Cancer Pathogenesis and Therapy

The five members of the scientific staff that perform basic- and translational research in the medical research profile area Cancer Pathogenesis and Therapy are James Hardwick, Jurjen Boonstra, Minneke Coenraad, Luuk Hawinkels and Hans Vasen. Our research focusses on understanding what changes in epithelial homeostasis and interactions with surrounding fibroblasts and immune cells cause polyp formation, progression to invasive cancer and mechanisms of metastases. We use advanced cell culture methods (real time migration and invasion assays, organoid cultures) and in vivo experiments using orthotopic mouse models for hepatocellular-, colorectal- and pancreatic cancer. Tumor growth is followed by bioluminescent imaging. In addition we perform research on hereditary colorectal- and pancreatic cancer and investigate potential chemopreventive effect of drugs like mesalazine and statins. Information on specific projects is found via the links below.

Research line

 Principal Investigator

Clinical and translational aspects of colorectal cancer

  James Hardwick

Translational research on early gastrointestinal cancers

  Jurjen Boonstra

Hepatocellular carcinoma

  Minneke Coenraad

Detection and prevention of heritary Tumors

  Hans Vasen

Fibroblasts in the progression of gastrointestinal diseases 

  Luuk Hawinkels