Research New Frontiers Symposium Looking back: New Frontiers Symposium 2016

Summary symposium

The subject of this 10th edition of the Radboud New Frontiers Symposium was cancer research. read more

Summary symposium

In the last decade, there has been an enormous progress in the field of cancer. New treatment paradigms have become available for tumor types that were hardly treatable before. In all of the facets of the diagnostics the personalized approaches are being adopted. New care concepts improve the quality of life of cancer patients. Such new developments that originated from the basic sciences, clinical practice and health sciences were the subject of these two days. 

In front of an audience of more than 250 scientists, Professor Paul Smits, Dean / vice-Chairman Radboudumc, opened the symposium. The speaker of the opening session Professor Gerrit Meijer (NKI) discussed the paradigm of personalized or precision medicine and the developments towards the productive translational cancer research.

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In the first session on cancer prevention a number of different topic were discussed; starting from primary prevention in Tobacco control by Marc Willemsen (Maastricht UMC), followed by the latest developments in lung screening CT by Mathias Prokop (Radboudumc). The session was closed by an inspiring lecture of Per Hall (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm) on how to identify and treat women with high risk breast cancer.

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The second session focused on the future of cancer imaging, the essential and versatile technology that is pervasive in cancer diagnosis, treatment and research. The four speakers presented diverse imaging approaches. Professor Peter Friedl (Radboudumc) showed impressive developments in intravital microscopy of cancer invasion, metastasis and therapy. The state of the art of nuclear medicine was presented by Professor Wim Oyen  (ICR, London).  Professor Uulke van der Heide (NKI) discussed the future of use of image guided therapy to tailor the treatment in heterogenic tumors. The last speaker of the session Dr Go van Dam (UMC Groningen) focused on local tumor treatments using fluorescent guided surgery.

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The  last session of the first day dedicated to the exiting area of cancer immunology was opened by an excellent talk of Professor Jolanda de Vries (Radboudumc) on dendritic cell based vaccination, on the long way from biology to daily practise. Professor Rengaswamy Sankaranarayaran presented the different approaches of HPV vaccination in low income countries. The session was closed by dr. Ignacio Melero (University of Navarra, Pamplona) on exploration of new targets  such as CD 137 in cancer immunotherapy approaches.

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During the second day of the symposium, the fourth session focused on consequences for daily practice. Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones  (UHCL, London) showed the new organization systems to deliver outcome-based cancer care. In the next presentation professor Koos van der Hoeven (Radboudumc) discussed the price of the healthcare. The third lecture on late effects and cancer survivorship was presented by Professor Christopher Johansen (University of Copenhagen). The session was closed by the interesting lecture of Professor Nicole Blijlevens about the platform where patients are in lead using e-health; CMyLife, on cancer immunology, on ‘treating the mutation, the cancer or the patient’, on prevention and patient participation and on durability of the healthcare system. Each session of the program was of interest to both molecular life scientists and health scientists as well as to clinicians with a focus on patient care instead of research.

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After the lunch and poster session Professor Paul Workman (ICR, London) talked on de latest development in the genetic field and in drug discovery. The next speaker, professor Donald Berry (MD Anderson, Houston) discussed biomarkers and innovation in clinical trial design, as well as the future of  clinical trials.

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The keynote lecture about the genetic susceptibility to ovarian cancer, and its clinical significance was given by Professor Paul Pharoah. He is also the first awardee of the John Graunt Award for outstanding scientific achievement in epidemiology.


Best poster awards
There have been two poster sessions during the 2 days of the Symposium. An excellent jury awarded three best poster prizes. They received a certificate, the recently published book The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee and a dinner voucher.  The winner of the best poster was Ilja Diets. The second best poster was presented by Sabrina Boer; third place was for Anke van Erp.  


