De-escalation of therapy in head and neck cancer: Where are we standing now, anno 2022?

BJMO - volume 16, issue 4, june 2022

W. Lybaert MD, R. de Bree MD, PhD, J. Meulemans MD, PhD, J-F. Daisne MD, PhD, F. Duprez MD, PhD, D. Nevens MD, PhD, R. Van Hoeyweghen MD, PhD, K. Boeykens RN , J. De Ceulaer MD, W. Huvenne MD, PhD, O. Lenssen MD


The annual winter meeting of the ‘Vlaamse Werkgroep Hoofd-Hals Tumoren’ on 11 December 2021 handled the different possible de-escalation strategies in the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck region (SCCHN) in anno 2022. Which surgical techniques can be used nowadays to diminish long-term morbidities in SCCHN? To which extent can we lower radiotherapy doses and regions in the treatment planning of SCCHN? Are the systemic treatment options of SCCHN always radical for each patient or more personalised? Is a comprehensive geriatric assessment feasible and already used in our head and neck oncology practice? Last but not least, how can we optimally sustain our patients with nutrition before, during and after treatment of head and neck cancer?

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2022;16(4):198–208)

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Partial breast irradiation of early-stage breast cancer

BJMO - volume 14, issue 4, june 2020

M. Machiels MD, PhD, D. Nevens MD, PhD, K. Erven MD, PhD, G. Buelens MD, C. Billiet MD, PhD, Y. Geussens MD, P. Janssens MD, S. Vanderkam MD, R. Weytjens MD


Whole-breast irradiation, as part of breast-conservation therapy (BCT), has been well-established the last decades. Nonetheless, most local recurrences found after BCT are within or close to the tumour bed. This led to the concept of partial breast irradiation (PBI), delivering the radiation dose to a decreased target volume, thereby lowering exposure to the organs at risk and hence potentially minimizing late adverse effects. This became increasingly important with growing survivorship of patients with early-stage breast cancer over the past decades and the consideration of late adverse effects is gaining more importance. In this review, we will present an overview of the current literature, techniques to deliver PBI and we try to establish whether there is a place for PBI in early-stage breast cancer treatment.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2020;14(4):140–45)

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