Chris Marine from the Center for Cancer Biology (VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium) is an expert in melanoma research. Melanoma and neuroblastoma both originate from the neural crest lineage and cells of both tumor types share their potential to adopt a drug-resistant immature phenotype. In their groundbreaking research, the Marine team discovered that standard melanoma treatment combined with drugs targeting these immature cell types improved survival in melanoma models (Rambow et al., Cell 2019; Marin-Bejar et al., Cancer Cell 2021). Recently, his team applied spatial transcriptomics to visualize the different cell types in melanoma (Karras et al., Nature 2022).
Michel Zwaan from the Prinses Máxima Center in Utrecht (The Netherlands) is an expert in the design of innovative clinical trials for pediatric cancer and bringing new drugs to the clinic, including drugs which are developed in the context of filing based on a Pediatric Investigational Plan. He is the chair of the ITCC Hematology Committee and the medical lead of the Trial and Data Center at the Máxima. Michel is a leader in a new development to establish sponsorships for transatlantic pediatric oncological clinical trials.