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12Sep 2017

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Thesis defense Femke van der Leij

Promovenda Femke van der Leij

Some early-stage breast cancer patients might be better off with a treatment that is less extensive than the current standard. This is one of the main conclusions of Femke van der Leij's PhD research. She will defend her thesis on September 13th at the University of Amsterdam.

Since patients with an early stage of breast cancer have such a good outcome after breast conserving therapy, there is an increasing need to treat those patients less extensively. The treatment results turned out to be excellent in a cohort of over 10.000 breast cancer patients who have been treated with breast-conserving therapy in the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Femke van der Leij studied this cohort during her PhD research. Especially elderly patients with an extra low risk tumor had a lower risk of distant metastasis and a better overall survival. These patients may be eligible for less extensive treatment, she argues.
Van der Leij also describes a clinical trial in which breast cancer patients of 60 years or older were irradiated less extensive than normal. In this so-called PAPBI trial partial breast irradiation was given before breast-conserving surgery, instead of whole-breast irradiation after surgery. The first results of this study are promising: there are few side effects and the cosmetic result is good, if not excellent, in most patients.
You can download Van der Leij's thesis here.

Details of the defense
Femke van der Leij will defend her thesis on Wednesday September 13th, 10.00am. Location: Agnietenkapel, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 229-231 in Amsterdam. The title of her thesis is: Optimizing treatment of low risk breast cancer patients. Her promotor is Marc van de Vijver (UvA). Her copromotors are Paula Elkhuizen (Netherlands Cancer Institute) and Harry Bartelink (UvA).


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