prof. Sylvie Rottey (MD, PhD)

CRIG group leader
Sylvie Rottey

Head of clinic in the Department of Medical Oncology
Head of the Drug Research Unit Ghent - especially performing phase I trials first in humans - healthy volunteers and oncology 
Medical Oncologist
Clinical Pharmacologist
Professor in Pharmacology


Research focus

For the last fifteen years, prof. dr. Rottey is involved in international high-level research towards novel therapeutic options for patients with various solid tumors. In this matter, immunotherapy is becoming the state of the art for therapy of several solid tumors. As prof. dr. Rottey is leading phase I oncology clinical trials for the last decade, she has worked and continuous to work with different immunotherapies in development. Next, prof. dr. Rottey is continuously involved in high-quality state of the art research for both novel therapeutic options for patients with solid tumors (both genitourinary; namely urothelial carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma and prostate cancer; and head and neck tumors) as well as new diagnostic biomarkers that could have predictive and prognostic value in these patient populations.


  • Medical doctor, Ghent University, 1993-2000, 
  • Board certificate of internal medicine, 2002
  • Member of staff department Medical Oncology University Hospital Ghent, 2003
  • PhD: Doctor in Medical Science, 99mTc-HYNIC Annexin-V for monitoring responsor to chemotherapy: methodology and feaibility studies, 2007
  • Professor in Pharmacology, 2011

Research team

  • prof. Sylvie Rottey - principal investigator
  • dr. Griet Van Lancker – co-investigator
  • dr. Brant Delafontaine (MD) – co-investigator, researcher
  • dr. Greet Schelfaut - co-investigator
  • dr. Tijl Vermassen (PhD) - post-doctoral researcher
  • Stijn De Keukeleire - doctoral fellow 
  • Team D.R.U.G. 

