dr. C.W. Helsper

Assistant Professor

  • Department of General Practice
  • Julius Center Research Program Cancer

dr. C.W. Helsper

Research Programs


Main focus


Research coordinator: oncology in primary care - research projects;

Early diagnosis;

  • Dickens: duration of the diagnostic pathway & potential to improve
  • ABE: case finding of increased cancer risk - ovarian cancer
  • Risk perception and policy among GPs in different stages of their career


Shared decision making (SDM)

  • GRIP - the effects of SDM support by GPs after a cancer diagnosis
  • Choose Wisely - a qualitative exploration of optimal support by the GP in SDM


Structured primary care guidance during and after treatment

  • GRIP I (RCT) - Effects of strutured primary care guidance during cancer treatment
  • GRIP II - Optimal implementation of strutured primary care guidance during cancer treatment
  • Blanket (RCT) - Effects of treatment of fear of cancer recurrence in primary care



Lecturer at GP-specialty training and Utrecht University 

  • Evidence Based Medicine in clinical pratice
  • Primary care oncology
  • Teach the teachrer programs




  • MD: with a background in General practice (AIOTHO)
  • PhD: casefinding strategies for hepatitis C infection
  • MSc: Clinical Epidemiology



Biographical Sketch

Charles Helsper was born on the 9th of March 1980 in Pullman Washington (USA). After graduating from the Atheneum at the ‘Bisschop Bekkers College’ in Eindhoven and the first year of Health Sciences at Maastricht University, he studied Medicine at Utrecht University. During these studies he developed an interest for both the practice and research of primary care and prevention.

To put this interest into practice he combined the GP-specialty training with a PhD programme at the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care at the Utrecht Medical Center. His PhD programme addressed identification strategies for hepatitis C infection from a primary care point of view.

During this combined programme he also successfully finished a Prestige Master in Epidemiology, worked as a lecturer at the GP specialty training, at Utrecht University and as an invited lecturer at the Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice at Bond University (Australia).

Currently he is working as a senior researcher at the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, with a focus on cancer in primary care. In addition, he works at the Utrecht GP specialty training and Utrecht University, with a main focus on improving the use and education of scientific evidence in primary care practice.




Side Activities

  • THINC.  Advisor - The Health Care Innovation Centre

    THINC (The Healthcare Innovation Center)., as part of the UMC Utrecht Julius Center, contributes to the continuous development of scientific knowledge at the service of healthcare innovation. We combine state of the art scientific expertise in the fields of HTA (Health Technology Assessment), clinical epidemiology, public health, ethics, primary care and implementation. From the early innovation stages THINC can inform innovators on the anticipated working mechanism (causal pathways), usability, validity and (cost-effectiveness). THINC aims at a broad range of healthcare innovations including medical technology, devices, mHealth, eHealth and care pathways.   

Fellowship and Awards

Research Output (31)

Time to diagnosis of symptomatic gastric and oesophageal cancer in the Netherlands:Where is the room for improvement?

van Erp N. F., Helsper C. W., Slottje P., Brandenbarg D., Büchner F. L., van Asselt K. M., Muris J. W.M., Kortekaas M. F., Peeters P. H.M., de Wit N. J. jun 2020, In: United European Gastroenterology Journal. 8 , p. 607-620 14 p.

Sneller verwijzen bij darmkanker

van Erp Nicole, Helsper Charles, Olyhoek Saskia, Janssen Ramon, Winsveen Amber, Peeters Petra, de Wit N. J. 4 apr 2020, In: Huisarts en Wetenschap. 63 , p. 14-17 4 p.

Off to a good start after a cancer diagnosis:implementation of a time out consultation in primary care before cancer treatment decision

Noteboom Eveline A., De Wit Niek J., Van Asseldonk Ingrid J. E. M., Janssen Monique C. A. M., Lam-Wong Wai Yee, Linssen Rob H. P. J., Pepels Manon J. A. E., Schrama Natascha A. W. P., Trompper Marielle E. H., Veldhuizen L. Maaike, Wijtvliet Anne P., Zeldenrust Ed G. F., Hendrikx Ans M., Van de Boomen Wil A., Elbersen Dorothe M., Jacobs Esther M. G., Van der Wall Elsken, Helsper Charles W. 16 nov 2019, In: Journal of cancer survivorship : research and practice. 14 , p. 9-13 5 p.

Variation in the initial assessment and investigation for ovarian cancer in symptomatic women: a systematic review of international guidelines

Funston Garth, Van Melle Marije, Baun Marie-Louise Ladegaard, Jensen Henry, Helsper Charles, Emery Jon, Crosbie Emma J., Thompson Matthew, Hamilton Willie, Walter Fiona M. 1 nov 2019, In: BMC Cancer. 19

Potential for Reducing Time to Referral for Colorectal Cancer Patients in Primary Care

van Erp Nicole F, Helsper Charles W, Olyhoek Saskia M, Janssen Ramon R T, Winsveen Amber, Peeters Petra H M, de Wit Niek J 1 sep 2019, In: Annals of Family Medicine. 17 , p. 419-427 9 p.

Involving the general practitioner during curative cancer treatment:a systematic review of health care interventions

Perfors Ietje A. A., May Anne M., Boeijen Josi A., de Wit Niek J., van der Wall Elsken, Helsper Charles W. 14 apr 2019, In: BMJ Open. 9

Kan het diagnostisch traject bij kanker sneller?

van Erp Nicole Felice, Helsper Charles, Peeters Petra, de Wit Niek 1 feb 2019, In: Huisarts en Wetenschap. 62 , p. 12-16 5 p.

Identifying patients with a history of ovarian cancer for referral for genetic counselling:non-randomised comparison of two case-finding strategies in primary care

Helsper Charles W, Van Vliet Liesbeth M, Velthuizen Mary E, de Wit Niek J, Beijaert Roy Ph, Butter Els, van Gent-Wagemakers Marleen Pl, Witteveen Els O, Zweemer Ronald P, van Dulmen Sandra M, Ausems Margreet Gem nov 2018, In: British Journal of General Practice. 68 , p. e750-e756

Routine primary care data for scientific research, quality of care programs and educational purposes:The Julius General Practitioners' Network (JGPN)

Smeets Hugo M, Kortekaas Marlous F, Rutten Frans H, Bots Michiel L, van der Kraan Willem, Daggelders Gerard, Smits-Pelser Hanneke, Helsper Charles W, Hoes Arno W, de Wit Niek J 25 sep 2018, In: BMC Health Services Research. 18

All Research Output (31)