I simply love my job. That’s what Ruben van Boxtel, one of our youngest Oncode Investigators, says when asked about his motivation to go to the lab every day. Although every job comes with its challenges, many people will relate to this statement.
"To love what you do is one of the core ingredients of doing it well. Motivation comes naturally, it’s easier to inspire others and you won’t easily give up on something you love."
Especially that last part is a key motivator to fulfill our mission at Oncode Institute: outsmarting cancer, impacting lives. We all face the consequences of cancer, as 1 in 3 individuals will be affected at some point in their life. Only recently it was reported that cancer is now the number one cause of death in wealthy countries. We need to develop more ways to combat cancer. This is not done overnight, but we see signs of success appear every day.
Cancer is now the number one cause of death in wealthy countries. We need to develop more ways to combat cancer. This is not done overnight, but we see signs of success appear every day.
For example, research by Oncode Investigator Emile Voest shows that one third of patients who have exhausted their treatment options can still respond to existing therapies which are actually not intended for the type of cancer they suffer from. One of the keys in this approach is to make a detailed map of the genetic background of the tumour. Although every tumour is different, specific genetic footprints can make them vulnerable for already existing treatments. A promising approach to impact lives.
With this magazine, we will update you on the latest from Oncode. In this issue we asked Oncode Investigator Jannie Borst of the Leiden University Medical Center and Andrea van Elsas, Chief Scientific Officer at Aduro Biotech, to reflect on the lessons we can learn from the development of a successful immunotherapeutic. Next, you can immerse yourself in the world of myeloid tumours by reading about our visit to the lab of Rebekka Schneider of the Erasmus Medical Center. On a more personal note, we would like you to get to know the researcher whom we quoted at the top of this page: Ruben van Boxtel, Junior Oncode Investigator at the Princess Máxima Center and father of five. Enjoy reading!