prof. dr. A.M. (Anne M.) May

Full Professor

  • Department of Epidemiology
  • Julius Center Research Program Cancer

prof. dr. A.M. (Anne M.) May



Research Programs


Anne May obtained her Master’s degree in Sciences of Human Movement (with distinction) at the Free University in Amsterdam in 2001. She obtained her Master of Science degree in Epidemiology at the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam in August 2006.
From June 2001 to December 2002 she worked as a (Sport-)Nutrition Scientist at Numico Research BV in Wageningen.
Anne May is involved in research regarding lifestyle, body composition, diet and cancer since 2003. From 2003-2007 she conducted her PhD research on the effects of physical exercise and cognitive-behavioural therapy in cancer patients at the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), Julius Center. After completing her PhD, she continued working at the Julius Center. She is currently head of the department of epidemiology and works as Professor of Clinical Epidemiology of Cancer Survivorship. Her research focuses on optimal survivorship care for patients living with cancer with an emphasis on lifestyle interventions – from translational and clinical research to patient care. She is especially interested in effects of exercise in cancer patients, in the mediators of the effect and also in methodological aspects related to exercise-oncology research. For the latter she received a VENI grant from ZonMw (i.e., personal grant for outstanding researchers) entitled 'Novel research design and methodology for evaluating effects of physical exercise in patients with cancer’.

She is the PI of several ongoing (inter)national multi-center exercise-oncology RCTs (PREFERABLE (H2020-funded), PACT, PERFECT, UMBRELLA-FIT and PAM). Moreover, she is the UMCU PI of the SCOPE project (‘Lean body mass and treatment toxicity in patients with colon cancer’). She is also part of the research team of several cancer patient cohorts: PLCRC (colorectal cancer), UMBRELLA (breast cancer) and UNICIT (patients receiving immunotherapy) and is responsible for patient-reported outcomes and assessment of muscle mass. Last, she is involved in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study and was the scientific coordinator of an EC-funded research project investigating the relationship between physical activity, nutrition, alcohol, smoking, eating out of home and obesity (EPIC-PANACEA).

Side Activities

    • Chair of the Scientific Committee of KiKa (“Stichting Kinderkanker vrij”/"Children Cancer-free Foundation",
    • Member of the ASCO Guideline Panel "Diet, Physical Activity, and Weight Managment During Cancer Treatment"
    • Member of the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF) grant panel (
    • Member of the programm committee of The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw): KPHAG (Kennisprogramma Huisartsgeneeskunde) 
    • Attendee of the 2018 International Multidisciplinary Roundtable on Exercise and Cancer Prevention and Control convened by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
    • Member committee "2017 Physical activity guidelines" of the Health Council of the Netherlands

Fellowship and Awards

    • Coordinator of the H2020 funded international PREFERABLE Project (Exercise for Fatigue Eradication in Advanced Breast cancer to improve quality of life) -      
    • ZonMw VENI grant “Novel research design and methodology for evaluating effects of physical exercise in patients with cancer” (2014)
    • Selected for the female leadership programme “Steyn Parve” (UMC Utrecht)

Research Output (191)

Adiposity, metabolites, and colorectal cancer risk:Mendelian randomization study

Bull Caroline J et al. 17 dec 2020, In: BMC Medicine. 18

The Predictive Value of Low Skeletal Muscle Mass Assessed on Cross-Sectional Imaging for Anti-Cancer Drug Toxicity:A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Huiskamp Laura F J, Chargi Najiba, Devriese Lot A, May Anne M, Huitema Alwin D R, de Bree Remco 23 nov 2020, In: Journal of Clinical medicine. 9 , p. 3780

Lower risk of severe checkpoint inhibitor toxicity in more advanced disease

Verheijden Rik J, May Anne M, Blank Christian U, van der Veldt Astrid A M, Boers-Sonderen Marye J, Aarts Maureen J B, van den Berkmortel Franchette W P J, van den Eertwegh Alfonsus J M, de Groot Jan Willem B, van der Hoeven Jacobus J M, Hospers Geke A P, Piersma Djura, van Rijn Rozemarijn S, Ten Tije Albert J, Vreugdenhil Gerard, van Zeijl Michiel C T, Wouters Michel W J M, Haanen John B A G, Kapiteijn Ellen, Suijkerbuijk Karijn P M nov 2020, In: ESMO open. 5 , p. e000945

Oncology patients were found to understand and accept the Trials within Cohorts design

Young-Afat Danny A., Gal Roxanne, Gerlich Sophie, Burbach Johannes P.M., van der Velden Joanne M., van den Bongard Desireé H.J.G., Intven Martijn P.W., Kasperts Nicolien, May Anne M., van der Graaf Rieke, van Gils Carla H., Verkooijen Helena M. 31 okt 2020, In: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 130 , p. 135-142 8 p.

