van den Broek Maries

Group Leader

Maries van den Broek

Prof. Dr. Maries van den Broek, PhD

Name of the Institution

Institute of Experimental Immunology
University of Zurich


Winterthurerstrasse 190, Y36L70




8057 Zürich


+41 44 635 37 22


Group Members

Michal Beffinger, PhD student

Virginia Cecconi, post-doc

Giulia Lucchiari, PhD student

Farkhondeh Movahedian Attar, PhD student

Linda Schadt, PhD student

Nicole Schweiger, PhD student

Karina Silina, post-doc

Paulino Tallon de Lara, MD-PhD student


Main Field(s) of Research, Abstract

The research in my group concentrates on mobilizing immunity in order to control cancer. To address this issue we work with biopsies and blood from cancer patients as well as with mouse models for cancer. In addition, our lab is involved in the monitoring of immune responses in cancer patients that enrolled immunotherapeutical clinical trials. Our entire program is dedicated to understanding immunological processes in the context of cancer with the ultimate goal to improve the efficiency of cancer-specific immunity and offer novel therapeutic modalities. We consider both the innate and the adaptive arm of the immune response.

Following related and connected questions are currently being addressed in the lab:

  1. Identification of and interference with local, cancer-associated immunosuppression (human cancer; mouse models)
  2. The impact of radiotherapy and of chemotherapy on immune activation (human biopsies and cell lines; mouse models)
  3. The role of tertiary lymphoid structures in immune defense against cancer (human ling cancer; mouse lung and prostate cancer)
  4. The role of beta-catenin/Wnt signaling in non-melanoma skin cancer (human in vivo and ex vivo approaches; mouse models)
  5. The role of immune cells and platelets in metastases

Main Fields of Research, Keywords

The interaction between cancer and the immune system.

Fundamental and translational research.

Special Techniques and Equipment

Animal experiments; Cell culture; Flowcytometry; Molecular biology; Standard immunological techniques and assays (human and mouse); Histology

Education and Training

We have training opportunities for Master students, PhD students and medical dissertations.

Selected Publications

Schildknecht A, Brauer S, Brenner C, Lahl K, Schild HJ, Sparwasser T, Probst HC, van den Broek M. FoxP3+ regulatory T cells essentially contribute to peripheral CD8+ T cell tolerance induced by steady-state dendritic cells. 2010. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107:199-203.

Flatz L, Hegazy AN, Bergthaler A, Verschoor A, Claus C, Fernandez M, Gattinoni L, Johnson S, Kreppel F, Kochanek S, van den Broek M, Radbruch A, Lévy F, Lambert PH, Siegrist CA, Restifo NP, Löhning M, Ochsenbein AF, Nabel GJ, Pinschewer DD. 2010. Development of replication-defective lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus vectors for the induction of potent CD8+ T cell immunity. Nat Med.16:339-345.

Walter A, Barysch MJ, Behnke S, Dziunycz P, Schmid B, Gnjatic S, Kristiansen G, Moch H, Knuth A, Dummer R, van den Broek M. Cancer testis antigens and immunosurveillance in human cutaneous squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas. 2010. Clin. Cancer Res. 16:3562-3570.

van den Broek M, von Boehmer L, Knuth A. 2010. Developments in cancer immunotherapy. Dig. Dis. 28:51-56

Nuber N, Curioni A, Matter C, Soldini D, Tiercy JM, von Boehmer L, Dummer R, Knuth A, van den Broek M. 2010. Fine analysis of spontaneous MAGE-C1/CT7 specific immunity in melanoma patients. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107:15187-15192.

Moebius J, van den Broek M, Groettrup M, Basler M. 2010. Immunoproteasomes are essential for survival and expansion of T cells in virus-infected mice. Eur. J. Immunol. 40:3439-3449.

Peters R. Wolf M, van den Broek M, Nuvolone M, Dannenmann S, Stieger B, Rapold R, Konrad D, Rubin A, Bertino JR, Aguzzi A, Heikenwalder M, Knuth A. 2010. Efficient Generation of Multipotent Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Umbilical Cord Blood in Stroma-Free Liquid Culture. PLoS ONE 5:215689.

Civenni G, Walter A, Kobert N, Mihic-Probst D, Belloni B, Seifert B, Moch H, Dummer R, van den Broek M, Sommer L. 2011. CD271-positive melanoma stem cells displaying neural crest stem cell features are associated with poor prognosis. Cancer Research, 71:3098-3109.

Curioni-Fontecedro A, Nuber N, Mihic-Probst D, Seifert B, Soldini D, Dummer R, Knuth A, van den Broek M, Moch H. 2011. Expression of MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 predicts lymph node metastasis in melanoma patients. PLoS ONE 6:e21418.

Sharma A, Bode B, Wenger RH, Lehmann K, Sartori AA, Moch H, Knuth A, von Boehmer L, van den Broek M. 2011. g-Radiation Enhances Immunogenicity of Cancer Cells by Increasing the Expression of Cancer-Testis Antigens in vitro and in vivo. PLoS ONE, e28217.

Gupta A, Probst HC, Vuong V, Landshammer A, Muth S, Yagita H, Schwendener R, Behnke S, Prischy M, Knuth A, van den Broek M. 2012. Radiotherapy promotes tumor-specific effector CD8+ T cells via DC activation. J. Immunol. 189:558-566.

