Fijs W.B. van Leeuwen: Image guidance technologies as an add on to robotic surgery

June 11, 2015 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
320 Hackerman Hall
Nassir Navab



Image guided interventions are increasingly gaining interest from surgical and radiological disciplines. In addition to radiological imaging technologies, radionuclear imaging and optical imaging have the potential to visualize molecular features of disease. To fully exploit the potential of these technologies, it is instrumental to understand the advantages and shortcomings that come with them. Based on this knowledge the clinically applied guidance approaches and well-known surgical planning such as US, CT, MRI, SPECT, and PET can be placed in perspective. The approaches used for radionuclear and optical modalities are often complementary, a feature that can be exploited further with the use of hybrid tracers. The latter molecular parameters can be detected both in-depth (using radionuclear imaging modalities) and superficially (using optical imaging modalities).

The (da Vinci) robot provides an ideal platform to effectively integrate the image guidance technologies in clinical routine and provides a solid basis for international dissemination of successful technologies.

In his talk Dr. van Leeuwen will illustrate the clinical implementation of a range of radionuclear and optical guidance technologies during robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) combined with sentinel lymph node dissection.



Fijs did his masters in Chemistry at the Bioinorganic and Coordination Chemistry group (prof. dr. Jan Reedijk; Leiden Institute of Chemistry) followed by a PhD at the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology (University of Twente) in the former Supramolecular Chemistry and Technology group headed by prof. dr. David Reinhoudt. During this period he also performed research at the Irradiation & Development business unit (dr. Ronald Schram) of the Dutch Nuclear Research and Consultancy group (NRG) in Petten. After obtaining his PhD he made the shift to biomedical research by pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Chemical Biology group (Dr. Huib Ovaa) at the department of Cellular Biochemistry at the Netherlands Cancer Institute – Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AvL). After being awarded a personal VENI grant from the Dutch Research Counsel he moved, within the NKI-AvL, to the clinical departments of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine were he became senior postdoctoral fellow in the medical image processing group of dr. Kenneth Gilhuijs. Under the guidance of the diagnostic oncology devision heads, initially prof. dr. Marc van de Vijver and later by prof. dr. Laura van ‘t Veer, he started to set up his own molecular imaging research line. In 2009 he obtained a personal cancer career award from the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) on the development of multimodal imaging agents and was appointed associate staff scientist at the NKI-AVL. In 2010 he obtained a VIDI-grant from the Dutch Research Counsel on the development of imaging agents for surgical guidance. Soon after this he moved to the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) to become an associate professor at the department of Radiology (2011). Here he received an ERC-starting grant (2012) for the illumination of peripheral nerve structures. At the LUMC he heads the highly multidisciplinary Interventional Molecular Imaging laboratory, wherein the “from molecule to man” principle is actively pursued.