Living together with cancer      


Prof. dr. Irma Verdonck

Irma Verdonck-de Leeuw (1963) holds the chair “Living with Cancer: innovative care programs and e-health”. This chair is established by the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) / Alpe d’HuZes Foundation in 2009. Research is carried out in a joint venture between VU University Medical Center (VUmc) / Cancer Center Amsterdam, and the Department of Clinical Psychology of VU University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The research group “Living together with cancer” comprises the chair, 2 senior researchers (postdocs), and 18 PhD students. The group is multidisciplinary with psychologists, physicians, nurses, speech therapists, linguists, epidemiologists, an exercise scientist, e-health experts, and a theologian.

The main aim is to generate knowledge on quality of life issues and psycho-oncology in cancer patients and their relatives and to assess cost-efficacy of supportive cancer care. Cohort studies focus on the impact of cancer on quality of life in relation to a broad perspective of possible moderators and mediators such as sociodemography, comorbidity, coping style, lifestyle, and tumour and treatment related aspects. Several randomised controlled trials are ongoing on cost-effectiveness of psychosocial care, allied health services, and (stepped) care programmes. A special focus is on patient empowerment and information technology to improve the efficiency of supportive care.

More information and scientific output can be found on

Main projects:

  • Quality of life and psycho-oncology in cancer patients and their families,
  • Supportive care: the prevention and management of adverse effects of cancer and its  treatment from diagnosis through anticancer treatment to post-treatment and palliative care
  • Predictive modelling: quality of life in relation to biomarkers and survival
  • Voice, speech, swallowing, and oral function