Marjolein van Egmond

Marjolein van Egmond is head of the research group ‘Oncology and Inflammation’ of the VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her research has a translational approach, which is facilitated by her dual appointment at the Department of Surgery and the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, which facilitates rapid translation of pre-clinical findings into clinical applications.

1. Surgery-induced metastases. A major research line focusses on the role of (chronic) inflammation  in cancer development. Specifically, her research group previously identified that inflammation as a result of resection of primary colorectal cancer promotes the development of liver metastases. Mechanisms of surgery-induced cancer development are currently under investigation. Moreover, as surgery is mandatory, it is also investigated whether peri-operative adjuvant therapies can prevent the development of metastases.

2. Monoclonal antibody therapy of cancer. A main focus is monoclonal antibody therapy of cancer. This can be applied in the peri-operative setting, which will facilitate elimination of circulating tumour cells. However, it is also studied whether monoclonal antibody therapy of existing B cell malignancies and/ or colorectal metastases can be improved by recruiting multiple distinct immune effector cells, including macrophages, neutrophils and natural killer cells. Different modified antibodies (e.g. altered glycosylation) and isotype (IgG and IgA) are tested for their efficacy to activate immune cells, and the ability to induce antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity or phagocytosis.