ERASMUS MC

MORNING CASE

Cancer Screening
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. One strategy that has been successful in preventing cancer deaths is screening. There are three cancer screening programs currently running in the Netherlands (breast cancer, cervical cancer and colorectal cancer). In 2018, around 4,000,000 invitations for screening were sent to Dutch residents who are eligible to participate in one (or more) of the three screening programs. Screening can either prevent cancer or detects cancer in an earlier stage, thereby saving many lives.

Screening Evaluation at the Department of Public Health
The Evaluation of Screening team at Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam uses microsimulation modeling to predict the costs and effects of cancer screening. Our analyses are used to guide cancer screening guidelines and policy, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Our team, consisting of modelers, epidemiologists, statisticians, econometrists, and doctors, performs calculations for policy makers, for example to inform the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment and the United States National Cancer Institute. We closely collaborate with our national and international partners to improve our understanding of the impact of cancer screening on population trends in cancer mortality, and present our results in many international conferences. Our mission is to conduct eminent quantitative research that impacts population health.

Our organization
The Erasmus University Medical Center (www.erasmusmc.nl) is the largest university medical centre in the Netherlands, with approximately 14.000 employees. Erasmus MC is committed to a healthy population and excellence in healthcare through research and education.

Interested?
If you would like to find out more about the cancer screening projects we are involved in, please see www.cisnet.cancer.gov, www.eu-topia.org, https://www.publichealthrotterdam.com/.


STATISTICS

Sectors: Health Science, Research & Data Science
Location: 1
Male-Female ratio: 40-60%
Number of employees (in Holland): 145
Number of starting positions per year: 20
Number of internship positions per year: 10
Annual working students per year: 4
Average age: 35


CASE

The Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport has sent a letter to the Health Council, seeking advice about the possibility of adjusting the existing national colorectal cancer (CRC) screening program. The reason for this request is the promising result of a revolutionary screening test, the Exhaled Breath Test.
The Minister is especially interested in whether the current FIT-test (Fecal Immunochemical Test) should be replaced by this Exhaled Breath Test and if so, whether the current screening strategy should be adjusted to optimize the balance between health benefits, harms of screening, and costs.
Using a colorectal microsimulation model, you will evaluate different CRC screening strategies. Based on the outcomes of the analyses, you will give an advice whether the CRC screening program should be adjusted.