Jump to top menu Jump to main menu Jump to content
Research group/lab  |  PI Monique Roobol, Epidemiology and Decision Making in Urology

Prostate Cancer - Roobol research group

Our goal is to perform epidemiological research and develop predictive models for diagnosis and prognosis within the field of urology, to be implemented as a digital solution for smart choices: data from many for the outcome of one.

About our research group/lab

Our research

Research focus

The outcomes of the European Study of Randomised Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC), coordinated by our department, show that screening for prostate cancer reduces the mortality rates but is associated with two major new scientific challenges: how to prevent overdiagnosis and how to address overtreatment. We address these challenges by:

  • Changing the clinical management of prostate cancer through continuously updated predictive algorithms based on ERSPC data.
  • Worldwide research on active surveillance of prostate cancer.
  • Translating our findings into digital predictive models to support decision-making by citizens and health care professionals.

Prostate Cancer Risk Calculator

Our Prostate Cancer Risk Calculator, available in a web-based and an app-based format, helps citizens to assess their personal risk of prostate cancer and healthcare professionals to predict the presence of cancer and its aggressiveness. We are continuously updating and improving this tool based on new insights in prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer Research International: Active Surveillance (PRIAS)

We have developed the PRIAS protocol for active surveillance of indolent prostate cancer, which is currently internationally being validated by the Movember Global Action Plan 3 consortium. Here, too, we aim to develop and validate dynamic prediction tools with the goal to individualize AS monitoring algorithms. In addition, we cooperate within the IMI Big data for better outcome project PIONEER, in which big data related to prostate cancer will be the basis for decision models for both patient and urologists covering the patient journey from screening to diagnosis, treatment and palliative treatment. Incontinence research is supported by the development of risk prediction models distinguishing between different types of incontinence and the correct treatment.

Our projects

Prostate Cancer Risk Calculator: validation and implementation of a CE marked medical device used by lay men, GPs and urologists worldwide for prostate cancer decision support.

Precision trial: use of MRI in risk assessment for prostate cancer

STAR primary care prostate consult: a prostate examination and personal assessment on risk of having prostate cancer, used by Dutch GPs

PRIAS study on active surveillance of indolent prostate cancer, including international validation by the Movember Global Action Plan 3 consortium

Quality of life in active surveillance: what is the impact of active surveillance on the quality of life for patients with prostate cancer?

PIONEER: European network of excellence for big data in prostate cancer

MrProper: cooperation with department of Radiology to assess the effectiveness of combination of individual risk assessment and MRI in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

EPAD/EAU: raising awareness for prostate cancer, aiming for an European screening programme.

Key Publications

A complete overview of publications can be found here:


Movember Foundation’s Global Action Plan Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance (GAP) Consortium. Predicting Biopsy Outcomes During Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer: External Validation of the Canary Prostate Active Surveillance Study Risk Calculators in Five Large Active Surveillance Cohorts.
Drost FH, Nieboer D, Morgan TM, Carroll PR, Roobol MJ. (2019). Eur Urol 2019;76:693-702.

Improved Prostate Cancer Biopsy Grading by Incorporation of Invasive Cribriform and Intraductal Carcinoma in the 2014 Grade Groups.
Van Leenders GJLH, Kweldam CF, Hollemans E, Kümmerlin IP, Nieboer D, Verhoef EI, Remmers S, Incrocci L, Bangma CH, van der Kwast TH, Roobol MJ. (2019). Eur Urol 2019, pii: S0302-2838(19)30612-8.

PRIAS study group. A Decade of Active Surveillance in the PRIAS Study: An Update and Evaluation of the Criteria Used to Recommend a Switch to Active Treatment.
Bokhorst LP, Valdagni R, Rannikko A, Kakehi Y, Pickles T, Bangma CH, Roobol MJ. (2016). Eur Urol 2016;70:954-60.

Where we are with screening and risk prediction for prostate cancer in 2016.
Roobol MJ. (2016). BJU Int 2016;117:381.

Perspective: Enforce the clinical guidelines.
Roobol MJ. (2015). Nature 2015;528:S123.


Collaboration within Erasmus MC

We closely collaborate with the Erasmus MC Departments of Public Health, Radiology and Pathology.

Funding & Grants

  • Innovative Medicine Initiative 2 consortium grant PIONEER - Prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment enhancement through the power of big data in Europe (partner M. Roobol)
  • ZonMw grant Making the right urological clinical decisions (PI M. Roobol)
  • Dutch Cancer Society-STW Technology for Oncology consortium grant ProVision -Visual Technology integrating quantitative patient outcomes to support multidisciplinary clinical decision making  (partner M. Roobol)
  • Movember Global Action Plan 3 (GAP3) on Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer (PIs C. Bangma & M. Roobol)
  • Abe Bonnema Stichting personal research grant (M. Roobol)
  • Our research is also supported by SWOP Research (Prostate Cancer Research Foundation).

Our team

Principal Investigator

  • Prof. Monique Roobol (epidemiologist)

Research team members:

Trial coordination and quality of life and biomarker research:

  • Dr. Lionne Venderbos (postdoc)
  • Dr. Jozien Helleman (postdoc)


Data management

  • C. Franken-Raab
  • M. van Slooten-Midderigh
  • M. den Rooijen