Annual report 2020

The fight against COVID-19 had an enormous impact on the operation of UZ Leuven in 2020 and demanded a real tour de force from our staff. And yet it was not all about corona: 2020 also saw a lot of other realisations. With dedication, knowledge and skill we put our vision of breaking ground together more than ever into practice. 

In the picture | Most important news | Management

Most important news of 2020

2 December 2020
In a world’s first, the UZ Leuven lung transplant team has performed a double lung transplant with the lungs of a donor who experienced a mild case of COVID-19 three months prior. The procedure shows that carefully selected lungs can safely be transplanted after a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
20 November 2020
New research by the Consortium for Organ Preservation in Europe (COPE) has found that a new method to transport donor kidneys, which uses a combination of cold perfusion with oxygen, can significantly improve transplant results when compared to cold perfusion alone.
29 October 2020
Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and IT specialists from UZ Leuven have developed a new app Oncot’app. The app contains information for healtcare workers about dozens of different oral anti-cancer therapies and replaces the existing pocket book for oral anti cancer therapy, which until now only existed on paper.
21 October 2020
UZ Leuven has set up a large-scale follow-up trial examining the influence of cancer during pregnancy on the brain development of children. Cancer and chemotherapy during a pregnancy hardly appeared to influence the child’s brain.
19 October 2020
Last month, UZ Leuven physicians performed a robot-assisted breast reconstruction with tissue from the patient's lower abdomen. This was a European first. The new technique should limit damage to the abdominal muscles to an absolute minimum.
9 October 2020
About 1 in 6,000 babies is born with a deformed or absent pinna at one or both ears. This rare disorder is called microtia. UZ Leuven has a technique in place where a new pinna is constructed from the patient's own rib cartilage. Since 2015, 13 children have successfully undergone such a pinna reconstruction. 
20 September 2020
For more than 10 years, Flemish girls are being vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer. Recently it has been shown that boys can also benefit from the vaccine as the virus can also cause oropharyngeal cancer in them.
16 September 2020
The first patients to receive radiation therapy in the brand new proton therapy centre in Leuven were treated over the summer of 2020. Proton therapy is an innovative form of radiotherapy which targets a tumour very precisely, causing minimal damage to the surrounding tissue.
20 August 2020
VIB, KU Leuven and UZ Leuven researchers, under the supervision of prof. Jan Cools, used a new technology to examine genetic defects in individual leukemia cells of patients with T-cell leukemia. Their trial sheds a new light on the development of leukemia and on how cells react to chemotherapy.
3 July 2020
The Research Foundation announced the names of the researchers granted a basic clinical mandate. Both for the new mandates and the renewed mandates, the UZ Leuven/KU Leuven researchers scored well.
15 June 2020
On Thursday 28 May UZ Leuven implanted a new type of wireless minipacemaker in a patient. This was a first in Europe. The new generation minipacemakers allows two times as many patients qualify for this, in comparison with the first generation.
5 June 2020
UZ Leuven is currently running one for the first European large-scale trials into the micro-organisms that live on our ocular surface. Researchers hope to get a better insight in specific eye disorders.
3 June 2020
A PET-MR brain scan can detect early changes in people with an increased risk of developing ALS or frontotemporal dementia as a result of a genetic error, as discovered by VIB, KU Leuven and UZ Leuven researchers.
26 May 2020
With the help of smartwatches, a recent UZ Leuven/KU Leuven study has revealed that children that wet the bed sleep less efficiently and have more variation in certain sleeping patterns than their peers that don't wet the bed anymore.
3 April 2020
UZ Leuven and KU Leuven researchers are testing new antiviral medication and new immune profiling in COVID-19 patients.
28 February 2020
To give patients with disease the best possible care, national and international cooperation is crucial. UZ Leuven is the leader both in Belgium and Europe, as a member of 19 European Reference Networks and chairman of 7 of the first 11 Flemish networks per rare disease cluster.
7 February 2020
A recent real-world study confirms that deep brain stimulation is a successful and well-supported treatment for patients with an obsessive-compulsive disorder. The trial included various European centres all trained by a UZ Leuven and UPC KU Leuven team.
4 February 2020
For the twelfth time UZ Leuven has been awarded the Top Employer certification. This is an acknowledgement for companies with a strong HR policy. Every year the Top Employers Institute recognises companies worldwide that are dedicated to creating an excellent HR policy for its employees.
Last edit: 2 March 2023