• The University of Western Australia (M503), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Dr. Willem (Joost) Lesterhuis is an NHMRC RD Wright Research Fellow with the School of Biomedical Sciences and the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases at the University of Western Australia. He has a background as a dual-trained medical oncologist and basic researcher in tumour immunology and cancer biology.

His research focuses on identifying new effective treatment combinations in cancer, in particular in mesothelioma, and focusing on immunotherapy. Using network analysis of gene expression data from tumours in mouse models and patient samples, his research aims to identify predictive biomarkers for clinical efficacy of immuno-oncology drugs, as well as new context-specific targets for pharmacological intervention and novel combination treatments.

His research combines several lines of science; systems biology, network science, cancer biology, pharmacology/drug discovery, immunology and translational oncology.


Current research projects include:
1- Combining chemotherapy and immunotherapy to treat cancer, in particular mesothelioma and lung cancer.
2- Unravelling the cellular and molecular processes that govern successful immunotherapy-induced cancer regression, using systems biology approaches.
3- Identification of the molecular processes that drive mesothelioma invasion using network analysis of high-dimensional molecular data from mouse models and patient samples.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Projects 2014 2021

Research Output 2008 2018

Combination immune checkpoint blockade as an effective therapy for mesothelioma

Fear, V., Tilsed, C. M., Chee, H. E. J., Forbes, C., Casey, T., Solin, J., Lansley, S., Lesterhuis, W., Dick, I., Nowak, A., Robinson, B., Lake, R. & Fisher, S., 30 Jul 2018, In : Oncolmmunology. 14 p., e1494111

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Regulatory T-Lymphocytes
3 Citations
Open Access
Maximum Tolerated Dose
Drug Therapy
Inbred C57BL Mouse
Weight Loss
3 Citations

Direct inhibition of STAT signaling by platinum drugs contributes to their anti-cancer activity

Hato, S. V., Figdor, C. G., Takahashi, S., Pen, A. E., Halilovic, A., Bol, K. F., Vasaturo, A., Inoue, Y., Haas, N. D., Verweij, D., Van Herpen, C. M. L., Kaanders, J. H., van Krieken, J. H. J. M., Van Laarhoven, H. W. M., Hooijer, G. K. J., Punt, C. J. A., Asai, A., de Vries, I. J. M. & Lesterhuis, W. J., 1 Jan 2017, In : Oncotarget. 8, 33, p. 54434-54443 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
STAT Transcription Factors
Pharmaceutical Preparations
25 Citations
Open Access
Tumor Biomarkers
Drug Industry
3 Citations

Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Cells and Xenograft Tumors Exposed to Erb-b2 Receptor Tyrosine Kinase 2 and 3 Inhibitors Activate Transforming Growth Factor Beta Signaling, Which Induces Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition

Ebbing, E. A., Steins, A., Fessler, E., Stathi, P., Lesterhuis, W. J., Krishnadath, K. K., Vermeulen, L., Medema, J. P., Bijlsma, M. F. & van Laarhoven, H. W. M., 1 Jul 2017, In : Gastroenterology. 153, 1, p. 63-76.e14

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TYK2 Kinase
Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
Transforming Growth Factor beta