"It feels special that prior to my thesis defense there is a mini-symposium, that doesn't happen often to a PhD student. This is one of the benefits of being the first PhD student of Prostate Cancer Network Netherlands. In this network, we work together with thirteen hospitals to give prostate cancer patients in our region the best care. The word Netherlands echoes our ambition to grow. For now, our region consists of North Holland and Flevoland, and we see about a quarter of all Dutch prostate cancer patients.
We do all surgical treatments at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Here we work closely with urologists, but also with other specialists, such as radiologists and radiotherapists from other hospitals. All this with the aim of giving patients in our region the best care. That was also the goal of my own doctoral research. I investigated how doctors could make better choices with the help of better imaging. We can convert two-dimensional images from an MRI scan into 3D models. This allows doctors to see exactly where the tumor is and therefore better determine whether, for example, they can spare part of the urethra or nerves, or not.
I also looked at different strategies to prevent bladder cramps. This involves the patient waking up restlessly after surgery and feeling all kinds of stimuli around the wound near the bladder. An automatic reaction is to want to pull the catheter out. This appears to be best prevented by leaving an anesthetic in the bladder during surgery. It is clinical lessons like these that specialists within the network share. They do the same during that mini-symposium. I myself get to sit back and relax. Only after the symposium it is my turn. Then I have to defend my thesis."
Hans will defend his thesis on June 15.
This research was co-funded by Prostate Cancer Network Netherlands.
prof. dr. H.G. van der Poel & prof.dr. R.J.A. van Moorselaar
dr. A.N. Vis & dr. P.J. van Leeuwen