John Graunt Award

Starting in 2016, the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences will honor an outstanding scientist every two years for his / her extraordinary achievements in one of the population sciences. read more

John Graunt Award

The award is named after John Graunt. In the seventeenth century, the influential Londoner John Graunt developed early human statistical and census methods that later provided a framework for modern demography. He produced the first life table, giving probabilities of survival to each age. Many consider Graunt as the first epidemiologist, since his famous book “Natural and Political Observations Made upon the Bills of Mortality” was concerned mostly with public health statistics. This book used analysis of the mortality rolls in early modern London, as the London officials attempted to create a system to warn of the onset and spread of bubonic plaque in the city. Though the system was never truly created, Graunt’s work in studying the rolls resulted in the first statistically based estimation of the population of London. John Graunt’s book led him to the Royal Society, where he presented his work and was subsequently elected a fellow with the endorsement of the King. He was later chosen as a member of the council of the Society.

The John Graunt Award 2016 is awarded to Professor Paul Pharoah, in recognition of his groundbreaking studies on breast and ovarian cancer .

Professor Paul Pharoah qualified in Medicine from the University of Oxford in 1986. After a series of posts in internal medicine he worked for a year in Malawi on a leprosy vaccine trial. Then he completed his training in public health medicine before taking up a post as research fellow in the CRC Human Cancer Genetics group at the University of Cambridge. Having completed his doctoral studies in 1999 he won a CRUK Senior Clinical Research Fellowship. On completion of his fellowship in 2009 he was appointed Reader in Cancer Epidemiology and then promoted to a personal Chair in 2012. He is now professor of cancer epidemiology at the Depts. of Oncology and Public Health & Primary Care of the University of Cambridge. In addition to this professor Pharoah is Director of Teaching of the Dept. of Public Health & Primary Care and Honorary Consultant in Public Health for Public Health England.

Professor Pharoah runs a research group with major interests in i) the genetic susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer ii) methodological issues in investigating the polygenic basis of cancer susceptibility and iii) the influence of germline genotype and molecular pathological characteristics of breast and ovarian cancer on prognosis and response to treatment. Professor Pharoah has been pivotal for the start of the Breast Cancer Association Consortium and the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium, extremely successful global research collaborations to identify the genetic underpinnings of the risk and prognosis of breast and ovarian cancer. Through these consortia, dozens of new susceptibility loci and mutations have been identified. Professor Pharoah published almost 600 papers, many of them as senior or corresponding author.

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Summary public evening

On Monday November 21st, the Radboud Center for Oncology and the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences organized a public evening on the Future of cancer for the patient of today. read more

Summary public evening

In front of an interested audience of about 160 people, eight excellent speakers presented the exciting developments in the diagnosis, treatment and innovative care provided by Radboudumc.

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THURSDAY NOVEMBER 24, 2016 FRIDAY NOVEMBER 25, 2016 read more



Prof. Paul Smits, Dean / vice-Chairman Radboud university medical center, will open the  symposium followed by the lecture Towards productive translational cancer research of Prof. Gerrit Meijer.
Prof. Gerrit Meijer is professor of pathology with a special interest in gastrointestinal oncology and translational research and leads a translational research group that focuses on gastrointestinal cancer. This involves omics based tumour profiling, using DNA, RNA and proteomics based techniques, in order to stratify patient groups and arrive at individual tailored therapies. Furthermore, genomic and proteomics profiling of pre-malignant lesions is used for biomarker development to improve (colorectal) cancer screening. This program was and is supported with grants from KWF, ZonMW, MLDS en CTMM.

Session 1: Cancer prevention

Although (almost) everyone agrees that more can be achieved with prevention than with clinical care, innovations in cancer prevention are lagging behind. Smoking prevalence is decreasing only slowly. In the same time, obesity is becoming an epidemic. What should be done to give cancer prevention a boost? Despite decades of research, there is still no screening program for prostate cancer and lung cancer. Can we expect such programs any time soon? And what is the next step in breast cancer screening. Is it possible to tailor screening to women with different risk profiles?

Session 2: Future of cancer imaging (research)

Imaging is an essential and versatile technology that is pervasive in cancer diagnosis, treatment and research. In this session four very diverse imaging approaches are presented. We show how microscopy imaging allows researchers to see invasion, spread and the effect of therapy on cancer cells; how novel nuclear imaging is increasingly sensitive in detecting and visualizing tumors and therapeutics in the living body; how radiotherapy is more and more guided by imaging, even during radiotherapy treatment; and how fluorescent imaging can help surgeons during an operation to remove and locally treat cancer.

