“Our department has been investigating whether taxane therapy can safely and effectively be given to patients in pill form for a while now. These anticancer drugs fight the multiplication of cancer cells. It is important that all active substances are properly absorbed in the body.
One aspect of my research dealt with the question whether some tumors are able to break down the medicine. They may use the same enzymes that are present in our digestive tract and liver. To prevent the substances from being broken down there, we give patients receiving treatment with taxanes a second medicine, a kind of booster that halts these enzymes. This booster may also affect the way taxanes are broken down in tumors.
I also created several mathematical models that can help us describe and predict the way a drug will behave in the body. Which dose will be the most effective? This is incredibly interesting! I now work at Pharmetheus, a Swedish consultancy in Utrecht, where I create similar mathematical models for companies developing drugs.”
Maarten will defend his thesis on February 6.
prof. dr. J.H. Beijnen & prof. dr. A.D.R. Huitema
dr. A.H. Schinkel