Sciensano (Brussels, Belgium) is a national research institution providing information, expertise and support to regional, national, and European health authorities, public health stake holders and other research agencies. On the basis of scientific research, the Institute formulates recommendations and solutions. The Institute monitors the health status and assesses determinants of health of the Belgian population by surveys, analyses of databases from health services and cohort studies. Sciensano develops advanced solutions for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of current and emerging diseases, and assesses health risks related to life-style related factors and/or evolving from exposure to environmental hazards. The Unit Cancer Epidemiology is specialized in systematic reviews, Cochrane reviews and meta-analysis of the accuracy of cancer screening tests, triage tests and confirmation tests, adverse effects of treatment of cancer precursor lesions, efficacy of screening and prophylactic HPV vaccines. Other experience: analyses of time-space trends of cancer incidence and mortality data; age-cohort-period analyses. This also includes statistical analysis of large population-based databases allowing precise computation of screening and vaccination coverage. The team at Sciensano is the work package leader of package 4.
Dr. M. Arbyn
M Arbyn is coordinator of the Unit of Cancer Epidemiology, which is part of the Belgian Cancer Centre at Sciensano in Brussels, Belgium. MA coordinated the evaluation of new screening methods in the framework of the EU Network of Cervical Cancer Screening and is editor- of the European Guidelines for Cervical Cancer Screening and associated Supplements on HPV screening. His main activity deals with systematic reviews, Cochrane reviews and meta-analyses regarding cervical cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment of screen detected cervical cancer precursors and HPV vaccination. MA is steering group member or coordinator of several international networks involved in biobank-based cancer research that addresses etiological questions and possible application of biomarkers in screening, diagnosis and prognosis prediction and offers epidemiological support to health authorities of about twenty countries regarding implementation of cervical cancer prevention. MA is author of >200 papers, published in peer-reviewed journals. MA is also specialised in trend analysis and age-cohort-period modelling. MA conducted several meta-analyses and systematic reviews on the accuracy of HPV testing on vaginal self-samples and on the increase of screening coverage by sending self-samplers to non-screened women. He is principle investigator of the VALGENT (VALidation of HPV GENotyping Tests) and VALHUDES (VALidation of Human papillomavirus assays and collection DEvices for HPV testing on Self-samples and urine samples) studies.
Dr. C. Simoens
In 2000, Cindy Simoens graduated as Biomedical Scientist at the University of Antwerp (UA). She started at the UA with fundamental research on the interaction between new chemotherapeutic agents and radiotherapy, which resulted in a PhD in Medical Sciences. Further on, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher both at the University of Antwerp and the Scientific Institute of Public Health, now Sciensano, focusing on Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-related diseases. In July 2018, she began within the Unit of Cancer Epidemiology of the Belgian Cancer Centre with systematic reviewing and meta-analysis on cancer prevention and more in particular cancers related to HPV. She also acts as project manager of the running projects within the Unit.