New therapies and strategies for diagnosis
Broekman: “As a neurosurgeon, I operate on many patients with glioblastoma, the most malignant primary brain tumour. Unfortunately, the prognosis of these patients is still very poor. There is an urgent need for new therapeutic strategies. In recent years, my research has therefore focused on developing new therapies and diagnostic strategies for these tumors”
“We studied how glioblastomas change the brain’s immune cells and found that they become supportive of the tumor. By blocking a specific molecule involved in the immune cell change, the tumors grow less fast.”
Goal: better outcomes for patients with brain tumors
“In the coming years, we will further investigate this potential target for therapy and we will try to identify and validate new targets in a similar way,” says Broekman. “In addition, we are concerned with the question of how we can best get (new) therapies to the tumors. We investigate, among other things, whether focused ultrasound can contribute to better treatment of the tumors. In this way we hope to improve the outcomes of brain tumor patients.”
Background and experience
Marike Broekman studied Medicine and Law at Utrecht University. She conducted her PhD research at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, after which she obtained her PhD at the University of Utrecht. The title of her thesis (2006) is: ‘AAV vectors as gene delivery vehicles in the central nervous system’.
She then specialized as a neurosurgeon at the University Medical Center Utrecht and did a postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. After her specialization as a neurosurgeon, she worked as a consultant neurosurgeon at the University Medical Center Utrecht and as a visiting professor at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Since 2018 she has been working as a neurosurgeon at Haaglanden Medical Center and Leiden University Medical Center.
Broekman is on the board of the European Association for Neurosurgical Societies. She is also the vice-chairman of the scientific council of Kika and vice-chairman of the Medical Sciences Council of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. She is also a member of the editorial board of Acta Neurochirurgica and Brain and Spine.