dr. Charlotte Verroken (MD,PhD)

CRIG member
Charlotte Verroken


Postdoctoral researcher – Department of Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent
Clinician – Department of Endocrinology, UZ Gent
Principal investigator: prof. Bruno Lapauw (MD, PhD)

 

Research focus

By a multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve care and outcomes for patients with thyroid carcinoma. Together with colleagues from the Dept. of Nuclear Medicine, Dept. of Head and Neck Surgery and Dept. of Pathology, we focus on a subgroup of patients with persisting disease for whom classical follow-up imaging modalities, but also classical adjuvant treatments are no longer applicable. In these patients, due to a dedifferentiation process, thyroid carcinomas are no longer capable of efficiently taking up iodine – making both I-123 surveillance scans as well as I-131 therapy useless. These thyroid carcinomas are then considered to be iodine-refractory and this is associated with worse outcomes. Currently available imaging modalities used in other oncologic settings (FDG-PET, CT, MRI) are largely non-specific, as are available anti-tumor treatments for these patients (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, tyrosin kinase inhibitors, …).
Using a more novel tracer, ie. 18F-PSMA-11 which is already in clinical use in patients with prostate cancer, we hope to be able to better identify localizations of persistent disease in patients with iodine-refractory thyroid carcinoma. In addition, we aim to explore the value of serum PSMA levels as a novel tumor marker as well as underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of aberrant PSMA expression in thyroid carcinoma. Importantly, Lu177-PSMA is used as an adjunctive therapy in patients with metastasized prostate cancers. If we would find high enough PSMA uptake in patients with iodine-refractory thyroid carcinoma, this might open the way for a new treatment option in these patients in need.
 

Biography

  • Master of Medicine (UGent, 2013)
  • Doctor in Medical Sciences: ‘Bone metabolism in men: contributions of body composition, mechanical loading, and metabolic profile’ (UGent, 2017)
  • Trainee in Internal Medicine  (2013-2020)
  • Trainee in Endocrinology (2020-2021)
     

Contact & links

  • Lab address: UZ Gent, Department of Endocrinology (route 1450), Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Gent