Neoadjuvant treatment considerations in HER2-positive breast cancer patients

BJMO - volume 15, issue 1, january 2021

S. Cristóvão-Ferreira MD, PhD, R. Saúde-Conde MD, E. de Azambuja MD, PhD


HER2-positive breast cancer was considered an aggressive subtype with a worse prognosis, but the development of anti-HER2 agents changed this paradigm. In the last years, the treatment of early HER2 breast cancer patients faced several improvements. Different anti-HER2 targeted drugs, like trastuzumab, pertuzumab, lapatinib, and TDM-1 used in advanced disease started to be included in multimodal curative strategies. Further, the presence of complete pathological response to neoadjuvant treatments started to be used as a surrogate outcome and led to the development of post-neoadjuvant strategies. Here, we summarise the neoadjuvant and post-neoadjuvant treatments of HER2-positive breast cancer according to the best evidence, reviewing the pharmacological aspects of HER2 targeted agents.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2021;15(1):4-10)

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Clinical management of first-line advanced triple-negative breast cancer patients

BJMO - volume 14, issue 7, november 2020

M. Rediti MD, K. Punie MD, E. de Azambuja MD, PhD, E. Naert MD, D. Taylor MD, FP. Duhoux MD, PhD, H. Denys MD, PhD, A. Awada MD, PhD, H. Wildiers MD, PhD, M. Ignatiadis MD, PhD


Chemotherapy has represented the main treatment option for patients with advanced triple-negative breast cancer for a long time. However, due to our better understanding of tumour biology, recent clinical trials led to a change in the treatment paradigm of this disease, identifying clinically relevant subgroups with different therapeutic options. Both clinical and biological factors have become relevant and need to be considered in the treatment decision algorithm of this heterogeneous disease.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2020;14(7):333-38)

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Breast cancer and pregnancy-related issues

BJMO - volume 12, issue 1, february 2018

M. Lambertini , B. Nguyen MSc, G. Viglietti , S. Martel , E. de Azambuja MD, PhD


Breast cancer and pregnancy-related issues are important areas of concern for young women. Prior pregnancies and breastfeeding may impact the risk of developing breast cancer and its biologic features. Nowadays, thanks to major advances in oncology practice, breast cancer patients have excellent survival outcomes; hence, survivorship issues including the possibility to constitute a family after treatment are of crucial importance. Furthermore, considering the current trend of delaying childbearing, an increased awareness should be paid towards the possibility of breast cancer diagnosis during pregnancy. Despite increased amounts of data available and consensus guidelines having been published on these topics, it should be noted that current recommendations rely on limited evidence. Hence, further research efforts are needed to obtain more conclusive considerations in this regard.

This review article focuses on the link between reproductive behaviour, infertility treatments and the risk of developing breast cancer, the management of patients diagnosed with breast tumour during pregnancy, as well as the concerns of a pregnancy in survivors with prior history of breast malignancy.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2018;12(1):9–14)

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Quality management for systemic treatment of breast cancer

BJMO - volume 12, issue 1, february 2018

D. Verhoeven MD, PhD, F.P. Duhoux MD, PhD, E. de Azambuja MD, PhD, H. Wildiers MD, PhD, P. Vuylsteke MD, A. Barbeaux MD, N. van Damme , E. Van Eycken MD


Limited literature is available about quality management in systemic treatment of breast cancer patients. Professionals are the key players in the identification and interpretation of quality indicators. The Belgian Society of Medical Oncology takes the lead in the field of quality management of systemic treatment for cancer, especially breast cancer. A narrow collaboration with the Belgian Cancer Registry will allow benchmarking. The results will be presented and discussed between peers of the society. This should lead to better outcomes for all Belgian centres. All Belgian Society of Medical Oncology members are called for active participation

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2018;12(1):15–21)

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Systemic chemotherapy regimens in early breast cancer patients: updated recommendations from the BSMO breast cancer task force

BJMO - volume 11, issue 8, december 2017

H. Wildiers MD, PhD, F.P. Duhoux MD, PhD, A. Awada MD, PhD, E. de Azambuja MD, PhD


Since the publication from the Belgian Society of Medical Oncology breast cancer task force in 2014 in the Belgian Journal of Medical Oncology, new information has become available on optimal chemotherapy regimens for early breast cancer patients. On February 24th, 2017, 37 medical oncologists involved in breast cancer management reviewed the most important scientific data on this topic. The authors of this paper summarised the findings, and sent a questionnaire to the members asking for their input. This paper summarises the consensus of this exercise.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2017;11(8):375–379)

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What is your diagnosis?

BJMO - volume 8, issue 1, march 2014

F. Ades MD, E. de Azambuja MD, PhD

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2014;8(1):21–2)

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Belgian Society of Medical Oncology (BSMO) task force on breast cancer survivorship

BJMO - volume 7, issue 5, december 2013

E. de Azambuja MD, PhD, H. A. Azim Jr. MD, PhD, L. Buisseret MD, C. Langenaeken MD, D. T’Kint de Roodenbeke MD


Advances in screening, diagnostic procedures, surgical techniques, knowledge about molecular pathways and targets, and new treatment options have substantially improved the outcome of breast cancer patients. Care for breast cancer survivors has thus become an essential part of care for breast cancer patients. Therefore, the Belgian Society of Medical Oncology set-up a task force charged with developing guidance on issues important for breast cancer patients who have completed their primary treatment.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2013;7(5):142–55)

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