PhD defence P.A. (Pauline) de Goeje
- Prof.dr. J.G.J.V. Aerts
- Prof.dr. R.W. Hendriks
On Tuesday 4 February 2020, P.A. de Goeje will defend her PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Immune Monitoring in Thoracic Malignancies’.
The role of the immune system in cancer has been increasingly recognized over the past decades and has led to the development of cancer immunotherapies, which have revolutionized cancer treatment. However, not all cancer patients respond equally well to cancer treatment and a large fraction of patients does not respond. In this thesis, the effect of several cancer therapies on the immune system was studied in patients with thoracic malignancies (lung cancer and mesothelioma). Furthermore, the relationship between the patients’ immune profile and clinical outcome was studied and lastly, feasibility and safety of a novel immunotherapeutic treatment was assessed in patients with mesothelioma. The immune profile of patients was studied by a technique called flow cytometry. It was found that in lung cancer patients, a subset of immune suppressive cells is correlated with poor survival. In lung cancer patients that are treated with radiotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy with an antiangiogenic agent, but not after treatment with surgery, an activation of the immune system, and particularly T cells, could be observed in blood. To improve data analysis of immune monitoring by flow cytometry, we evaluated a semi-automatic analysis pipeline based on machine learning that could predict patient outcome based on their immune profile. Lastly, it was shown in this thesis that a dendritic cell-based cancer vaccine can activate the immune system to fight cancer and is a safe and feasible treatment for mesothelioma patients, that currently have a dismal prognosis.
The public defence will take place at the Prof. Andries Queridoroom, 3rd floor Education Center, Erasmus MC. The ceremony will begin exactly at 13.30 hrs. In light of the solemn nature of the ceremony, we recommend that you do not take children under the age of 6 to the first part of the ceremony.