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Discovering basal pancreatic cells (26/09/2022)



Knowledge for growth (21/09/2021)

We are happy to announce that our PhD student, Ellis Michiels, has been selected for a presentation at ‘Knowledge for growth’ conference organized by Flanders.Bio. It is an event that attracts decision makers from biotech, medtech, agriculture and chemical industry as well as investigators, universities, research institutes, policymakers and competence providers

Ellis is developing pancreatic cancer organoids from human tumor resection material and focusses on tumor subtyping by transcriptomic analysis and spatial immunohistochemistry. During her oral poster presentation, preliminary data will be shared demonstrating for the first time in situ detection of a specific oncogene in pancreatic cancer both on original tumors and their derived 3D model using BaseScope technology. This novel way of mutation detection opens new insights for personalized medicine.


Breakthrough in pancreatic cancer research (10/08/2021)

A team of researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the UZ Brussel and elsewhere in Belgium and abroad, led by VUB professor Ilse Rooman, have discovered a cell in the pancreas of healthy people that is very similar to the most aggressive pancreatic cancer cells. With this discovery, the researchers hope to gain more insight into the development of this dangerous cancer, so that it can be better detected and treated. Ninety percent of patients die within five years of diagnosis. In recent years, the number of people with pancreatic cancer has been increasing.

Press release VUB

Doorbraak in onderzoek naar pancreaskanker (10/08/2021)

Een team onderzoekers van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel, het UZ Brussel en een aantal wetenschappers uit binnen- en buitenland, onder leiding van VUB-prof Ilse Rooman, hebben in de pancreas van gezonde mensen een cel ontdekt die heel veel gelijkenis heeft met de agressiefste pancreaskankercellen. Met deze ontdekking hopen de onderzoekers meer inzicht in de ontwikkeling van deze gevaarlijke kanker te krijgen, zodat die beter opgespoord en behandeld kan worden. Negentig procent van de patiënten overlijdt binnen de vijf jaar. De afgelopen jaren neemt het aantal mensen met pancreaskanker steeds meer toe. Muzikant Arno Hintjens lijdt aan deze vorm van kanker.

Persbericht VUB


New publication from the Rooman lab (09/03/2021)

MECOM permits pancreatic acinar cell dedifferentiation avoiding cell death under stress conditions (accepted for publication in Cell Death and Differentiation)

Link to bioRxiv


A New Approach to Treating Pancreatic Cancer (11/01/2021)

In a study involving mice that published online on November 5 in the Journal For ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, Claudia Gravekamp, Ph.D., and Ilse Rooman, Ph.D., show that combining nicotinamide (the active form of niacin) with the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine thinned out the pancreatic cancer’s  barrier, improved the influx of T cells into the tumors, bolstered the immune response, and activated CD4 T cells—all of which helped shrink pancreatic tumors and their metastases and improved the survival rate of mice. The findings could lead to clinical trials that investigate the effects of this nicotinamide/gemcitabine combination in pancreatic cancer patients.

Press release Albert Einstein College of Medicine


Interview with Bart Neyns in (09/04/2019)

Article in Dutch


Interview with Ilse Rooman in Knack (20/02/2019)

Article in Dutch

Elyne in action