prof. dr. R. (Richard) van Hillegersberg

Full Professor

  • Department of Surgical Oncology

prof. dr. R. (Richard) van Hillegersberg

Research Programs


Richard van Hillegersberg attended medical school in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In 1990 he received a research grant from the Dutch Digestive Foundation, that enabled him to perform PhD research on the local treatment of liver metastases at the Department of Surgery, Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. In 1993 he received his PhD with honor. After obtaining his MD in 1994, he was a resident of Surgery in Rotterdam and was registered as general surgeon in 2000. From 2001-2002 he was a fellow of Surgical Oncology in the Academic Medical Center and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Netherlands Cancer Center Amsterdam. Since 2003 he is appointed as staff surgeon at the University Medical Center Utrecht. From 2009 he is a full professor of gastrointestinal oncology and program leader of the GI-Oncology department. His clinical interests are upper gastrointestinal tract and hepatobiliary surgery. Research is focused on minimally invasive and robotic surgery, surgical imaging, genetic profiling and radiofrequency ablation for cancer. He has authored and co-authored over 200 articles in international peer-reviewed journals. He is past president of the Dutch GI Surgical Association, past board member of the Dutch Surgical Association, board member of the Dutch Society for liver surgery, president of the European Digestive Surgery, Chairman Dutch Upper GI Surgery Working Group and member of the permanent Scientific committee OESO World Organisation for Specialised studies on diseases of the esophagus.

Side Activities

  • Committee, board, editorial

    2005 Board Member and Secretary of the Dutch Liver Surgery working group

    2006 Editor of "Oncollectie"; News Facts on oncology and hematology

    2009 Council member European Digestive Surgery

    2009 Member Committee Dutch Guidelines oesophageal cancer, IKNL

    2011 Board Member DUCA (Dutch UpperGI Cancer Audit)

    2012 Editorial Board Member Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Reasearch

    2012 Scientific Advisory Committee MLD Stichting – Career Development Grant

    2012 Chairman of MIRA special committee on robotic esophageal surgery

    2013 Chairman Dutch Upper GI Surgery Working Group

    2014 Board Member permanent Scientific committee OESO World Organisation for Specialised studies on diseases of the esophagus

    2014 Board Member Technogolgy committee European Association for Endoscopic Surgery

    2014 Editorial Board member Digestive Surgery

    2015 EDS president elect. European Digestive Surgery


    Visiting Professor Candiolo Institute Turin, 1 Jan 2019 → …

    Proctor Intuitive Surgical, 1 Jan 2009 → …

Fellowship and Awards

  • 1990-1992Principal investigator. Treatment of liver meatstases with laser, Erasmus University  Rotterdam. Project leader. Nederlandse Lever Darm Stichting (NLDS);  WS 89-14. Eu 120.000
    1996-1998 Principal investigator. Ablation of Barrett'se oesophagus with photodynamic therapy after 5-aminolevulinic acid. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Nederlandse Lever Darm Stichting (NLDS);  WS 95-10. Eu 120.000
    1995-1998 Principal investigator. Interstital lasercoagulation for liver metastases MRI thermography guided. Revolving Fund AZR. Eu 25.000
    1996 Principal investigator. Short and long term outcome of interstitial laser coagulation with multiple fibers. Stichting Gastrostart. Eu 15.000
    1998-2002 Principal investigator. Endovascular photodynamic therapy to prevent intimal hyperplasia after vascular interventions. Nederlandse Hartstichting (NHS) nr 97.181. Eu 250.000
    2003-2007 Co-investigator. Is angiogenesis the key to more effective local treatment of liver metastases by interstitial thermal ablation? AGIKO project NWO. Eu 150.00
    2003-2007 Co-investigator. Ischemia and reperfusion injury in the treatment of liver metastases. AGIKO project NWO. Eu 150.000
    2003-2009 Co-investigator. Stategies to improve the outcome of esophagectomy in esophageal cancer. MDPhD project UMCU. Eu 120.000
    2005-2009 Principal investigator. Local ablation of patients with T1 breast cancer. Unrestricted Grant Olympu. Eu 40.000
    2005-2010 Principal investigator. Multicenter RCT HEPATICA studie. Hepatic resection followed by adjuvant treatment in colorectal liver metastases. Unrestricted Investigational grants van Sanofi-Aventis en Roche Eu 1.2000. CKTO KWF. WBSO subsidie(CX1T,2007). Eu 500.000
    2006-2008  Principal investigator. RCT in Cytokine production related to desufflation of one lung in minimally invasive esophagectomy. IKMN bourse. Eu 20.000
    2006-2011 Principal investigator. ZonW Multicenter gerandomiseerde trial “Radioguided occult lesion localisation in patients with non-palpable breast cancer. ZonMW en IKMN beurs (80-00702-98-037). Eu 383.000
    2006-present  Principal investigator. Optimalisatie van imaging focale lever laesies.  Unrestricted Grant Beyer. Eu 120.000
    2008-2009 Principal investigator. Esophagectomy: outcomes and perioperative course of esophageal cancer surgery. Unrestricted Grand Nycomed. Eu 20.000
    2010–present Principal investigator. Radiofrequency ablation of locally advanced pancreatic cancer. NWO Mozaïek beurs. Eu 250.000
    2011-present co-Principal investigator. Somatoststin for RFA of pancreatic cancer animal model studies. Unrestricted Grant Novartis. Eu 120.000
    2012-present Principal investigator. Project non-colorectal liver metastases. NWO Mosaic beurs. Eu 250.000
    2013-present Principal investigator. Radioembolization for Colorectal liver Metastases after Ablation. MDPhD Suerman program grant. Eu 100.000.
    2014  European Society of Surgerical Oncology fellowship grant for fellow Aristoteles Kechagias, Greece, May 1,till July 1, 2014.
    2014  Intuitive Surgery: Susanne van der Velden, fellow Robotchirurgie, Eu 75.000.
    2014  Principal investigator. Cost effectiveness of laparoscopic gastrectomy  as an alternative to open gastrectomy for gastric cancer. ZonMw (837002502) Eu 400.000

