Despite recent improvements in cancer therapy, metastatic disease remains the major cause of cancer related death. In the majority of the patients, heterogeneity of therapeutic responses of individual metastasis is observed upon therapy. To get a better understanding of why one tumor lesion responds differently to therapy than the other, my research focuses on tumor infiltrating T cells. I specifically focus on understanding the role of chemokine networks in stimulating the infiltration of tumor reactive T cells upon immunotherapy. Using this knowledge I aim to optimize tumor-specific immunity by (co-)targeting chemokine networks. Ultimately, this knowledge should contribute to the development of therapy combinations specifically designed to target metastatic cancer.
I completed my PhD in tumor immunology at the LUMC studying how chemotherapy and immunotherapy can synergize to target tumor cells. Next, I moved to Germany where I joined the lab of Thomas Tüting to study the effect of small molecule inhibitors on migration and metastasis of tumor cells. Furthermore, I worked on optimizing CD4 T cell-based immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma. In the fall of 2018 I joined the group of Ramon Arens to study fundamental mechanisms of T cell expansion and effector function. Recently I received the Gisela Thier Fellowship, which enabled me to start a new research line that aims to improve T cell immunity in the metastatic tumor environment.
Tumor eradication by cisplatin is sustained by CD80/86-mediated costimulation of CD8+ T cells.
Beyranvand Nejad E, van der Sluis TC, van Duikeren S, Yagita H, Janssen GM, van Veelen PA, Melief CJ, van der Burg SH, Arens R.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(20):6017-6029
Vaccination during myeloid cell depletion by cancer chemotherapy fosters robust T cell responses.
Welters MJ, van der Sluis TC, van Meir H, Loof NM, van Ham VJ, van Duikeren S, Santegoets SJ, Arens R, de Kam ML, Cohen AF, van Poelgeest MI, Kenter GG, Kroep JR, Burggraaf J, Melief CJ, van der Burg SH.
Sci Transl Med. 2016;8(334):334ra52.
Vaccine-induced Tumor Necrosis Factor producing T-cells synergize with cisplatin to promote tumor cell death
van der Sluis TC, van Duikeren S, Huppelschoten S, Jordanova ES, Beyranvand Nejad E, Sloots A, Boon L, Smit VT, Ossendorp F, Welters MJ, van de Water B, Arens R, van der Burg SH, Melief CJ.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(4):781-94.