Snezana Bosnjak, MD, PhD

Snezana Bosnjak, MD, PhD

Research Professor, Institute for oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia

Skype: snezana.bosnjak11
Twitter: @bosnjaksupport

Dr Bosnjak is devoted to integration of palliative care into oncology. She has been actively involved in educational activities in efforts to improve the availability, accessibility and affordability of opioid analgesics and other drugs essential for palliative care; efforts to improve relevant policy research in palliative and supportive care and in attempts to introduce the philosophy of supportive oncology into Serbia.

Download and Read Snezana’s Personal Story (300 KB)

Other Appointments

  • Member, Pain & Policy Studies Group (PPSG) / World Health Organization Collaborating Center International Expert Collaboration (IEC)
  • National WHO Counterpart for Pain Treatment
  • Member, Governmental Commission on Psychoactive Controlled Substances
  • Board of Directors, MASCC, 2010 – 2014
  • International Pain Policy Fellow (IPPF), Pain & Policy Studies Group, University of Wisconsin, 2006 – 2011
  • ATOME Project (Access to Opioid Medication in Europe), Academic Advisory Board Member, Member of the Serbian Team, 2010 – 2014
  • President, Palliative Care Commission (established by the Ministry of Health), 2008 – 2013
  • National Health Insurance Fund: cancer pain expert

Key Accomplishments

  • Member, the proposal development group: how to revise the regulations for prescribing and dispensing opioid medicines in Serbia (2013, in collaboration with the ATOME and PPSG)
  • Palliative Care expert for TV show “To Live Without Pain is a Human Right” which aired on May 20, 23, and 25, 2012.
  • Editor of supportive oncology chapter for the first Serbian website for cancer patients  (
  • Interview about supportive oncology  at: )
  • Member, WHO 2011 Policy Guidelines Development Group (Ensuring Balance in National Policies on Controlled Substances)
  • Initiated collaboration with relevant governmental bodies, national authorities and professional societies, which resulted in improvements of opioid availability and education and change in overly restrictive policies on opioid use, IPPF, 2006-2011
  • President, PC Commission that wrote the National PC Strategy and its action plan ( adopted 2009) and proposal to amend the draft Law on Psychoactive Controlled Substances (adopted 2011)
  • First National opioid availability workshop (2010): lecturer, and co-chair (2010)
  • Participated in the drafting of the National Program ”Serbia Against Cancer” (topic: Pain, Palliative Care and Supportive Care), adopted 2009
  • Co-editor in chief for the first Serbian textbook on cancer pain (2007)
  • EAPC Task Force on the Development of Palliative Care In Europe: key collaborator for Serbia and Montenegro, 2005
  • Co-author of the first national Palliative Care Guidelines (2004)
  • First regional Symposium on supportive and palliative care (2004): lecturer and co-chair
  • Founder of the first Serbian outpatient service for cancer pain consultations at the IORS (1996)
  • Initiated and provided evidence for incorporating palliative and supportive care into comprehensive care of cancer patients at the Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, 1995-present

Education / Honors

  • Graduate, International Palliative Care Leadership Development Initiative, The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice, San Diego, CA, and OhioHealth, Columbus, Ohio, USA, 2012-2014
  • International Visiting Scholar, San Diego Hospice and the Institute for Palliative Medicine, San Diego, CA USA, 2010
  • International Pain Policy Fellowship, Pain Policy, Wisconsin University, Wisconsin, July 6-7, 2006
  • Research Professor, 2004
  • International Visiting Scholar, , Centre for Palliative Care and Treatment of Pain, Hospital “Hotel Dieu”, Paris, France (2004)
  • International  Visiting scholar,  Sheffield Palliative Care Studies Group University of Sheffield, UK, (2003) 
  • Doctor of Medical Science (PhD), Oncology, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia, 1995-1998
  • Clinical pharmacology in Clinical Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia, 1993-1996
  • Master of Medical Science degree, Oncology, University of Belgrade, Serbia, 1989-1992
  • Doctor of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia, 1983-1989

