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Molecular Oncology & Immunology: Emile Voest

Emile Voest

Emile Voest, MD, Ph.D.Professor of Medical Oncology, Medical Director of the NKI

About Emile Voest

Emile Voest

My laboratory work is devoted to bringing personalized medicine to patients. It focuses on the impact of the host response on treatment outcome and the development of biomarkers that predict treatment efficacy. The results from such studies are subsequently translated in clinical studies. These translational approaches are performed across tumor types, with emphasis on epithelial tumors.

Host Responses
My group focuses on two different approaches to improve treatment outcome.
First, we are investigating the impact of chemotherapy on normal cells with emphasis on bone marrow derived stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells and macrophages. These cells become activated when the host is exposed to specific chemotherapies and migrate to tumors or release very active fatty acids that render tumor cells resistant to DNA damage. The field of fatty acids is novel and many mechanistic questions remain presently unanswered.

Organoids and Genomics
Second, we are increasingly capable of culturing tumor cells from individual patients which potentially has the power to develop an in vitro assay that will predict treatment outcome. Tumor organoids and organoids from normal epithelial cells may be used to determine responsiveness of individual tumors to chemotherapy and determine an individual toxicity profile on normal tissue. Together with Hans Clevers from the Hubrecht Institute, we perform both clinical and preclinical studies to further develop this technology. In line with this approach an extensive genomics initiative (Center for Personalized Cancer Treatment) is currently being rolled out in the Netherlands. Patients at the start of their treatment are undergoing biopsies for genetic testing and treatment outcome is monitored. This allows us to generate a database that will facilitate research at multiple levels: bioinformatics, systems biology, biology, clinical trials. The translational studies are truly teamwork with many scientists and clinicians at the institute and beyond."

Co-workers

Dijkstra, Krijn

Krijn Dijkstra

Ph.D. student

Experience

I'm a PhD student in the group of Emile Voest. I received my training as a biomedical scientist and medical doctor in Utrecht, San Diego and Oxford. My project focuses on the potential of applying organoid technology to personalised cancer therapy. Specifically, we aim to predict therapy response and stratify patients to certain therapies based on drug screens in organoids. Second, we attempt to use organoids for immunotherapy by exploiting their potential to evoke tumor-specific T cell responses. The opportunity of working with this new model system and operating on the crossroads between the lab and the clinic makes this a very interesting and exciting project.

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Haar, van de Joris

Joris van de Haar

Ph.D. student

Experience

Joris started in the groups of Emile Voest and Lodewyk Wessels in 2016. More information will follow

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Julia Houthuijzen, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral fellow

Experience

In 2010 I obtained my Master's degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Utrecht. A few months later I started my PhD training in the group of Prof. Emile Voest at the University Medical Center in Utrecht. During my PhD I discovered a lipid signaling cascade involving splenic macrophages that induces resistance against DNA-damaging chemotherapeutics. In 2016 I started my post doc in the lab of Prof. Jos Jonkers where I am working on the identification and validation of molecular drivers of invasive lobular breast cancer and triple-negative breast cancer using various genetic mouse models.

 

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Sovann Kaing

Technician

Experience

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Chelsea McLean

PhD student

Experience

I did my Ph.D. work on epigenetics in the lab of Paul Soloway at Cornell University.  After completing my degree, I moved first to the University of Oxford, where I studied DNA repair in bladder cancer, then to the NKI where I studied epigenetics in thymomas.

I started as a postdoc in the Voest lab in 2015, where I will focus on the use of organoids to personalize cancer treatment.  Specifically, I aim to identify genes which contribute to the progression from normal tissue to malignant tissue in hereditary cancer.

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Salo Ooft

Phd student

Experience

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van der Velden, Daphne

Daphne van der Velden

MD, PhD student

Experience

After graduating as a medical doctor and working at the UMCU Oncology Department, I started my PhD training in the group of Emile Voest in April 2014. My main project at the moment is the set-up of a nationwide 'drug-repurposing' trial (DRUP), in which patients are treated with targeted therapy, matched to their molecular tumor profile. We hereby aim to facilitate patient access to potentially effective therapy (to which they would otherwise not have access), whilst creating a national platform in which targeted drugs and accompanying biomarkers can be tested across various tumor types. I'm also involved in clinical trials exploring the clinical applications of tumor organoids. Altogether, my goal at the NKI is to help improve personalized cancer treatment.

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Weeber, Fleur

Fleur Weeber

MD, PhD student

Experience

I studied medicine at the University of Utrecht and became licensed as a medical doctor in 2013. After finishing my studies I started as a PhD student in the group of Emile Voest.

My project focusses on tumor organoids and their application in personalized cancer treatment. During my PhD I will set up two clinical trials to evaluate: 1) if tumor organoids can correctly predict treatment response in an individual patient, and 2) if it is effective to use tumor organoid drug screens to stratify patients for treatment with a targeted agent.

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Key publications View All Publications

  • Lysophospholipids secreted by splenic macrophages induce chemotherapy resistance via interference with the DNA damage response

    Nat Commun. 2014 Nov 12;5:5275

    Houthuijzen JM, Daenen LG, Roodhart JM, Oosterom I, van Jaarsveld MT, Govaert KM, Smith ME, Sadatmand SJ, Rosing H, Kruse F, Helms BJ, et al.

    link to PubMed
  • Ethical, legal, and counseling challenges surrounding the return of genetic results in oncology

    J Clin Oncol. 2013 May 20;31(15):1842-8

    Lolkema MP, Gadellaa-van Hooijdonk CG, Bredenoord AL, Kapitein P, Roach N, Cuppen E, Knoers NV, Voest EE.

    link to PubMed
 
 

Recent publications View All Publications

  • Phase Ib study of lumretuzumab plus cetuximab or erlotinib in solid tumor patients and evaluation of HER3 and heregulin as potential biomarkers of clinical activity

    Clin Cancer Res. 2017 Jun 9

    Meulendijks D, Jacob W2 Voest EE, Mau-Sørensen M, Martinez-Garcia M, Taus A, Fleitas T, Cervantes A, Lolkema M9, Lassen U28 ET ALL

    link to PubMed
  • A Systematic Analysis of Oncogenic Gene Fusions in Primary Colon Cancer

    Cancer Res. 2017 Jul 15;77(14):3814-3822

    Kloosterman WP, Coebergh van den Braak RRJ, Pieterse M, van Roosmalen MJ, Sieuwerts AM, Stangl C, Brunekreef R, Lalmahomed ZS, Ooft S,...

    link to PubMed
 

Contact

  • Office manager

    Alice Tondeur

  • E-mail

    a.tondeurATnki.nl

  • Telephone Number

    +31 (0)20 512 6930

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