23 January 2018

Carla van Herpen has been appointed Professor of Rare Cancers at Radboud University/Radboud university medical center from 1 January 2018. Van Herpen  is the first Professor of Rare Cancers in the Netherlands.

Carla van Herpen (theme: Rare Cancers) will work to improve survival rate and quality of life for patients with rare cancers, paying special attention to salivary gland cancer and head and neck cancer. Rare cancers are characterised by poorer survival rates than more frequently observed cancers because there is often a delay in making the correct diagnosis, fewer adequate therapies are available, and fewer clinical trials are being set up for them.

Carla van Herpen earned her doctor’s qualification from Radboud University in 1989. She then completed the internal medicine programme at Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital and Radboud university medical center, and did her follow-up training to become an internist-oncologist at Radboud university medical center. She has been a staff member in the Medical Oncology Department at Radboud university medical center since 1997. 
In 2004, she earned her PhD from Radboud University with her dissertation: ‘Intratumoral administration of interleukin-12 in head and neck cancer’. In 2015-2016, she completed an executive course, Managing Health Care Delivery, at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts (USA).

Medical Oncology clinic

Van Herpen was head of the Medical Oncology clinic from 2005 to 2009 and has subsequently focused more on pioneering research into, among other things, new drugs (phase I–early phase II research). She has been the rare cancers theme leader since 2015, and the coordinator of the molecular tumour board at Radboud university medical center since 2016.

Dr van Herpen also holds a number of national positions. She is a board member for the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Medische Oncologie (Dutch Society for Medical Oncology, NVMO), sits on the executive board of Stichting Oncologische Samenwerking (Oncological Collaboration Foundation, SONCOS) and is co-chair of the regional practicability work group of the Dutch Clinical Research Foundation (DCRF).

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