Evelien Smits

Professor in Tumor Immunology

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About Evelien Smits

Did you know that we have a natural defense mechanism against cancer? Our immune system!

As research professor in tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy I am fascinated by the interactions between immune cells and cancer cells. I investigate weapons to empower the immune system of cancer patients to eliminate cancer cells. By doing so, I contribute to increasing the applicability of immunotherapy to improve the lifespan and quality-of-life of cancer patients.

My research team, the Solid Tumor Immunology Group (STIG) of the Center for Oncological Research, develops novel combination treatments with immunotherapy to beat cancer and investigates the mechanisms used by cancer cells to escape from immunity. Key words of my research are: cancer immunotherapy, combination therapy, innate immunity, tumor microenvironment, immune checkpoints, immunostimulatory molecules, stroma, hypoxia and non-thermal plasma. I am also one of the coordinators of academic clinical studies at the Center for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine to test cell vaccination as cancer immunotherapy and of translational research to further improve cell therapy. In addition, together with Prof. Annemie Bogaerts (Chemistry) and Prof. Sylvia Dewilde (Biomedical Sciences), we built up the multidisciplinary UAntwerp plasma oncology team, in which we investigate ionized gas as an innovative and promising cancer treatment. 

Do you want to support STIG's cancer research via a donation? Send me a mail (evelien.smits@uantwerp.be) and I will send you the information. Every gift helps.


Solid Tumor Immunology Group - Center for Oncological Research

Center for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine

Young Academy



Campus Drie Eiken
Universiteitsplein 1
2610 Wilrijk
Tel. 032652654