Principal investigator Victor Peperzak, together with hematologists Monique Minnema and Margot Jak, received over half a million euro’s from the Dutch Cancer Foundation (KWF) for a project entitled ‘Personalized strategy to avert drug resistance in hematologic cancers’.
The number of anti-cancer drugs that are approved for use in the clinic is enormous and rapidly increasing, but drug resistance and relapse after treatment is still a very common problem. A logical solution is to combine drugs in the treatment of these cancers. However, with the increase in approved drugs, the number of possible combinations are too high to be tested in clinical trials. What is needed is a strategy that allows finding logical combinations of drugs that have a synergistic effect on malignant cells, thereby reducing the chance of cancer relapse. The main goal of the proposed research is to deploy such a strategy with primary patient cells in a physiological setting. I aim to identify logical combinations of existing drugs to improve treatment of hematologic cancers. More specifically, in this project I will focus on the hematologic cancers multiple myeloma (MM), Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that are currently incurable.