Honorary Guest Lecture

CZS Honorary Guest Lecture: Prof. Twan Lammers

Nano needs Light to impact Life: Integrating Imaging in Cancer Nanomedicine Clinical Translation
Honorary Guest Lecture
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Fürstengraben 27, Großer Rosensaal
07743 Jena
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Prof. Dr. Dr. Twan Lammers
Jena Alliance "Life in Focus"
Dr. Maria Langhammer
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Twan Lammers
Twan Lammers
Image: Twan Lammers

Prof. Dr. Dr. Twan Lammers
Dept. of Nanomedicine and Theranostics
Institute for Experimental Molecular Imaging
Center for Biohybrid Medical Systems
RWTH Aachen University Clinic

Twan Lammers obtained a D.Sc. in Radiation Oncology from Heidelberg University in 2008 and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Technology from Utrecht University in 2009. In the same year, he started the Nanomedicine and Theranostics group at RWTH Aachen University. In 2014, he was promoted to full professor of medicine at RWTH Aachen University Clinic. His group aims to individualize and improve disease treatment by combining drug targeting with imaging. To this end, image-guided (theranostic) drug delivery systems are being developed, as well as materials and methods to monitor tumor growth, angiogenesis, inflammation, fibrosis and metastasis. He has received multiple scholarships and awards, including ERC starting, consolidator and proof-of-concept grants, the CRS Young Investigator Award, the Adritelf International Award, the Belgian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences International Award, and the JNB Trailblazer Award. He currently serves as the president of the Controlled Release Society and as a council member of the European Society for Molecular Imaging. He is a member of the editorial board of 10 journals, and acts as associate editor for JCR, DDTR and MIB. Since 2019, he is included in the Clarivate Analytics list of Highly Cited Researchers.

Nano needs Light to impact Life: Integrating Imaging in Cancer Nanomedicine Clinical Translation

Nanomedicine formulations, like liposomes, polymers and micelles, are extensively explored for cancer therapy. By delivering drug molecules more efficiently to pathological sites, and by attenuating their accumulation in healthy organs and tissues, nanomedicines assist in improving the balance between efficacy and toxicity. Nanomedicines are furthermore increasingly employed to enable in vivo use of nucleic acid therapeutics, such as DNA, siRNA and mRNA (e.g. in Covid-19 vaccines). The tumor accumulation of nanomedicines is traditionally ascribed to the EPR effect, which is highly variable, both in animal models and in patients. To address issues associated with tumor targeting heterogeneity, and to promote cancer nanomedicine clinical translation, we are working on systems and strategies to monitor and modulate tumor-targeted drug delivery. In the present guest lecture, several of these strategies will be highlighted, including imaging-guided interventions to prime tumor blood vessels and the microenvironment, as well as the use of whole-body and microscopy biomarker imaging for patient stratification. Altogether, our work showcases a rational and realistic way forward towards more efficient cancer nanomedicine treatments.