Ann Vankerckhoven
Ann Vankerckhoven, PhD Student KU Leuven Nanohealth and Optical Imaging Group
Optimizing nanomaterial delivery to solid tumors by pharmaceutical and physical means

Ann’s project will help at understanding the mechanisms underlying the cancer-specific toxicity that the nanoparticles elicit, as already reported in several studies. The nanoparticles will be tested in a more clinically relevant model, being ovarian cancer, for which therapies are still lacking. The majority of ovarian cancer patients (80%) will still die of the disease. The results obtained here can form the basis for a widespread use of these nanomaterials as novel therapeutic agents in difficult to treat cancer types and support the later clinical translation of these nanomaterials. As such, these studies will form the basis to explore the application of these or other nanoparticles in more advanced models in forthcoming applications. Additionally, as a model system, ovarian cancer is, from a therapeutic point of view, a highly immunosuppressed model, making it less susceptible to common immunotherapy strategies. The effect of the different strategies as monotherapies or the combinatorial approach that will be deciphered in the second part of the research project, can also help to further develop a variety of therapeutic strategies in highly immunosuppressed model systems.

Promotor: Prof. Dr. An Coosemans (MD, Phd)

Co-promotor: Prof. Stefaan Soenen

List of Publications