Key publications

  • Vermorken JB, Mesia R, Rivera F, Remenar E, Kawecki A, Rottey S, Erfan J, Zabolotnyy D, Kienzer HR, Cupissol D, Peyrade F, Benasso M, Vynnychenko I, De Raucourt D, Bokemeyer C, Schueler A, Amellal N, Hitt R. Platinum-based chemotherapy plus cetuximab in head and neck cancer. N Engl J Med. 2008;359(11):1116-27. 
  • Hutson TE, Davis ID, Machiels JP, De Souza PL, Rottey S, Hong BF, Epstein RJ, Baker KL, McCann L, Crofts T, Pandite L, Figlin RA. Efficacy and safety of pazopanib in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. J Clin Oncol. 2010;28(3):475-80. 
  • Mesía R, Rivera F, Kawecki A, Rottey S, Hitt R, Kienzer H, Cupissol D, De Raucourt D, Benasso M, Koralewski P, Delord JP, Bokemeyer C, Curran D, Gross A, Vermorken JB. Quality of life of patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy plus cetuximab first line for recurrent and/or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Ann Oncol. 2010;21(10):1967-73. 
  • Licitra L, Mesia R, Rivera F, Remenár E, Hitt R, Erfán J, Rottey S, Kawecki A, Zabolotnyy D, Benasso M, Störkel S, Senger S, Stroh C, Vermorken JB. Evaluation of EGFR gene copy number as a predictive biomarker for the efficacy of cetuximab in combination with chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of recurrent and/or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: EXTREME study. Ann Oncol. 2011;22(5):1078-87. 
  • de Bono JS, Logothetis CJ, Molina A, Fizazi K, North S, Chu L, Chi KN, Jones RJ, Goodman OB Jr, Saad F, Staffurth JN, Mainwaring P, Harland S, Flaig TW, Hutson TE, Cheng T, Patterson H, Hainsworth JD, Ryan CJ, Sternberg CN, Ellard SL, Fléchon A, Saleh M, Scholz M, Efstathiou E, Zivi A, Bianchini D, Loriot Y, Chieffo N, Kheoh T, Haqq CM, Scher HI; COU-AA-301 Investigators. Abiraterone and increased survival in metastatic prostate cancer. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(21):1995-2005. 
  • Grünwald V, Karakiewicz PI, Bavbek SE, Miller K, Machiels JP, Lee SH, Larkin J, Bono P, Rha SY, Castellano D, Blank CU, Knox JJ, Hawkins R, Anak O, Rosamilia M, Booth J, Pirotta N, Bodrogi I; REACT Study Group. An international expanded-access programme of everolimus: addressing safety and efficacy in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who progress after initial vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. Eur J Cancer. 2012;48(3):324-32. 
  • Seront E, Rottey S, Sautois B, Kerger J, D'Hondt LA, Verschaeve V, Canon JL, Dopchie C, Vandenbulcke JM, Whenham N, Goeminne JC, Clausse M, Verhoeven D, Glorieux P, Branders S, Dupont P, Schoonjans J, Feron O, Machiels JP. Phase II study of everolimus in patients with locally advanced or metastatic transitional cell carcinoma of the urothelial tract: clinical activity, molecular response, and biomarkers. Ann Oncol. 2012;23(10):2663-70. 
  • Vermorken JB, Rottey S, Ehrnrooth E, Pelling K, Lahogue A, Wind S, Machiels JP. A phase Ib, open-label study to assess the safety of continuous oral treatment with afatinib in combination with two chemotherapy regimens: cisplatin plus paclitaxel and cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil, in patients with advanced solid tumors. Ann Oncol. 2013;24(5):1392-400. 
  • Vermorken JB, Stöhlmacher-Williams J, Davidenko I, Licitra L, Winquist E, Villanueva C, Foa P, Rottey S, Skladowski K, Tahara M, Pai VR, Faivre S, Blajman CR, Forastiere AA, Stein BN, Oliner KS, Pan Z, Bach BA; SPECTRUM investigators. Cisplatin and fluorouracil with or without panitumumab in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SPECTRUM): an open-label phase 3 randomised trial. Lancet Oncol. 2013;14(8):697-710. 
  • Vermassen T, Van Praet C, Lumen N, Decaestecker K, Vanderschaeghe D, Callewaert N, Villeirs G, Hoebeke P, Van Belle S, Rottey S, Delanghe J. Urinary prostate protein glycosylation profiling as a diagnostic biomarker for prostate cancer. Prostate. 2015 Feb 15;75(3):314-22. 
  • Machiels JP, Haddad RI, Fayette J, Licitra LF, Tahara M, Vermorken JB, Clement PM, Gauler T, Cupissol D, Grau JJ, Guigay J, Caponigro F, de Castro G Jr, de Souza Viana L, Keilholz U, Del Campo JM, Cong XJ, Ehrnrooth E, Cohen EE; LUX-H&N 1 investigators. Afatinib versus methotrexate as second-line treatment in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck progressing on or after platinum-based therapy (LUX-Head & Neck 1): an open-label, randomised phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2015;16(5):583-94. 
  • Vermassen T, Van Praet C, Poelaert F, Lumen N, Decaestecker K, Hoebeke P, Van Belle S, Rottey S, Delanghe J. Diagnostic accuracy of urinary prostate protein glycosylation profiling in prostatitis diagnosis. Biochem Med (Zagreb). 2015;25(3):439-49. 
  • De Meulenaere A, Vermassen T, Aspeslagh S, Zwaenepoel K, Deron P, Duprez F, Ferdinande L, Rottey S. CD70 Expression and Its Correlation with Clinicopathological Variables in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck. Pathobiology. 2016;83(6):327-33. 
