Candidates for membership of the BSMO Board 2019

Collignon, Joëlle

Dear Colleagues,

It is my honor to apply for a second term as BSMO-board member. I have been a BSMO member since 1994 and I joined the Board in 2015.

Since then I actively participated into different projects of our society. The main one was to renew the website with the aim to increase its visibility. It was not so easy, and it is still in progress. I stimulated BGDO to join us to gather almost all GI cancer trials on the same website. We plan to improve the interface to make an easier access for Precision Medicine trials as BSMO is the sponsor of Precision Medicine 1 and 2.

I would like to continue this involvement for a second term as I think that it is important for the continuum of our Board that some of the board members are maintained in their office while allowing the entrance of JCnew members bringing new ideas. Currently, my clinical work in CHU Liège focuses on the treatment of breast cancer and gastro-intestinal tumors. I am the coordinator of the multidisciplinary digestive tumor board and I have developed last years a Medical Clinic for GI cancers with medical oncologists and gastroenterologists having their main interest in the treatment of GI cancers. In this context I actively increased our involvement in GI trials.

I also participate into other clinical trials in the department of Medical Oncology in CHU of Liege with special interest in early drug development, translational research and personalized medicine.

Finally, I also think that it is important to have women sitting in the Board of BSMO as we were only 3 in the last board.

Thank you very much for considering my candidature.

Best regards, Joelle Collignon
tel: 04 2844779

Cornélis, Frank

I am a 53-year-old medical oncologist and work at Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc (UCLouvain), King Albert II Institute, Brussels, since 2010. Before that, I worked at Centre hospitalier de Mouscron/Moeskroen for 14 years.

Working in a peripheral hospital or in an academic cancer centre are quite different experiences. But working as a medical oncologist is always a daily challenge anywhere.

The BSMO plays an important role in supporting its members in several aspects of their career (clinical practice, scientific and educational activities, professional interests, etc.). Therefore, in my opinion, a close contact between the BSMO and all its members is essential in order to hear their needs and their concerns.

To my mind, another role of the BSMO is to be our patients advocate whenever their interests are threatened. At the present time, these threats are numerous: access to new drugs, hospitals networks, insurances contracts, privacy policy, etc. We have to carry the voice of our patients to the authorities in order to defend human and patient-centred cancer care in our country.

I would be happy to have the opportunity to contribute to these missions within the new board of the BSMO.

Tel: 02 764 60 48

Demey, Wim

My name is Wim Demey.  I was born in Torhout (West-Flanders) in 1974.  I received my medical degree from the KU Leuven in 2000 and subsequently trained to become a medical oncologist at that same university, earning my recognition in 2006.

As of September 2006 I have been working within the Iridium Kankernetwerk in Antwerp. My principle areas of interest are digestive oncology, breast cancer and urological oncology. Nevertheless I strongly believe that the medical oncologist should keep a broad vision on the entire oncology field.  In daily practice a multidisciplinary approach and a good understanding with other colleagues treating cancer are essential.

I strongly believe medical oncology activity should be present in every hospital.

My aim is to work with the society towards achieving these goals.  Furthermore I want to stimulate the growth and the impact of the society by supporting initiatives relevant to further the development of medical oncology in Belgium.

Tel: 03 650 50 53

Fontaine, Christel

As medical oncologist, I am working at the UZ Brussel for 23 years. At the beginning of my career I treated all types of cancers, but now I am mainly focused on the care of breast and head and neck cancers. To advance the research in this field, I am involved in different hospital and company based phase II and III trials together with other colleagues at the University (VUB) and the Laboratory of Molecular and Medical Oncology(VUB).

As an active member of the BSMO breast cancer task force, Prof Wildiers of the UZ Leuven and myself conducted a national phase II trial in triple negative breast cancer, wherein 22 different Belgian hospitals actively participated and accomplished the study in 1 year.

This year together with Prof Klastersky, we created the BSMO supportive care task force and organized this year the second post MASCC meeting with very interesting topics. This will be a great opportunity for the BSMO supportive care task force to support new projects within the international MASCC study groups and to reinforce the supportive care for our patients. I am also member of the ESMO, EORTC head and neck cancer study group and the VWHHT.

I want to apply for a function in the BSMO board to work together with the other board members to further stimulate the cooperation between the different hospitals to conduct trials together in the different fields. Doing so we will attract other organisations to participate with and to grow further.

Also together with the other board members, I will try to discuss with the different pharmaceutical companies to ask grants for conducting national studies. I think that the BSMO can also become an important partner to discuss medical and financial issues with the political health authorities.