Key Publications
Journal articles

  • Gralla, R; Bosnjak, S; Hontsa, A; Balser, C; Rizzi, G; Rossi, G; Borroni, M; Jordan, K(2013) A Phase 3 study evaluating the safety and efficacy of NEPA, a fixed-dose combination of netupitant and palonosetron, for prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting over repeated cycles of chemotherapy. Annals of Oncology Advance Access published March 14, 2014
  • Bosnjak S, Maurer MA, Ryan KM, Leon MX, Madiye G (2011) Improving the Availability of Opioids for the Treatment of Pain: The International Pain Policy Fellowship. Journal of Supportive Care in Cancer, 2011 19(8):1239‐1247
  • Bruera E, Moyano JR, Sala R, Rico MA, Bošnjak S, Bertolino M, et al. Dexamethasone In Addition To Metoclopramide for Chronic Nausea in Patients with Advanced Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 28:381-388, 2004
  • Milićević N, Bošnjak S, Gutović J, Nalić D, editors. Palijativno zbrinjavanje onkoloških bolesnika: nacionalni vodič za lekare u primarnoj zdravstvenoj zaštiti (Palliative care of cancer patients: national clinical practice guideline) 1.izd. Beograd: Medicinski fakultet Univerziteta u Beogradu; 2004
  • Roila F, Ballatori E, Bošnjak S, Tonato M, for the Italian Group for Antiemetic Research. Randomized, Double-Blind, Dose-Finding Study Of Dexamethasone In Preventing Acute Emesis Induced by Antracyclines, Carboplatin, or Cyclophosphamide. J Clin Oncol 22: 725-729, 2004
  • Bruera E, Lynn J Palmer, Bošnjak S, et al. Methadone verusus morphine as first line strong opioid for cancer pain: A randomized double-blind study. J Clin Oncol 22: 185-192, 2004
  • F. Roila, E. Ballatori, B. Ruggeri; V. De Angelis, Tonato, S. Bosnjak, A. Del Favero for the Italian Group for Antiemetic Research. Dexamethasone alone or in combination with ondansetron in the prevention of delayed nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy. New England Journal of Medicine 342: 1554-1559, 2000
  • S. Jelić, S. Radulović, Z. Nešković-Konstantinović, M. Kreačić, Z. Ristović, S. Bošnjak, N. Milanović, L. Vuletić: Cardioprotection with ICRF-128 (Cardioxane) in patients with advanced breast cancer having cardiac risk factors for doxorubicin cardiotoxicity, treated with the FDC regimen. Support Care Cancer 3: 176-182, 1995

Key Presentations

  • Promoting supportive care in developing nations (MASCC/ISOO annual meeting, 2014)
  • Olanzapine: nausea and vomiting (MASCC/ISOO annual meeting 2014)
  • The role of opioids in the treatment of persistent moderate to severe pain (UITBS 2014 Symposium)
  • Early integration of palliative care into oncology (WIP ALGOS International Symposium 2013)
  • Integration of palliative care in oncology workshop, Annual meeting of Serbian Oncologists, 2012)
  • State-of-the-Art of Pain Management: Focus on Opioids. ATOME Project, 2011
  • “Increasing Access To Opioid Medication – ATOME Project” and “International Guidelines for Pain Management with Focus on Opioids”, The XIIth Conference of the Romanian National Palliative Care Association with International Participation, 2011
  • Palliative Care of Patients with Lung Cancer (Annual meeting of Serbian Oncologists, 2011
  • Education in Palliative Care for Home Care Teams in Serbia: Palliative Care: Philosophy and Key Principles; Communication with Patient and Family; EEMMA Strategy in Symptom Management; Anorexia/Cachexia, 2010
  • Improving Access to Opioids: Have We Made Progress? (MASCC/ISOO International Symposium, 2010
  • Workshop on Cancer Pain Management: How To Organize Yourself As Advocate in Palliative Care: Case Study-Serbia, OSI Patient Advocacy Seminar, Budapest, June 29th-30th, 2009
  • Improving Patient Access to Palliative Care and Opioid Analgesics by Improving National Policies: Experience from Serbia, University of Wisconsin, Pain and Policy Studies group, Madison, USA, October, 2007


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