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Pieters Group

Rob Pieters

Rob Pieters obtained his MSc in Human Movement Science and his MD in Medicine, both at the Free University of Amsterdam, in 1987. In 1991, he obtained his PhD at the same university for his thesis on drug resistance in leukemia. After finishing his training in pediatrics in 1995, he received a clinical fellowship in pediatric oncology from the Dutch Cancer Society. In 1996, he was appointed Associate Professor (UHD) in pediatric oncology/hematology at the Free University Hospital in Amsterdam. From 1999 through 2014, he was the Head of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology at the Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital. In 2000, he was appointed Professor in Pediatric Oncology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He was a board member of the Dutch Childhood Leukemia Study group from 1999-2002, a board member of the Dutch Childhood Oncology Group (DCOG) from 2002-2007, chair of the DCOG from 2007-2013, board member of the I-BFM group since 2008, board member of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology from 2010-2012, chair of the scientific committee of SIOP from 2004-2009 and chair of this committee from 2010-2013. Since 2002, he has chaired the DCOG disease committee Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Since 1999, he has chaired the international Interfant ALL study group. He serves as chair/member on >10 boards of international childhood cancer study groups and data safety monitoring boards for childhood cancer. He is one of the initiators of the Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology and was appointed as the chief medical officer of this national pediatric oncology center in 2013. In 1992, he received the Schweisguth Prize from the International Society of Pediatric Oncology for his research and, in 2014, the ODAS award for his achievements in pediatric cancer. He has published over 500 book chapters and papers on childhood cancer in peer-reviewed journals.

His research focuses on the development of new, more personalised therapies for childhood ALL based on molecular (epi)genetic abnormalities, therapy response and chemotherapy monitoring. In translational studies, he closely collaborates with the groups of Monique den Boer on B-lineage ALL, Jules Meijerink on T-cell malignancies and Ronald Stam on infant ALL. Results from these preclinical and translational studies on genetic abnormalities and results from monitoring of early therapy responses and therapeutic drug monitoring are implemented and studied in national and international clinical study protocols in childhood ALL.

Key publications

  • Holleman A/Cheok MH*, den Boer ML, Yang W, Veerman AJ, Kazemier KM, Pei D, Cheng C, Pui CH, Relling MV, Janka-Schaub GE, Pieters R/Evans WE*. Gene-expression patterns in drug-resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells and response to treatment.  N Engl J Med 2004;351:533-42. (* shared 1st and last authorship)
  • Lugthart S/Cheok MH*, den Boer ML, Yang W, Holleman A, Cheng C, Pui CH, Relling MV, Janka-Schaub GE, Pieters R/Evans WE*. Identification of genes associated with chemotherapy crossresistance and treatment response in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Cancer Cell 2005;7:375-386. (*shared 1st and last authorship)
  • Pieters R, Schrappe M, de Lorenzo P, Hann I, de Rossi G, Felice M, Hovi L, Leblance T, Szczepanski T, Ferster A, Janka G, Rubnitz J, Silverman L, Stary J, Campbell M, Li CH, Mann G, Suppiah R, Biondi A, Vora A, Valsecchi MG. A treatment protocol for infants younger than 1 year with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (Interfant-99) : an observational study and a multicentre randomised trial. Lancet 2007; 370:240-250.
  • Mann G, Attarbaschi A, Schrappe M, De Lorenzo P, Peters C, Hann I, De Rossi G, Felice M, Lausen B, LeBlanc T, Szczepanski T, Ferster A, Janka-Schaub G, Rubnitz J, Silverman LB, Stary J, Campbell M, Li CK, Suppiah R, Biondi A, Vora A, Valsecchi MG, Pieters R, on behalf of the Interfant-99 Study Group. Improved outcome with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in a poor prognostic subgroup of infants with mixed-lineage-leukemia (MLL)–rearranged acute lymphoblastic leukemia: results from the Interfant-99 Study. Blood 2010;116:2644-2650.
  • Pieters R, de Groot-Kruseman, van der Velden VHJ, Fiocco M, van den Berg H, de Bont ESJM, Egeler RM, Hoogerbrugge PM, Kaspers GJL, van der Schoot CE, de Haas V, van Dongen JJM. Successful therapy reduction and intensification for Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia based on Minimal Residual Disease Monitoring: study ALL10 from the Dutch Childhood Oncology Group. J Clin Oncol 2016; 34: 2591-2601.

Group members

  • Rob Pieters
  • Inge van der Sluis
  • Valerie de Haas
  • Peter Hoogerbrugge

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