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Research group/lab

Radiobiology of Radionuclide Therapy

To understand cellular mechanisms of radionuclide therapies and to use these insights to optimize treatment strategies for prostate- and neuroendocrine tumors.

About our research group/lab

Our research

Molecular radionuclide therapy

Molecular radionuclide therapies (MRT) are revolutionizing treatment of patients with metastasized cancers. During MRT, radioactively labeled compounds are targeted to the cancer cells via specific tumor binding. Once bound to the tumor cells, the radionuclides will induce DNA damage leading to cancer cell death. Currently, more cancer patients are being treated with MRT than ever before. However, it is clear that some patients are being over-treated (resulting in toxicity) or under-treated (no tumor regression). This indicates the clinical need for therapy improvement. Our lab focuses on gaining a better understanding of the radiobiology, i.e. of the biological effects of ionizing radiation of MRTs. By using this knowledge, we can significantly contribute to increasing the effectiveness of MRTs by providing evidence in favor of one treatment method or regimen over another. 

Laboratory techniques

In order to answer our research questions, we are using a variety of models and tools. From 2D cultured cells and ex vivo cultured human tumor slices to xenografted mice. This broad range of models allows us to study different aspects of MRTs. We use several cellular assays, immunohistochemistry of human tumor tissue or mouse organs, confocal live-cell microscopy and small animal imaging (SPECT, MRI, optical).

Focus areas

  • Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) for neuroendocrine tumors. Researchers working on this topic: Stefan Roobol, Danny Feijtel, Giulia Tamborino, Thom Reuvers, Nicole Verkaik.
  • Radioligand therapy (RLT) for prostate cancer. Researchers working on this topic: Eline Ruigrok, Nicole van Vliet.

Key Publications

Funding & Grants

KWF Dutch Cancer Society, Daniel den Hoed Foundation, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Medical Research Council UK, commercial collaborations.

Our team

Julie Nonnekens, PhD, j.nonnekens@erasmusmc.nl
Stefan Roobol, MSc, s.roobol@erasmusmc.nl
Eline Ruigrok, MSc, e.ruigrok@erasmusmc.nl
Danny Feijtel, MSc, d.feijtel@erasmusmc.nl
Giulia Tamborino, MSc, g.tamborino@erasmusmc.nl
Thom Reuvers, MSc, t.reuvers@erasmusmc.nl
Nicole Verkaik, BSc, n.verkaik@erasmusmc.nl
Nicole van Vliet, BSc, j.n.vanvliet@erasmusmc.nl