Centre for Prevention and Early Detection of Cancer (CPVOK)

Presentation of unit

The Centre for Prevention and Early Detection of Cancer (Centrum voor Preventie en Vroegtijdige Opsporing van Kanker (CPVOK)) contributes to qualitative population screening and primary prevention of cancer, through research, education and public services.

The Centre was founded in 1983 and is since 1990 part of the department of Public Health (since 2018: department of Public Health and Primary Care), within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Several (pilot) projects on early detection of cervical and breast cancer have been carried out since 1965. A multicentre study ultimately resulted in the implementation of the breast cancer screening programme in Flanders (2001). The Centre is also involved in the cancer screening programmes for cervical and colon cancer from their start in 2013.

The Centre hosts one of the five branches of the Centre for Cancer Detection (Centrum voor KankerOpsporing CvKO)), and therefore substantially contributes to the activities of the centre of expertise for cancer screening.

Topics

  • Cancer screening programmes (early detection of cancer at the population level, in a clearly defined and healthy target population)
  • Promoting informed choice in the target population
  • The health gap and participation of disadvantaged groups
  • Quality management in breast cancer screening
  • Primary cancer prevention

Main activities

Activities of the Ghent branch of the Centre for Cancer Detection (CvKO)

  • Contact centre for major parts of East- and West-Flanders, for three cancer screening programmes
  • Organisation of 2nd and 3rd readings of screening mammographies
  • Contribute to the coordination of the breast cancer screening programme
  • Regularly reporting on quality issues and participation rates
  • Point of contact for the radiology centres that work with us
  • Point of contact for the Logo’s, for three cancer screening programmes

Research activities

  • Contribute to the quality management of the Flemish cancer screening programmes
  • Managing and analysing data of the Flemish cancer screening programmes, training and coaching (PhD) researchers working with this data.
  • Epidemiologic research of primary prevention of frequent cancers

Educational activities

  • Internships for several educational programmes (MSc in Communication Sciences, MSc in Health Promotion, …)
  • Contribute to teaching assignments of the department of Public Health and Primary Care
    • Public health and population screening, in several courses and programmes
    • Exercises in Health Psychology: feedback on interventions
  • Supervising master theses for several educational programmes
  • Introduction day for secondary education students

Services

  • Member of the Governing Board and of the General Assemby of the Centre for Cancer Detection (CvKO) vzw
  • Representing CvKO and administrative support for the pool of radiologists for the Flemish breast cancer screening programme
  • Member of the Flemish working group on Population Screening
  • Member of the Commission on Early Detection of ZonMW (NL)

List of most important projects

  • Flemish cancer screening programmes:
    • Breast cancer (since 2001)
    • Cervical cancer (since 2013)
    • Colon cancer (since 2013)
  • COMADIS – Clinically optimized mammography display (2013-2016))
  • Flemish Breast Cancer programme: is stratification of women according to breast density indicated? (2014-2019, PhD Lore Timmermans)
  • Impact of methyl-group donor intakes on breast cancer risk: integrating findings from large-scale epidemiological studies and in vitro models (2018-2022, PhD Heleen Van Puyvelde)
  • Improved decision-making of coordinating breast cancer screening (2019-2023)

Collaborators

Supervisor: Koen Van Herck

Coordinator: Marjan van Gurp

Secretariat: Marieke Lootens

Collaborators of the Ghent branch of the Centre for Cancer Detection (CvKO):

Tonia Davidt, Natalie De Craecker, Saskia De Groot, Mariane De Vriendt, Nadia Eeckman, Christine Mory, Martine Turkelboom, Marjan van Gurp and Veerle Verschuere

Research team

  • prof. Inge Huybrechts, MSc, PhD (visiting professor)
  • Svetalana Jidkova, MSc (data scientist)
  • Heleen Van Puyvelde, MSc (PhD researcher Research Fund Flanders - FWO)
  • Lieve Vandendaele, MD (research assistant)
  • Veerle Verschuere, MSc, PhD (projectmanager and research assistant)

Most important national and international partnerships

Contact data

Centrum voor Kankeropsporing Afdeling Gent
Centrum voor Preventie en Vroegtijdige Opsporing van Kanker – Universiteit Gent
Campus UZ Gent
K3 - 5de verdieping (ingang 42)
Corneel Heymanslaan 10
9000 GENT

Tel. 09 332 36 36