Schliehe C, Bitzer A, van den Broek M, and Groettrup M. 2012. Stable antigen is most effective for eliciting CD8+ T-cell responses after DNA vaccination and infection with recombinant vaccinia virus in vivo. J. Virol. 86:9782-9793

Gupta A, Sharma A, von Boehmer L, Surace L, Knuth A, van den Broek M. 2012. Radiotherapy supports protective tumor-specific immunity. OncoImmunology, 1:1610-1611.

Yogev N, Frommer F, Lukas D, Kautz-Neu K, Karram K, Ielo D, von Stebut E, Probst HC, van den Broek M, Riethmacher D, Birnberg T, Blank T, Reizis B, Ko Trn, Wiendl H, Jung S, Prinz M, Kurschus F, Waisman A. 2012. Dendritic Cells Ameliorate Autoimmunity in the CNS by Controlling the Homeostasis of PD-1 Receptor+ Regulatory T Cells. Immunity 37:264-275.

Fischer E, Chaitanya K, Wüest T, Wadle A, Scott AM, van den Broek M, Schibli R, Bauer S, Renner C. 2012. Radioimmunotherapy of fibroblast activation protein positive tumors by rapidly internalizing antibodies. Clin Cancer Res., 15:6208-6218.

Gupta A, Nuber N, Esslinger E, Wittenbrink M, Treder M, Landshammer A, Noguchi T, Kelly M, Gnjatic S, Ritter E, von Boehmer L, Nishikawa H, Shiku H, Old L, Ritter G, Knuth A, van den Broek M. 2013. A novel human-derived monoclonal antibody against NY-ESO-1 improves the efficacy of chemotherapy. Cancer Immunity, 13:3-11.

Walter A, Schäfer M, Matter C, Urosevic-Maiwald M, Belloni B, Schönewolf N, Cecconi V, Kulig P, Dummer R, Bloch W, Werner S, Beer HD, Knuth A, van den Broek M. 2013. Aldara activates two independent immune defense pathways. Nat. Commun. 4:1560 doi: 10.1038/ncomms2566.

Braumüller H, Wieder T, Fischer S, Brenner E, Hahn M, Alkhaled M, Schilbach K, Essmann F, Kneilling M, Griessinger C, Ranta F, Ullrich S, Mocikat R, Braungart K, Mehra T, Fehrenbacher B, van den Broek M, Häring HU, Handgretinger R, Quintanilla-Martinez L, Fend F, Schaller M, Schulze-Osthoff K, Röcken M. 2013. Th1 cell cytokines drive cancer into senescence. Nature, 494:361-365.

Dannenmann S, Thielicke J, Stöckli M, Matter C, von Boehmer L, Cecconi V, Hermanns T, Hefermehl L, Schraml P, Moch H, Knuth A, van den Broek M. 2013. Myeloid cells promote progression of clear cell renal cell carcinoma. OncoImmunology, 2: eLocation ID: e23429.

von Boehmer L, Landshammer A, Bode P, Nuber N, Ritter G, Old L, Moch H, Jäger E, Knuth A, van den Broek M. 2013. NY-ESO-1-specific immunological pressure and escape in a patient with metastatic melanoma. Cancer Immunity 13:12-18.

Sharma A, Bode B, Studer G, Moch H, Okoniewski M, Knuth A, von Boehmer L, van den Broek M. 2013. Radiotherapy of human sarcoma promotes an intratumoral immune effector signature. Clin. Cancer Res. 19:4843-4853.

Dannenmann S, ­­Hermanns T, Bransi A, von Boehmer L, Matter C, Stevanovic S, Schraml P, Moch H, Knuth A, van den Broek M. 2013. Spontaneous peripheral T cell responses towards the tumor-associated antigen Cyclin D1 in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Cancer Immunology Res. 1:288-295.

Nuber N, Curioni-Fontecedro A, Dannenmann SR, Matter C, von Boehmer L, Atanakovic D, Knuth A, van den Broek M. 2013. MAGE-C1/CT7 spontaneously triggers a CD4+ T-cell response in multiple myeloma patients. Leukemia 27: 1767-1769.

Ruf M, Mittmann C, Hartmann A, Hermanns T, Poyet C, van den Broek M, Sulser T, Moch H, Schraml P. 2015. pVHL/HIF-regulated CD70 expression is associated with infiltration of CD27+ lymphocytes and increased serum levels of soluble CD27 in clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Clin. Cancer Res. 21:890-898.

Surace L, Lysenko V, Fontana AO, Cecconi V, Janssen H, Bicvic A, Okoniewski M, Pruschy M, Dummer R, Neefjes J, Knuth A, Gupta A, van den Broek M. 2015. Complement is a central mediator of radiotherapy-induced tumor-specific immunity and clinical response. Immunity 42:767-777.

Bransi A, Salgado O, Beffinger M, Milo K, Silina K, Yagita H, Becher B, Knuth A, van den Broek M. 2015. Effective immunotherapy for advanced cancer in mice. Cancer Immunology Res, in press.

Surace L, Scheifinger N, Gupta A, van den Broek M. 2015. Radiotherapy supports tumor-specific immunity by acute inflammation. Oncoimmunology, DOI: 10.1080/2162402X.2015.1060391

Surace L, Guckenberger M, van den Broek M. 2015. Radiation holidays stimulate tumor immunity. Oncotarget, in press.


National Science Foundation, University of Zurich (URPP "Translational Cancer Research"), Swiss Cancer League, different foundations


Link to "Forschungsdatenbank" of the University