Case-based illustrations of clinical flow and practical aspects of DPD-deficiency screening in Belgium

BJMO - volume 16, issue 3, may 2022

L. Crapé MD, K.P. Geboes MD, PhD, V. Casneuf MD, A.G. Verstraete MD, PhD, M. van den Eynde MD, PhD, I. Borbath MD, PhD, Y. Verheezen MD, W. Demey MD, J. Van der Meulen MD, V. Haufroid PhD


Fluoropyrimidines are frequently used as anti-cancer treatment for gastro-intestinal malignancies, breast, head and neck cancer and others. The enzyme dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) is crucial in the first and rate limiting enzyme step of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) catabolism. Reduced or complete deficiency leads to severe and even fatal toxicity. The Belgian Group of Digestive Oncology (BGDO) has agreed upon a recommendation on screening for DPD deficiency before starting treatment, which was endorsed by the Belgian Society of Medical Oncology (BSMO), the College of Genetics (CG), and the Toxicological Society of Belgium and Luxembourg (BLT). This article focuses on the clinical flows and practical recommendations. Both targeted germline genotype testing and phenotyping are supported. It was suggested to use a stepwise approach, with a phenotype testing upfront because of higher sensitivity and lower societal cost. In patients with uracil levels above 14 ng/ mL, targeted germline genotype screening should follow. Fluoropyrimidines are contra-indicated in patients with complete DPD deficiency and starting dose recommendations have been validated for patients with partial deficiency.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2022;16(3):119–24)

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Relationship between volume and outcome in lung cancer

BJMO - volume 16, issue 2, march 2022

D. Verhoeven MD, PhD, P. Bogaerts MD, P. Bernaerts MD, W. Demey MD


The use of survival data to compare hospitals remains controversial. Recently three studies could not find an association between outcome and volume. More important than the volume of surgery seems to be the concentration of oncological care in centres with multidisciplinary teams around the patient. A framework for implementing Value-Based health care has to be defined, measuring outcomes that matter to patients and cost.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2022;16(2):70–3)

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Totally implantable venous access device malposition presenting as vague retrosternal pain

BJMO - 2022, issue 1, february 2022

A. Feyaerts MD, W. Demey MD, P. Hullegie


Complications in totally implantable venous access devices can occur in an early or late stage and can be severe. This case reports an uncommon complication with atypical presentation. A 61-year-old female, treated with mFOLFIRI due to stage IV colorectal cancer, experienced significant thoracic pain, diaphoresis and dyspnoea after administration of the 5FU bolus. This was followed by erythema of the skin surrounding the totally implantable venous access device, presented by the patient at the outpatient clinic two weeks later. No evidence of cardiovascular, pulmonary or septic complications was found. Radiographic imaging with contrast showed a misplaced venous access device guided into the right internal thoracic vein. After readjustment of the catheter, no further complications had occurred. Even though mispositioning of a venous access device is rarely documented as a late complication, it should be kept in mind in patients presenting with atypical thoracic pain and late-onset erythema of the surrounding skin.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2022;16(1):37–40)

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