Department of Medical Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
Els Verdegaal is Assistant Professor involved in the Experimental Cancer Immunology and Therapy program of the Department of Medical Oncology of the Leiden University Medical Center that aims to implement immunotherapy as treatment modality for patients with solid tumors. She focuses on the exploration of key factors in host-tumor interactions that determine successes and failures in immune control of cancer in order to drive the improvement of our immunotherapeutic strategies.
She heads the group that translates the results of pre-clinical studies into development and use of adoptive T-cell therapy for the treatment of cancer in clinical trials. These trials are performed in close collaboration with the GMP-certified Interdivisional GMP Facility Leiden. Following the publication of a phase I/II study on the adoptive transfer of tumor-specific ex-vivo expanded T-cells for the treatment of melanoma, similar protocols were developed for the treatment of cervical cancer and ovarian cancer. In the context of these studies she published on the involvement of neoantigen-specific T cells in successful adoptive T cell therapy and acquired research grants from the Dutch Cancer Society and others to continue and extent this work.