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Research group/lab

Skin Cancer

We conduct research on early detection, epidemiology, treatment outcomes, quality of life and risk prediction of skin cancer

About our research group/lab

About our research group

Why was this group formed?

Skin cancer is the most common malignancy worldwide and is especially prevalent among light skinned individuals. Skin cancer patients may suffer from late diagnosis, multiple skin tumors, risk of tumor recurrence or metastasis and a decreased health-related quality of life. This high incidence requires attention for prevention and early detection of skin cancer and optimizing the care pathway of skin cancer patients.

What is the overall aim?

Our aim is to improve patient care by supporting early diagnosis, improving personalized treatment, optimizing surgical techniques and developing personalizing follow-up care. Furthermore, we aim to increase awareness of the rapid skin cancer increases among health policy makers and to emphasize the urgency for prevention strategies and management of skin cancer patients.

What type of research do we focus on in this group

  • Skin cancer epidemiology, using data from the Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR), Pathologisch Anatomisch Landelijk Geautomatiseerd Archief (PALGA) and Rotterdam Study · Quality of life research, such as the development of the Basal and Squamous
  • Quality of Life questionnaire ( BaSQoL) · Qualitative research: interviews and focusgroups to gain in-depth understanding on the behavior, considerations and needs of skin cancer patients and health care professionals.
  • Clinical research: clinical registries of skin cancer patients, including the Rotterdam Skin Cancer (ROSCAN) Biobank and the Dutch Keratinocytic Cancer Collaborative.
  • Technological innovations: Application of innovative techniques using artificial intelligence to improve early identification of high-risk patients (facial 2D pictures or histopathomics), supporting early diagnosis of skin cancer (e.g. by AI in mHealth) in different settings and improving care and follow-up for melanoma patients via a personalized survivorship care app. ·
  • Skin cancer prediction: prediction of multiple cSCC and metastasis based on clinical, histopathological and multi-omics data.
  • Skin cancer genetics: genome wide association studies in the Rotterdam study are used to study genetics of skin cancer.

Our projects

Prediction of distant metastasis after early stage melanoma based on clinical, histopathological, and multi-omics data.

StepIdent cSCC
Prediction of any metastasis after cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma based on clinical, and multi-omics data.

Pathogenomics for cSCC
Identification of histogenomic biomarkers for metastatic cSCC using AI on histopathological slides combined with RNA sequencing data.

Dutch Keratinocyte Cancer Collaborative
A nationwide registry for locally advanced and metastasized cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, in collaboration with the Netherlands Cancer Registry.

Artificial intelligence in mHealth
Validation, implementation and evaluation of mHealth for detection of skin cancer in population based, GP and hospital-based settings.

Survivorship care plan melanoma
Improving care and aftercare in a regional setting for patients with melanoma by developing a personalized survivorship care plan.

Key Publications

Opportunities for improving the efficiency of keratinocyte carcinoma care in primary and specialist care: Results from population-based Dutch cohort studies, Wakkee M, van Egmond S, Louwman M, Bindels P, van der Lei J, Nijsten T, Hollestein L. Eur J Cancer. 2019 Aug;117:32-40. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejca.2019.05.010

Recurrence rates of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck after Mohs micrographic surgery vs. standard excision: a retrospective cohort study. van Lee CB, Roorda BM, Wakkee M, Voorham Q, Mooyaart AL, de Vijlder HC, Nijsten T, van den Bos RR. Br J Dermatol. 2019 Aug;181(2):338-343. DOI: 10.1111/bjd.17188

Risk factors for metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma: Refinement and replication based on 2 nationwide nested case-control studies. Tokez S, Venables ZC, Hollestein LM, Qi H, Bramer EM, Rentroia-Pacheco B, van den Bos RR, Rous B, Leigh IM, Nijsten T, Mooyaart AL, Wakkee M.J Am Acad Dermatol. 2022 Jul;87(1):64-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2022.02.056. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2022.02.056

Development and Validation of the Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinoma Quality of Life (BaSQoL) Questionnaire, Waalboer-Spuij R, Hollestein LM, Timman R, van de Poll-Franse LV, Nijsten TE..Acta Derm Venereol. 2018 Feb 7;98(2):234-239. doi: 10.2340/00015555-2806. DOI: 10.2340/00015555-2806

Validation of a Market-Approved Artificial Intelligence Mobile Health App for Skin Cancer Screening: A Prospective Multicenter Diagnostic Accuracy Study. Sangers T, Reeder S, van der Vet S, Jhingoer S, Mooyaart A, Siegel DM, Nijsten T, Wakkee M. Dermatology. 2022;238(4):649-656. doi: 10.1159/000520474.

A complete overview of our publications can be found at PURE and ORCID:

Tamar Nijsten

Marlies Wakkee

Loes Hollestein

Renate van den Bos

Marjolein Lugtenberg


Collaborations within Erasmus MC

Dept. Epidemiology - Rotterdam Study

Dept. Public Health

Dept. of Pathology

Dept. participating in the multidisciplinary skin cancer team


Collaborations outsite Erasmus MC

Netherlands Cancer Registry, facilitated by IKNL


Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management

Regional hospitals (Albert Schweitzer Hospital, Maasstad Hospital and Franciscus Gasthuis & Vlietland hospital)



Funding & Grants

TKI Health Holland


Hanarth Fonds






Erasmus MC Doelmatigheidsonderzoek

Zorginstituut Nederland

Our team