Jan Bangert, head of the Radiotherapy Department, presents diplomas to radiation therapists in 1983. At the right hand side radiation oncologist Joos Lebesque.
Jan Bangert head of the Radiotherapy Department. After the premature standing down of Professor Klaas Breur, due to his illness, one of the older radiation oncologists, Jan Bangert, is appointed head of the department of radiotherapy. Harry Bartelink coordinates the research activities and it is expected that after some time he will have the full leadership of the department. Jan Bangert remains as head for 8 years, and is appreciated by the attention he gives to all staff members, irrespective of their status. His down-to-earth style of leadership and policy making inspire confidence.
Dr Emmanuel van der Schueren is appointed as advisor. From 1982 to 1984, Dr. Emmanuel van der Schueren is appointed as advisor to Bangert and Bartelink, to support the relatively inexperienced management team. At that time Dr van der Schueren is professor in radiotherapy at the University of Leuven in Belgium, and until the end of 1996 he is head of the Radiotherapy Department of the University Hospital Gasthuisberg in Leuven. In the 1970's he had been engaged in research in the department of Prof. Breur at the NKI in Amsterdam, besides his clinical work in Leuven. Van der Schueren died in 1999 from pancreas cancer at the age of 54.
Emmanuel van der Schueren, "Manu" for his colleagues, was the driving force behind several (international) organisations for the treatment and research of cancer, including the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO), the Federation of European Cancer Societies (FECS) and the Belgian Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (BVRO-ABRO). He was an authority in the field of radiobiology and also performed pioneering work in the field of quality assurance in radiotherapy.
In 1985, Bangert and Bartelink are appointed together as chair of the Radiotherapy Department. Bangert is in charge of clinical activities and Bartelink is in charge of research.
Harry Bartelink becomes chair of the Radiotherapy Department. In 1989, Jan Bangert retires and Harry Bartelink is appointed chair of the Radiotherapy Department. Under his leadership the department goes through a period of strong development. In research and the development of new treatment techniques the focus is on the opportunities offered by combined chemotherapy (cisplatin) and irradiation, as well as combined surgery and irradiation for the treatment of breast cancer using breast conserving therapy. Other spearheads in the policy under Bartelink are the development of image guided radiotherapy and quality control. The number of treated patients is increasing considerably, and the treatment capacity has to be increased. In 2000 the department is increased from 6 to 10 megavolt accelerators, including one for research purposes.
In 1982, systematic quality control becomes part of the daily routine in the NKI. The procedures are still based on the verification of treatment fields with X-ray films. The next step in enhancing the quality and effectiveness of radiotherapy is the improvement of treatment machines, to be realized in combination with the industry. In the NKI an electronic image detector is developed which in 1985 sets the standard for digital megavolt portal imaging. From then on it is possible to determine in real time the position of the radiation field in the patient during the irradiation in real time. A new generation of image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) devices is developed by the industry based on this detector and derivatives.
Professor Harry Bartelink at his farewell in 2007; he is invested with a royal order.