prof. Gabrielle van Ramshorst (MD, PhD)

CRIG member
Gabrielle van Ramshorst

Principal investigator

Research focus

Patients with recurrent rectal cancer can be suitable for a curative approach by pelvic exenteration. This often requires multicompartmental pelvic resection with reconstructive techniques for creation of stomas, ileal conduits or flaps for neovaginas. Our aim is to offer patients the highest standard of surgical care whilst preserving quality of life.
Methods: Subprojects include:

  • to study prospectively collected quality of life data;
  • to study needs of female pelvic exenteration patients with regard to neovaginal reconstruction;
  • to study patterns of recurrence in clinical patients;
  • to study effects of minimally invasive surgery on surgical outcomes in a highly selected patient group;
  • to study the perioperative information needs of patients 
  • to investigate teaching of 3D anatomy planes to surgical trainees 

We are aiming to intensify international collaboration by performing multicenter research with expert centers focusing on pelvic exenteration and on improving the outcomes of colorectal and general surgery patients. 
Anticipated results: We expect to improve patient selection for pelvic and vaginal reconstruction, compare outcomes for open and minimally invasive surgery, and to learn about recurrence patterns and adjuvant clinical techniques.
In addition to these topics, we are also performing translational research for sarcoma with Prof. Gwen Sys en Prof. Olivier De Wever.


Before surgical training, I performed three years of fulltime clinical research at Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. I finished surgical training at Amsterdam UMC in 2016 and I am registered as a gastrointestinal surgeon and surgical oncologist in the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. My clinical fellowship was sponsored by the Dutch Cancer Society and consisted of dedicated training in colorectal surgery, including pelvic exenteration, gynaecological oncology and urological oncology at the Dutch Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam UMC and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australië (Top 100 best hospitals Newsweek 2019). In 2019 I worked as a locum surgical oncologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary Hospital in Scotland (also Top 100 best hospitals Newsweek 2019) before accepting my position as consultant surgical oncologist at Ghent University Hospital.

My main interests include pelvic exenteration surgery, locally advanced and recurrent rectal cancer, high sacrectomies, gynaecological oncology (ovarian, cervical and recurrent vaginal cancer), peritoneal carcinomatosis and retroperitoneal sarcomas. 

Scientific interests include pelvic exenteration, neovaginal reconstruction, peritoneal and lymphogenic metastases and complications. I am associate editor at Colorectal Disease and member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Gynaecological Oncology. Also, I regularly join (international) guideline committees. 


  • Surgical Society for Oncology (vice-chair of the International Committee)
  • European Society of Coloproctology (member Research Committee)
  • European Society for Gynaecological Oncology
  • European Society for Surgical Oncology
  • European Hernia Society
  • Belgian Surgical Society
  • Belgian Society for Surgical Oncology
  • Belgian Chapter for Colorectal Surgery
  • Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Dutch Surgical Society
  • Dutch Society for Surgical Oncology
  • Dutch Society for Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Dutch Hernia Society
  • Working group Coloproctology

Research team

Key publications

  • Patient-reported outcomes after pelvic exenteration for colorectal cancer: A systematic review. Colorectal Dis. 2022 Apr;24(4):353-368. doi: 10.1111/codi.16028. Epub 2022 Jan 30.PMID: 34941002 
  • European Society of Coloproctology guidance on the use of mesh in the pelvis in colorectal surgery. Colorectal Dis. 2021 Sep;23(9):2228-2285. doi: 10.1111/codi.15718. Epub 2021 Jun 29.PMID: 34060715
  • COVIDSurg Collaborative. Effect of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns on planned cancer surgery for 15 tumour types in 61 countries: an international, prospective, cohort study. Lancet Oncol. 2021 Nov;22(11):1507-1517. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00493-9. Epub 2021 Oct 5.PMID: 34624250 
  • COVIDSurg Collaborative. Mortality and pulmonary complications in patients undergoing surgery with perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection: an international cohort study. Lancet 2020 Jul 4;396(10243):27-38. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31182-X. Epub 2020 May 29.PMID: 32479829 
  • Complications and impact on quality of life of Vertical Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneous (VRAM) flaps for reconstruction in pelvic exenteration surgery. Accepted for publication by Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. IF 4.087 Q1
  • The PelvEx Collaborative. Pelvic exenteration for advanced nonrectal pelvic malignancy. Ann Surg 2019;270(5):899-905. IF 9.476 Q1
  • The Pelvex Collaborative. Palliative pelvic exenteration: a systematic review of patient-centered outcomes. Eur J Surg Oncol 2019 Jun 14. IF 3.379 Q1 
  • The PelvEx Collaborative. Surgical and survival outcomes following pelvic exenteration for locally advanced rectal cancer: Results from an International collaboration. Ann Surgery 2019;269(2):315-21. IF 9.476 Q1 
  • The Pelvex Collaborative. Minimally invasive surgery techniques in pelvic exenteration – A systematic and meta-analysis review. Surg Endoscopy 2018;32(12):4707-15. IF 3.209 Q1 
  • A qualitative study of development of a multidisciplinary case conference review methodology to reduce involved margins in pelvic exenteration surgery for recurrent rectal cancer. Colorectal Dis 2018;20(11):1004-13. IF 2.997 Q1

Contact & links

  • Lab address: campus UZ Gent, Department of Gastrointestinal surgery; route 1275, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Linkedin 
  • Twitter 
  • Google scholar 
  • ember of the Consortium for Sarcoma Research Ghent (ConSaRGhent)
  • prof. van Ramshorst is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks