Ongoing projects

Currently, six doctoral studies  (two medical doctors, one psychologist, two (bio)engineers and a sientific researcher) focus on cancer in pregnancy. We document the general well being, neurological and cardiological outcomeof children after in utero exposure to chemo– and/or radiotherapy. We assess the general development and health and educational level of children. We assess the neurological development of the children at predefined ages: neonatally (a standardised clinical neurological examination), at 18 months (Bayley score), at 6 year and three yearly thereafter (IQ-test, audiometry, neuropsychological test battery for working memory and attention until 18 years. At each visit a cardiac assessment will be made. In addition, in children from 9 years old, a functional magnetic resonance imaging study is  performed.

We observed that some children have a lower birthweight than expected. Therefore, we hope to find sufficient resources investigate different factors that may explain this observation.

To further investigate the placental filter function in a human placental perfusion model. The advantage of this model is that we do not need an animal model. Transplacental passage of different drugs and combinations will be tested.

To obtain more robust data on the physiological changes of pregnancy that lower plasma levels of chemotherapeutic agents. Maternal blood samples obtained after chemo administration will be used to determine terminal elimination half-life, apparent volume of distribution and (whole body) clearance.

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy and thus we focus on the prognosis of breast cancer during pregnancy, the use of the sentinel node procedure during pregnancy and imaging of the breast that is prone to gestational changes.

To identify maternal and paternal emotional needs when cancer is diagnosed during pregnancy. Patients are asked to complete validated questionnaires when cancer is diagnosed and/or treated during pregnancy. In addition to this, we look into the ethical considerations when two patients need to be taken into consideration.

To study the fertility and outcome of pregnancies after cancer treatment. Fertility and obstetrical outcomes of patients who conceive after cancer treatment are registered and compared to findings in the general population.