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Tytgat group

The Tytgat group focuses on translational studies in pediatric solid tumors. By implementing liquid biopsies, we aim to improve the diagnostic sensitivity, to better monitor response to therapy and predict which patient is clear from tumor and which patient is at risk for recurrent disease.

Group leader: Dr. Lieve Tytgat
Phone 088 97 29 530

As clinical PI, a part of the care is in the clinic, treating patients with solid tumors and another part is translations research in the laboratory. One the one hand, clinical problems are easily spotted and on the other hand, laboratory findings are more easy translated to the clinic.

"Translational research: where the bench and bedside really meet." Dr. Lieve Tytgat - Group leader


The major topics of the group are:

  • The investigation of liquid biopsies in pediatric solid tumors focusses on the diagnostic use of bone marrow, peripheral blood for tumor diagnosis, staging and risk group allocation. The monitoring of response to therapy and early relapse detection are being performed in samples taken during treatment and follow-up. RNA-based qPCR, DNA qPCR, digital droplet PCR and NGS are performed in BM, blood and cell-free DNA and RNA. The major tumor types that are currently being studied are Neuroblastoma, Rhabdomyosarcoma and renal tumors. (PhD Lieke van Zogchel; Nathalie Lak)
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic efficacy in 123I- and 131I-MIBG in neuroblastoma. After 30 years of experience in 131I-MIBG therapy for neuroblastoma and studying 123I-MIBG metastatic patterns, these studies are now integrated in a new project, in which in vitro MIBG uptake is being studied in different cell lines. Uptake, retention, expression of the different transporters are being studied in vitro, with the aim to translate this knowledge to the patients, to improve imaging for diagnosis and response measurement. (PhD Thomas Blom)
  • Catecholamines in Neuroblastoma: a key hall mark ok neuroblastoma tumor is catecholamine metabolite production. Next to the 2 universal used markers (VMA & HVA), we have a panel of 8 markers, of which 3MT levels correlate with poor outcome. Biological and vitro studies are ongoing to elucidate the biological origin and effect of elevated 3MT levels. (PhD Iedan Verly)
Liquid biopsies

To assess the clinical use of liquid biopsies we aim to study all body fluids. We use qPCR, NGS, ddPCR and collect plasma for cell free detection, tumor derived vesicles containing DNA and RNA.


Tytgat group