Academic Center for Leukemia, Myeloma and Stem Cell Transplantation

To provide excellent clinical care for patients with hematological malignancies and related diseases, including intensive chemotherapy,novel targeted therapies and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation To be a tertiary referral center for clinical care and diagnostics in hemato-oncology in the Netherlands and abroad To be a leading center for clinical trials To perform excellent translational and fundamental research in hemato-oncology, bone marrow diseases and stem cell transplantation

Academic Center of Excellence

Research Activities

Research in this ACE is founded on a multidimensional and multidisciplinary approach in which basic science programs focusing on the molecular pathogenesis and biology of hematological malignancies, development and implementation of new diagnostic and prognostic algorithms, (inter)national multicenter clinical trials and their associated patient sample bio-banks are interconnected. Spearhead programs are focusing on acute myeloid leukemia and related disorders (bone marrow failure syndromes and myelodysplasia), myeloma, immune-pathogenesis of lympho-proliferations and the clinical application of hematopoietic stem cells in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Linked to these activities are the implementation and development of state-of-the-art research technologies, such as next generation sequencing, flow cytometry, imaging, genome-editing, and the development of sophisticated models (mice, pluripotent stem cells) for the above-mentioned diseases. This work benefits from strong international collaborations and is embedded in externally funded international consortia.

Examples of such collaborations are the long-standing collaborations with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Boston), Weil-Cornell and Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute (both in New York), Hopital St Louis (Parijs), and many others. These ongoing studies will be continued in the future and will be aimed at discovery of new disease mechanisms, refinement of the molecular diagnostics and prognostics, and (pre)clinical development of new therapeutic strategies.

Type of


This work benefits from strong international collaborations and is embedded in externally funded international consortia. Examples of such collaborations are the long-standing collaborations with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Boston), Weil-Cornell and Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute (both in New York), Hopital St Louis (Parijs), and many others.



The ACE:

  • Participates in the Medical Curriculum Bachelor (Oncology, Infection and Immunity, Electives, Tutorship) and Master (Case discussions, Research internship and , clinical internships)
  • Provides state of the art (post-doctoral) education on hematological malignancies to MD, MSc students.
  • Has co-developed and participates in bachelor curriculum Clinical Technology (Hematopoiesis, Immunity and Laboratory techniques) and master curriculum Nano Biology within the Medical Delta.
  • Erasmus MC postgraduate courses (molecular diagnostics) and international workshops (EuroClonality, EuroFlow) -Offers high quality PhD programs and Research Masters in the Postgraduate school "Molecular Medicine". Average number of international PhD students/fellows n=10 -Offers training/registration for differentiation "Hematology" within Internal Medicine (last audit 2015, approved).
  • Offers post-doctoral clinical and translational hematology educational programs
  • Several symposia have been organized by ACE over the past few years, including:

  • Molecular aspects of hematological disorders June 2014, 2015, 2016, Rotterdam
  • International Symposium on Minimal Residual Disease in Hematological Malignancies: From research tool to primary end point in clinical trials; 8-9 November 2012, Rotterdam
  • New Developments in Laboratory Hemato-Oncology, 10-11 October 2013, Rotterdam
  • New developments in MRD diagnostics in Hemato-Oncology, 5-6 November 2015, Zürich, CH
  • Scientific Working Groups at Annual Congresses of the European Hematology Association 2013-162016


Care Activities

The ACE: -Is the center for Stem cell Transplantation in South-West NL, JACIE accredited -Is a tertiary reference center for hemato-oncology with > 90 % academic care according to ROBIJN criteria -Includes 3 qualified NFU expertise centers ( Leukemia, Myeloma, Stem cell Transplantation, all for 5 yrs) and has been approved in the ERN network EuroBloodNet for rare hematological diseases (2016) -Clinical care is provided according to multidisciplinary clinical pathways and through multicenter coordination. All care is defined in the Therapeutic Vademecum ( -In the ACE more than 60 % of patients participate in a clinical trial -Provides state of the art diagnostics in CCKL and/or ISO 15189 accredited laboratories -Provides integrated diagnostics from 4 laboratories (morphology, genetics, immunology, pathology) -Participates in "Value Based Health Care" for leukemia and myeloma, coordinates population based registry -Is an active ACE within the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute and holds the chair (P Sonneveld) -Participates in the EMBRAZE and CCN regional oncology networks -Coordinates numerous Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials through HOVON and EU networks -The clinical programs have a strong translational cooperation with the research programs on leukemia, myeloma and transplantation

Societal Relevance to Research, Education and Patient Care

The ACE:

