Patient Advocate: Jules Meijerink
Finding better treatment for patients with blood diseases is the driving ambition in my career. When I was 18, I lost my best friend by cancer, which became one of my driving motivations to work in the cancer research field. Working as Principle Investigator in the Princess Maxima Center for pediatric oncology, research in my research group is focused on the unraveling of genetic drivers of T-cell malignancies (leukemia and lymphoma) and to elucidate their dependencies on specific cellular environments that support their maintenance and growth and that provide protection against chemotherapeutic treatment.
Increased knowledge of such disease intrinsic en extrinsic dependencies that boost leukemia growth, survival and therapy resistance resulting in therapy failure and relapse will help to develop new therapeutic treatment concepts to effectively eradicate these malignancies. Such patient-tailored treatment regimes may help to reduce toxic effects of current high-dose intensive chemotherapeutic treatment by dose reductions. These toxic effects appearing later in life in many patients as increased risks to develop heart-diseases, bone necrosis, infertility, reduced neuro-cognitive function or the development of a new form of cancer. It is an honor for me to be one of the patient advocacies of Inspire-2-live that boosts further energy and inspiration that I can give in my research. Thank you for that