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Long-term adverse effects of cancer treatment

Susceptibility and intervention strategie
PhD ceremony:dr. N.L. Westerink
When:June 13, 2018
Supervisor:prof. dr. J.A. (Jourik) Gietema
Co-supervisors:dr. A.M.E. (Annemiek) Walenkamp-Hageman, dr. A.H. Vrieling
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG

Long-term adverse effects of cancer treatment: susceptibility and intervention strategies

Numbers of long-term cancer survivors are increasing. Cancer treatment like surgery, radiotherapy and/or systemic therapy can cause adverse effects. Adverse effects, like cardiovascular disease or hormonal disturbances can develop years after treatment and impair survival or health. It is important to detect these adverse effects at an early stage and to prevent or treat them if possible. Early markers or susceptibility profiles to identify patients at risk in order to prevent long-term adverse effects are of great value. Future studies should focus on the pathogenesis of adverse effects and how to intervene at an early stage. Lifestyle plays an important role in the pathogenesis of certain cancer types and also in the risk of developing long-term adverse effects after cancer treatment.

Lifestyle change probably decreases this risk and therefore, lifestyle advice should be carried out throughout the healthcare system. Future lifestyle research in cancer patients should focus on adherence, intensity of physical exercise, dietary measures and optimal organization, with the use of a simple survivorship care plan which puts patients in control. General practioners should be involved in cancer survivorship care, management of long-term adverse effects of cancer treatment and lifestyle counseling after cancer treatment. Practical guidelines could be of assistance and should be drafted in the coming years.