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Models, Mechanisms, and Options for Intervention

We work towards a better understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of metastatic cancer, with a particular interest, focus, and track record on Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC). In ILC we are using the causal event of E-cadherin loss as a starting point, and study how ILC cells control anchorage independence, their cell cycle regulation, and invasive and metastatic phenotype. We ultimately aim at translation of our results into daily pathological diagnosis and treatment.

Over the past 20 years, our work has helped to lay a biochemical foundation for two clinical phase II intervention trials in ILC. We have founded and are chairing the European Lobular Breast Cancer Consortium (ELBCC), and the spin-off initiative LOBSTERPOT, sponsored by COST.

A second main focus area in the lab is the tumor progression tyrosine kinase FER. In high grade cancers such as Triple Negative Breast Cancer and Head & Neck cancer, FER is a late progression factor promoting multiple oncogenic events through the control over endosomal sorting and recycling. Furthermore, through our research, FER has revealed itself as a predictive factor for Taxane benefit in high rist Breast Cancers treated with dose-dense chemotherapy. Clinical conformation efforts are currently ongoing using retrospective and new prospective trial data. 

Our studies were or are sponsored by KWF, Health~Holland, NWO, STW, Breast Cancer Now, and the European Union H2020 Future Emerging Technologies (FET) program.

See our projects and output pages for detailed information, and our sponsoring document (in Dutch) to see how we spend our money.