Tumor Immunology


Course Objective

• To acquire a working knowledge of various cellular mechanisms
underlying antitumor immunity.
• To understand cellular interactions between the immune system and
tumor cells.
• To acquire insight into the various strategies of host immune
responses against tumor cells, and how tumor cells escape immune
• To understand novel immunotherapeutic strategies against cancer.
• To acquire insight in the monitoring and profiling of effective immune
responses during immunotherapy of cancer.
• To apply the acquired knowledge and interpret scientific literature
and scientific hypotheses pertaining to each of the topics described

Course Content

Developing novel immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of
cancer represents a rapidly growing field of research in medicine. In
order to design successful strategies it is essential to understand the
complex interactions between tumor cells and the immune system. The
course will give the student the opportunity to enhance his or her
knowledge of tumor immunology. Special focus will lie on immunological
processes accompanying tumor development as well as opportunities to use
the immune system to fight cancer. As this is an advanced course in the
field of immunology and oncology, it will also cover in-depth
discussions on molecular mechanisms underlying immune-tumor cross-talk.
Students should be familiar with basic immunology and oncology,
preferably via a previous basic training course in immunology and

Topics include:
- immune surveillance of cancer, tumor escape mechanisms,
- approaches (e.g. DC vaccination, monoclonal antibody therapy, adoptive
T cell
transfer), state-of-the–art clinical trials and monitoring immune
responses in cancer

Teaching Methods

Lectures, Journal Clubs, Debating Clubs

Method of Assessment

A written exam at the end of week 4 will consist of essay (open)
questions. Active participation in presentations, discussions and
Debating Clubs is part of the appraisal. A substitute assignment is
required when one or more workshops have not been attended.
Final grade: combination of Open Questions (85%) and participation
Debating Clubs (15%) To succeed: a minimum of 5.50 for the written exam


Chapter 15 of “The Biology of Cancer, Weinberg, Garland Science”.
Furthermore, all lectures, reviews and scientific papers for workshops
and scientific debates can be found on CANVAS.

Target Audience

This course is compulsory for Master Oncology students.
External candidates are also allowed, if accepted by the program
coordinator. Students from other master programs must have basic
knowledge of Oncology and Immunology and will only be accepted when the
number of master Oncology students is less than 40. They have to send
their cv, motivation and transcript of records via email to the program
coordinator. At the beginning of July 2018, students will be informed
about the acceptance.

Additional Information

A solid basal knowledge of immunology and oncology is compulsory before
start of the course.

Prof.dr. Marjolein van Egmond
Prof.dr. Tanja de Gruijl

Custom Course Registration

All students of the Master Oncology Program have to attend the compulsory Courses of the program. For all your courses you must register through VUnet.vu.nl This way, you find out immediately if a place is available. All activities for which you are registered will be displayed in your personal timetable, which also includes any timetable changes. If you have not registered for a course then you will not be admitted to that course, you will not be assigned to a group, you will not be able to use CANVAS, you will have no timetable, your grades will not be recorded, etc. In short, you will not be able to take part. From the moment that you are conditionally registered for a programme, you can sign up for specific courses via VUnet.vu.nl

General Information

Course Code M_OTUMIM10
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty VUmc School of Medical Sciences
Course Coordinator prof. dr. T.D. de Gruijl
Examiner prof. dr. T.D. de Gruijl
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture