L.M. Schunselaar


  • (non-) Clinical development of medicines
  • Clinical trials


Dr. Laurel Schunselaar studied technical medicine at the university of Twente.
She performed her PhD research at the division of Cell Biology II, the division of Molecular Pathology and the division of Oncogenomics in combination with the Thoracic Oncology department at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam. 

The title of her thesis was ‘the search for new treatment strategies for malignant pleural mesothelioma’ (2019). 

Since 2018 she is working at the hematology department and coordinating a phase III clinical trial testing aclarubicin in relapsed and refractory AML patients.

Research interest

Her research focuses on two newly developed chemotherapies.
Aclarubicin is a chemotherapy that was tested in Europe around 1980. The results were promising, but for unclear reasons it was not further used in the treatment of cancer. In China and Japan aclarubicin is standard used for the treatment of AML.  Dr. Schunselaar is coordinating a multicenter phase III clinical trial in the Netherlands in which aclarubicin is tested as a treatment option for relapsed and refractory AML patients. She is also starting a phase I clinical trial for aclarubicin in uveal melanoma. To perform this trial she received a ZonMW grant. 

The other new chemotherapy is N,N-dimethyldoxorubicin. This drug is a chemical variant of the anthracycline drug doxorubicin, which is used in the treatment of many cancers. Prof. Dr. Sjaak Neefjes showed in cell lines and animal models that this variant, N,N-dimethyldoxorubicin is as effective as doxorubicin, but is less cardiotoxic and gives fewer side effects. 

Dr. Schunselaar is currently designing and coordinating the non-clinical and clinical development plan for N,N-dimethyldoxorubicin in accordance with all the regulatory guidelines.

Selected publications


Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
Gebouw 1
Kamer C-06-031

Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden
Tel: +31 71 526 4303

Postzone C2R
Postbus 9600
2300 RC Leiden

E-mail: l.m.schunselaar@lumc.nl