Why are immune cells able to kill viruses and bacteria but not cancer cells? Lenneke Cornelissen researches how cancer cells are able to evade the body’s immune attack. With her obtained knowledge, we might be able to cure more cancer patients in the future with immunotherapy.

Lenneke Cornelissen is a talented, young researcher on cancer immunology at VU Medical Center in Amsterdam. Our immune cells can attack and kill cancer cells, but unfortunately cancer cells suppress immune responses and thus win the fight. Boosting the patient’s own immune system to fight the tumor is the major goal of cancer immunotherapy. It is very promising and it has cured patients which failed to respond to all standard treatments. Nevertheless, it is not successful in all patients and there is still a lot of work to be done in order to understand how we may improve cancer immunotherapy. Lenneke is dedicating her research to find that out.