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Tumor Biology & Immunology: Lotje Zuur

Zuur, Lotje

Lotje Zuur, Dr.Group Leader

About Lotje Zuur

Novel radio-sensitizing compounds

"A majority of patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) presents with advanced stage disease and have a 5-year overall survival of 40% or less. The mainstay of treatment is extensive surgery and/or the addition of high-dose cisplatin to radiation therapy (RT) followed by severe toxicity in at least 70% of patients. The research group of Zuur exerts a strong collaboration with the Neefjes and Ovaa laboratories to, first of all, focus on finding alternatives for cisplatin to optimize cure rates and personalize treatment, while reducing toxicity. Automated drug screens are employed to identify novel radio-sensitizing compounds targeting tumor specific genetic pathways. Different chemical libraries are tested for their biological effects on different in-vitro head and neck cancer models. Thereafter, to improve lead structures, several novel analogue chemical structures are generated. These studies potentially will improve radiotherapy outcome (also after surgery) for HNSCC patients."


"Secondly, the research group has started a collaboration with the Schumacher laboratory to explore the role of immunotherapy in patients treated with surgery for head and neck cancer. Again, Zuur focusses on patients in the highest need for improvement of prognosis and quality of life after treatment. Tumor tissues of patients with advanced Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) negative and positive disease will be investigated in-vitro to assess immunogenicity and the influx of immune effector cells (tumor-specific T cells) to provide a rationale for the actual clinical use of specific immunotherapies in well-defined subgroups of HNC patients. Clinical trials will be initiated."


Oiao, Xiaohang.jpg

Xiaohang Qiao

Postdoctoral Fellow


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Pham, Hà Thu

Hà Thu Pham



As a research technician, I participate in the project of a novel ATM-inhibitor being potential radiosensitizer. The project is focusing on the cell signaling, cell death modalities and metabolism induced by this ATM inhibitor. My daily work includes in vitro cell culture, biochemistry and in vivo mouse experiments.

Previously, I finished my Master and PhD in France in Neuropharmacology field. There, I learned a lot of in vivo techniques as well as analytical and writing scientific report skills.

I have high enthusiasm for science and would like to distribute more to help improving human quality of life.

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'Research for the benefit of cancer patients'

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