Ignatiadis, Michail

I am candidate for the board of the Belgian Society of Medical Oncology (BSMO) representing the Jules Bordet Institut. BSMO has been already very successful in various fields including being sponsor of clinical trials, having different active task forces for different tumor types and organizing successful annual meetings for educating its members on the latest advances in clinical and translational oncology. If elected, I will work with the other members of the board to continue on this successful pathway. Moreover, I will stimulate discussions within the group so that BSMO initiates academic clinical trials with the support of KCE or of other national/international grants asking clinically relevant questions important for the patients and the society but currently not the focus of pharmaceutical industry-sponsored research. My experience in investigator-initiated trials including my current positions as Leader of Academic Research at the Jules Bordet Institut and as member of the EORTC Board will be helpful to build such a strategy within the BSMO. Such trials can be led by BSMO in collaboration with similar organizations in countries such as the Netherlands or Luxemburg or even within ESMO.

Thank you for your consideration.

Tel: 0476 99 60 08

Lybaert, Willem

I am since 2006 working as a Medical Oncologist in AZ Nikolaas in Sint-Niklaas (= my principal working place, 70%) and in AZ Sint-Augustinus in Wilrijk (30%). Two years ago, I started up the Department of Oncology in AZ Lokeren and integrated it into the Department of Oncology-Hematology-Radiotherapy-Palliative Care of AZ Nikolaas. I was also the co-founder and am now the coordinator of the NETwerk ENETS Center of Excellence (= neuroendocrine tumour care) around UZA and the University of Antwerp. 2 years ago I stopped my hematological activities in my jobtime of Medical Oncologist. Before, I combined these two entities. I am networking with the university hospitals of Antwerp, Ghent and Leuven.

I have a large experience of treating all tumor types over all these different hospitals (except brain tumours), but my focus of particular interest are colorectal cancer, head and neck cancer and neuroendocrine tumours.

I am a member of BSMO, ESMO, ASCO, BGDO and VWHHT since 2006 and publish and co-publish in different journals related to oncology. I try to participate regularly as a speaker at relevant oncological meetings in our country, hospital based and pharmaceutical company based. I participate also to a lot of oncological studies as an investigator or co-investigator. In my hospital group I organise a lot of symposia in oncology.

I want to apply for a function in the BSMO Board to further promote oncological networking activities between professionals/collegues in the field, to further build at the strength of the BSMO at a local, regional, national and international level, and this in a nice manner of working with other team members. Also more attracting young professionals seems a beautiful scope.

Thanks for consideration of my potential contribution,

Tel: 0496 69 44 79

Prenen, Hans

I obtained my medical degree in 2001 from the Catholic University Leuven (K.U. Leuven, Belgium) and did my residency in the Department of Oncology at the University Hospitals Gasthuisberg, Leuven (Belgium).  In 2006, I obtained my PhD from the program in molecular oncology at the laboratory of experimental oncology at K.U Leuven. From 2009 to april 2018 I worked in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology  at the University Hospital Leuven in the field of digestive oncology. In May 2018 I moved to the University Hospital Antwerp to become head of the phase 1 and early clinical trial unit. I am currently an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Antwerp as well as a Senior Clinical Investigator of the Belgian Foundation against Cancer where my research initially focused in understanding how certain mutations in cancer cells dictate resistance to targeted agents. Recently, I became attracted by the relevance of inflammatory cells as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive markers.  I’m a member of several scientific organizations including the Belgian Society of Medical Oncology (BSMO), European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), Belgian Group of Digestive Oncology (BGDO), International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus (ISDE) and the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). Moreover, I’m regularly invited to national and international meetings and have published more than 100 peer reviewed scientific papers. From 2015 I’m an elected board member of the BSMO.

I would like to re-apply to be a member of the board of the BSMO to continue the good work this organization has done for all oncologists. The field of oncology is one of the most rapidly evolving areas of modern medicine. It is now clear that cancer is a heterogeneous disease that requires a personalized treatment approach. A strong professional network such as the BSMO is therefore needed to improve the quality of cancer care, to disseminate the knowledge and to maintain liaisons between all persons involved in treating patients with cancer.

Tel: 016 34 02 38

Punie, Kevin

I am truly convinced that all the challenges we face in our profession create an ongoing high need for a strong national society. We have to acknowledge that oncology has changed tremendously the last years with the enlarging arsenal of diagnostics and treatments. Lifelong learning is essential to keep up with the fast pace of new drugs, reimbursement criteria and guidelines. Besides the massive impact for patients and oncology departments in routine clinical practice, this also has major implications for clinical trial conduct. Target populations are getting more and more narrowed hampering recruitment potential, which is a major treat to the attractiveness of our country as a partner in international trials.

In my opinion, improving collaboration in all different fields of oncology (practicing oncology, educational aspects, regulatory aspects, clinical trial conduct, among others) will facilitate a large part of the challenges faced. For example, internal deliberation in the taskforces before important national regulatory issues could improve the pace and the likelihood of a fruitful outcome of governmental decisions and this could be a good opportunity for me to serve the BSMO and our cancer patients since I am an active member of the BSMO Breast Cancer Task Force.

