Translational research on early gastrointestinal (GI) cancers

Dr. Jurjen Boonstra

As a gastroenterologist, I participate in the LUMC Upper GI cancer team for gastric cancer and oesophagus cancer which diagnoses and treats approximately 180 patients with oesophageal-gastric cancer (OGC) each year. The dismal prognosis of this disease prompts us to search for innovative techniques that potentially could contribute to tailoring the treatment  of our patients. Translation cancer research that transforms the latest discoveries in the laboratory into innovative new treatments could contribute to improvement of the outcome OGC patients. Unfortunately, valid preclinical models for this type of cancer are scares. Therefore, one of the key issues in our research is the establishment of valid in vitro (3D tumor cell cultures) and in vivo (patient derived xenografts) models derived from pre-treatment biopsies obtained during endoscopy. 

As an interventional endoscopist at the Leiden Center for Interventional Endoscopy (website link), my focus is on endoscopic mucosal and submucosal resection of early neoplasia in the GI tract. Especially, research on the optimal technique for the endoscopic resection of large polyps and early neoplasia colorectal cancer has my interest and is reflected in the participations in several nationwide initiatives. Furthermore, we conduct clinical research that involves the treatment of early colorectal cancer and is mainly focused on which patients can be cured by endoscopic resection and which should referred for additional surgery. 


After obtaining his master degree in medicine (2006) at the Rijks University of Groningen, Jurjen Boonstra, obtained his PhD in 2011 on his thesis  “Translational research on esophageal adenocarcinoma: from cell line to clinic”, at the ErasmusMC. In 2010, he started his training as gatroenterologist in the Antonius Ziekenhuis Nieuwegein and the UMC Utrecht, with special interest in interventional endoscopy and oncology. In 2016 he started as a staff member at the LUMC,  and became head of the endoscopy department in 2017. 

PhD student ongoing

Richard Dang


If you are a student and interested in clinical or preclinical research on GI cancer or interventional endoscopy, do not hesitate and contact me:


If you are a biomedical start up or a private company with common interest and searching for a public-private collaboration; you can contact:

Selected publications

1. Boonstra JJ, de Vos Tot Nederveen Cappel WH, Langers AM, van der Sluis H, Hardwick JH, Vasen HF. Colonoscopy in Lynch syndrome: the need for a new quality score. Fam Cancer. 2017 Apr;16(2):239-241. doi: 10.1007/s10689-016-9950-0. 

2. van der Sluis PC, Ubink I, van der Horst S, Boonstra JJ, Voest EE, Ruurda JP, Borel Rinkes IH, Wiezer MJ, Schipper ME, Siersema PD, Los M, Lolkema MP, van Hillegersberg R. Safety, Efficacy, and Long-Term Follow-Up Evaluation of Perioperative Epirubicin, Cisplatin, and Capecitabine Chemotherapy in Esophageal Resection for Adenocarcinoma. Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 Jan 7.

3. Boonstra JJ, Tilanus HW, Dinjens WN. Translational research on esophageal adenocarcinoma: from cell line to clinic. Dis Esophagus. Dis Esophagus. 2015 Jan;28(1):90-6. doi: 10.1111/dote.12095.

4. Boonstra JJ, van Marion R, Douben HJ, Lanchbury JS, Timms KM, Abkevich V, Tilanus HW, de Klein A, Dinjens WN. Mapping of homozygous deletions in verified esophageal adenocarcinoma cell lines and xenografts.  Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2012 Mar;51(3):272-82. doi: 10.1002/gcc.20952.

5. Boonstra JJ, Kok TC, Wijnhoven BP, van Heijl M, van Berge Henegouwen MI, Ten Kate FJ, Siersema PD, Dinjens WN, van Lanschot JJ, Tilanus HW, van der Gaast A. Chemotherapy followed by surgery versus surgery alone in patients with resectable oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma: long-term results of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Cancer. 2011 May 19;11:181. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-11-181.

6. Boonstra JJ, van Marion R, Tilanus HW, Dinjens WN. Functional polymorphisms associated with disease-free survival in resected carcinoma of the esophagus. J Gastrointest Surg. 2011 Jan;15(1):48-56. doi: 10.1007/s11605-010-1358-9

7. Boonstra JJ, van Marion R, Beer DG, Lin L, Chaves P, Ribeiro C, Pereira AD, Roque L, Darnton SJ, Altorki NK, Schrump DS, Klimstra DS, Tang LH, Eshleman JR, Alvarez H, Shimada Y, van Dekken H, Tilanus HW, Dinjens WN. Verification and unmasking of widely used human esophageal adenocarcinoma cell lines. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2010 Feb 24;102(4):271-4. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djp499.

8. Boonstra JJ, Koppert LB, Wijnhoven BP, Tilanus HW, Van Dekken H, Tran TC, Van der Gaast A.Chemotherapy followed by surgery in patients with carcinoma of the distal esophagus and celiac lymph node involvement. J Surg Oncol. 2009 Oct 1;100(5):407-13. doi: 10.1002/jso.21358.

9. Boonstra JJ, Dinjens WN, Tilanus HW, Koppert LB. Molecular biological challenges in the treatment of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Dec;1(2):275-86. doi: 10.1586/17474124.1.2.275

10. Boonstra JJ, van der Velden AW, Beerens EC, van Marion R, Morita-Fujimura Y, Matsui Y, Nishihira T, Tselepis C, Hainaut P, Lowe AW, Beverloo BH, van Dekken H, Tilanus HW, Dinjens WN. Mistaken identity of widely used esophageal adenocarcinoma cell line TE-7. Cancer Res. 2007 Sep 1;67(17):7996-8001.