“A common treatment against prostate cancer is hormone therapy. We try to prevent the male hormone testosterone from activating various genes that play a part in tumor growth. This treatment is often very effective, although the majority of patients will eventually develop therapy resistance. That means that tumor cells find a different way to keep growing. I wanted to find out which escape mechanisms they use. We took two tissue samples from patients: one before hormone therapy and one after. I analyzed the samples and mapped everything out. In patients who barely responded to the treatment I found none of the genes I expected to find, but I did discover something special: a completely different protein was hijacked by the tumor. Very surprising!
One thing that also surprised me was how common it is in the Netherlands to congratulate friends and family on someone’s birthday. After my defense, when I am back in my home country Germany to work as a postdoc, I will continue to congratulate everybody on someone’s birthday – the Dutch way!”
Simon will defend his thesis on June 30.
prof. dr. W.T. Zwart
dr. A.M. Bergman
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