A strong interaction between BSMO members on national and international meetings is an important facilitating factor in all collaborative efforts. Towards this end, I have been involved in the EORTC Young Breast Cancer group and in ESMO as part of the Young Oncologist Committee (YOC), where I have the opportunity of developing projects and being active within the ESMO as society, strengthening Belgium in the international oncology community.

I also want to contribute to educational activities, where I was already involved in the Postgraduate Course Medical Oncology and several other efforts, as well as to building a larger Belgian clinical trial network that can create international visibility for BSMO.

In the past years, I tried to be dynamic and innovative as possible with a strong scientific background and hard work drive. Therefore, I think that it could be a good asset for the BSMO.

With many thanks in advance for your consideration of my candidacy.

Tel: 0494 93 21 82

Rottey, Sylvie

As a medical oncologist since > 15 years working in Gent, and active member of BSMO and board in the past, I would like to continue to bring people together on a national level and to inform colleagues about different topics on a scientific and political level:

  • Organizing BSMO meetings to inform the colleagues about the changing scientific landscape
  • As president of BMUC, I transfer BMUC activities to BSMO – BSMO is a very active part of BMUC of course
  • I am active as back-up member in CTG, I am member of the ‘permanente werkgroep oncologie’ of RIZIV
  • Member of the ESMO and ASCO, BSMO
  • Board member of VWHHT (Vlaamse Werkgroep hoofd-halstumoren)
  • As head of the Drug Research Unit Gent, performing phase I oncology trials, I am in the field of new discoveries in oncology

Tel: 0473 29 16 51

Rutten, Annemie

I work as a medical oncologist in Sint-Augustinus Hospital in Wilrijk.

In my daily practice I have a special interest in the treatment of malignant melanoma and head and neck cancer, and I’m also active in our clinical trial unit. As a member since the beginning of my career, I believe the BSMO plays a pivotal role in Belgian oncology.

I witnessed their important role in the recognition of the medical oncologist as an independent specialty, and the establishment of the different task forces, which will stay crucial in the current landscape with many new treatments in different domains. It will need a continued effort to keep this harmonized. Apart from these, I think there are several other challenges ahead of us, in which the BSMO, in my opinion, will have to play an equal important role. The most important for the immediate future will probably be the ongoing discussions on the centralization of oncological care and the creation of networks, in which all oncologists in different kinds of hospitals and networks will have to find their place. Finally I’m convinced that we have to do an effort to think about how to organize and advertise clinical trials, to make sure Belgium keeps on being an attractive country for allocation of international trials.

In conclusion, I want to candidate for the BSMO board because I strongly belief in the force of a good collaboration between us as oncologists to guarantee a high quality of the oncological practice in Belgium.

Tel: 03 443516

Verheezen, Jolanda

I would like to introduce myself for the elections as a board member of the BSMO for the next four years.

It is important that there is a good balance in the board between doctors working in academic- and peripheral hospitals, to insure that the interests of all oncologists within Belgium can be optimally represented.

I hope to be able to do this for you again for the next four years.

Jolanda Verheezen
Medical oncologist St Truiden

Vuylsteke, Peter

To be a member of the BSMO board means to represent the medical oncologists in Belgium and tackle the challenges they face in their practice. Most importantly, for me, it also means to gather oncologists from the whole country, to speak for the non-academic and academic centres alike and aim at addressing the needs of all Belgian cancer patients.

Medical Oncology has some interesting years to come and it is with these missions in mind, that we will have to prepared for and meet the challenges ahead:

  • Maintain our high-quality cancer care at an affordable cost.
  • Ensure a smooth transition in the upcoming hospital networks programme: medical oncology treatment has to remain available with easy access all over the country and restrictions to complex treatments (e.g. oncologic surgery) should be made in the sole interest of the quality of care.
  • Make the most of the opportunities brought by new technological developments in informatics and ehealth. These bring tremendous new options with tools such as smartphone apps for remote patient monitoring or teleconferences for staff meetings between hospitals. Their uptake should be promoted, financed and reimbursed bearing in mind their efficient implementation and keeping administrative burden low.
  • Maintain and revive the National Cancer Plan with a clear vision, and cover the needs with valuable initiatives (genetic counseling, onco-geriatrics, onco-coaches/nurses…).
  • Collaborate closer with all governmental bodies in different fields: reimbursement matters such as NGS-testing, “forfait” matters in medical oncology, academic research funding etc.

As a National representative of BSMO to ESMO and as BSMO Vice-President, I have aimed at maintaining  close contact with all BSMO members, discussing their ideas and defending them to the board. It is in this context and in the light of the above-mentioned challenges, that I am ready to represent my fellow colleagues at the BSMO and drive, together, our common agenda for modern, accessible, and high-quality oncology.

Tel: 081 72 05 47