Professor Regina Beets-Tan is chair of the department of radiology at The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, full professor of radiology at the University of Maastricht and adjunct professor of abdominal and oncological radiology at the University of Southern Denmark. She will present the Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen Honorary Lecture, titled ‘Oncologic imaging: a new beginning has just begun’ at ECR 2019.
She shared a few thoughts with us on the future of her specialty in an interview ahead of the congress.
ECR Today: You have chosen quite an iconic and broad topic for this honorary lecture. What points will you cover exactly?
Regina Beets-Tan: The audience will get a glimpse of the future of cancer care and the role of imaging. The world of cancer medicine is changing rapidly. Major steps forward have been taken. Advanced imaging and computing technology, screening programmes; these all will result in the early detection of more tumours. Minimally invasive treatment, including interventional therapy, will have an increasingly important role. Targeted therapy, which specifically hits the cancer genes, and immunotherapy, which uses the patient’s own immune system to kill cancer cells, will result in prolonged survival of patients who are in the final stage of metastatic disease. It will be ‘precision medicine’; we do not want to give the wrong treatment to the wrong patient. As advocated by Prof René Bernards, a respected leader in cancer research at the Netherlands Cancer Institute: ‘Within 15 years, cancer will become a chronic disease’. And I believe this is true. This transformation will change the way we will practice oncologic imaging. This will require us to recreate our discipline. With this lecture, I would like to take my young colleagues on a 20-minute journey towards their future. Read more…