Prospectus

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Allogeneic Transplantation and Immunotherapy: From Bench to Bedside

Course 2016-2017

Admission requirements

  • Sufficient knowledge of Immunology is required (comparable to the Immunology taught in the bachelor Biomedical Sciences).
  • Successful completion of How To Write A Research Proposal is strongly recommended.
  • Students who passed the half minor Immunotherapy of Cancer in BSc, are discouraged to follow the FOS course.

Description

Period: October 24 – Nov 18, 2016
The course will give detailed insight into clinical and research aspects of allogeneic stem cell transplantation as treatment modality for hematological malignancies. In allogeneic stem cell transplantation, an immune system from a healthy donor is transplanted into the patient with the aim to induce an effective immune response against the tumor cells. Unfortunately, desired anti-tumor immunity is often accompanied with undesired side effects against healthy tissues which may lead to a life threatening complication known as Graft-versus-Host Disease Optimization of the balance between desired anti-tumor immunity and undesired side effects is highly relevant to improve overall survival, quality of life and applicability of allogeneic stem cell transplantation as treatment modality for hematological malignancies.
Students will be introduced into different aspects by lectures given by experts in the field followed by self-study assignments, which will be discussed in workgroups. Students will be trained in critical reading of recently published research papers and will practice in oral presentations and participation in discussions. Students will attend patient demonstrations, visit the outpatient clinic as well as diagnostic and research laboratories of the department of Hematology. Students will write a newspaper article and small reports on the experiments performed in the diagnostic and research laboratories. The course will be finished with a written exam consisting of a number of questions in which insight into working mechanisms of allogeneic stem cell transplantation and cellular therapies is tested.

Students will be introduced into the following aspects of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation:

  • Normal hematopoiesis, hematological malignancies and their treatment modalities.
  • Transplantation of an immune system from a healthy donor into a cancer patient (allo-immunity); the desired anti-tumor effect and undesired complications known as graft versus host disease.
  • Use and manipulation of donor T lymphocytes to treat hematological malignancies in transplanted patients.
  • Donor T lymphocytes recognizing polymorphic antigens in transplanted patients (allo-reactive T cells); characterization of allo-reactive T cells and their HLA-binding targets.
  • Interactions between leukemic cells and the immune system, donor selection and graft versus host disease.
  • Therapeutic antibodies to treat hematological malignancies in transplanted patients.
  • Development and clinical application of anti-tumor therapies; in vitro isolation and expansion of antigen specific T cells for adoptive transfer, T cell receptor gene transfer.

This course will particularly work on:
Research competences:
defining a research question, study-design, choice of appropriate techniques, integration of different biomedical disciplines, knowledge of literature and methods, interpretation of results.
Professional competences:
team-work; participation in discussions; use of language; clarity, consistency and transparency in presentations; knowledge of literature and application of this knowledge, developing creativity by combining different perspectives.

Course objectives

To get detailed insight into clinical and research aspects of:

  • allogeneic stem cell transplantation as treatment modality for hematological malignancies
  • use of cellular therapy to treat hematological malignancies after allogeneic stem cell transplantation

Mode of instruction

Lectures, self-study assignments, work-groups

Assessment method

Students will be assessed for oral presentations, participations in discussions, newspaper article and written exam.
Further information about the assessment can be found on the Blackboardsite of this course.