Jolanda de Vries is Professor and Chair of the Department of Tumor Immunology at the Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences. She was one of the pioneers to translate dendritic cell biology into potential clinical applications. The first clinical phase I/II studies in which patients were vaccinated with DCs loaded with tumor-specific peptides were initiated in 1997. Jolanda also developed a novel immuno-monitoring assay that is highly predictive for extended survival after vaccination with DCs. Her primary scientific interest continues along the line of DC-immunotherapy and in particular the migration and imaging of DC.
The Immune System: Keeping Balance (#48)
Jolanda de Vries1
1 Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Tumour Immunology, Nijmegen, Netherlands
Our immune system must protect us against disease. To do so, it detects a variety of foreign and non-self antigens like pathogens and malignant tumors, distinguishes them from healthy self-tissues and harmless environmental antigens, responds adequately or becomes silent and fades out once the danger source is defeated. The immune system is a very powerful but also delicate system. Suboptimal immunologic functioning lies at the heart of many diseases: either the immune system responds excessively (e.g. in autoimmune and allergic diseases) or insufficient (e.g. in the case of cancer). Immunotherapy uses cells or molecules of the immune system to treat a disease or disorder. Fundamental knowledge on the immune system and possible modulation thereof will be presented.
Keywords: antigens, autoimmune, cancer