prof. Wim Ceelen (MD, PhD)

CRIG group leader
Wim Ceelen

Full professor, Department of Human Structure and Repair, Ghent University
Director, Experimental Surgery lab, Ghent University
Senior staff, GI Surgery, Ghent University Hospital
Senior Clinical Researcher, FWO
member of the CRIG steering committee (2022-2025)


Research focus

The main research interests of the group are:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Peritoneal metastasis: pathophysiology and treatment
  • Intraperitoneal drug delivery
  • Functional imaging in cancer (near infrared; hyperspectral)
  • Biophysics of tumor tissue


Wim Ceelen graduated as a medical doctor in 1992 at Ghent University (Belgium) and later obtained his PhD at the same university with a doctoral thesis entitled 'Neoadjuvant multimodal therapy in rectal cancer'.
Currently, he is a senior surgeon in the department of Gastrointestinal Surgery at the Ghent University Hospital and was appointed associate professor in surgical oncology at the department of Human Structure and Repair of Ghent University.
He is a Senior Clinical Investigator with the FWO – Vlaanderen and is director of the Laboratory of Experimental Surgery at Ghent University.
Dr Ceelen has an interest in surgical oncology of the digestive tract and the peritoneum. He is the principal investigator of several phase I_ to III clinical trials in colorectal cancer and ovarian cancer. His basic and translational research includes functional and molecular imaging in animal tumor models, elucidation of biophysical properties of neoplastic tissue, the tumor microenvironment in peritoneal metastases, and new approaches to intraperitoneal drug delivery. In addition, he has initiated several clinical trials in cancer patients, and has obtained over 5 million Euro in research funding from UGent, Kom op tegen Kanker, Stichting tegen kanker, and the FWO.
He is (co)author of over 200 PubMed cited publications, has an h index of 46, and is promoter of 11 completed and 6 ongoing PhD theses.
He has served as president of the Belgian Society of Surgical Oncology and board member of the European Society for Surgical Research.
He is a member of the EORTC GI group, the Cochrane collaboration GI group, the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO), ESSO, and the American College of Surgeons.
Dr Ceelen is Editor-in -chief of Acta Chirurgica Belgica and associate editor of European Surgical Research, International Journal of Hyperthermia, Pleura and Peritoneum, and Frontiers in Surgical Oncology. 


Research team

Key publications

  • Song J, Kataoka K, Yamada T, Shiozawa M, Sonoyama T, Beppu N, Ueda K, Kuriyama S, Kanazawa A, Ikeda M, Ceelen W. The impact of molecular profile on the lymphatic spread pattern in stage III colon cancer. Cancer Sci. 2021 Apr;112(4):1545-1555
  • Rahimi-Gorji M, Van de Sande L, Debbaut C, Ghorbaniasl G, Braet H, Cosyns S, Remaut K, Willaert W, Ceelen W. Intraperitoneal aerosolized drug delivery: Technology, recent developments, and future outlook. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2020;160:105-114
  • Van de Sande L, Rahimi-Gorji M, Giordano S, Davoli E, Matteo C, Detlefsen S, D'Herde K, Braet H, Shariati M, Remaut K, Xie F, Debbaut C, Ghorbaniasl G, Cosyns S, Willaert W, Ceelen W. Electrostatic Intraperitoneal Aerosol Delivery of Nanoparticles: Proof of Concept and Preclinical Validation. Adv Healthc Mater. 2020 Aug;9(16):e2000655
  • Ceelen W, Ramsay RG, Narasimhan V, Heriot AG, De Wever O. Targeting the Tumor Microenvironment in Colorectal Peritoneal Metastases. Trends Cancer. 2020 Mar;6(3):236-246. 
  • Kataoka K, Beppu N, Shiozawa M, Ikeda M, Tomita N, Kobayashi H, Sugihara K, Ceelen W. Colorectal cancer treated by resection and extended lymphadenectomy: patterns of spread in left- and right-sided tumours. Br J Surg. 2020 Jul;107(8):1070-1078
  • Willaert W, Van de Sande L, Van Daele E, Van De Putte D, Van Nieuwenhove Y, Pattyn P, Ceelen W. Safety and preliminary efficacy of electrostatic precipitation during pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy (PIPAC) for unresectable carcinomatosis. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2019 Dec;45(12):2302-2309
  • Van de Sande L, Willaert W, Cosyns S, De Clercq K, Shariati M, Remaut K, Ceelen W. Establishment of a rat ovarian peritoneal metastasis model to study pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy (PIPAC). BMC Cancer. 2019 May 7;19(1):424 

Contact & links