Cancer immunology and immunotherapy


The (malfunctioning of the) immune system plays an important role in cancer development and growth. On the other hand, researchers recently discovered that it is possible to reprogram a patient’s own immune system in such a way that it starts attacking cancer cells. The role of the immune system in cancer development and the new possibilities generated by the insights that the immune system can be reprogrammed are extensively studied. Recent breakthroughs were also generated at the clinical level. Promising results of clinical trials using amongst others immune checkpoint inhibitors and adoptive T-cell therapy indeed confirm the numerous insights that were provided by fundamental research. Immunotherapy will become a significant part of the arsenal of treatments for solid as well as hematological tumors.

Within Ghent University, Ghent University Hospital and VIB-UGent, research initiatives concerning cancer immunology and immunotherapy are quickly expanding. The Immuno-Oncological Network (ION) Ghent is a subnetwork associated with CRIG specifically aiming to stimulate research on cancer immunology and immunotherapy, and to gather and share clinical expertise. Ghent University Hospital already has a cell therapy production-unit available, as well as an on-site phase I trial unit, and strong expertise concerning biobanking.

Read more about ION and CRIG researchers (at the fundamental, translational and clinical level) involved in cancer immunology and immunotherapy below.