The aim of this project is to identify and validate new treatment options in pediatric cancer using the high throughput screening facility. The two mayor objectives are: 1) The coordination of compound screening facility which has become available in 2019. It contains a state of the art BeckmanCoulter robotics set-up including an Echo550 compound dispenser system. The facility runs many screens for different research groups in the Maxima. 2) The incorporation of in vitro model systems to validate potential interventions, identify new interventions and identify potential combination treatment options for patients without curative options, as a part of the iTHER precision medicine program.
Furthermore, a new line of research is set up that aims to use a novel class of drugs called PROteolysis Targeting Chimerase (PROTACs) for the treatment of neuroblastoma. In the Molenaar group, we have identified frequent chromosomal rearrangement and genomic aberrations that are driving neuroblastoma. Two of these specific oncogenic drivers are defined as ‘un-targetable’, because they cannot be targeted using existing drugs. In collaboration with the Utrecht Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, we aim to selectively degrade the tumor-target proteins using PROTACs.