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Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology

Divisions

Groups within research area Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology

Flora Van Leeuwen Voor Publicatie

Flora van Leeuwen

Division
Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology
Specialisation
Cancer Epidemiology

Introduction

The cancer epidemiology group of Flora E. van Leeuwen focuses on two principal research lines:

(1) the assessment of the long‑term risks of second malignancy and cardiovascular disease following treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma, breast cancer, testicular cancer and childhood malignancy and
(2) the assessment of the roles of and hormone-related and genetic risk factors in the etiology of breast and ovarian cancer; Special interest is in late effects of ovarian stimulation for in Vitro Fertilization and cancer etiology in BRCA1/2 families.

Epidemiologic methods are combined with molecular analyses a) to examine gene-environment and gene-treatment interactions, and b) to differentiate risk factors for cancer according to specific genetic alterations in the tumor. There is extensive experience in the conduct of large-scale cohort studies and linkage with disease registries.

More about the Flora van Leeuwen group

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Sanne Schagen

Division
Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology
Specialisation
Cognition and Cancer

Introduction

Many cancer patients experience cognitive changes during their disease course and following treatment that interfere with their daily life activities. The projects constituting the research line of Sanne Schagen center around the investigation of the incidence, nature, severity and determinants of cognitive problems associated with cancer and its treatments. Identifying patients at risk, and the emotional, cognitive and biological mechanisms associated with these effects, is critical for prevention and treatment.

More about the Sanne Schagen group

Lonneke

Lonneke van de Poll

Division
Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology
Specialisation
Cancer Survivorship

Introduction

Cancer Survivorship
Today, 10 million people in Europe survived cancer for 5 years or longer, being at risk for a range of adverse effects. However, our understanding of health decline (symptom development, deteriorated quality of life, functional decline, disease progression and onset of comorbidity) after cancer is still in its infancy. The overarching goal of my research is to understand which patients are vulnerable to develop long-term and late effects of cancer treatment, and to investigate interventions that can prevent or alleviate these negative health outcomes.
  

More about the Lonneke van de Poll group

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Eveline Bleiker

Division
Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology
Specialisation
Psychosocial oncology

Introduction

This research line is being conducted in close collaboration with the NKI-AVL family cancer clinic. It comprises a number of studies which are focused on three psychosocial themes in genetic counseling for cancer: 1) the uptake and long-term psychosocial impact of genetic counseling and testing and risk-reducing behavior; 2) early detection of psychosocial problems and the development of psycho-educational interventions; and 3) the organization of the psychosocial healthcare for cancer patients and their high risk relatives.

More about the Eveline Bleiker group

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Matti Rookus

Division
Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology
Specialisation
Epidemiology of breast cancer

Introduction

To understand the etiology of hormone-related tumors we initiated three prospective cohort studies.

Families with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer

First, in the national Hereditary Breast and Ovarian cancer study Netherlands (HEBON) we are enrolling members of high risk families tested for BRCA1/2 and CHEK2 mutations. With this prospective cohort study we actively participate in two international initiatives, the prospective International BRCA1/2 Carrier Cohort Study (IBCCS, coordinated at NKI) and the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA, epidemiologic part, coordinated at NKI). For instance, in IBCCS we found a decreased risk of breast cancer among BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with a higher level of physical activity. Several other breast cancer risk factors, as known for the general population, are associated with risk of breast cancer for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. In CIMBA-epi we are investigating if genetic variants may be involved in the well known association between age at menarche and risk of breast cancer. Thus, both hormonal/lifestyle risk factors and genetic alterations are taken into account to assess cancer risks and better understand cancer etiology in high risk families. We aim to develop a risk prediction model that incorporates Dutch baseline cancer risks, the new prospective absolute risks for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, pedigree information, the Polygenic Risk Score (including SNPs recently identified in CIMBA, reproductive/hormonal risk factors and breast density. If validation studies are positive the model can be used in the clinical genetic practice. HEBON/IBCCS/CIMBA are also resources for studies on gene-gene and gene-treatment interactions, studies on the late health effects of prophylactic surgeries on breasts and ovaries, studies on the psychological impact of genetic testing and the subsequent decision-making processes and blood-based screening studies.

Women exposed to Dietylstilbestrol in utero

Secondly, we focus on the in utero period as the time window of interest by investigating a cohort of 12,000 women exposed to Diethylstilbestrol in utero (DES daughters). We found that the risk of clear-cell adeno carcinoma of the vagina is still increased at higher ages. We are updating the follow-up of the cohort to examine the risks of other hormone-related cancers.

Women exposed to shift work

In a third cohort consisting of 59,000 Dutch nurses we investigate the association between shift work and risk of hormone-related cancers. The first round of follow-up has recently been conducted. As known risk factors for breast cancer prove to be related with shift work, they will be carefully taken into account as confounders. We will examine if variants in clock genes are related with the duration of shift work and if they modify the potential association between shift work and risk of breast cancer.

 

 

 

More about the Matti Rookus group

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Wim van Harten

Division
Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology
Specialisation
Technologies and Services in Oncology

Introduction

In this group three research themes are covered: Early Health Technology Assessment, Improving Oncology Services and Cancer Rehabilitation.

More about the Wim van Harten group

Menezes

Renee X. de Menezes

Division
Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology
Specialisation
Biostatistics

Introduction

At the Biostatistics unit we develop and apply data analysis methods in a transparent and reproducible way. This is done both in our own research and in consultancy. 

Much of our research involves questions that arise from data analysis problems we encounter, including analyses of: (multi-)omics data, genetic screen data, GWAS, classification and prediction problems, and power and sample size analysis.

Consultancy 
The Biostatistics Unit of the NKI-AvL offers statistical consultancy to all researchers located here. This includes advice on experimental design and data analysis. We focus on experimental and clinical research, except for clinical trials - for advice on methods to analyse data from clinical trials, we refer you to the Wetenschappelijke Administratie group.

If you have a data analysis question or need to setup a new study, do get in touch! We can help you either by simply giving advice via our consultancy service, or by collaborating on a project proposal.

Teaching
We also organize many courses to give researchers a good basis from which to perform, store and present their own work. For more information check our courses page.

More about the Renee X. de Menezes group

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