Desiree J. G. D. van den Bongard

(Principal Investigator), MD PhD


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Personal profile


Radiation oncology; with focus on breast cancer, MR-guided radiotherapy, hyperthermia, oligometastases.

Research interests

Dr. van den Bongards research is focussed on de-escalation of treatment and decreased treatment-induced morbidity in breast cancer patients with the aim to optimize quality of life after treatment.

Her main focus in research is the clinical introduction of treatment with one single-dose pre-operative MR-guided Partial Breast Irradiation (PBI) in low-risk breast cancer patients (instead of standard post-operative partial or whole breast irradiation during 2 to 5 weeks).

Pre-operative instead of post-operative PBI has the potential to further decrease radiotherapy-induced toxicity and improve quality of life due to irradiation of smaller target volumes and reduced organs at risk volumes. Pre-operative PBI offers the possibility for response monitoring using imaging, and evaluation of response markers in blood and tumor tissue compared to the standard postoperative irradiation. In addition, pre-operative PBI has the potential to greatly reduce the treatment burden if the pathologic complete response can be accurately predicted, and would allow omitting breast-conserving surgery. Moreover, patients that would still require BCS would benefit from a single dose of pre-operative PBI instead of 2 to 5 weeks of postoperative irradiation in the current standard of care. 

The clinical feasibility of pre-operative irradiation with one single dose followed by breast-conserving surgery 6 to 8 month after irradiation has been proven in a multicenter study that showed a pathologic complete response in more than 40% of the patients. In the recent future, the ABLATIVE-2 trial will be initiated to study the response at 1 year after pre-operative PBI including potential response predictors in these patients.



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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