prof. Katrien Vanthomme (PhD)

CRIG group leader
Katrien Vanthomme

Assistant professor Epidemiology and Prevention of Cancer - Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University
Supervisor Centre for Prevention and Early Detection of Cancer (CPVOK), Ghent University


Research focus

My research focusses on the topic of social inequalities in care throughout the cancer continuum and the development of tailored interventions according to the principles of proportionate universalism. As such, I am the promotor of  the CHWxBC project, that aims to develop and implement a community health workers (CHW)-based intervention to promote breast cancer screening informed decision-making and participation among underscreened women with low health literacy living in deprived communities.
Next, I am also one of the promotors of a project studying disparities in the use of preventive health services across migrant backgrounds in Belgium. This study aims to document differences in the uptake of organized cancer screenings, between individuals from migrant backgrounds and the native population, including

  • the extent to which inequalities across migrant backgrounds compound and intersect with social inequalities in shaping cancer screening uptake;
  • the association between individuals’ neighbourhood characteristics and disparities in uptake of cancer screenings; and
  • the mechanisms underlying the associations between migrant background, neighbourhood characteristics, and uptake of cancer screenings, using a qualitative research framework.

In the future, I would also like to focus on social inequalities during other phases of the cancer care continuum.

Research team

Key publications

  • Colorectal Cancer Incidence and Survival Inequalities among Labour Immigrants in Belgium during 2004–2013. Scientific Reports, 2022. (PMID: 36130977)
  • Lung Cancer Incidence Differences in Migrant Men in Belgium, 2004-2013: Histology-Specific Analyses. BMC Cancer, 2021. (PMID: 33785005)
  • Cancer Risk among Individuals of Migrant Origin in Belgium during the 2000s : Evidence of Migration as a ‘Cancer Risk Transition’? Social Science & Medicine, 2021. (PMID: 33341028)
  • Socioeconomic Position, Population Density and Site-Specific Cancer Mortality: A Multilevel Analysis of Belgian Adults, 2001-2011. International Journal of Cancer, 2018. (PMID: 28877332)
  • Site-Specific Cancer Mortality Inequalities by Employment and Occupational Groups: A Cohort Study among Belgian Adults, 2001-2011. BMJ Open, 2017. (PMID: 29133313)
  • Evolution of Socioeconomic Inequalities in Site-Specific Cancer Mortality among Belgian Women between 1991 and 2008 Using a Fundamental Cause Approach. Cancer Causes & Control, 2017. (PMID: 28677024)
  • Evolution of Educational Inequalities in Site-Specific Cancer Mortality among Belgian Men between the 1990s and 2000s Using a ‘fundamental Cause’ Perspective. BMC Cancer, 2017. (PMID: 28679369)
  • A Cohort Study into Head and Neck Cancer Mortality in Belgium (2001-11): Are Individual Socioeconomic Differences Conditional on Area Deprivation? Oral Oncology, 2016. (PMID: 27688108)
  • Trends in Site- and Sex-Specific Cancer Mortality between 1979 and 2010 in Belgium Compared with Europe Using WHO Data. Journal of Public Health, 2015. (PMID: 26071537)
  • Regional Inequalities in Lung Cancer Mortality in Belgium at the Beginning of the 21st Century: The Contribution of Individual and Area-Level Socioeconomic Status and Industrial Exposure, 2016. (PMID: 26760040)

Contact & links