B-cells are an essential arm of adaptive immunity-in-balance, as their differentiation in response to foreign antigen generates protective immunological memory and antibodies. When out of balance, aberrant B-cell differentiation and escape from immunological checkpoints governing tolerance and B-cell-selection/activation may lead to pathological, autoreactive, immunological memory and (auto)antibodies. As a result a wide array of immune-mediated diseases (B-IMDs) or malignant transformation of B-cells may follow. Ample evidence indicates successful therapeutic targeting of the B-cell→plasmacell→antibody axis in autoimmune diseases and hematological malignancies. Since almost 10% of the population suffers from either IMDs or lymphoma/leukemia in the Netherlands, there is urgent need for combining B-cell biology expertises across disease fields to optimize therapy efficacy within the fields of B-IMDs and B-cell/plasmacell malignancies. Oncological experience will cross-fertilize and improve IMD treatment approaches possibly leading to cure. IMD-derived B-cell knowledge will fuel development of new treatment strategies in oncology.
This project has received funding from the PPP allowance (Health Holland), the Association of Dutch Health Foundations (SGF) and our private partners Pfizer B.V., Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V. and Acerta Pharma B.V.
The Association of Dutch Health Foundations