Professor Surgery, in particular oncology
Rob Tollenaar is professor of Surgery, in particular in oncology, and head of the Department of Surgery of the Leiden University Medical Center. He is also chairman of the management team of the University Cancer Center Leiden-The Hague (UKC-LD), an oncological partnership of the LUMC and HMC. He is founder and chairman of the DICA, the Dutch Institute for Clinical Auditing that performs quality measurements in healthcare.
Rob Tollenaar is professor of Surgery in particular in oncology and head of the Department of Surgery of the Leiden University Medical Center.
He is also chairman of the management team of the University Cancer Center Leiden-The Hague (UKC-LD) an oncological partnership of the LUMC and HMC.
He is founder and chairman of the DICA, the Dutch Institute for Clinical Auditing that performs quality measurements in healthcare.
More and more patients are diagnosed with cancer. Surgery has a key position in the treatment of malignant tumors. Correct coordination with other treatment types such as radiotherapy and anti-cancer drugs is essential. It is also very important that cancer is discovered at early stage. This increases the chances of survival and minimizes possible damage through surgery. In the treatment of patients with cancer, it is important that an individual treatment plan is discussed with the patient, where survival and quality of life are most determinive (personalized medicine).
Improving care in which quality, patient orientation and transparency, and above all, a personal approach are central, are my motivation. It is my personal mission to optimize care for patients with cancer and investigate methods for improvement of treatment. This is performed by scientific research for early detection of cancer, better understanding of the hereditary background of cancer, and better choices of therapy based on biomarkers and clinical data.
Quality of care
Meaningful information about quality of care is of paramount importance for patients and caregivers. After all, we want to improve healthcare, which is why I am one of the initiators of DICA, an institute that measures quality care in the Netherlands. Improving care is like a red line through my career. For example, the Leiden-The Hague region was one of the first areas in the Netherlands where centralization of complex care was realized in coordination with other hospitals.
Specific therapy assignment for the individual patient is the challenge in oncological research. It aims to prevent under-, and over-treatment. Prognostic markers based on genotypic and phenotypic characterization of blood and tissue offer new possibilities for improved therapy and monitoring effectiveness. Another development is the possibility to use clinicopathological data from validated nationwide registries for individualized risk assessment and therapy selection. This allows for a well-considered treatment choice for the patient based on reliable data from practice.
For the coming years focus of the research program will be on the following themes:
- Early tumour detection using proteomics and metabolomics methods for simple blood samples will have high-impact on the development of new screening tests.
- National studies for breast and pancreatic cancer are evaluating, in the LUMC developed methodology and will emphasis further developments in this field.
- Focus in the field of the tumour microenvironment, especially tumour-stroma interactions, results in new insights in tumour prognostication and treatment.
- Outcome research will be complemented with patient reported outcome measures (PROM’s) to measure the true added value for patients. The DICA facilitates quality registries for professional associations of medical specialists (DICA.nl).
Rob A.E.M. Tollenaar has completed his Medicine degree and his PhD research at the University of Leiden. The title of his dissertation (1997) is 'Aspects of tumor progression in colorectal carcinoma'. In 2004 Tollenaar accepted the professorship of surgery, in particular oncology. The title of his inaugural lecture is 'From knife to molecule and back again'.
Moreover, Rob Tollenaar is chairman of the scientific committee of the DSCA.
Tollenaar is head of the Department of Surgery at the LUMC.
Prizes and honourable appointments
Silver legacy of the association of surgeons in the Netherlands for setting up the infrastructure for evaluation of surgical care.
- Lid van de Commissie Evaluatie Regelgeving
- Lid van de Raad van Toezicht
- Voorzitter Bestuur