Developing combinatorial immunotherapy for cancer

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


October 22, 2022


Developing combinatorial immunotherapy for cancer

(ref. BAP-2022-678)

Last modification : Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Over the last years, it has become more and more clear that the immune system plays an important role in the development and progression of cancer. Therefore, the research philosophy of this lab is to unravel this complex issue by monitoring the immune system in patients throughout the disease course and during clinical trials (immune profiling). The next and simultaneous step is the development of more specific and combined immunotherapy in preclinical models, based on the information gathered in patients. We believe these translational correlations are necessary for optimal immunotherapy development. The initial focus of the lab was ovarian cancer, but meanwhile we have broadened our research to three cancer types: ovarian cancer, glioblastoma and uterine sarcoma.

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Glioblastoma (GBM) represents an unmet medical need for our society. Virtually all GBM patients succumb to their disease and an actual cure is still missing. Many novel treatments have been proposed; however, they all failed to prolong patients' survival despite promising preclinical results. In this study, we aim at creating an innovative medicinal product, which is composed of different oncolytic viruses (OVs). After evaluating in depth the efficacy of all the available OVs ever tested in GBM, we will select a group of OVs with high oncolytic efficacy towards the different subgroups of GBM to capture better the heterogenous GBM. In a multi-model in vivo preclinical research platform, we will combine them with the clinical standard of care (surgical removal of the tumor, radiotherapy and chemotherapy). In addition, we will develop a new device aimed at improving the delivery of the viruses to the brain tumors thereby further increasing their efficacy. This approach represents a true innovation in the landscape of GBM.


We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate that wants to find the cure for cancer together with our existing team. You hold a biomedical sciences, medicine or bio-engineering diploma and ideally you already have a FELASA B certificate. You are not reluctant to animal experiments.


We offer you an exciting PhD position in a very enthusiastic team of researchers. Our mission is to find a cure for cancer and to prolong the survival of patients. We collaborate with several national and international partners and with industry to find a solution. Thanks to our close collaboration with clinical partners, the research focus is very translational in nature.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. An Coosemans, tel.: +32 16 37 36 41, mail:

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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