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Laboratory for Medical and Molecular Oncology

Research Group

Main organisation:Research Council
Lifecycle:20 Oct 2010 →  Today
Organisation profile:

As part of the Oncology Research Center, the Laboratory for Medical & Molecular Oncology (LMMO) at the VUB Faculty of Medicine engages in several major research initiatives: to study pancreatic cancer biology (Prof. Dr. Ilse Rooman), to study cancer immunotherapy including autologous dendritic cell therapies (Prof. Dr. Bart Neyns) and to advance targeted therapies for cancer in genomically defined patients (personalized medicine, Prof. Emeritus Dr. Jacques De Grève)

PROJECTS ROOMAN LAB The role of axon guidance genes in pancreatic cancer

The SLIT ligand-ROBO receptor pathway presents frequent mutations in pancreatic cancer. We study the biology in pancreatic tumor cells and their interaction with the stroma.

Molecular characterization of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma can be subdivided in different molecular tumor subtypes.   Our study aims at pragmatic subtyping and studying subtype-specific biomarkers.

Exocrine cell differentiation in pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer

Exocrine cells are the cells of origin for tumor formation. We study changes in exocrine cell differentiation, in particular those of acinar cells, that might predispose for tumor development.

Drug repurposing in pancreatic cancer

We investigate the effects of non-cancer drugs for their potential tumor inhibitory effects.

The above research is underpinned by advanced microscopic techniques, and advanced pancreatic (tumor) cell modelling in vitro (cell lines, primary cells, organoids) and in mice (genetically engineered mouse models, patient derived xenografts).


PROJECTS NEYNS LAB Targeted Therapies (BRAF/MEK-inhibitors) (Dr. G. Awada)
  • TraMel-WT (PI Prof. Dr. B. Neyns): trial of Trametinib in patients with advanced pretreated BRAFV600 wild-type Melanoma
  • Combi-R2 (PI Prof. Dr. B. Neyns): Dabrafenib/Trametinib/Hydroxychloroquine for advanced pretreated BRAF V600 mutant melanoma
Myeloid Dendritic Cell Therapy (MYDC) (Dr. JK. Schwarze)
  • myDCTV (PI Prof. Dr. B. Neyns): intratumoral injection of autologous CD1c/CD141 (BDCA-1/BDCA-3)+ myDC plus Talimogene Laherparepvec (T-VEC)
  • myDAvlpNi (PI Prof. Dr. B. Neyns): intratumoral injection of autologous CD1c/CD141 (BDCA-1/BDCA-3)+ myDC, Avelumab, and Ipilimumab plus systemic Nivolumab
Checkpoint Inhibitors (Prof. Dr. B. Neyns)
  • GlitipNi: intra-tumoral Ipilimumab plus intravenous Nivolumab following the resection of recurrent Glioblastoma
  • LuSCID: Lung cancer treated with SBRT, Checkpoint Inhibitors and myeloid Dendritic cells
PARP Inhibition in HRD Solid Tumors (Dr. S. Joris)
  • Precision 2 Study: Olaparib: efficacy of olaparib in advanced cancers occurring in patients with germline mutations or somatic tumor mutations in homologous recombination genes
  • Whole exome sequencing on index patients in families with breast and pancreatic cancer
EGFR-Targeted Therapy (Prof. Dr. L. Decoster)
  • Afatinib: a prospective explorative open label Phase II study of Afatinib in the treatment of advanced cancers carrying a EGFR, HER2 or HER3 mutation
  • G-OncoCOACH (geriatric assessment): randomized study to investigate the effect of GA-directed interventions coordinated by the geriatric team and patient coaching versus interventions coordinated by oncologists in older adults with cancer treated with systemic therapy
Disciplines:Oncology, Gastro-enterology and hepatology not elsewhere classified