advanced stage melanoma patients and metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients. These trials can be large multicenter phase II or III trials with novel agents or combinations, such as targeted agents (BRAF inhibitors, MEK inhibitors, VEGFR inhibitors, anti-CTLA4, anti-PD1, BRAFi +MEki) and immune checkpoint blockade (anti-CTLA4 + anti-PD1), and investigator initiated trials, including DNA vaccine-based trials, adoptive cell therapy with either tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes or TCR gene modified peripheral blood T-lymphocytes.

More about the John Haanen group

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Ton Schumacher

Division
Immunology
Specialisation
Cancer Immunology

Introduction

The Schumacher group develops and exploits innovative technologies to measure and manipulate T cell responses in preclinical model system and in clinical trials. Research interests include fundamental aspects of the generation of immune responses, and in particular cytotoxic T cell responses, as for instance can be obtained through in vivo lineage tracing. In addition, the research group has a strong interest in dissecting the mode of action of clinically effective immunotherapeutics using 'home-brewed' technologies. Finally, the group has a strong track record in the development of novel approaches for cancer immunotherapy, in particular focusing on gene-modified adoptive T cell therapies.

More about the Ton Schumacher group

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Karin de Visser

Division
Immunology
Specialisation
Inflammation and Cancer

Introduction

Welcome to the website of the De Visser laboratory at the Division of Immunology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam. We study the contribution of the immune system to breast cancer progression, metastasis formation and therapy response. Immune cells and their mediators are abundantly present in the microenvironment of (disseminated) cancer cells. Interactions between cancer cells and different components of the immune system influence tumor outgrowth, metastasis formation and the efficacy of anti-cancer therapy. The exact role of the immune system during these processes is, however, controversial and poorly understood, as both tumor-protective and tumor-promoting properties have been reported.

More about the Karin de Visser group

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