TRITON: Targeting mRNA for ImmunoTherapy in ONcology


A mixture of three mRNAs encoding powerful immunogenic proteins has demonstrated remarkable therapeutic effects in melanoma patients. But the logistics of the therapy are challenging and costs are 500.000 euro per patient.
An affordable generic approach would be to formulate the mRNA into nanoparticles and make the active proteins within the patient. In TRITON, we aim to intratumorally inject the nanoparticles to turn ‘cold’ -non-immunogenic- tumors into ‘hot’ -immunogenic- tumors. The tumor of patients is a rich source of immunogenic epitopes that could be used by the immune system to mount its attack.
When I met the candidate Khalid Aldakkak, I was impressed by his motivation and clear ambition to pursue a PhD in the nanomedicine field. In this project, he will learn to manufacture and analyse advanced nanoparticles and study their performance in vitro and in vivo. For the in vivo studies he will follow the legally required animal experimentation course, which is an important advantage for a PhD track. In this project, he will also learn the role of academic researchers in public-private partnership projects. All these skills are valuable in landing a PhD position.





Prof. dr. R.M. Schiffelers

Verbonden aan

Universiteit Utrecht, Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht, Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis


K. Aldakkak MSc


01/02/2019 tot 01/02/2020