Cancer Diagnostics 3.0: big data science of in & ex vivo imaging
Role: scientific lead
This is one of thirteen scientific programmes within the medical-technological research environment of the ‘Medical Delta’. The ultimate aim is to provide cancer diagnosis without the need for invasive procedures such as biopsy through advanced imaging and image analysis techniques. The current focus is on brain tumours.
Funding: Medical Delta, NWO-TTW
Core researchers involved: Prof. Matthias van Osch (LUMC, co-lead), Prof. Sjoerd Stallinga (TU Delft, co-lead), Karin van Garderen (Erasmus MC, PhD student), Barbara Schmitz-Abecassis (LUMC, PhD student), vacancy (TU Delft, post-doc)


GLASS-NL: Glioma Longitudinal AnalySiS in the Netherlands
Role: work package lead (imaging)
GLASS-NL constitutes the Dutch section of the global GLASS consortium which comprises a multidisciplinary group of glioma researchers aiming to understand glioma tumour evolution and expose therapeutic vulnerabilities. First results on longitudinal trajectories of diffuse glioma were recently published in Nature. The Dutch section focuses on IDH mutant astrocytoma, and imaging is used to determine radiogenomic tumour features longitudinally, with a view to non-invasively diagnose changes in tumour genetics allowing for early and targeted therapeutic intervention.
Funding: KWF Dutch Cancer Society
Core researchers involved: Prof. Pieter Wesseling (Amsterdam UMC, PI), Prof. Martin van den Bent (Erasmus MC), Assoc. Prof. Pim French (Erasmus MC), Prof. Max Kros (Erasmus MC), Assist. Prof. Bart Westerman (Amsterdam UMC), Dr. Mathilde Kouwenhoven (Amsterdam UMC), Prof. Roel Verhaak (The Jackson Laboratory), Wies Vallentgoed (Erasmus MC, PhD student), Karin van Garderen (Erasmus MC, PhD student)


EU COST Action GLiMR: GLioma MR imaging 2.0
Role: working group lead (stakeholder relations)
This COST Action is led by my former post-doc and now Assist. Prof. Esther Warnert (Erasmus MC). This Action aims to build a pan-European and multidisciplinary network of international experts in glioma research, patient organisations, data scientists, and MR imaging scientists by uniting the glioma imaging community within Europe and progressing the development and application of advanced MR imaging for improved decision making in diagnosis, patient monitoring, and assessment of treatment response in clinical trials and clinical practice.
Funding: EU Horizon2020


EORTC CENTRIC-CORE Imaging Data Analysis Research Programme
Role: programme lead
This research programme comprises multiple projects performed by members of the EORTC Brain Tumour Group (BTG) imaging committee on the imaging and clinical data from the CENTRIC and CORE trials. Topics under investigation include the impact of post-surgical tumour burden on overall survival, automated response assessment, and temporal muscle thickness as a measure of frailty.
Core researchers involved: Prof. Michael Weller (EORTC-BTG chair), Prof. Joerg Tonn (trial-PI), Dr. Julia Furtner, Prof. Jens Gempt, Prof. Norbert Galldiks, Dr. Slavka Lukacova , Dr. Philip Lohmann, Dr. Philipp Vollmuth


PERISCOPE: the clinical value of perfusion MRI in primary and secondary brain tumour surveillance
Role: principal investigator
In this Dutch nation-wide multicentre study data are collected both prospectively and retrospectively on brain tumour patient aiming to assess the clinical value of perfusion MRI in their management. Fifteen centres are currently involved, and data of over 1,000 patients have thus far been collected.
Funding: ZonMW Leading the Change
Core researchers involved: Dr. Anouk van der Hoorn (UMCG), Dr. Linda Dirven (LUMC), Wouter Teunissen (Erasmus MC, PhD student)


Advanced imaging in neuro-oncology
Role: principal investigator
This research line comprises multiple projects at Erasmus MC (some in collaboration with LUMC and TU Delft) aimed at the development and implementation of novel imaging and image analysis techniques of brain tumours. The work is a result of close collaboration with the Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam (BIGR) led by prof. Wiro Niessen, the MRI physics group led by prof. Juan Hernandez Tamames, and clinical partners within the Brain Tumour Centre of the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute (Prof. Martin van den Bent, Dr. Arnaud Vincent, Dr. Alejandra Mendez). Together we assess imaging phenotypes of glioma genotypes (iGENE study, vascular signature mapping), and develop and validate advanced imaging techniques such as chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) imaging and combined PET-MRI imaging.
Funding: KWF Dutch Cancer Society, NWO-TTW, The Brain Tumour Charity, Stichting Semmy, Varian, Daniel den Hoed Stichting
Core researchers involved: at Erasmus MC - Assoc. Prof. Stefan Klein, Assist. Prof. Esther Warnert, Dr. Sophie Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Dr. Astrid van der Veldt, Assist. Prof. Dirk Poot, Fatih Incekara (PhD student), Sebastian van der Voort (post-doc), Krishnapriya Venugopal (PhD student), Sophie Derks (PhD student), Ilanah Pruis (PhD student), Yulun Wu (PhD student), Fatemehsadat Arzanforoosh (PhD student); at TUDelft - Assoc. Prof. Frans Vos, Chih-Hsien Tseng (PhD student); at LUMC - Prof. Matthias van Osch, Danielle van Dorth (PhD student)


The Covid-19 pandemic
Role: chair (EORTC), project lead (ESNR)
Within the EORTC Imaging Group we evaluated the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on imaging in oncological trials which resulted in fast track publication in the European Journal of Nuclear and Molecular Medicine.
Within the ESNR Diagnostic Committee we conducted a survey to understand the impact the pandemic has or has had on the work, training, and wellbeing of professionals in the field of diagnostic Neuroradiology. These insights may be used to prepare or improve strategies for similar situations and address potential needs and worries that arose from the crisis and will be presented at the upcoming European Congress of Radiology. Further surveys are planned to continue monitoring the prolonged situation and long-term effects on the Neuroradiological community.
Core researchers involved: Prof. Meike Vernooij, Prof. Tarek Yousry, Prof. Ana Ramos, Dr. Nuria Bargallo