Ragna Haegebaert

CRIG member
Ragna Haegebaert

Doctoral fellow, Lab of General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UGent
Principal Investigator: prof. Katrien Remaut (PhD)


Research focus

Approximately one in four patients with colorectal cancer develop peritoneal carcinomatosis (PM) which is often accompanied with a poor prognosis. Currently, the standard treatments include cytoreductive surgery, intravenous (IV) chemotherapy and/or intraperitoneal (IP) therapeutics. Many patients, however, will have a reoccurrence of disease. Recently, the targeting of the tumor microenvironment (TME) to treat cancers has become a topic of interest. The TME can harbor cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), regulatory T-cells, anti-inflammatory macrophages (M2) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), resulting in an immune environment that enables tumor growth and treatment resistance. 

In this project, nanoparticles will be formulated with immunomodulatory therapeutics to target the TME to treat PM. The use of immunomodulatory therapeutics is hypothesized to increase the concentration of dendritic cells (DC), natural killer (NK) cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) within the TME, such that the TME has a more favorable immune phenotype. The formulations will be optimized in vitro and then later evaluated in rat or mice model of peritoneal carcinomatosis following IP drug delivery.

Contact & links