prof. Liv Veldeman (MD, PhD)

CRIG group leader
Liv Veldeman

Radiation Oncologist - Dept. of Radiotherapy - UZ Gent
50% Clinical Mandate of 'Kom op tegen Kanker'
Post-doctoral fellow - Dept. of Radiotherapy and Experimental Cancer Research - UGent
Principal Investigator - Breast Research Team - Dept. of Radiotherapy - UZ Gent/UGent
Work Package Leader and Clinical Lead international REQUITE study - UGent


Prof. Liv Veldeman and team investigated how breast cancer patients can be irradiated while lying in prone position. In that position, the radiation dose can be reduced and surrounding organs can be protected.
Following video (in Dutch) nicely demonstrates this research, which was supported by 'Kom op tegen Kanker'.


Bestraling in buiklig

Dankzij jullie steun kon professor Liv Veldeman (UZ Gent) uitzoeken hoe borstkankerpatiënten bestraald kunnen worden terwijl ze op hun buik liggen. In die houding kan de bestralingsdosis verkleind en de omliggende organen gespaard worden.

Posted by Kom op tegen Kanker on Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Research focus

The goal of the breast research team at the Dept. of Radiotherapy is improving the cost-benefit ratio of radiotherapy in breast cancer patients. Since 2008 our most important achievement was the implementation of prone whole-breast irradiation at UZ Gent. Prone, compared to supine, breast radiotherapy results in less acute toxicity, less risk of radiation-induced cardiac toxicity and of lung cancer induction. Drawbacks of prone position are the complicated setup procedure, patient discomfort and reduced precision. When lymph node irradiation is required, prone position is especially challenging. We have designed an innovative prone positioning device with the arm at the treated side alongside the body (crawl position) that provides more comfort and precision than the standard prone device. We are further testing the prone crawl device in the setting of whole-breast with lymph node irradiation. We expect the same benefits regarding acute and late toxicity as in the breast-only group. 
A second research interest of the team is accelerated radiotherapy: fewer sessions of radiation in a shorter time span with a higher dose per fraction. Accelerated radiotherapy is  attractive both for the patient (less treatment sessions) and for the hospital (more treatment capacity and shorter waiting lists), but also has some radiobiological advantages (less toxicity and improved tumor control). We are testing an accelerated schedule in 5 fractions in all settings of breast radiotherapy (breast conserving surgery or mastectomy, with or without lymph node irradiation).
We are also strongly involved in the international REQUITE study (UGent is responsible for the statistical analysis) with the aim to validate predictive models for radiation-related toxicity.

Research team

  • prof. Wilfried De Neve - head of research
  • dr. Liv Veldeman  - principal investigator
  • Pieter Deseyne - doctoral fellow
  • Chris Monten - doctoral fellow
  • Bert Boute - doctoral fellow
  • Chamberlain Mbah - doctoral fellow
  • Hans Van Hulle - doctoral fellow
  • Michael Stouthandel  - doctoral fellow
  • dr. Vincent Vakaet (MD)  - doctoral fellow
  • Renée Bultijnck - study coordinator
  • Giselle Post - study coordinator
  • Annick van Greveling - study nurse
  • Bruno Speleers - dosimetrist
  • ir. Werner De Gersem - physicist
  • Tom Vercauteren - physicist

Key publications

  • 2-year cosmetic outcome of a randomized trial comparing prone and supine whole-breast irradiation in large-breasted women. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys, 2016.
  • Setup accuracy for prone and supine whole breast irradiation. Strahlentherapie und Onkologie, 2016.
  • Reproducibility of deep inspiration breath hold for prone left-sided whole breast irradiation. Radiat Oncol, 2015. 
  • Heart dose reduction by prone deep inspiration breath hold in left-sided breast irradiation. Radiother Oncol, 2015.
  • Factors modifying the risk for developing acute skin toxicity after whole-breast intensity modulated radiotherapy. BMC Cancer, 2014.
  • Hypofractionated whole breast irradiation for patients with large breasts: a randomized trial comparing prone and supine position. Radiother Oncol, 2013.
  • Whole breast radiotherapy in prone and supine position: is there a place for multi-beam IMRT? Radiat Oncol, 2013.
  • Alternated prone and supine whole-breast irradiation using IMRT: setup precision, respiratory movement and treatment time. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys, 2012.
  • Optimizing image acquisition settings for cone-beam computed tomography in supine and prone breast radiotherapy. Radiother Oncol, 2011.
  • Preliminary results on set-up precision of prone-lateral patient positioning for whole breast irradiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys, 2010.

Contact & links

  • UZ Gent - Radiotherapiepark, Dept. of Radiotherapy and Experimental Cancer Research, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, B-9000 Gent