The Brain: can we beat this obstacle course?
The role of the blood-brain barrier and its impact on brain cancer treatment
Due to its vital importance, our body spends a lot of energy protecting our brain from potentially harmful external influences. This protection relies on a tightly linked network of blood vessels that forms the "blood-brain barrier". Unfortunately, this protection is so effective that it also rejects most anti-cancer drugs and therefore limits our capacity to develop brain cancer treatments. Mark will present what this bloodbrain barrier looks like and how cancer researchers are overcoming this hurdle to design effective new treatments.
Mark de Gooijer
The use of targeted radiotherapy for treatment of brain tumors
The most effective treatment of brain tumors nowadays is radiotherapy: targeting cancer cells with ionizing radiation. Paul will discuss how this radiation affects tumor cells, what the challenges of radiotherapy are and how cancer researchers are overcoming them to increase the efficacy of radiotherapy.
How our immune system can (better) fight cancer
Radiotherapy is very effective, but typically not once tumor cells have started to spread to different parts the body. To the brain, for example. However, our own immune system is an ideal weapon for treatment! Inge will discuss what makes immune cells called T cells special, and how manipulating them with immunotherapy can boost their activity. She will discuss the current research into how combination of immune-, radio- and chemotherapy might just be what some tumors need!