“Our brains are very complex and every region has its own function. When it comes to brain tumors, the tumor location is vital to the treatment; a surgeon can’t just cut out the entire tumor – that could lead to speech or movement disorders similar to the effects of a stroke. It would be helpful for patients and the professionals treating them, if we had a kind of map of all the regions of the brain on which we could collect data about the treatment progression of previous patients, what the consequences were, and where the recurrences were. We could use this map during patient consultations about the risks of choosing or opting out of surgical treatment. I created one part of this map for patients with glioblastoma, a very aggressive type of brain cancer. It was great to be involved in finding patterns, completing the puzzle, and getting closer to a solution one step at a time. It was extra special to be able to work together with various different departments, from radiotherapy and surgery to web applications. I am currently continuing my research in the Neurosurgery department at the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc.”
Roelant will defend his thesis on April 13.