"After I finished my study in medicine, I started a residency in internal medicine. I took a break from my residency for four years to obtain my PhD at the Pharmacology Department at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. This gave me the opportunity to deepen my knowledge. One important theme was that we no longer approach patients as a homogenous group, but instead try to find a personalized treatment. If patients have a particular mutation, for example, we try out certain combinations of drugs that might work for this specific mutation. One of the things we investigate is which dosage works best. In breast and ovarian cancer, for example, we can now offer specially selected patient groups medications in tablet form instead of the previously available capsules that had to be taken in large numbers. Tablets are much easier to use and have been found to be tolerated well in practice.
I took most of the blood samples from the patients myself, or met with them in the clinic. It is nice to be able to do something to support them. Even small things can be very meaningful. Each study is another step towards more personalized treatments. I have been back in my residency in internal medicine for several years now, and will start a fellowship in hematology at Amsterdam UMC in February."
Jill will defend her thesis on August 30.
prof. dr. J.H. Beijnen & prof. dr. S.C. Linn