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Maartje Wouters, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

Maartje Wouters Lab Photo 2 

Education: 

 

 

Contact: 


  • Email:  mwouters@bccrc.ca
  • Tel:     250-519-5700

 

Research Interests

The immune infiltrate in ovarian cancer can promote a favorable prognosis. Tumors that are densely infiltrated by T cells are linked to a markedly longer survival. A large proportion of patients however lack dense T cell infiltrates. Instead, T cells are trapped in the surrounding stromal regions of the tumor and fail to make direct contact with tumor cells. These cells do not confer a prognostic benefit and it is therefore likely that the tumor environment is an important factor influencing the immune response towards these tumors.

 

My research is focused on characterizing the immune response and the suppressive effects of the stroma tissue in ovarian cancer. This will provide us with clues on which populations are interesting targets for therapy, what inhibitory mechanisms of stromal regions play a role in the infiltration of these cells, and how these mechanisms could be targeted to improve immunotherapy strategies. The ultimate goal of our work is to make immunotherapy more widely applicable for a larger group of patients.