  • Provides the chairman of HOVON and of the national Stem Cell Transplantation (Cornelissen), Leukemia (Lowenberg) and Myeloma (Sonneveld) working groups, which coordinate the national diagnostic and treatment guidelines for these diseases. Cornelissen, Lowenberg and Sonneveld are each leading international experts and members of WHO and IMWG standards
  • Several patents have been filed including with spin-off companies (SkylineDx)
  • Provides the chair of the Erasmus MC PhD committee (Touw) and partly coordinates " Clinical Technology" (Delwel) -Contributes to international curriculum, research and education through the European Hematology Association (Sonneveld president-elect, 2017-2019 president), chief editorship of "Blood" (Lowenberg) and associate editorship "Haematologica"(Sonneveld - Has an active involvement with ministry of VWS and NZA for admission of novel anti-cancer medicines through chairman of HOVON (Cornelissen)
  • Has an active population based registry with IKNL on the incidence, prevention and treatment analysis of hematological diseases -Is the largest UMC center for hematology in NL and coordinates a major part of the national and regional guidelines for hematology. Serves as partner for insurance, government and institutions concerning the governance of hematology care

Viability of Research, Education and Patient Care

The ACE has an international top position in hematology research. The MNCS score in leukemia, myeloma and transplantation is consistently > 2.0. We participate and are leading in international networks for fundamental and clinical research across Europe and the US which is represented in the many international publications by at least 7 Working Group leaders (See Pub Med :HR Delwel, B Lowenberg, I Touw, P Sonneveld, JJ Cornelissen, V vd Velde, S Sleijfer).

The ACE has international top positions in research (Delwel, Lowenberg, Touw, Sonneveld, Cornelissen) showing from international awards (Lowenberg, Touw, Sonneveld), grants and contracts, in publishing (Lowenberg, editor Blood; Sonneveld, associate editor Haematologica) and in organizations (Sonneveld, president-elect EHA). There is an active policy concerning young (female) talents and several young investigators are spending fellowships in US (Wouters, Broyl) or UK (Sanders). Over the past 5 years, 4 PhD students have started an international career. The ACE participants frequently deliver invited and keynote lectures at many international scientific conferences such as ASH, EBMT and EHA. The same ACE participants are member of international reference networks such as Leukemianet, ERN Bloodnet, International Myeloma Foundation, EHA scientific Working Groups end American Society of Hematology Scientific committees.

Key and relevant publications of the last five years

  • Palumbo A…. Sonneveld P: N Engl J Med, in press (2016) IF 59.5
  • Sonneveld P et al.: Blood Epub 2016-01-631200 (2016) IF 11.8
  • Li S….Delwel H, Lowenberg B et al. Nat Med. 2016 Jun 20. doi: (2016) IF 30.3 10.1038/nm.4125.
  • Gröschel S… Delwel HR: Cell 157, 369-381 (2014) IF 28.7
  • P. Sonneveld et al. J Clin Oncol: 31(26), 3279-87 (2013) IF 20.9
  • Gröschel S … Delwel R: J Clin Oncol: 31, 95-103 (2013) IF 20.9
  • Cornelissen JJ et al: Nat Rev Clin Oncol: 9. 579-590 (2012) IF18.7
  • Beekman R….. Touw I: Blood 119, 5071-5077 (2012) IF 11.8
  • Van der Velden V et al. Blood;124:412-9 (2014) IF 11.8
  • Lowenberg B et al: N Engl J Med 364: 1027-1036 (2011) IF 59.5

PhD theses of the last five years

  • 11 mei 2011 Corthals, Sophie; Promotor: Sonneveld P Title: Pharmacogenetic studies in multiple myeloma
  • 29 juni 2011 Abbas, Saman Promotor: Löwenberg B Title: Studies on genetic aberrations in acute myeloid leukemia
  • 7 november 2012 Broyl A (cum laude) Promotor: Sonneveld P Title: Molecular profiling in multiple myeloma
  • 14 november 2012 Vroegindeweij Eric Promotor: Cornelissen JJ Title: Characterization of Murine and Human Thymic Epithelial Progenitor Cells
  • 18 januari 2013 Beekman Rene Promotor: Touw IP Title: Genome-Wide Analysis of Severe Congenital Neutropenia and Leukemia; Implications
  • 12 november 2013 Rockova V (50% Hematologie) Promotor: Lesaffre EMEH, Lowenberg B Title: Bayesian variable selection in high-dimensional applications
  • 17 januari 2014 Gaultney Jennifer Promotor: Uyl-de Groot CA, Sonneveld P Title: Economic Evaluations of Targeted Therapy and Risk-Stratified Treatment Approaches in Multiple Myeloma
  • 17 februari 2015 Sanders Matthijs Promotor: Delwel HR, Löwenberg B Title: Computationeel Biologisch Gedreven Genomische en Epigenomische Delineatie van Acute Myeloïde Leukemia
  • 11 maart 2015 Alemdehy MF Promotor: Touw IP Title: MicroRNAs in normal and malignant myelopoiesis
  • 11 mei 2016 Dinmohamed A Promotor: Sonneveld P, Van de Loosdrecht AA Title: The true face of myelodysplastic syndromes and related neoplasms in the Netherlands: studies

Non-scientific publications related to the ACE

Principal coordinator(s)

Last updated: 365 days ago.