Research line 2

Molecular imaging and therapy of Head and Neck VUmc Amsterdam

This line of research focuses on the use of targeted drugs, especially monoclonal antibodies and nontraditional antibody-like molecules (e.g. nanobodies), for diagnosis and selective therapy of head and neck cancer. Chemical conjugation procedures are developed to make monoclonal antibodies suitable as disease-specific contrast agents. Such agents can be used for identification and characterization of critical tumor targets, for tumor detection, and for therapy planning (personalized therapy) with several types of modern imaging techniques: optical, CT, MRI, SPECT, but particularly PET. In addition, molecular and chemical strategies are used to make monoclonal antibodies optimally equipped for eradication of tumors. Research has a multidisciplinary character, with strong industrial involvement, and is spanning the whole line from bench to bedside (translational research). Beginning 2008, several grants were obtained among which a very large one from the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine entitled "Personalized chemo-radiation of lung and head and neck cancer: aiming the relief of suffering by patients with tumors of the upper aero-digestive tract using innovative navigation tools in high precision tumor targeting by chemo-radiation".