Research Output (386)

Failure to Cure in Patients Undergoing Surgery for Esophageal Carcinoma:Hospital of Surgery Influences Prospects for Cure: A Nation-wide Cohort Study

Voeten Daan M, van der Werf Leonie R, Wijnhoven Bas P L, van Hillegersberg Richard, van Berge Henegouwen Mark I, nov 2020, In: Annals of Surgery. 272 , p. 744-750 7 p.

Minimally Invasive Resection of Large Gastric Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors

Gertsen Emma C, van Boxel Gijs I, Brosens Lodewijk A A, Ruurda Jelle P, van Hillegersberg Richard 25 sep 2020, In: Digestive Surgery. 37 , p. 441-446 6 p.

The CARDIA-trial protocol:a multinational, prospective, randomized, clinical trial comparing transthoracic esophagectomy with transhiatal extended gastrectomy in adenocarcinoma of the gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) type II

Leers Jessica M, Knepper Laura, van der Veen Arjen, Schröder Wolfgang, Fuchs Hans, Schiller Petra, Hellmich Martin, Zettelmeyer Ulrike, Brosens Lodewijk A A, Quaas Alexander, Ruurda Jelle P, van Hillegersberg Richard, Bruns Christiane J 20 aug 2020, In: BMC Cancer. 20 12 p.

Tumor volume regression during neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy for esophageal cancer:a prospective study with weekly MRI

Defize Ingmar L, Boekhoff Mick R, Borggreve Alicia S, van Lier Astrid L H M W, Takahashi Noriyoshi, Haj Mohammad Nadia, Ruurda Jelle P, van Hillegersberg Richard, Mook Stella, Meijer Gert J jul 2020, In: Acta Oncologica. 59 , p. 753-759 7 p.

The additive value of restaging-CT during neoadjuvant chemotherapy for gastric cancer

Gertsen E. C., de Jongh C., Brenkman H. J.F., Mertens A. C., Broeders I. A.M.J., Los M., Boerma D., ten Bokkel Huinink D., van Leeuwen L., Wessels F. J., van Hillegersberg R., Ruurda J. P. jul 2020, In: European Journal of Surgical Oncology. 46 , p. 1247-1253 7 p.

Do esophageal cancer survivors work after esophagectomy and do health problems impact their work? A cross-sectional study

Kingma B. F., Rauwerdink P., Brenkman H. J.F., Ruurda J. P., van Hillegersberg R. 1 jun 2020, In: Journal of Cancer Survivorship. 14 , p. 253-260 8 p.

Metastatic incidence of (PET)CT positive lung hilar and retroperitoneal lymph nodes in esophageal cancer patients

Schurink B., Mazza E., Ruurda J. P., Roeling T. A.P., Bleys R. L.A.W., van Hillegersberg R. 1 jun 2020, In: Surgical Oncology. 33 , p. 170-176 7 p.

3-Dimensional target coverage assessment for MRI guided esophageal cancer radiotherapy

Boekhoff M. R., Defize I. L., Borggreve A. S., Takahashi N., van Lier A. L.H.M.W., Ruurda J. P., van Hillegersberg R., Lagendijk J. J.W., Mook S., Meijer G. J. 1 jun 2020, In: Radiotherapy and Oncology. 147 , p. 1-7 7 p.

Optimal timing for prediction of pathologic complete response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy with diffusion-weighted MRI in patients with esophageal cancer

Borggreve Alicia S, Heethuis Sophie E, Boekhoff Mick R, Goense Lucas, van Rossum Peter S N, Brosens Lodewijk A A, van Lier Astrid L H M W, van Hillegersberg Richard, Lagendijk Jan J W, Mook Stella, Ruurda Jelle P, Meijer Gert J 1 apr 2020, In: European Radiology. 30 , p. 1896-1907 12 p.

Robot-assisted minimally invasive esophagectomy (RAMIE) compared to conventional minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) for esophageal cancer:a propensity-matched analysis

Tagkalos E, Goense L, Hoppe-Lotichius M, Ruurda J P, Babic B, Hadzijusufovic E, Kneist W, van der Sluis P C, Lang H, van Hillegersberg R, Grimminger P P 1 apr 2020, In: Diseases of the esophagus : official journal of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus. 33 6 p.

All Research Output (386)