dr. Isabelle Hoorens (MD, PhD)
Postdoctoral researcher, FWO – Dermatology research unit (DRU), Ghent University Hospital (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent)
Dermatologist – Department of Dermatology (University Hospital Ghent)
Board member of the Royal Belgian Society for Dermatology and Venerology (RBSDV)
Member of the scientific advisory committee of the Belgian Dermoscopy Group (BDG)
Principal investigator: prof. Lieve Brochez (MD,PhD)
Skin cancer is by far the most frequent cancer worldwide. Keratinocyte cancer (KC) is responsible for about 90% of all skin cancers and originates from keratinocytes resulting in basal cell - and squamous cell carcinoma. The remaining 10% are melanomas, arising from malignant degeneration of melanocytes. Although they have a relatively benign course, keratinocyte skin cancers have a high morbidity and economic burden. Since their prevalence and cost is predicted to triple in the next decades, an evidence-based management approach is highly needed. Dermatologist-led screening of the population for KC is considered not to be cost-effective.
With our current FWO research project we want to map the exact impact of KC on the patient’s quality of life, and characterize the natural behaviour of basal cell carcinomas using in vivo state of the art imaging techniques (confocal microscopy and high-definition optical coherence tomography). The clinical trials will allow to implement more cost-effective treatment procedures and follow-up regimens for our patients in daily practice, especially in patients with a limited life expectancy.
In addition, our group is interested in the development and clinical validation of imaging devices (such as infrared thermography) for early diagnosis of skin cancer, and working on artificial intelligence for skin cancer diagnostics. In a multidisciplinary collaboration with the group of Prof. Jimmy Van den Eynden, we are studying the clonal and tumoural spatial interdependency in squamous cell skin cancer.