prof. Hilde de Rooster (PhD)

CRIG group leader
Hilde De Rooster

Principal investigator - Soft tissue Surgery, Small Animal Department (UGent)
Full professor (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UGent)


Research focus

Pet dogs with spontaneous cancer are good models for cancer research. Dogs share a similar histologic, biologic, and genetic cancer background significantly closer than the relationship between rodent and man, and the development and interaction between tumor, host and tumor microenvironment is comparable to those in humans. There are corresponding diagnostic and treatment options available for dogs and humans, while the progression of cancer in dogs is fast enough to obtain results within a reasonable period of time. Lastly, pet dogs have a broader access to clinical trials than humans, enabling extensive research opportunities.


Prof. Hilde de Rooster graduated in 1993 at Ghent University as ‘Doctor in Veterinary Medicine’ and received in 1994 an additional degree of ‘Master in Small Animal Orthopedics’ at Glasgow University. In 2001, she defended her PhD on cruciate ligament disease in dogs. In 2003, she became a post-doctoral scientific staff member. In 2008, she became Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. 
As a soft tissue surgeon for small animals (cats and dogs), she is exposed to various types of solid cancer in privately owned animals. Not all of the cancers are obviously surgical resectable and some require pre- or postsurgical treatment. She has vast experience with performing clinical research and often collaborate with other complementary research groups. 

Research team

Key publications

  • Preliminary safety and imaging efficacy of the near-infrared fluorescent contrast agent DA364 during fluorescence-guided surgery in dogs with spontaneous superficial tumors. Oncotarget 2020 11(24):2310-2326. 2018: doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.27633.
  • Power Doppler ultrasound and contrast-enhanced ultrasound demonstrate non-invasive tumour vascular response to anti-vascular therapy in canine cancer patients. Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 25;9(1):9262. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45682-2.
  • Sentinel lymph node mapping by near-infrared fluorescence imaging and contrast-enhanced ultrasound in healthy dogs. Vet Comp Oncol. 2019 Mar;17(1):89-98. doi: 10.1111/vco.12449.
  • A single dose of intravenous combretastatin A4-phosphate is reasonably well tolerated and significantly reduces tumour vascularization in canine spontaneous cancers. Vet Comp Oncol. 2018 Dec;16(4):467-477. doi: 10.1111/vco.12402. 
  • Biodistribution and tolerance of intravenous iodine-131-labelled hypericin in healthy dogs. Vet Comp Oncol. 2018 Sep;16(3):318-323. doi: 10.1111/vco.12381.
  • Intratumoural interleukin 12 gene therapy stimulates the immune system and decreases angiogenesis in dogs with spontaneous cancer. Vet Comp Oncol. 2017 Dec;15(4):1187-1205. doi: 10.1111/vco.12255.
  • Immunological and angiogenic markers during metronomic temozolomide and cyclophosphamide in canine cancer patients. Vet Comp Oncol. 2017 Jun;15(2):594-605. doi: 10.1111/vco.12203. 


  • Soft Tissue Surgery, Small Animal Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke
  • Member of the Consortium for Sarcoma Research Ghent (ConSaRGhent)