Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps strengthen your immune system, so it can destroy cancer cells. The Netherlands Cancer Institute is a leading party in immunotherapy research.
Immunotherapy has been the most important new development in cancer treatment in recent years. Immunotherapy is an umbrella term for a variety of treatments that work by reinforcing the human immune system to help it fight cancer cells in the way it normally fights off bacteria. The treatment is focused on activating the immune system instead of targeting the tumor, as is the case for chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The results are often spectacular. The Netherlands Cancer Institute is a leading party in national and international immunotherapy research and its clinical application. Through scientific research at our lab and clinic, we can make a vital contribution to the current understanding of the immune system and cancer. Some of our present studies explore the application of immunotherapy at an earlier stage, map out the differences between immune system reactions in patients, or work on the development of drugs for cancer types that currently cannot be treated with immunotherapy. We aim to understand the reasons why the immune reaction in our patients is not sufficient to destroy cancer cells, in order to develop a personalized immunotherapy treatment.