12 April 2013: Irma Verdonck was appointed as Secretary of the Quality of Life Group of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC).
10-12 April 2013: The EORTC QoL Group Spring Meeting 2013 was organised by Irma Verdonck, Jaap Reijneveld (neurologist VUmc) and Neil Aaronson (NKI/AvL) in Amsterdam in "de Rode Hoed". There were over 120 participants from all over Europe.
April 2013: the Dutch Cancer Society and Alpe d'HuZes Foundation have granted the research proposal "Netherlands Quality of life and Biomedical Cohort Studies in Cancer_Head and Neck Cancer (NET-QUBIC_HNC)." NET-QUBIC_HNC is a multicenter prospective cohort study on HNC patients and their informal caregivers. The primary objective is 1) to describe the long-term course of QoL in HNC patients and their informal caregivers and to identify cancer-related, personal, genetic, biological, psychobehavioural, physical, lifestyle-related, and social determinants of QoL.
Secondary objectives are: 2) To determine whether the association between QoL and survival is direct or mediated by other variables, 3) To build predictive models for QoL and survival, 4) To prospectively examine supportive care needs in all phases of the disease, 5) To describe the long term course of QoL in informal caregivers, 6) To establish a large QoL database and biobank of tissue specimen, DNA, RNA, serum plasma and saliva, with integrated clinical information.
This project will be carried out by the Dept of Otolaryngology / Head & Neck Surgery of VU University Medical Center in close cooperation with the head and neck centers of VUmc in Amsterdam, UMCG in Groningen, UMC St Radboud in Nijmegen, and UMCU in Utrecht, and the Dept Clinical Psychology of VU University.
The Principal Investigators are prof dr IM Verdonck-de Leeuw and prof dr CR Leemans.
Inge Braspenning (Master Health Sciences) has started her research project "Validation and assessing the internal consistency and interpretability of the short-form supportive care needs survey (SCNS-SF34) and cancer specific module targeting Dutch head and neck cancer patients (SCNS-SF34_HNC)".
Valesca van Zwieten (Bachelor Gezondheid & Leven) has started her research project "The need for prevention, supportive care, self-management, and e-health among cancer survivors.
New PhD students and students
Within our research group, 2 new PhD students started in November: Femke Jansen and Hoda Al-ltejawi. For more informatie, see "Research group". Also 2 students have started: Fedja Vos and Kelly Kromhout.
Kanker laat je nooit meer los. Interview with Irma Verdonck in Psychologie Magazine, a journal on psychology.
Interview on Radio 5
On 9 September, Hans van Willigenburg interviewed Irma Verdonck on Radio 5.
Vienna Medical Academy Award
Florien Boele received the Vienna Medical Academy Award during the congress of the European Association of Neuro-Oncology (September 6-9 2012) at Marseille for her presentation focusing on research in quality of life in partners of cancerpatients.
Augustus 2012: Martine Barendrecht, Dalibor Stanic, Edwin Teeuw, Martine Hoogendoorn and Nynke Dijkstra finished their MA thesis succesfully.
Kevin Yap and Irma Verdonck organise a workshop "Paving the future of supportive cancer care: is e-health the way forwards?" at the International symposium on supportive care in cancer (MASCC ISOO), 28-30 June 2012 in New York City. This workshop aims to give an overview of various e-health technologies that can be applied to oncology, and provide an insight to the issues associated with this area, so that collaborations can be forged and best practices adopted for clinilca oncology practices.
Alpe d'HuZes 2012
Florien Boele, Corien Eeltink, Gitta Kleijn, Annette van Nieuwenhuizen, Nadia van der Spek and Irma Verdonck will act as volunteers at Alpe d'HuZes, 6-8 Jun 2012, in Alpe d'Huez, France.
At the national congress of the Netherlands Psycho-Oncology Society in Utrecht, Florien Boele presented her research on effectiveness of a training targeting partners of brain tumour patients. Laurien Buffart presented the results of a study on physical activity of colorectal patients in relation to quality of life.
Anne-Marie Krebber presented a poster on effectiviness of guided self-help targeting anxiety and depression in patients treated for head and neck cancer or lung cancer. Geertje laRiviere presented the first result on RetinoQuest. Sanne Lubberding presented the results of a qualitative investigation regarding the need for e-health in relation to supportive cancer care, in both patients and professinals.
Irma Verdonck, Joël Vos, Gitta Kleijn, Nadia van der Spek, and Lenneke Post together with Kitty Knipscheer organised a workshop on the psychological interventions Life Review (developed by Ernst Bohlmeijer), Meaning Therapy (developed by Bill Breitbart), and Spiritual Autobiography (developed by Jannette Delver). The 35 participants valued the scientific background as well as the practical exercises.
Prof dr Ernst Bohlmeijer and dr Stans Drossaert (University Twente) and prof dr Imra Verdonck obtained a new grant from KWF / Alpe d'HuZes. An evidence based online selfhelp intervention will be adapted for partners of cancer patients. This intervention is based on behavioral therapy and mindfulness. A cost-effectiveness study is part of this project.
"Gesprek op 2" with Daphne Bunskoek
In the television program "Gesprek op 2" on 30 October Daphne Bunskoek interviewed Irma Verdonck on living with cancer.
The website www.oncokompas.nl is online!
OncoCompass is a personal e-health portal (under development) that supports cancer survivors by finding and obtaining optimal supportive care, adjusted to their personal health status and situation. See also Research projects.
The handover of Alpe d'HuZes sponsor money to the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF Kankerbestrijding) will be on Sunday October 23th in Lelystad. The total amount in 2011 is 20.176.381,45 euro!! www.opgevenisgeenoptie.nl.
New PhD students
Within our research group, 4 new PhD students started: Lenneke Post, Annette van Nieuwenhuizen, Gitta Kleijn and Nadia van der Spek. For more informatie, see "Research group"
Loanne Kliphuis completed her MA thesis in Health & Life Sciences (Management, Policy-Analysis & Entrepreneurship). Alexander Scheffer completed his thesis in Medical Decision Making. Both worked the past months with us within the scope of the OncoCompass project.
Five new students have started their research projects: Martina Hoogendoorn (Health Psychology, Unviserty Twente), Marjolein Heinen, Willemijn de Graaf, Dalibor Stanic (Clinical Psychology, VU University Amsterdam), and Edwin Teeuw (Clinical Psychology, Leiden University).
LIVESTRONG meeting in Washington
Irma Verdonck was invited by LIVESTRONG (Lance Armstrong Foundation) to attend the meeting on "Essential elements of cancer survivorship care". After two days of inspiring discussions, a preliminary list of essential elements was composed. This list will be elaborated in more detail in the near future.