Profile photo Charles Helsper

Charles Helsper

Assistant Professor


Main focus


Research coordinator: oncology in primary care - research projects;

Early diagnosis;

  • Dickens: duration of the cancer diagnostic pathway & potential to improve
  • Dickens II: Impact of COVID on the diagnostic pathway for cancer 
  • 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 -  optimal shared decision making support by the GP
  • Meaningful choice - role of the GP in hospital choice 


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.




Recent publications

Cancer detection during the COVID-19 pandemic—Experiences in primary care and recommendations for the future Marinde F.R. Siepman Van den Berg, Matthew Grant, Nicole van Erp, Carla H. van Gils, Jean Muris, Daan Brandenbarg, Kristel M. van Asselt, Niek J. de Wit, Charles W. Helsper,
Journal of General and Family Medicine, 2023, vol. 24, p.131-134
Effectiveness of a guided online primary care intervention for fear of cancer recurrence Yvonne L. Luigjes-Huizer, Charles W. Helsper, Niek J. de Wit, Marije L. van der Lee
Psycho-Oncology, 2023, vol. 32, p.1839-1847
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on breast cancer incidence and tumor stage in the Netherlands and Norway Anouk H. Eijkelboom, Linda de Munck, Marthe Larsen, Maarten J. Bijlsma, Vivianne C.G. Tjan-Heijnen, Carla H. van Gils, Mireille J.M. Broeders, Jan F. Nygård, Marc B.I. Lobbes, Charles W. Helsper, Ruud M. Pijnappel, Luc J.A. Strobbe, Jelle Wesseling, Solveig Hofvind, Sabine Siesling
Cancer Epidemiology, 2023, vol. 87
Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak—Delayed Referral of Colorectal and Lung Cancer in Primary Care Charles W. Helsper, Carla H. Van Gils, Nicole F. Van Erp, Marinde F.R. Siepman van den Berg, Omar Rogouti, Kristel M. Van Asselt, Otto R. Maarsingh, Jean Muris, Daan Brandenbarg, Sabine Siesling, Niek J. De Wit, Matthew P. Grant,
Cancers, 2023, vol. 15
Population-based impact of COVID-19 on incidence, treatment, and survival of patients with pancreatic cancer Merlijn U.J.E. Graus, Ignace H.J.T. de Hingh, Marc G. Besselink, Marco J. Bruno, Johanna W. Wilmink, Vincent E. de Meijer, Marie Louise F. van Velthuysen, Liselot B.J. Valkenburg-van Iersel, Lydia G.M. van der Geest, Judith de Vos-Geelen, S. Siesling, J. C. van Hoeve, M. A.W. Merkx, N. J. de Wit, C. W. Helsper, I. Dingemans, I. D. Nagtegaal, M. van der Schaaf, C. H. van Gils, H. C.P.M. van Weert, M. Verheij, , ,
HPB, 2023, vol. 25, p.1195-1202
Effects of structured involvement of the primary care team versus standard care after a cancer diagnosis on patient satisfaction and healthcare use I. A.A. Perfors, C. W. Helsper, E. A. Noteboom, E. A. Visserman, E. B.L. van Dorst, T. van Dalen, M. A.M.T. Verhagen, A. J. Witkamp, R. Koelemij, A. E. Flinterman, K. A.B.M. Pruissen-Peeters, F. M.N.H. Schramel, M. T.M. van Rens, M. F. Ernst, L. M.G. Moons, E. van der Wall, N. J. de Wit, A. M. May
BMC Primary Care, 2022, vol. 23, p.1-14

Fellowships & Awards

2017: Academiseringsprijs SBOH

2012: Future Research Star Award 2010.

2012: Academic GP Award 2012