Katrien Vandemeulebroecke

CRIG member
Katrien Vandemeulebroecke

Research assistent – Lab Pediatric Hemato-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent/UZ Gent)
Principal investigator: prof. Tim Lammens (PhD) 


Research focus

Childhood cancer is still the most common disease-related cause of death in children.  Although cure rates for most cancer types now exceed 70-80%, current treatment regimens face some major challenges. There is an unmet need for novel treatment strategies to increase the survival of high-risk groups and decrease therapy-related side effects in childhood cancer survivors.  We are keeping our focus on various pediatric cancer types i.e. ALL, JMML, AML and neuroblastoma.

My main task is the therapeutic drug monitoring of the asparaginase activity levels in serum for evaluation of therapy effectiveness. Asparaginase is an enzymatic drug essential in the combination chemotherapy of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). This drug depletes asparagine in the blood, and the malignant lymphoid cells, that depend on extracellular asparagine, will go into apoptosis. Monitoring is essential to identify silent inactivation, and thus to guide the therapy.  In Belgium I am the contact person for lab matters on this topic.
Another topic focusses on childhood cancer predisposition for the identification of (novel) oncogenes and tumor suppressors.
My expertise covers divers lab techniques and bioinformatics, including spectrophotometry, ELISA, RNA and DNA analysis techniques, sequencing analysis, cell culture techniques, flow cytometry.

Key publications

  • ‘Prospective, real-time monitoring of pegylated Escherichia coli and Erwinia asparaginase therapy in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Belgium.’ British Journal of Haematology, 2020. (PMID: 32057100)
  • ‘Pinpointing a potential role for CLEC12B in cancer predisposition through familial exome sequencing.’ Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 2019. (PMID: 30350915)

Contact & links

  • Lab address: Laboratory for Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, ingang 10 (route 1034), Ghent University Hospital, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent
  • PHO UZ Gent
  • LinkedIn 
  • ResearchGate 
  • Our lab provides services for therapeutic drug monitoring asparaginase