Navigation auf


Institute of Experimental Immunology Tumorimmunology

Welcome to the van den Broek lab

Tumor Immunology van den Broek lab




Understanding the mutual interaction between cancer and the immune system is the focus of the van den Broek lab. In particular, our dynamic, international team uses state-of-the-art basic research to understand how the immune system can be supported to control cancer in a sustainable way. We value team spirit, originality, intelligence, motivation and perseverance.


Van den Broek lab retreat 2022

Lab retreat, lake of Zurich, June 2022

Weiterführende Informationen

Tertiary lymphoid structure in human bladder cancer

Initial steps of TLS development

Anna Laura Calvanese et al. discovered that type I interferon is an essential upstream mediator for development of tertiary lymphoid structures in the lungs. IFNAR1 signaling results in production of LTa, which in turn induces the B-cell attractant CXCL13. Further, IFNAR1 signaling induces T-cell attracting chemokines independently of LTbR signaling.

Full article: Sustained innate interferon is an essential inducer of tertiary lymphoid structures

Tertiary lymphoid structure in human bladder cancer (Karina Silina)

Tertiary lymphoid structure in human bladder cancer (Karina Silina)


Pagliarulo et al. describe the prognostic relevance of B-cells, CD8+ T-cells and tertiary lymphoid structures in muscle-invasive bladder cancer.


Full article: 2022 Pagliarulo Frontiers Imm.pdf

Our recent review summarizes the current knowledge and understanding of how CD8+ T-cells influence metastatic outbreaks and dormancy.


Full article: Anti-Metastatic Defense by CD8 T Cells.pdf


hepatic innate lymphocytes

Ducimetière, Lucchiari at al discovered that hepatic innate lymphocytes cooperate in a non-redundant fashion to control liver metastasis.

Illustration by Giulia Lucchiari.

Immunofluorescent image of a single, dormant breast cancer cell (red) disseminated to the lung (courtesy Héctor Castañón)

Many breast cancer patients suffer metastatic relapses years/decades after surgery. The cause are disseminated cancer cells that have become dormant. Paulino Tallón de Lara, Héctor Castañón et al. discovered that dormancy is induced by an anti tumor-immune reaction mediated by PD-1+ CD39+ CD8+ T-cells. Read more about this fantastic work here:

Preoperative ipilimumab plus nivolumab in locoregionally advanced urothelial cancer: the NABUCCO trial s41591-020-1085-z


van Dijk, Silina, et al. discovered that immune checkpoint inhibition also works in patients with bladder cancer whose tumors show little CD8+ T-cell infiltration and tertiary lymphoid structures before therapy. These parameters increased specifically in responders.