Comparing Conventional Chemotherapy to Chronomodulated Chemotherapy for Cancer Treatment:Protocol for a Systematic Review

Kilgallen Aoife B, Štibler Urška, Printezi Markella I, Putker Marrit, Punt Cornelis J A, Sluijter Joost P G, May Anne M, van Laake Linda W 21 okt 2020, In: JMIR Research Protocols. 9 , p. e18023

A Body Shape Index (ABSI) achieves better mortality risk stratification than alternative indices of abdominal obesity:results from a large European cohort

Christakoudi Sofia, Tsilidis Konstantinos K, Muller David C, Freisling Heinz, Weiderpass Elisabete, Overvad Kim, Söderberg Stefan, Häggström Christel, Pischon Tobias, Dahm Christina C, Zhang Jie, Tjønneland Anne, Halkjær Jytte, MacDonald Conor, Boutron-Ruault Marie-Christine, Mancini Francesca Romana, Kühn Tilman, Kaaks Rudolf, Schulze Matthias B, Trichopoulou Antonia, Karakatsani Anna, Peppa Eleni, Masala Giovanna, Pala Valeria, Panico Salvatore, Tumino Rosario, Sacerdote Carlotta, Quirós J Ramón, Agudo Antonio, Sánchez Maria-Jose, Cirera Lluís, Barricarte-Gurrea Aurelio, Amiano Pilar, Memarian Ensieh, Sonestedt Emily, Bueno-de-Mesquita Bas, May Anne M, Khaw Kay-Tee, Wareham Nicholas J, Tong Tammy Y N, Huybrechts Inge, Noh Hwayoung, Aglago Elom K, Ellingjord-Dale Merete, Ward Heather A, Aune Dagfinn, Riboli Elio 3 sep 2020, In: Scientific Reports. 10

European practice patterns and barriers to smoking cessation after a cancer diagnosis in the setting of curative versus palliative cancer treatment

Derksen Jeroen W G, Warren Graham W, Jordan Karin, Rauh Stefan, Vera García Ruth, O'Mahony Deirdre, Ahmed Samreen, Vuylsteke Peter, Radulovic Sinisa, Tsoukalas Nikolaos, Wysocki Piotr J, Borner Markus, Cesas Alvydas, Elme Anneli, Minn Heikki, Ullenhag Gustav J, Roodhart Jeanine M L, Koopman Miriam, May Anne M 29 aug 2020, In: European Journal of Cancer. 138 , p. 99-108 10 p.

Predicted basal metabolic rate and cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition

Kliemann Nathalie, Murphy Neil, Viallon Vivian, Freisling Heinz, Tsilidis Konstantinos K, Rinaldi Sabina, Mancini Francesca Romana, Fagherazzi Guy, Boutron-Ruault Marie-Christine, Boeing Heiner, Schulze Matthias B, Masala Giovanna, Krogh Vittorio, Sacerdote Carlotta, Santucci de Magistris Maria, Bueno-de-Mesquita Bas, Weiderpass Elisabete, Kühn Tilman, Kaaks Rudolf, Jakszyn Paula, Redondo-Sánchez Daniel, Amiano Pilar, Chirlaque Maria-Dolores, Barricarte Gurrea Aurelio, Ericson Ulrica, Drake Isabel, Nøst Therese Haugdahl, Aune Dagfinn, May Anne M, Tjønneland Anne, Dahm Christina Catherine, Overvad Kim, Tumino Rosario, Ramón Quirós Jose, Trichopoulou Antonia, Karakatsani Anna, La Vecchia Carlo, Nilsson Lena Maria, Riboli Elio, Huybrechts Inge, Gunter Marc J 1 aug 2020, In: International Journal of Cancer. 147 , p. 648-661 14 p.

The trials within cohorts design facilitated efficient patient enrollment and generalizability in oncology setting

Couwenberg Alice M, Burbach Johannes P M, May Anne, Berbee Maaike, Intven Martijn P W, Verkooijen Helena M 1 apr 2020, In: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 120 , p. 33-39 7 p.

Preferences to receive unsolicited findings of germline genome sequencing in a large population of patients with cancer

Bijlsma Rhode, Wouters Roel, Wessels Hester, Sleijfer Stefan, Beerepoot Laurens, Ten Bokkel Huinink Daan, Cruijsen Hester, Heijns Joan, Lolkema Martijn P, Steeghs Neeltje, van Voorthuizen Theo, Vulink Annelie, Witteveen Els, Ausems Margreet, Bredenoord Annelien, May Anne M, Voest Emile apr 2020, In: ESMO open. 5 9 p.

All Research Output (191)