Gerty Schreibelt


My research focuses on the immunobiology of dendritic cell (DC) subsets with the ultimate goal to use DC as anti-cancer vaccines. My aim is to understand the functional properties of the various DC subsets, focusing on differences in migratory behavior, cytokine-expression, antigen processing and presentation, and to directly translate these findings into new clinical studies with DC-based immunotherapy of cancer. Also, I want to understand how the tumor microenvironment can suppress the immunostimulatory functions of DC. For the department of Tumor Immunology, I am advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP; a.o. DC vaccines) specialist and responsible for GMP production, quality control and product release of DC vaccines for the clinical studies with DC vaccination of cancer. My research thus covers basic research as well as the clinical application.

Short CV

Gerty Schreibelt obtained her Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Groningen in 2002 and her PhD from the VU University in Amsterdam in 2007. Her thesis focused on the role of reactive oxygen species in the formation of inflammatory multiple sclerosis lesions. During her PhD, she was a visiting scientist at the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie in Berlin, Germany. After obtaining her PhD, she joined the department of Tumor Immunology in the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS), where she studies the use of dendritic cells as anti-cancer vaccines. Gerty’s research mainly focusses on natural circulating dendritic cell subsets and their application in immunotherapy of cancer. In a recent clinical study, she showed that immunotherapy with naturally circulating dendritic cells can induce potent anti-tumor immune responses and objective clinical responses in advanced melanoma patients. A phase III randomized placebo-controlled trial to prove clinical efficacy of dendritic cell-based immunotherapy is currently ongoing in stage IIIB and IIIC melanoma patients. Gerty obtained grants from the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF), ZonMW and Stichting Kinderen Kankervrij (KiKa). She is member of the Dutch-Flemish workgroup on Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products and the Dutch Society for Immunology (NVVI) Lunteren Symposium Committee.

Key words: tumor immunology, cancer immunotherapy, dendritic cell vaccines, naturally circulating dendritic cell subsets, GMP, Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP)

Breakthrough discoveries

  • Vaccination with tumor antigen-loaded natural circulating dendritic cell subsets can induce functional anti-tumor immune responses and objective clinical responses in advanced cancer patients (Cancer Research 2013; Clinical Cancer Research 2016).
  • Plasmacytoid and myeloid blood dendritic cells can take up and cross-present tumor antigens to CD8+ T cells (Blood 2013).
  • The C-type lectin receptor CLEC9A mediates antigen uptake and (cross-) presentation by human blood BDCA3+ myeloid dendritic cells (Blood 2012).
  • Prophylactic vaccines contain toll-like receptor ligands and can be used as clinical grade maturation factor for dendritic cells for immunotherapy of cancer (Blood 2010; Cancer Immunol Immunother 2016).

Key publications

  • Schreibelt G, Bol KF, Westdorp H, Wimmers F, Aarntzen EHJG, Duiveman-de Boer T, van de Rakt MWMM, Scharenborg NM, de Boer AJ, Pots JM, Olde Nordkamp MAM, van Oorschot TGM, Tel J, Winkels G, Petry K, Blokx WAM, van Rossum MM, Welzen MEB, Mus RDM, Croockewit AJ,Koornstra RHT, Jacobs JFM, Kelderman S, Blank CU,Gerritsen WR, Punt CJA, Figdor CG, de Vries IJM, Effective clinical responses in metastatic melanoma patients after vaccination with primary myeloid dendritic cells. Clin Cancer Res, 2016. 22(9): 2155-2166.
  • Bol KF, Aarntzen EHJG, Pots JM, Olde Nordkamp MAM, van de Rakt MWMM, Scharenborg NM, de Boer AJ, van Oorschot TGM, Croockewit S, Blokx W, Oyen WJG, Boerman OC, Mus R, van Rossum M, van der Graaf CAA, Punt CJA, Adema GJ, Figdor CG, de Vries IJM, Schreibelt G, Prophylactic vaccines are potent activators of monocyte-derived dendritic cells and drive effective anti-tumor responses in melanoma patients at the cost of toxicity. Cancer Immunol Immunother, 2016. 65(3): 327-339.
  • Tel J*, Schreibelt G*, Sittig SP, Mathan TSM, Buschow SI, Cruz LJ, Lambeck AJA, Figdor CG, de Vries IJM, Human circulating plasmacytoid dendritic cells efficiently cross-present exogenous antigens to CD8+ T cells, despite lower antigen uptake than myeloid dendritic cell subsets. Blood, 2013. 121(3): 459-467.
  • Schreibelt G, Klinkenberg LJ, Cruz LJ, Tacken PJ, Tel J, Kreutz M, Adema GJ, Brown GD, Figdor CG, de Vries IJM, The C-type lectin receptor CLEC9A mediates antigen uptake and (cross-) presentation by human blood BDCA3+ myeloid dendritic cells. Blood, 2012. 119(10): 2284-92.
  • Schreibelt G, Benitez-Ribas D, Schuurhuis D, Lambeck AJ, van Hout-Kuijer M, Schaft N, Punt CJ, Figdor CG, Adema GJ, de Vries IJM, Commonly used prophylactic vaccines as an alternative for synthetically produced TLR ligands to mature monocyte-derived dendritic cells. Blood, 2010. 116(4): 564-74.