Introduction to Clinical Immunology

Introduction

The Department of Immunology at Erasmus MC comprises three highly specialized sections:

  • basic immunology
  • medical immunology
  • clinical immunology

New technologies and developments are continuously implemented.  Therefore almost the entire immuno-diagnostic program of the Erasmus MC is nowadays performed at the department of immunology. The supportive care of the immunologic laboratory together with the (outpatient) clinical care and the on demand consultative care of the internist-immunologists throughout the hospital, vouch for good patient care concerning immunologic issues.

Clinical immunology is an essential part of the residency in internal medicine, in particular in the field of allergology, infectious diseases, nephrology and vascular medicine. The pivotal role of clinical immunology in the schooling of internists in training, has been acknowledged multiple times during visitations. Education of, collaboration with and supporting of other specialists are important within the clinical immunology section, for those aspects are a must for achieving and maintaining top care for patients with immune diseases.

Staff Clinical Immunology

The staff consists of four internist-immunologists and one general internist (table 1) and there are usually four to six fellows (internist-immunologists in training).

  • Prof. Dr. P. M. van Hagen, internist-immunoloog
  • Dr. J.A.M. van Laar, internist-immunologist
  • Dr. V.A.S.H. Dalm, internist-immunologist
  • Dr. P.L.A. van Daele, internist-immunologist
  • Dr. P. van Biezen, internist

Key features of Clinical Immunology are:

  • Top clinical care: of all care provided 80 percent categorized as top clinical care, meaning complex care that can only be given in an academic setting.
  • Innovation: an important development in the past decade has been the rise of biologicals as an often very good but expensive treatment for rare immunological diseases for which those medications are not registered/approved. Our section initiates and participates in clinical trials to prove efficacy of treatment in those so-called orphan diseases and also participates in the debate and negotiations between patients and insurers and so on.
  • Collaborations: collaborating with other specialists and departments and even other hospitals and patient organizations has high priority. A good example is the ‘Immune deficiency center for patients with recurrent infections’, which is an alliance between the departments of medical immunology, clinical immunology and pediatrics (Sophia Childrens Hospital). On April 8th 2010 this alliance was presented as the first “immune deficiency center” in The Netherlands. The center is closely involved in the “International Patient Organisation for Primary Immunodeficiencies” (IPOPI) and has an advisory role since 2014. In 2012 collaboration with the pulmonary department lead to the opening of a “center for sarcoidosis”, focusing on research and patient care. There is also an alliance between clinical immunology of EMC, the Rotterdam Eye Hospital and Sint Franciscus Gasthuis Rotterdam.
  • Data and biobanking: collecting patient data per disease entity for future research and monitoring of good patient care/ treatment efficacy in data- and biobanks.

Contact information

Telephone outpatient clinic010-7040115
Consultant Clinical Immunology:06-18980806
Clinic (5 Noord):010-7043146
Outside office hours/ weekends:010-7040704
Email for GPs or specialists who want to refer patients:j.vanlaar@erasmusmc.nl
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