Cancer is still one of the leading causes of death, despite large investments in cancer research. Currently, the pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a transition towards personalized medicine, where drugs are directed against biological defects underlying the tumor. However, to be able to discover and develop drugs that specifically target the pathophysiology of an individual patient, we need more knowledge about the molecular and cellular mechanisms of tumor development and metastasis,  and about the interaction between cancer cells and the body’s immune system. This requires human model systems of cancer.

Modeling of tumors

As animal models and conventional cell culture models based on cell lines in dishes do not truly reflect cancer in the human body and have limited predictive value for drug response, hDMT is pioneering the modeling of tumors on microfluidic chips that are based on primary cancer tissue and will ultimately incorporate the human immune response. The resulting organ-on-chip type human cancer models can be used for research of cancer growth and metastasis, drug target discovery (including for immunotherapy), testing drug compounds, and for associated companion diagnostics.


Program coordinators

Prof. dr. John Martens
(Erasmus MC)

Dr. Anika Nagelkerke