We study hypoxia-induced autophagy and extracellular vesicle secretion, to exploit this knowledge for improved cancer treatment


Key papers


Extracellular Vesicles as Transmitters of Hypoxia Tolerance in Solid Cancers. Zonneveld MIKeulers TGHRouschop KMA. Cancers (Basel). 2019 Jan 29;11(2)

EGFRvIII expression triggers a metabolic dependency and therapeutic vulnerability sensitive to autophagy inhibition. Jutten B, Keulers TG, Peeters HJM, Schaaf MBE, Savelkouls KGM, Compter I, Clarijs R, Schijns OEMG, Ackermans L, Teernstra OPM, Zonneveld MI, Colaris RME, Dubois L, Vooijs MA, Bussink J, Sotelo J, Theys J, Lammering G, Rouschop KMA. Autophagy. 2018;14(2):283-295
GABARAPL1 is required for increased EGFR membrane expression during hypoxia. Keulers TG #, Schaaf MBE#, Peeters HJ, Savelkouls KG, Vooijs MA, Bussink J, Jutten B, Rouschop KM. Radiother Oncol. 2015 2015 Sep;116(3):417-22
Jutten B, Keulers TG, Schaaf MB, Savelkouls KG, Theys J, Span PN, Vooijs MA, Bussink J, Rouschop KM: EGFR overexpressing cells and tumors are dependent on autophagy for growth and survival. Radiother Oncol. 2013 Sep;108(3):479-83
Schaaf MB, Cojocari D, Keulers TG, Jutten B, Starmans M, Jong MD, Begg A, Savelkouls KG, Bussink J, Vooijs M, Wouters BG, Rouschop KM: The autophagy associated gene, ULK1, promotes tolerance to chronic and acute hypoxia. Radiother Oncol. 2013 Sep;108(3):529-34
Rouschop KM, van den Beucken T, Dubois L, Niessen H, Bussink J, Savelkouls K, Keulers T, Mujcic H, Landuyt W, Voncken JW, Lambin P, van der Kogel AJ, Koritzinsky M, Wouters BG. The unfolded protein response protects human tumor cells during hypoxia through regulation of the autophagy genes MAP1LC3B and ATG5. J Clin Invest. 2010 Jan 4;120(1):127-41



Please follow this link to see all the grants received by MaastroLab

Group Members


Extracellulaire vesicles als therapeutisch target ter verbetering van glioblastoom-therapie –deel 1

Period: 2020

Project coordinator: Kasper Rouschop

Funded by: Zeldzame Ziekten Fonds/rare diseases fund

Sum of contract in Euro’s: € 60.000


Elevating autophagy-dependence of hypoxic Glioblastoma cells for increased therapeutic benefit

Period: 2020-2024

Project coordinator: Kasper Rouschop

Other participants: Bradly Wouters (UM/UHN Toronto Canada)

Funded by: KWF

Sum awarded: € 498.500

Autophagy associated extracellular vesicles in glioblastoma multiforme: new players in hypoxia-associated tumour progression?

Period: 2016-2019

Funded by: Worldwide Cancer Research (formerly AICR)

Sum of contract in Euro’s: € 295.000


Hypoxia associated exosomes: a new target in hypoxia-associated tumour aggressiveness? 

Period: 2015-2019

Funded by: KWF project grant

Sum of contract in Euro’s: € 563.100

Hypoxia-induced autophagy: a therapeutic target for cancer therapy?

# UM 2010-4714

Period: 2010-2014 

Project coordinator: Dr. Kasper Rouschop 

Funded by: KWF 

Sum Awarded: € 486.000


Autophagy signaling, an essential requirement for tumor microenvironment maintenance and therefore a therapeutic target

#UM 2012-5506

Project coordinator: Dr. Kasper Rouschop 

Period: 2012-2018 

Funded by: KWF personal funding

Sum Awarded: € 524,000


Therapeutic opportunity of autophagy inhibition in the treatment of EGFRvIII expressing glioblastoma multiforme.

Project coordinator: Dr. Kasper Rouschop

Period 2013-2015

Funded by: ziekten fonds ( /rare diseases fund):

Sum awarded: €147,000



Team leader
Kasper Rouschop, PhD
Tom Keulers, PhD
PhD Students
Lydie Barbeau, MSc
Joël Beaumont, MSc
Kim Savelkouls, Ing
Marijke Zonneveld
Barry Jütten
Marco Schaaf