"I was already fascinated with biology back in high school; especially with the human body. That hasn't changed now I'm a physician. I want to help people while also making existing treatments more responsive to unique patient characteristics like age, sex, and hereditary traits. You can identify these unique characteristics by mapping subgroups.
I focused on two rare soft tissue tumors In my research: angiosarcoma and gastrointestinal stromal cell tumors, or GIST for short. The latter can occur throughout the entire gastrointestinal tract. I studied various GIST patient subgroups and concluded that treatment and management should be adapted to the patient's gender and age, as well as the location of the GIST, among other factors. Location here refers to the placement of the tumor in the body and the place where the patient receives treatment: it is better to provide treatment in one of the five specialized GIST centers that form the GIST Consortium. Collaborations like these prove to be important in the treatment of patients with rare tumors such as GIST.
I was able to present my research at a congress in Barcelona. It was inspiring to see how many people gathered there with one shared goal: to help patients with this rare tumor type."
Nikki will defend her thesis on Wednesday, May 31.
prof. dr. A.H.J. Mathijssen
dr. N. Steeghs