Peter Sminia

DR., (Principal Investigator)

1981 …2022

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Personal profile

Research interests

Peter Sminia finished his PhD training at the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Amsterdam, Academic Medical Center in 1990 with his - designation ‘cum laude’ - thesis entitled ‘The sensitivity of the rat spinal cord to hyperthermia alone or combined with radiotherapy' (promotor Prof. dr. D. González González). He was staff member of the department up to 1999, with a postdoc period in 1992 at the Institut für Biophysik und Strahlenbiologie in Hamburg, Germany (Prof. Dr. H. Jung and Prof. Dr. H-P. Beck-Bornholdt). Since 1999, he is appointed PI as assistant professor in Radiobiology at the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Amsterdam University Medical Center location VUmc & Cancer Center Amsterdam.

Preclinical research from our group is aimed at exploring radiosensitization strategies in brain and pancreatic cancer therapy, and to translate preclinical data to the clinical setting. Over the last decade, experimental brain tumour studies have been performed on the efficacy and mechanism of interaction between irradiation and (potential) radiosensitizing drugs, e.g. the alkylating agent temozolomide, anti-inflammatory drugs, the HDAC inhibitor valproic acid, curcumin, gemcitabine and molecular targeted agents. A recent focus was on drug targeting of the PI3Kinase/Akt/mTOR and MAPK signalling pathways combined with irradiation. As a key result, the radiosensitizing potential of MAPK pathway inhibitors in vitro and in vivo brain tumour models was identified. Latest studies involve the delivery of radiosensitizing agents to brain tumour cells and spheroids using polymeric nanocarriers, in collaboration with the Radiation Science and Technology group at the TU Delft. Also, the therapeutic efficacy of peptide functionalized passion fruit-like nanoparticles, loaded with cisplatin is investigated on pancreatic ductal adeno carcinoma cells and with pancreatic stellate cells co-cultured spheroids. This ongoing PhD project is performed together with the CCA pancreatic cancer research group (PI Elisa Giovannetti) and the Radiation Oncology VUmc (PI Max Dahele). Using the co-culture model, the role of c-MET Inhibitors in overcoming drug resistance as well as the response to fractionated and stereotactic irradiation alone and combined with other therapeutic strategies is investigated. Furthermore, we participate in the national KWF granted INTOPRO consortium, which is focused on the radiobiological aspects of proton irradiation.



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