Suppression of the immune system by myeloid immune cells: opportunities for the immunotherapy of cancer and autoimmunity

Wednesday 18 January 2023, 2:30 pm
G.F. van Wigcheren MSc.
prof. dr. C.G. Figdor, prof. dr. I.J.M. de Vries
dr. G. Florez Grau, dr. S.K. Horrevorts

In cancer patients, a group of specific immune cells, the myeloid cells, are driven to function abnormally. Signals derived from the tumor cause these abnormal myeloid cells to supress other healthy immune cells. This leads to a diminished immunity in these patients and forms a barrier for the application of immune therapies. In this thesis the processes that underly myeloid suppressor cells are described and how blocking these processes leads to increased immunity in cancer patients. Therefore, combining overcoming myeloid suppressor cells with the application of immune therapies has a great potential to successfully treat cancer patients.

Simultaneously, it is has been studied whether myeloid suppressor cells can be exploited outside of cancer namely to treat auto-immune disorders.  As patients with auto-immunity have abnormally increased immune activity it is described here how the application of myeloid suppressor cells could potentially benefit patients in the future.

Glenn van Wigcheren obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the Radboud University in 2014 before obtaining his Master’s Infection & Immunity at the Utrecht University. In 2017 he started his doctoral research in immuno-oncology at the department of Tumor Immunology of Radboudumc. Currently, he works on the development of cancer immunotherapies as Clinical Trial Project Leader at Byondis.