Institute: Amsterdam University Medical Centers
Country: The Netherlands
Gastrointestinal cancer with focus on pancreatic cancer
Since my tenure as a staff member at the Amsterdam UMC (location AMC), department of medical oncology, my focus has been on pancreatic cancer. Since 2012 I am fully dedicated to this tumor type and responsible for pancreatic cancer patientcare and research within the department. My main objective is to improve the prognosis of pancreatic cancer patients through innovative clinical and translational research. The clinical trial participants as well as the existing biobank are the main source for the development and validation of prognostic and predictive markers in blood and tumor tissues. These studies are performed in multidisciplinary collaboration, which involves LEXOR, the departments of Pathology, Surgery, (Intervention)Radiology, Clinical Pharmacy, Radiotherapy and Gastroenterology. Furthermore I am active in conducting trials with innovative designs, which becomes neccesary by the changing landscape of the treatment of tumors from “one size fits all” to specific treatments of (clinically and/or molecularly-defined) subgroups. In order to continue the
support of patients at the end stage of their lives when often disabling symptoms are present, I decided to qualify as a palliative care specialist and to join the Palliative Team at the AMC. I have joined several regional/national organizations in order to contribute to the improvement of the quality of care and research on pancreatic cancer.
Metabolism and cancer
My aim is to develop new therapies with a specific focus on cancer metabolism. Cancer cell metabolism differs from healthy cell metabolism, but this difference is not yet exploited by anticancer therapies. One of the key enzymes that function at the crossroads of cellular metabolism and DNA repair is Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1/2 (IDH1/2). Mutations in IDH1/2 occur in various types of cancer, including glioma, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and chondrosarcoma. My current research focuses on metabolic consequences of IDH 1/2 mutations as therapeutic targets. These studies are performed in multidisciplinary collaboration, which involves LEXOR, the departments of Pathology, Cell biology and Histology, Surgery, Clinical Pharmacy, Orthopedics and the participating research hospitals Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, LUMC and the department of Oncology and Medicine of McGill University, Montreal Canada (prof. dr. M. Pollak).