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Pieters group

Focus of the Pieters group is to improve outcome of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) by the development of personalized therapies. Data from preclinical, translational and clinical studies on (epi)genetic abnormalities, monitoring early therapy responses by minimal residual disease (MRD), immunotherapeutic and chemotherapeutic developments and from therapeutic drug monitoring are studied and implemented in national and international clinical study protocols.

Group leader: Prof.dr. Rob Pieters
Phone +31 (0) 88 972 85 85
Specific goals of the Pieters group
  • Increasing cure rates and quality of life by implementation of immunotherapies including antibody based strategies and cellular therapies in treatment protocols for frontline and relapsed ALL
  • Reduction of therapy and thereby improving quality of life for specific patient groups selected by genetic features and MRD
  • Improving cure rates by development of more effective and more specific therapies for molecular-genetic and immunophenotypic subclasses of ALL
  • More rational and specific use of chemotherapeutic agents by therapeutic drug monitoring
"If cure rates for ALL can go from 0% to 85% in 40 years we can reach 100% in the next 15 years" Prof.dr. Rob Pieters - Group leader

Key publications

Van der Sluis IM, de Lorenzo P, Kotecha RS, Attarbaschi A, Escherich G, Nysom K, Stary J, Ferster A, Brethon B, Locatelli L, Schrappe M, Scholte-van Houtem PE, Valsecchi MG, Pieters R. Blinatumomab added to chemotherapy in infant lymphoblastic leukemia. N Engl J Med 2023; 388: 1572-1581. Pubmed PMID: 37099340

Pieters R, de Groot-Kruseman HA, Fiocco M, Verwer F, van Overveld M, Sonneveld E, van der Velden V, Beverloo HB, Bierings M, Dors N, de Haas V, Hoogerbrugge P, van der Sluis IM, Tissing W, Veening M, Boer J, den Boer ML. Improved outcome for ALL by prolonging therapy for IKZF1 deletion and decreasing therapy for other risk groups. J Clin Oncol 2023; 41: 4130-4142. Pubmed PMID: 37459571

Pieters R, Mullighan CG, Hunger SP. Advancing diagnostics and therapy to reach universal cure in childhood ALL. J Clin Oncol 2023; 41:5579-5591. Pubmed PMID: 37820294

Van Kalsbeek RJ, Hudson MM, Mulder RL, Ehrhardt M, Green DM, Mulrooney DA, Hakkert J, den Hartogh J, Nijenhuis A, van Santen HM, Schouten-van Meeteren AYN, van Tinteren H, Verbruggen LC, Conklin HM, Jacola LM, Webster RT, Partanen M, Kollen WJW, Grootenhuis MA, Pieters R, Kremer LC. A joint international consensus statement for measuring quality of survival for patients with childhood cancer. Nature Med 2023; 29: 1340-1348. Pubmed PMID: 37322119

Stutterheim J, Van der Sluis IM, de Lorenzo P, Alten J, Ancliffe P, Attarbaschi A, Brethon B, Biondi A, Campbell M, Cazzaniga G, Escherich G, Ferster A, Kotecha RS, Lausen B, Li CK, Lo Nigro L, Locatelli F, Marschalek R, Meyer C, Schrappe M, Stary J, Vora A, Zuna J, van der Velden VHJ, Szczepanski T, Valsecchi MG, Pieters R. Clinical implications of minimal residual disease detection in infants with KMT2A rearranged acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated on the Interfant-06 protocol.  J Clin Oncol 2021:39:652-662. Pubmed PMID: 33405950

Pieters R, de Lorenzo P, Ancliff P, Aversa LA, Brethon B, Biondi A, Campbell M, Escherich G, Ferster A, Gardner RA, Kotecha RS, Lausen B, Li CK, Locatelli F, Attarbashi A, Peters C, Rubnitz JE, Silverman LB, Stary J, Szczepanski T, Vora A, Schrappe M, Valsecchi MG. Outcome of infants younger than 1 year with acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with the Interfant-06 protocol: results from an international phase III randomized study. J Clin Oncol 2019: 37:2246-2256. Pubmed PMID: 31283407

Pieters group