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Debets, Reno

Debets foto - CopyReno Debets has received his MSc degree (1991, cum laude) in Biological Sciences at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands, and has received his PhD degree (1996, cum laude) in the field of cytokines and skin inflammation at the Dept of Immunology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow for 3 years at DNAX Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA (currently part of Merck laboratories), where he contributed to the discovery and functional characterization of novel interleukin-1 family members.

Reno Debets is head of the laboratory of Tumor Immunology, Department of Medical Oncology, Erasmus MC-Cancer Institute (since 2000). He is a certified Immunologist (since 2005) and an Associate professor (since 2010). Reno Debets’ laboratory takes part in international consortia and consists of 15 people, including PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. Research of his laboratory is involved in three activities towards new or ongoing patient studies:
• Development and testing of T cell receptor-engineered T cells
• Understand and intervene with cross-talk between tumor cells and micro-milieu
• Immune monitoring of T cell phenotype and function

• Contributing to development of T cell therapies of various solid tumors and leukemias.
• Phase I/II studies to assess the activity of gene-engineered T cells in advanced renal cell cancer, the first clinical study of its nature in Europe (completed); advanced esophago-gastric cancer and melanoma (sponsor: EU, ongoing); and advanced melanoma and head-and-neck carcinoma (sponsor: Dutch Cancer Society, in preparation).
• Monitoring of patient T cell phenotype and reactivity in multiple patient trials, amongst others: T cell therapy studies; vaccination studies; and oncolytic adenovirus therapy.
• Charting immune evasive mechanisms in breast tumors, and intervening with immune evasion to support T cell therapy (sponsor: Dutch Cancer Society)
• Developing and testing novel strategies that enhance T cell recruitment and T cell co-stimulation.

• Lamers C et al. Treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma with autologous T-lymphocytes genetically retargeted against carbonic anhydrase IX: first clinical experience. J Clin Oncol, 2006 24:e20.
• Lamers C et al. Treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma with CAIX CAR-engineered T cells: clinical evaluation and management of on-target toxicity. Mol Ther, 2013 21:904.
• Govers C et al. TCRs genetically linked to CD28 and CD3ε do not mispair with endogenous TCR chains and mediate enhanced T cell persistence and anti-melanoma activity. J Immunol, 2014 193:5315.
• Straetemans T et al. Recurrence of melanoma following T cell treatment: continued antigen expression in a tumor that evades T cell recruitment. Mol Ther, 2015 23:396.

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