Elias Van De Vijver

CRIG member
Elias Van De Vijver

PhD student - Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics (UZGent/UGent)
PhD student - Department of Biomolecular Medicine (UGent)
Principal investigators: prof. Hans Van Vlierberghe (MD, PhD) & prof. Marleen Van Troys (PhD)


Research focus

Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the fate of a majority of HCC patients, is the third most common cause of cancer related mortality. Systemic therapy using tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) such as Sorafenib or, since November 2020, the combination of a TKI and an immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) (Atezolizumab + Bevacizumab) only provides a short survival benefit for only a subset of patients and exhibits substantial adverse effects. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new treatment options using combination therapies with complementary mechanisms to maximize efficacy and minimize resistance. 
Deubiquitinases (DUBs) are a large family of druggable enzymes that control oncoproteins or their regulators. We have already shown that inhibition of a specific deubiquitinase strongly sensitizes HCC cells to the clinically used TKIs.
We optimize imaging-based in vitro spheroid (invasion) screening to investigate e.g. DUB targeting in combination with TKIs or ICIs and also developed novel software for robust and detailed high throughput analysis of the drug effects on the 3D in-vitro spheroid cultures.

Key publications

  • SImBA: A user friendly high throughput tool for spheroid invasion analysis of hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines, Poster presentation: The Liver Cancer Summit 2020, EASL, 06-08/02/2020, Prague, CZ; The International Liver Congress 2020, EASL, 15-19/04/2020, London, GB.

Contact & links