Women's cancers About themeThe Women’s cancers research theme is dedicated to the study of malignancies that specifically occur in women, like breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, endometrial, cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer, as well as trophoblastic malignancies. Our goal is to improve patient-centered quality of care in partnership with patients and their relatives. We aim to improve all stages of the broad spectrum of care: prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment follow-up, survivorship and palliative care.
Concepts of personalized prevention and early detection are being explored in the context of the population-based screening programs for breast and cervical cancer. A better understanding of carcinogenesis and tumor development, with special attention to hereditary causes and preservation of fertility, is being gained, which results in the development of better management strategies. Findings from basic research are being translated into clinical applications on a diagnostic and treatment level within the general concept of personalized healthcare. New imaging technologies are being developed to further support these patient-specific care approaches. The Women’s cancers research theme has a special interest in the development of personalized screening, artificial intelligence in pathology diagnostics and new surgical techniques to improve the management of the various cancer types. Special attention is paid to quality of care and implementation research such as the development of European Breast Guidelines and a European Quality Assurance Scheme for breast cancer services.
- We will study the oncogenesis of the various women’s cancers.
- We will improve screening strategies for the national screening program for breast and cervical cancer.
- We will optimize treatment strategies for women’s cancers.
- We will optimize diagnostic tools and introduce new tools for the detection of women’s cancers.
- We will develop and improve management strategies for hereditary cancers.
- We will introduce new immunotherapeutic treatment modalities in ovarian cancer.
- We will develop new fertility-sparing techniques to support the management of various malignancies.
- We will study patients’ distress levels and develop management strategies to improve quality of life.
Lines of research
- Improving screening strategies for the national screening program for breast cancer, in particular exploring the potential for personalized risk-based strategies to optimize the harm-benefit ratio, effectiveness, and efficiency of the current programs.
- Development of artificial intelligence techniques to get the clinically most relevant data from radiological images, including automated measurements of breast density, automated lesion detection and classification in various imaging modalities, and cancer characterization through multimodal radiomics.
- Evaluation and validation of new and emerging imaging modalities for breast examination, including various advanced MRI techniques, digital breast tomosynthesis, breast CT, automated breast ultrasound, point-of care ultrasound, microwave imaging, as well as evaluation of the advantages of novel artificial intelligence approaches for imaging evaluation and patient care.
- Analyzing deep learning algorithms for assessment of pathological whole slide images (WLI) of breast cancer and lymph nodes and implementing these algorithms in daily clinical practice.
- Improving distress screening with psychometric research and development and efficacy studies for matched supportive care.
- Unraveling the oncogenesis of the various types of ovarian cancer.
- Developing intraperitoneal natural killer cell therapy in ovarian cancer.
- Developing and implementing new treatment strategies in (prevention of) ovarian cancer.
- BRCA tumor test as a pre-screen for therapy and predisposition (OPA).
News, events, impact and organization
Only half of young female cancer patients get a chance to preserve their fertilityReceiving fertility care in cancer improves quality of life and prevents regret13 May 2022
Ioannis Sechopoulos receives NWO Vici grant for research on improving breast cancer diagnostics1 March 2022
1.4 million euro to reduce hospital admissions due to medication7 January 2022