Effects of cancer on the immune system: from tumor to bone marrow

Tuesday 11 April 2023, 10:30 am
K. Rabold
prof. dr. G.J. Adema, prof. dr. M.G. Netea, prof. dr. R.T. Netea-Maier

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. A major recent breakthrough in the fight against cancer is the use of the body's own immune system through immunotherapy. In principle every body has the ability to destroy tumor cells, namely the immune system. In some people, however, tumor cells outsmart the immune system in such a way that they die of cancer. So-called myeloid cells play an important role in the immune response against cancer. This thesis shows which changes occur in myeloid cells when they come close to tumor cells. Furthermore, studies with thyroid cancer patients show that the effects of a tumor on immune cells occur long before they reach the tumor, in the bloodstream and even already in their progenitor cells in the bone marrow. This offers starting points for research into new treatment options to give the immune system a helping hand.

Katrin Rabold (1991, Germany) started her studies in Medical Biology at the Radboud University in 2011. In 2016, she started working on her PhD project at the Department of Internal Medicine and the Radiotherapy & OncoImmunology Laboratory of the Radboudumc. In 2023, she received the award for the best non-clinical paper at the Dutch Endocrine Meeting of the Dutch Endocrine Society.