IPOS Fear of Cancer Recurrence Special Interest Group (FORwards)

This special interest group brings together and represents the interests of IPOS members with a special interest in Fear of Cancer Recurrence.


Below is a list of the volunteers sitting on the committee:

Marije van der Lee (Chair 2021 – 2023) – Netherlands

Since 2007 Marije van der Lee works as Head of the scientific research department and is part of the management team of the Helen Dowling Institute and provides patient care as registered Health psychologist. In this period her department published 97 international peer-reviewed articles. She built her own research line in clinical psycho-oncology that focuses on the effect of (e-) interventions and understanding how interventions work. She developed a national therapy evaluation system and two online therapy programs which were successfully implemented. She aims at personalizing clinical psycho-oncology interventions in the next five years and making them available for all cancer Dutch patients at risk for developing complex mental health disorders. In addition to educating healthcare workers worldwide in basic cognitive behavioral therapy for specific psycho-oncology problems and recognizing cancer patients at risk.

Lauren Healthcote (Deputy Chair 2021-2023) – United Kingdom

Dr. Heathcote is a research scientist studying biopsychosocial outcomes in childhood and AYA cancer survivors. Her current research program seeks to understand mechanisms of symptom burden (including chronic pain) and fear of cancer recurrence in young survivors, and then translating these findings into mechanistically targeted behavioral interventions to address these areas of unmet clinical need. She is an Experimental Psychologist by training (PhD from the University of Oxford), she completed a 5-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine, and is now an Associate Professor of Health Psychology at King’s College London.

Secretary: José Custers

José Custers is a behavioral scientist and works as assistant professor at the department of Medical Psychology at Radboudumc, the Netherlands. In the past 10 years, her FCR research activities followed the route from conceptualization and assessment of FCR to the development of an FCR intervention and its implementation into routine clinical care. Her current research focuses on fear of progression in advanced cancer patients receiving ongoing systemic treatments.

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