“The first time I saw the brain and witnessed blood flow through that complex network of small vessels, I was deeply touched. It’s so beautiful! For my thesis, I researched the way metastases develop in the brain. I discovered that patients with breast cancer who develop these kinds of metastases have a certain type of tumor cell that is active on the outside of the tumor. These cells are the ones that migrate, as we call it, and spread through the body via the bloodstream. Some of them end up in the brain. That is bad news because a tumor that may develop there is difficult to treat. The tumor cells are hardly sensitive to chemotherapy or radiation. I wanted to help this patient group. That’s why I researched new ways to treat these tumors, including immunotherapy. I am from Portugal and initially had to get used to the Dutch directness in the lab, but I’ve grown to appreciate it. I recently moved to London to work on the development of new medicines. I’m involved in research into immunotherapy at the Institute of Cancer Research.”
Andreia will defend her thesis on January 20.
prof. dr. ir. J.E. van Rheenen
This research was financially supported by Oncode Institute