Dr E.J.T. Rutgers (1955) has been named professor by special appointment in Surgical Oncology, in particular in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Amsterdam (AMC-UvA). This chair has been created by the Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital ( NKI/AvL).
Emiel Rutgers was educated as a general surgeon in the former St. Joseph hospital in Eindhoven. He has worked as a surgical oncologist at the NKI/AvL since 1987, until 1989 as a fellow and thereafter as a staff member. He has been head of the surgery department since November 2006, and an instructor since January 2007.
From early on in his training, Rutgers took a special interest in oncology, and in particular in breast and lung cancer. He obtained his doctorate in 1986 with a thesis entitled De nacontrole van vrouwen behandeld voor borstkanker aan de University of Amsterdam (The follow-up of women treated for breast cancer at the University of Amsterdam), under the supervision of Prof. E.A. van Slooten. Rutgers's striving for optimal care for patients with breast cancer has led him to take on various functions, including chairmanships of the Breast Cancer Group of the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer (2003-2006), the NKI/AvL breast cancer group (from 1993 onwards), the IKA Breast Cancer Work Group (from 1996 onwards), and the Dutch National Guidelines Working Group for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer. He is president of the 6th European Breast Cancer Conference in Berlin (to take place in April 2008).
Additionally, Rutgers is a member of a number of advisory committees, including that of the Netherlands Breast Cancer Association, and the RIVM advisory committee for breast cancer screening. He is also on the editorial board of the European Journal of Surgical Oncology and Breast Cancer Online. He is a member of various scientific associations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Netherlands Association for Surgical Oncology and the European Society of Mastology, and he is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (London and Glasgow).
Emiel Rutgers's clinical and research activities are primarily focused on breast cancer, and in particular on the effectiveness of screening, hereditary breast cancer, the streamlining and improvement of diagnosis, the correct use of the so-called sentinel lymph node procedure, and the improvement of prognosis assessments. He is principal researcher of two international multi-centre studies: the AMAROS study (After Mapping of the Axilla Radiotherapy Or Surgery) investigating the value for breast cancer of the sentinel lymph node procedure and the treatments connected to it, and the MINDACT study (Micro Array in Nodenegative Disease may avoid Adjuvant Chemo Therapy) researching the value of the 70-gene prognosis profile of breast cancer. Additionally, Rutgers is author or co-author of around 160 articles and contributions to scientific publications.
Rutgers will dedicate his professorship to the improvement of multidisciplinary breast cancer care. Indispensable for this goal is the further development of structured mammary teams in well-equipped clinics, where all the necessary diagnostic and therapeutic facilities are available. The integration of basic scholarly research (in particular translational research) into clinical care is of major importance in order to increase the effectiveness of breast cancer treatment.
This research chair furthers the productive collaboration between the surgery department of the AMC and the NKI/AvL, which has resulted in such activities as the Surgical Oncology programme component for surgeons-in-training at the NKI/AvL, and the combined Surgical Oncology fellowship for young surgeons who want to attain a higher level of qualification in oncology. Rutgers is also involved in various pedagogical activities in the context of the new curriculum, including the training of students through lectures and patient demonstrations, and leadership of junior co-assistants in the NKI/AvL.