Jolanda de Vries


Jolanda de Vries

Professor Jolanda de Vries is headĀ of the Department of Tumor Immunology at the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences. Her main focus of research is on dendritic cell (DC) biology and on translational immunology. She belongs to the pioneers that translated dendritic cell biology into clinical practice. The first clinical phase I/II studies in which cancer patients were vaccinated with DC loaded with tumor-specific peptides date back to 1997. Along these early clinical trials she also developed novel immuno-monitoring tools that are highly predictive for extended survival after vaccination with DC (J Clin Oncology 2005). Similarly, she developed novel imaging tools to image the migration of DC in vivo by MRI (Nature Biotechnology 2005), or to measure antigen specific T cells responses in vivo by PET imaging (PNAS 2011). Her current work is focused on the biology and clinical use of DC that naturally occur in the blood. This has led to a randomised phase III trial with plasmacytoid DC and myeloid cDC2.

Short CV

Jolanda de Vries performed her PhD at the Department of Dermatology of University Medical Centre Utrecht from 1991-1997. In 1997 she joined the Department of Tumor Immunology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre/Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences. Initially as postdoc, followed by a tenure track as assistant professor. Safter tenured (2006), she became full professor in Translational Tumor Immunology in 2011. In 2019 she was appointed head of the department. Jolanda de Vries is the recipient of several prestigious awards and prizes, including the Huibregstsenprijs and the Radboud penning in 2017. She obtained a NWO Vidi award in 2007 and a NWO Vici award in 2014. In 2016 she received a 20 MEuro grant from the Dutch Health Care ministry, to carry out a large randomized clinical study with natural dendritic cell vaccines.

Breakthrough Discoveries

  1. Maturation of in-vitro generated monocyte-derived DC for vaccination of cancer patients is essential for antitumor immunity.
  2. Tumor specificity of skin infiltrating lymphocytes obtained from DC-induced DTH sites correlates with clinical outcome in melanoma patients vaccinated with DC either loaded with tumor-associated peptides or mRNA encoding tumor-associated antigens.
  3. Plasmacytoid DC can take up antigen via Fcgamma RII and are able to cross present antigen to CD8 T cells.
  4. Platinum chemotherapy has a positive effect on DC induced immune responses in vitro by inhibiting STAT6 and thereby inhibiting immune inhibitory molecule expression on DC.
  5. Vaccination with naturally occurring peptide-loaded blood DC are able to induce antitumor responses in cancer patients and thereby have a beneficial effect on clinical outcome

Key Publications

  1. Lesterhuis WJ, Punt CJ, Hato SV, Eleveld-Trancikova D, Jansen BJ, Nierkens S, Schreibelt G, de Boer A, Van Herpen CM, Kaanders JH, van Krieken JH, Adema GJ, Figdor CG, de Vries IJM. Platinum-based drugs disrupt STAT6-mediated suppression of immune responses against cancer in humans and mice. The Journal of clinical investigation, 2011. 121(8): 3100-8.
  2. Wimmers F, Subedi N, van Buuringen N, Heister D, Vivie J, Beeren-Reinieren I, Woestenenk R, Dolstra H, Piruska A, Jacobs JFM, van Oudenaarden A, Figdor CG, Huck WTS, de Vries IJM, Tel J. Single-cell analysis reveals that stochasticity and paracrine signaling control interferon alpha production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Nature Communications, 2018. 9(1): 3317. 
  3. Tel J, Aarntzen EH, Baba T, Schreibelt G, Schulte BM, Benitez-Ribas D, Boerman OC, Croockewit S, Oyen WJ, van Rossum M, Winkels G, Coulie PG, Punt CJ, Figdor CG, de Vries IJ. Natural human plasmacytoid dendritic cells induce antigen-specific T-cell responses in melanoma patients. Cancer Res, 2013. 73(3): 1063-75.
  4. 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, Nordkamp, MAMO, van Oorschot, TGM, Tel, J, Winkels, G, Petry, K, Blokx, WAM, van Rossum, MM, Welzen, MEB, Mus, RDM, Croockewit, SAJ, 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. Clinical Cancer Research, 2016. 22(9): p. 2155-2166.
  5. de Vries IJ, Lesterhuis WJ, Barentsz JO, Verdijk P, van Krieken JH, Boerman OC, Oyen WJ, Bonenkamp JJ, Boezeman JB, Adema GJ, Bulte JW, Scheenen TW, Punt CJ, Heerschap A, Figdor CG. Magnetic resonance tracking of dendritic cells in melanoma patients for monitoring of cellular therapy. Nat Biotechnol, 2005. 23(11): 1407-13.
  6. Aarntzen EH, Srinivas M, De Wilt JH, Jacobs JF, Lesterhuis WJ, Windhorst AD, Troost EG, Bonenkamp JJ, van Rossum MM, Blokx WA, Mus RD, Boerman OC, Punt CJ, Figdor CG, Oyen WJ, de Vries IJ. Early identification of antigen-specific immune responses in vivo by [18F]-labeled 3′-fluoro-3′-deoxy-thymidine ([18F]FLT) PET imaging. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2011. 108(45): 18396-9.
  7. Koshkina O, Lajoinie G, Bombelli FB, Swider E, Cruz LF, White PB, Schweins R, Dolen Y, van Dinther EAW, van Riessen NK, Roger SE, Fokkink R, Voets IK, van Eck ERH, Heerschap A, Versluis M, de Korte CL, Figdor CG, de Vries IJM, Srinivas M. Multicore Liquid perfluorocarbon-loaded multimodal nanoparticles for stable ultrasound and F-19 MRI applied to in vivo cell tracking. Advanced Functional Materials, 2019. 29(19): 1806485.