Articles

Optimal systemic treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: current clinical evidence and new insights based on tumour immunobiology

BJMO - volume 14, issue 7, november 2020

S. Cappuyns MD, J. Dekervel MD, PhD, E. van Cutsem MD, PhD, S. Tejpar MD, PhD, C. Verslype MD, PhD

SUMMARY

Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, known for its dismal prognosis, is a disease that is challenging to treat. For almost a decade, sorafenib was the only available treatment. However, the last two to three years have witnessed a true revolution in systemic treatment options for this lethal disease. Several targeted therapies with mostly anti-angiogenic properties have been developed and immunotherapy has made its entrance into the field. Furthermore, a growing understanding of the molecular pathways involved in hepatocarcinogenesis and new insights in tumour-immunobiology have led to the development of rational combination therapies, showing very promising results in a myriad of ongoing clinical trials. Here we review the latest developments and discuss the main consequences for clinical practice.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2020;14(7):339-46)

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Algorithms for molecular testing in solid tumours

BJMO - volume 13, issue 7, november 2019

Ir A. Hébrant PhD, M. Lammens MD, PhD, C. Van den Broecke MD, N. D’Haene MD, PhD, J. Van den Oord MD, PhD, A. Vanderstichele MD, PhD, A. Dendooven MD, PhD, P. Neven MD, PhD, K. Punie MD, G. Floris MD, PhD, J. Van der Meulen MD, HA. Poirel MD, PhD, C. Dooms MD, PhD, S. Rottey MD, PhD, T. Boterberg MD, PhD, L. Brochez MD, PhD, M.C. Burlacu MD, G. Costante MD, D. Creytens MD, PhD, P. De Paepe MD, PhD, R. De Pauwn MD, B. Decallonne MD, PhD, F. Dedeurwaerdere MD, H. Denys MD, PhD, L. Ferdinande MD, PhD, R. Forsyth MD, PhD, M. Garmyn MD, PhD, T. Gevaert MD, PhD, J. De Grève MD, PhD, E. Govaerts MD, E. Hauben MD, PhD, J. Kerger MD, O. Kholmanskikh Van Criekingen MD, PhD, V. Kruse MD, PhD, Y. Lalami MD, L. Lapeire MD, PhD, P. Lefesvre MD, PhD, J.P. Machiels MD, PhD, B. Maes MD, PhD, G. Martens MD, PhD, M. Remmelink MD, PhD, I. Salmon MD, PhD, R. Sciot MD, PhD, S. Tejpar MD, PhD, K. Van de Vijver MD, PhD, L. Van de Voorde MD, I. Van den Berghe MD, A. Van den Bruel MD, K. Vandecasteele MD, PhD, L. Vanwalleghem MD, K. Vermaelen MD, PhD, R. Salgado MD, PhD, E. Wauters MD, PhD, B. Weynand MD, PhD, E. Van Valckenborgh PhD, G. Raicevic PhD, M. Van den Bulcke PhD, P. Pauwels MD, PhD

SUMMARY

In order to advise the Federal Government on the reimbursement of molecular tests related to Personalised Medicine in Oncology, the Commission of Personalised Medicine (ComPerMed), represented by Belgian experts, has developed a methodology to classify molecular testing in oncology. The different molecular tests per cancer type are represented in algorithms and are annotated with a test level reflecting their relevance based on current guidelines, drug approvals and clinical data. The molecular tests are documented with recent literature, guidelines and a brief technical description. This methodology was applied on different solid tumours for which molecular testing is a clear clinical need.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2019;13(7):286–95)

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HER2 overexpression in gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma, prognostic and predictive value and diagnostic approach

BJMO - volume 13, issue 4, june 2019

L. Thijs MD, P. Peeters MD, B. Maes MD, PhD, S. Tejpar MD, PhD

SUMMARY

Gastric (including gastroesophageal junction) adenocarcinoma ranks top three in global cancer mortality. Between 4–30% of patients have human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) driven disease, and targeting HER2 receptor signalling improved prospects in metastatic setting. HER2 status is assessed by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation. However, determination and interpretation of HER2 status remains challenging due to intra- and intertumoral heterogeneity and lack of data on the biological relevant cut-off. Currently, only trastuzumab is approved for treatment of HER2 amplified advanced gastric cancer. The strength of HER2 amplification at baseline and after progression should be integrated in future prospective randomised trials. HER2 loss occurs predominantly in cases with initial moderate immunostaining for HER2 and can lead to clinical resistance to trastuzumab. We review the use of liquid biopsies as an alternative to traditional tissue biopsies to overcome heterogeneity and to allow monitoring the dynamics of the plasma HER2 status. We believe that early detection of plasma HER2 loss can identify patients at risk for loss of response to anti-HER2 therapy. Based on a clinical case, we tried to define the implications and clinical relevance of HER2 positivity. We illustrate the usefulness of re-determination of the HER2 status in metastatic lesions after disease progression and provide the prospects of non-invasive testing.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2019;13(4):135–141)

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Molecular test algorithms for digestive tumours

BJMO - volume 13, issue 1, february 2019

Ir A. Hébrant PhD, Ir , A. Jouret-Mourin MD, PhD, G. Froyen PhD, J. Van der Meulen MD, M. De Man MD, R. Salgado MD, PhD, M. van den Eynde MD, PhD, N. D’Haene MD, PhD, G. Martens MD, PhD, E. van Cutsem MD, PhD, H.A. Poirel MD, PhD, S. Tejpar MD, PhD, J-L. van Laethem MD, PhD, K. Geboes MD, PhD, P. Pauwels MD, PhD, F. Dedeurwaerdere MD, B. Maes MD, PhD, J. De Grève MD, PhD, J. Vanhuysse , P. Peeters MD, L. Vanacker MD, M. Gomez-Galdon , M. Chintinne MD, PhD, A. Hendlisz MD, PhD, G. de Hertogh MD, X. Sagaert MD, M. Peeters MD, PhD, P. Vannuffel , P. Lefesvre MD, PhD, J. Vermeij , M. Simoens , T. Van den Mooter MD, N. van Damme , M. Van den Bulcke PhD

The Belgian Commission of Personalized Medicine has been created to advise the federal government on all matters related to personalised medicine in oncology, including the reimbursement of molecular tests. Here, we propose the Belgian strategy for molecular testing in the digestive tumours within a scientific-based framework. For each tested biomarker, a clinical test level is attached, which is key to establish the relevance of the test and to define the reimbursement. For each digestive tumour type, the different molecular tests are represented as decision trees with its test utility, test level and a brief technical test description.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2019;13(1):4–10)

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Opportunities and challenges in oncology and molecular testing: the Belgian strategy

BJMO - volume 12, issue 2, march 2018

Ir A. Hébrant PhD, E. Van Valckenborgh PhD, R. Salgado MD, PhD, G. Froyen PhD, F. Hulstaert MD, D. Roberfroid MD, PhD, S. Tejpar MD, PhD, A. Jouret-Mourin MD, PhD, M. Van den Bulcke PhD, A. Waeytens PhD

Summary

Molecular diagnostics in cancer aiming at improving diagnosis, prognosis and treatment are constantly exposed to new opportunities and challenges. The Belgian Commission of Personalised Medicine (ComPer-Med) has been created to advise the Federal Government on all matters related to personalised medicine in oncology, including the reimbursement of molecular tests. Here, we propose the Belgian strategy for molecular testing within a scientific based framework and its implementation in the Belgian healthcare system. For each tested biomarker a clinical test level is attached, which is key to establish the relevance of the test and to define the reimbursement.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2018;12(2):46–50)

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