Jolanda de Vries

Photo of Jolanda de VriesJolanda M. de Vries (PhD) is a Professor at the Department of Tumor Immunology at the Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences.

She was one of the pioneers to translate dendritic cell biology into potential clinical applications. The first clinical phase I/II studies in which patients were vaccinated with dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with tumor-specific peptides were initiated in 1997. She also developed a novel immuno-monitoring assay that is highly predictive for extended survival after vaccination with DCs (J Clin Oncology 2005).

Her primary scientific interest continues along the line of DC-immunotherapy and in particular the migration and imaging of DC. For example, in-vivo imaging of ex-vivo labeled cells using MRI (Nature Biotechnology 2005). New opportunities, for example preventive vaccination of patients prone to develop cancer at an early age, are explored.

Dendritic cell therapy with mutant gene products in MSI cancers

Dendritic cells (DCs) are the antigen-presenting cells of the immune system. Their decisive role in inducing immunity formed the rationale for DC immunotherapy: DCs loaded with tumor antigens are injected into cancer patients to stimulate T cells to eradicate tumors. Ex vivo generated and tumor-antigen-loaded dendritic cells (DC) are currently used in clinical vaccination protocols in cancer patients. In this study we intended to induce or enhance an immune response to frameshift-mutation-derived neopeptides in Lynch syndrome mutation carriers (with and without colorectal adenoma or carcinoma) and tested the hypothesis that DC vaccination might be effective as prophylactic treatment in Lynch syndrome. This may have important implications for vaccination of individuals that, because of their genetic background, are at high risk to develop cancer early in life.