PhD defence A. (Azi) Amirnasr


Prof.dr. S. Sleijer


Dr. E.A.C. Wiemer

Tuesday 12 Jan 2021, 13:30 - 15:00
PhD defence
Professor Andries Querido room
Education Center
Erasmus MC
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On Tuesday 12 January 2021, A. Amirnasr will defend her PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘MicroRNAs - Micro Molecules with Macro Clinical & Molecular Implications’.

Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are a rare and heterogenous group of cancers of predominantly mesenchymal origin. More than 50 subtypes are recognized mainly on basis of distinct morphological and pathological features. STS include local aggressive and malignant tumors arising in or from connective tissues such as synovial tissue, fat, muscle, peripheral nerves and fibrous or related tissues. Together the STS comprise about 1-2% of all adult malignancies and about 10% of all childhood malignancies.

Treatment modalities of STS are surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Systemic chemotherapy is usually offered to patients with advanced, not amendable for curative local treatments and metastasized disease and is usually based on doxorubicin or ifosfamide in combination with docetaxel or gemcitabine. Prognosis varies and depends on histological subtype, tumor size, tumor grade and location. Despite the recent introduction of novel systemic treatments with drugs like pazopanib and trabectedin the outcome for patients with advanced disease remains poor with a median overall survival of approximately 12 months stressing the need for novel therapeutic approaches. 

The research described in this thesis concerns two STS subtypes, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST) and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). The overall aim was to gain a better understanding of the biology of these tumors in order to explain their clinical behaviour and ultimately to improve treatment of these malignancies. 

Due to corona, the PhD defences do not take place publicly in the usual way in the Senate Hall of the Professor Andries Querido Room. The candidates will defend their dissertation either in a small group or online.

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