Interview met Prof. Rooman (30/10/2023)
Professor Rooman, hoofd van onze onderzoeksgroep, werd onlangs geïnterviewd door de Stichting tegen Kanker. In het interview geeft ze wat meer uitleg over haar onderzoek naar pancreaskanker en metastase.
Kick-off symposium TRANSCAN-3 JTC-2021 (17-18/10/2023)
On October 17-18, 2023 the Kick-off symposium of the ERA-NET activity TRANSCAN-3 on the topic "Next generation cancer immunotherapy: targeting the tumor microenvironment" was organized by the Latvian Science Council in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Health. The meeting took place at the University of Latvia in Riga. More than 70 top scientists joined the discussion on new possibilities in cancer treatment, the practical use of immunotherapy, biomarkers for evaluating the progress and effect of therapy, and issues of resistance. Dr. Ilse Rooman was invited to present the latest advancements of the TRanSLIT project at this Symposium.
For more information on this TRanSLIT project, please have a look at our dedicated website https://transcan-translit.eu/
Spatial analysis reveals an underestimated intra-ductal heterogeneity in pancreatic cancer (23/10/2023)
The laboratory of Medical and Molecular Oncology (LMMO), led by Prof. Dr. Ilse Rooman, published a paper on pancreatic cancer research using human tumor resections from the UZ Brussels hospital (Prof. Dr. Nouredin Messaoudi). PhD student, Ellis Michiels, uncovered PDAC subtype heterogeneity on the level of single pancreatic tumor ducts. Unprecedentedly, novel subtype-specific panels for in situ hybridization included successful detection of point mutations on patient derived tissue displaying mesenchymal-like tumor cells omitted with common immunostainings. Moreover, the technique offers enhanced identification of more aggressive basal-like cell states compared to widely used protein markers. The group highlights the importance of implementing spatial profiling in the clinic to improve patient stratification in diagnostics and treatment decision.
New paper highlights the discovery of heterotopic tissue in the pancreas (17/10/2023)
In a new study released in Diagnostic Pathology, dr. Sandrina Martens, supervised by Prof. Ilse Rooman of the Laboratory of Medical and Molecular Oncology (LMMO), demonstrated for the first time the presence of heterotopic tissue of salivary gland at the pancreatic location. This data indicates the possibility of an easily overlooked abnormality, which warrants further investigation into the causes and potential symptoms.
New research shows insights into pancreatic acinar dedifferentiation (28/08/2023)
We are pleased to announce that the journal Cell Death & Disease has published our latest research on pancreatic acinar cell dedifferentiation. PhD student Zhaolong Pan as the first author, supervised by the head of the Laboratory for Medical and Molecular Oncology (LMMO) at VUB, Prof. Ilse Rooman, revealed that xCT specifically prevents acinar cell ferroptosis by fueling the glutathione pool and maintaining ROS balance. The data suggest that xCT offers a druggable tipping point to steer the pancreatic acinar cell fate in stress conditions. This work is in collaboration with Prof. Ann Massie (NAVI) and was supported by funds from the Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO).
First results presented by Dr. Eva Rodriguez Aznar at Gordon Research Conference (30/04/2023)
On April 30- May 2023 the biannual Pancreatic Disease Gordon Research Conference was organized in Lucca, Italy. This year the conference was focused on 'Understanding Cell Behavior and Communication' in pancreatic diseases with the goal of gaining insights into how the systemic and local environment impact endocrine and exocrine cells in health and disease.
Dr. Eva Rodriguez Aznar, postdoctoral researcher at LMMO VUB, presented a poster at this conference displaying the first results of the TranSLIT project: "SLIT-ROBO signaling promotes PDAC progression and metastasis".
The Pancreatic Diseases GRC is a premier, international scientific conference focused on advancing the frontiers of science through the presentation of cutting-edge and unpublished research. The conference program includes a diverse range of speakers and discussion leaders from institutions and organizations worldwide, concentrating on the latest developments in the field.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Interview with Bart Neyns in deMens.nu (09/04/2019)