portrait of Prof. Hoeijmakers and Prof. Kanaar

Prof. Jan Hoeijmakers and Prof. Roland Kanaar

Scientific Coordinators of DDResponse, based at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Research field

Genetics, Oncology

If you like this
If you want to know more
Research Profile


“DNA is the key to better anti-cancer therapies. We are interested to know how cells respond to DNA damage”, say Prof. Roland Kanaar and Prof. Hoeijmakers of the Department of Genetics at Erasmus MC. Together with other European research groups, they investigate drugs that lead to better patient response to cancer therapy.


Cancer is a main cause of death and disease in many countries. A substantial number of patients do not respond well to existing therapies. DDResponse scientists study the details of how the DNA repair system works in cancer patients. Kanaar: “If we can intervene, we can develop better anti-cancer therapies.”


Chemotherapy causes DNA damage in tumour cells, but also in healthy cells. DDResponse studies how cells respond to DNA damage. The aim of the project is to exploit the knowledge of the DNA damage response to improve anti-cancer therapies. The main focus is on breast cancer, but other types of cancer are also studied.


"Scientists, oncologists, and the pharmaceutical industry are involved in DDResponse. European collaboration enables us to fight cancer by bringing together top scientists from several countries. By collaborating, we have more patient material to study. In addition, a broader range of expertise can come together”, says Kanaar.

Understanding DNA damage repair

In the Picture
In the Picture
Image credits

Background image: DDResponse

Portrait of the project coordinator: DDResponse

Timeline (in chronological order): DDResponse