  • Machiels JP, Van Maanen A, Vandenbulcke JM, Filleul B, Seront E, Henry S, D'Hondt L, Lonchay C, Holbrechts S, Boegner P, Brohee D, Dequanter D, Louviaux I, Sautois B, Whenham N, Berchem G, Vanderschueren B, Fontaine C, Schmitz S, Gillain A, Schoonjans J, Rottey S. Randomized Phase II Study of Cabazitaxel Versus Methotrexate in Patients With Recurrent and/or Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck Previously Treated With Platinum-Based Therapy. Oncologist. 2016;21(12):1416-e17. 
  • Claeys T, Lumen N, Kumps C, Praet M, De Meerleer G, Rottey S, Ost P, Devisschere P, Villeirs G, Fonteyne V, Decaestecker K. The independent oncological role for cytoreductive nephrectomy in metastatic renal cell carcinoma: Prognostic features in the era of targeted therapies. Urol Oncol. 2017;35(4):152.e13-152.e22. 
  • Van Praet C, Rottey S, Van Hende F, Pelgrims G, Demey W, Van Aelst F, Wynendaele W, Gil T, Schatteman P, Filleul B, Schallier D, Machiels JP, Schrijvers D, Everaert E, D'Hondt L, Werbrouck P, Vermeij J, Mebis J, Clausse M, Rasschaert M, Van Erps J, Verheezen J, Van Haverbeke J, Goeminne JC, Lumen N. Which Factors Predict Overall Survival in Patients With Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Treated With Abiraterone Acetate Post-Docetaxel? Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2017;15(4):502-508. 
  • Vermassen T, Geboes K, De Man M, Laurent S, Decoene E, Lumen N, Delanghe J, Rottey S. Neither creatinine- nor cystatin C-estimated glomerular filtration rate is optimal in oncology patients treated with targeted agents. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2018;33(3):402-408. 
  • De Meulenaere A, Vermassen T, Aspeslagh S, Huvenne W, Van Dorpe J, Ferdinande L, Rottey S. Turning the tide: Clinical utility of PD-L1 expression in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Oral Oncol. 2017;70:34-42. 
  • Sundahl N, De Wolf K, Rottey S, Decaestecker K, De Maeseneer D, Meireson A, Goetghebeur E, Fonteyne V, Verbeke S, De Visschere P, Reynders D, Van Gele M, Brochez L, Ost P. A phase I/II trial of fixed-dose stereotactic body radiotherapy with sequential or concurrent pembrolizumab in metastatic urothelial carcinoma: evaluation of safety and clinical and immunologic response. J Transl Med. 2017;15(1):150. 
  • Aftimos P, Rolfo C, Rottey S, Offner F, Bron D, Maerevoet M, Soria JC, Moshir M, Dreier T, Van Rompaey L, Michot JM, Silence K, Hultberg A, Gandini D, de Haard H, Ribrag V, Peeters M, Thibault A, Leupin N, Awada A. Phase I Dose-Escalation Study of the Anti-CD70 Antibody ARGX-110 in Advanced Malignancies. Clin Cancer Res. 2017;23(21):6411-6420. 
  • De Wolf K, Rottey S, Vermaelen K, Decaestecker K, Sundahl N, De Lobel L, Goetghebeur E, De Meerleer G, Lumen N, Fonteyne V, De Maeseneer D, Ost P. Combined high dose radiation and pazopanib in metastatic renal cell carcinoma: a phase I dose escalation trial. Radiat Oncol. 2017;12(1):157.
  • Buelens S, Poelaert F, Dhondt B, Fonteyne V, De Visschere P, Ost P, Verbeke S, Villeirs G, De Man K, Rottey S, Decaestecker K, Lumen N. Metastatic burden in newly diagnosed hormone-naive metastatic prostate cancer: Comparing definitions of CHAARTED and LATITUDE trial. Urol Oncol. 2018;36(4):158.e13-158.e20.
  • De Meulenaere A, Vermassen T, Creytens D, Aspeslagh S, Deron P, Duprez F, Rottey S, Van Dorpe JA, Ferdinande L. Importance of choice of materials and methods in PD-L1 and TIL assessment in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Histopathology. 2018;73(3):500-509. 
  • Bex A, Mulders P, Jewett M, Wagstaff J, van Thienen JV, Blank CU, van Velthoven R, Del Pilar Laguna M, Wood L, van Melick HHE, Aarts MJ, Lattouf JB, Powles T, de Jong IJ, Rottey S, Tombal B, Marreaud S, Collette S, Collette L, Haanen J. Comparison of Immediate vs Deferred Cytoreductive Nephrectomy in Patients with Synchronous Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Receiving Sunitinib: The SURTIME Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Oncol. 2018. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Sundahl N, Vandekerkhove G, Decaestecker K, Meireson A, De Visschere P, Fonteyne V, De Maeseneer D, Reynders D, Goetghebeur E, Van Dorpe J, Verbeke S, Annala M, Brochez L, Van der Eecken K, Wyatt AW, Rottey S, Ost P. Randomized Phase 1 Trial of Pembrolizumab with Sequential Versus Concomitant Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy in Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma. Eur Urol. 2019. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Machiels JP, Salazar R, Rottey S, Duran I, Dirix L, Geboes K, Wilkinson-Blanc C, Pover G, Alvis S, Champion B, Fisher K, McElwaine-Johnn H, Beadle J, Calvo E. A phase 1 dose escalation study of the oncolytic adenovirus enadenotucirev, administered intravenously to patients with epithelial solid tumors (EVOLVE). J Immunother Cancer. 2019;7(1):20.
  • Seront E, Schmitz S, Papier M, van Maanen A, Henry S, Lonchay C, Rottey S, van Caloen G, Machiels JP. Phase 1 Study Evaluating the Association of the Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4/6 Inhibitor Ribociclib and Cetuximab in Recurrent/Metastatic p16-Negative Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck. Front Oncol. 2019;9:155.