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van Rheenen group

Cancer biophysics

Complication of metastasis, the process in which cells detach from the primary tumor to form new distant tumor sites, is the primary reason why patients die from cancer. Most of our knowledge of tissue homeostasis, tumor initiation, progression and metastasis, and chemotherapy resistance is derived from techniques that draw a static picture of these highly dynamic processes. To study the dynamic aspects of these processes, the van Rheenen group develops state-of-the-art imaging techniques to visualize and study individual cells in real-time in living animals, referred to as intravital microscopy. By these experiments we hope to indetify new drug targets that combined with current clinical approaches may lead to new therapies.

About the research
About the group

"Kijken naar kanker" - Spying on cancer!
This movie by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative, the Netherlands Cancer Institute, the University Medical Center Utrecht and the Hubrecht Institute, visualizes malicious cancer cells during their journey

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Selected recent key publications

Zomer A, Maynard C, Verweij FJ, Kamermans A, Schäfer R, Beerling E, Schiffelers RM, de Wit E, Berenguer J, Ellenbroek SIJ, Wurdinger T, Pegtel DM, van Rheenen J, (2015), In Vivo Imaging Reveals Extracellular Vesicle-Mediated Phenocopying of Metastatic Behavior. Cell, 161(5):1046–1057 Zomer_et_al_extended pdf

Ellenbroek SI, van Rheenen J. (2014) Imaging hallmarks of cancer in living mice. Nature Reviews Cancer, 14(6): 406-18

Ritsma L*, Ellenbroek SI*, Zomer A, Snippert HJ, de Sauvage FJ, Simons BD, Clevers H, van Rheenen J, (2014) Intestinal crypt homeostasis revealed at single-stem-cell level by in vivo live imaging. Nature, 507(7492): 362-5

Ritsma L, Vrisekoop N, van Rheenen (2013) In vivo imaging and histochemistry are combined in the cryosection labelling and intravital microscopy technique. Nat Commun., 4:2366

Ritsma, L.*, Steller, E.J.A.*, Beerling, E., Loomans, C.J.M., Zomer, A., Gerlach, C., Vrisekoop, N., Seinstra, D., van Gurp, L., Schäfer, R., Raats, D.A., de Graaff, A. Schumacher, T.N., de Koning, E.J.P. Borel Rinkes, I.H., Kranenburg, O. van Rheenen, J. (2012) Intravital Microscopy Through an Abdominal Imaging Window Reveals a Pre-Micrometastasis Stage During Liver Metastasis. Sci Transl Med 4, 158ra145.

Jalink K, van Rheenen, J (2010) Nano-imaging of membrane topography affects interpretations in cell biology. Nat. Meth. 7:486.

Snippert HJ, van der Vlier LG, Sato T, van Es JH, van der Born M, Kroen-Veenboer C, Barker N, Klein AM, van Rheenen J, Simons BD, Clevers H. (2010) Intestinal crypt homeostasis results from neutral competition between symmetrically dividing Lgr5 stem cells, Cell, 143(1): 134-144.

Publication list