prof. Fritz Offner (MD, PhD)

CRIG group leader
Fritz Offner

Principal investigator / group leader, clinician
Head of Department Clinical Hematology (UZ Gent)
Full Professor of hematological oncology (UGent)
Coordinating fellowship accreditor (Internal Medicine, UGent)


Research focus

The focus of my research is on clinical drug development in lymphoid malignancy. This comprises phase 1-3 studies of new compounds and trials of comparative of available treatment modalities, linked to translational research in the following domains:

1. B-CLL with participation in trials of alternative antiCD20, antiCD37 Btk and BCL2 inhibitors. Translation research in ZAP70 + B-CLL, recently in low risk population.

2. NHL, DLBCL, follicular NHL (FL), mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), marginal zone lymphoma, PTCL-NOS, AITLD.
Participation in 

  •  immunuchemotherapy antiCD20 (Rituximab, Ofatumumab, Obinutuzomab) antiCD19, antiCD40, immunotoxins alphaCD22, alphaCD19, alphaCD30, bispecific Ab alphaCD19, alphaCD20 and CART antiCD19. 
  •  combination chemo-small molecules Bortezomib in FL, DLBCL, MCL, Btk inhibitor in DLBCL, FL, indolent B-NHL. Imids in DLBCL, PI3K inhibitors and HDAC inhibitors in FL 
  •  translational research NGS in FL, NGS on circulating tumor DNA in DLBCL and HL
  •  real world outcome studies in DLBCL

3. Multiple myeloma

  • Strategic trials in first line    
     - oral PI
     - Imids vs VPT
     - Advanced registration (Carfilzomib, Pomalidomide)
     - Ab studies (anti-ICAM1, antiCD38)
  • In vitro work on    
    - glucocorticoid sensitivity
    - ER stress
  • Collaborative bioinformative projects on cell of origin transcript and outcome in patients with multiple myeloma.


  • Doctor of medicine, RUG, Belgium, 1985
  • Master degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Technology, VUB, Belgium, 1989
  • Ph.D. thesis in Biomedical Sciences, University Ghent, 1993
  • Fellowship in Hematology, University Hospital Ghent, 1988-1990
  • Belgian board certification in Internal Medicine (direction Hematology), October 1990
  • Fellowship in bone marrow transplantation, University of Washington, Seattle, 1/91-7/92
  • Fellowship in Medical Oncology, Daniel den Hoed Kliniek, Rotterdam, 7/92-1/93
  • 2007-2010 President of Belgian Hematological Society
  • 2002 Hoofddocent hematologie
  • 2012 Head of Dept. Hematology
  • 2017 Hoogleraar
  • Member of the lymphoproliferatif party BHS
  • Member of the scientific council LYSA
  • Member of the administratif council LYSA

Research team

  • prof. Fritz Offner - principal investigator
  • dr. Philip Vlummens
  • dr. Ciel De Vriendt
  • dr. Alexander Schauwvlieghe (MD, PhD)
  • dr. Philippe Decruyenaere (MD) - doctoral fellow
  • Karlien Van Wesemael - laboratory
  • Astrid Van Bastelaere - study coordinator
  • Sofie Lust - study coordinator
  • Jonas Segaert - study coordinator
  • Charlotte Dekeyzer - study coordinator
  • Saskia Baert - study coordinator
  • Nathalie Luickx - study coordinator


Key publications

  • Rituximab maintenance for 2 years in patients with high tumour burden follicular lymphoma responding to rituximab plus chemotherapy (PRIMA): a phase 3, randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 2011 (PMID: 21176949)
  • Identification of an Ire1alpha endonuclease specific inhibitor with cytotoxic activity against human multiple myeloma. Blood, 2011 (PMID: 21081713)
  • ER stress in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: GRP94 is a possible biomarker in germinal center versus activated B-cell type. Leukemia Research, 2013 (PMID: 22938940)
  • Frontline rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and prednisone with bortezomib (VR-CAP) or vincristine (R-CHOP) for non-GCB LBCL. Blood, 2015 (PMID: 26232170)
  • Randomized phase II trial comparing obinutuzumab (GA101) with rituximab in patients with relapsed CD20(+) indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma: final analysis of the gauss study. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2015 (PMID: 26282650)
  • Ibrutinib as initial therapy for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. New England Journal of Medicine, 2015 (PMID: 26639149)
  • Chlorambucil plus ofatumumab versus chlorambucil alone in previously untreated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (COMPLEMENT 1): a randomised, multicentre, open-label phase 3 trial. Lancet, 2015 (PMID: 25882396)
  • A phase 2, multicenter study investigating ofatumumab and bendamustine combination in patients with untreated or relapsed CLL. American Journal of Hematology, 2016 (PMID: 27222473)
  • Updated outcomes and impact of age with lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone or melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide in the randomized phase III FIRST trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2016 (PMID: 27325857)
  • A gene-expression profiling score for prediction of outcome in patients with follicular lymphoma: a retrospective training and validation analysis in three international cohorts. Lancet Oncology, 2018 (PMID: 29475724)

Contact & links

  • Department Clinical Hematology (UZ Gent)
  • prof. Offner is interested to receive invitations for talks or presentations