prof. Katrien Vandecasteele (MD, PhD)

CRIG group leader

Radiation Oncologist - dept. of radiotherapy - UZ Gent
clinican, principal investigator
50%  mandate for translational en fundamental research - Foundation against Cancer
Professor - dept. of radiotherapy and experimental medicine - UGent 


Research focus

Our team focuses on clinical research in gynaecological cancers, with a strong focus on the multidisciplinary approach of a patient through the establishment of the  GYPON  (Gynaecologisch Pelvien Oncologisch Netwerk). The GYPON is a firm base to perform multidisciplinary based research and the reliability of this group has been proven in the previous and still ongoing multidisciplinary and multi-centric trials. As primary goal we strive for reduced toxicity and a rise in outcome. We have implemented new technologies such as IMRT, SBRT, VMAT in the treatment of gynaecological tumors. We introduced the use of a simultaneously integrated boost and re-introduced surgery in the treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer. Multiple toxicity reducing trials are ongoing or being initiated focusing on radiation induced toxicity such as radiation enteritis, lymph oedema and pelvic insufficiency fractures.
Results of the clinical trials concerning cervical cancer have led a more basic and translational research towards a better understanding of radiation induced cell death and its effects on the tumoral environment and the patients’ immune system. For the latter, I collaborate with the VIB-UGent Inflammation Research Center. 


  • Ionizing radiation results in a mixture of cellular outcomes including mitotic catastrophe, senescence, methuosis, and iron-dependent cell death. Cell death & disease. 2020; 11,1-15. (co-senior authorship)
  • PORTEC-4a: international randomized trial of molecular profile-based adjuvant treatment for women with high-intermediate risk endometrial cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2020; 30:12.
  • Brachytherapy quality assurance in the PORTEC-4a trial for molecular-integrated risk profile guided adjuvant treatment of endometrial cancer. Radiother Oncol. 2020; 155:160-166. 
  • Splenic metabolic activity, an immune-related biomarker for locally advanced cervical cancer prognosis and prediction of response. In preparation for submission. Gynecol Oncol. 2020; 2: 335-343 
  • Immunologic impact of chemoradiation in cervical cancer and how immune cell infiltration could lead toward personalized treatment. Int J Cancer 2020 ; 147: 554-564 (co-senior authorship) (I.F. 2018: 4.982).
  • Increased levels of systemic LPS-positive bacterial extracellular vesicles in patients with intestinal barrier dysfunction. Gut 2020; 69: 191-193 (I.F. 2017: 17.94)
  • PRIMMO study-protocol: a phase II study combininb PD-1 blockade, radiation and immunomodulation to tackle cervical and uterine cancer. BMC Cancer 2019; 19 (1)1: 506 (co-senior authorship) (I.F.2018: 2.93).
  • Neo-adjuvant treatment of adencarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix results in significantly different pathological complete response rates. BMC Cancer. 2018; 18:1101-1111  (I.F.2018: 2.93).
  • Exclusion of non-Involved uterus from the Target Volume (EXIT-trial): an individualized treatment for locally advanced cervical cancer using modern radiotherapy and imaging techniques. BMC Cancer 2018. 18: 898-908  (I.F.2018: 2.93).
  • Incorporating PARP-inhibitors into clinical routine: a tailored treatment strategy to tackle ovarian cancer. Acta Clin Belg. 2017; 72(1):6-11.  (I.F.2015: 0.683)

Research team

Contact & links