“There’s a picture of a road on the cover of my thesis. It symbolizes the new pathways, or escape routes, that tumor cells tend to find after we block their usual pathways with a drug. Closing one pathway is usually not sufficient to halt the tumor. That's why I investigated a combination of two different medicines that target the pathways involving a mutation that occurs in non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and several other cancer types. Experiments with cells and mouse models were promising. I was happy with the nice publication this resulted in, but I am mostly proud that this promising new combination treatment is currently being tested in the clinic. It's extra special to me because I am named after my grandfather, Antonio, who passed away from non-small cell lung cancer a few months before I was born. I don't know what the next step in my career will be. I'll probably stay in the Netherlands. I’m originally from Spain, and I feel like I’ve adjusted well to Dutch society by now. All my activities are here: squash, volleyball, and a musical group. We're currently learning the music from The Adams Family.”
Antonio will defend his thesis on October 19.
This research is financially supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and KWF Dutch Cancer Society
prof. dr. R. Bernards
dr. S. Mainardi