Session 3: Cancer immunology: between biology and implementation  

The realization that cancer cells may be immunogenic has opened up the possibility to investigate to which extent we can stimulate the immune system to prevent or cure cancer. After many years of research into the basic immunological mechanisms, we are now entering an exciting era, in which vaccination, cellular therapy and the use of immunomodulatory drugs and antibodies are being put to the test in patients. In this session, the state of the art of this field will be highlighted by three speakers working in different areas of the immunological arena.


Session 4: Consequences for daily practice

Innovations in cancer care is not all about genes, molecules, and images. Important progress can be achieved with, e.g., centralisation of care, network creation, and alternative forms of communication. In this session, you will see examples of such cancer care innovations. Innovations that are urgently needed to keep cancer care sustainable in the near future.    

Session 5: Treating the mutation or the tumor or the patient?

Genetic—and later, genomic—investigation of cancers has led to the discovery of pathognomonic – sometimes druggable- mutations in many cancers, which led to personalized cancer care. However, further research has clearly shown that the effects of specific mutations are dependent on cellular context, and thus treatment decisions based solely on the presence of targetable mutations can be misleading. In this post-genomic era, rare cancers are a growing group as a result of reclassification of common cancers by molecular markers. There is therefore an increasing need to identify methods to assess interventions that are sufficiently robust to potentially affect clinical practice in this setting.

Complete program


The Radboud Frontiers Symposium will be held at the Radboudumc Auditorium, Geert Grooteplein 15, 6525 GA Nijmegen, route 296. read more





Radboud Auditorium _Bereikbaarheid _sml


The symposium dinner will be held in Landmark Wijnfort Lent, Bemmelse Dijk 4, 6663 KV  Lent. A coach is available to take you from the Radboud Auditorium to Landmark. 

In the mid 19th century, the fortress town of Nijmegen wanted to strengthen its position. As fort Knodsenburg in Lent could not fulfill any role of significance three new defensive works around the village of Lent were planned two of which were realised: fortress Boven-Lent, also called Sprokkelenburg, and fortress Beneden-Lent, or Nieuw-Knodsenburg. The first was built in 1862, the second a year after. Although most of the fortresses were dismantled after the abolition of fortress Nijmegen in 1874, both fortresses in Lent were preserved. During World War II in September 1944 the German used these to open fire on the Americans on both banks of the Waal. The Americans finally won, but lost 200 men. Fort Sprokkelenburg is a real "LANDMARK" situated at the north shore of the Waal by Nijmegen. The Fort, also known as Fort Above Lent, was part of the line of defense for the city of Nijmegen back in 1870. Nowadays it is in the limelight as a unique location for intimate or big parties in the Netherlands


Public evening - The future of cancer for the patient from now

On the 21st of november the RIHS and the center for Oncology will organize a public evening about cancer research. read more

Public evening - The future of cancer for the patient from now

What is the future of cancer?
The threatment of cancer is changing rapidly. New possibilities present themselves, but also the organization of care is changing. 
What do these developments mean for the current patient? Prominent doctors en researchers will lead you to the newest developments in cancer research. 

When and where?

21 november, 18.30 - 22.00
Location: Auditorium, route 296


Speaker: Koos van der Hoeven

Entry and reception

Where are we now and what is will the future bring us?
Koos van der Hoeven, Chairman Center for Oncology

Imaging of cancer, a glance over the horizon.
Jelle Barentsz, Professor Functional Imaging

Spy cancercells to understand metastases.
Mirjam Zegers, researcher cellbiology

The operating room of the future.
Maroeska Rovers, Professor evicence based surgery


New drugs against cancer, where are we going?
Carla van Herpen, medical oncologist

The past and the future of radiotherapy
Jan Bussink, radiotherapist

Vaccination to prevent and threat cancer
Jolanda de Vries, Professor Translational Tumor Immunology

E-health in the aftercare of cancer
Judith Prins, Professor medical psychology

Questions and discussion