The emerging role of stereotactic radiotherapy in oligometastatic cancer

BJMO - volume 10, issue 2, april 2016

D. Van Brummelen MD, R. Van den Begin MD, B. Engels MD, PhD, C. Collen MD, T. Gevaert MD, PhD, D. Verellen PhD, G. Storme MD, PhD, M. De Ridder MD, PhD


Most metastatic cancer patients pass through an oligometastatic disease phase. Management of oligometastatic cancer is changing due to the increasing application of local treatments, leading to longer disease control and, in some cases, even cure. This paper discusses stereotactic radiotherapy as a progressively more effective treatment of oligometastatic cancer due to technological developments enabling the specific delivery of higher radiation doses to the tumour itself, more insight in disease-related factors influencing its effectiveness, and its potential of synergy with immunotherapy.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2016;10(2):58–62)

Read more

Molecular diagnostics on tissue samples obtained through EBUS-TBNA: review on practice guidelines

BJMO - volume 10, issue 1, february 2016

C. Dooms MD, PhD, B. Weynand MD, PhD, S. Vander Borght PhD, L. Vliegen MSc, E. Verbeken MD, PhD, J. Vansteenkiste MD, PhD, P. Vandenberghe MD, PhD


Endobronchial ultrasonography is a minimally invasive endoscopic technique that enables a real time transbronchial needle aspiration. Endobronchial ultrasound guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) specimens have a high diagnostic accuracy in the detection of intrathoracic lymph node metastasis for a variety of malignancies. Predictive biomarker testing is gaining wide importance to tailor the treatment with the largest benefit to the patient. Endobronchial ultrasound guided transbronchial needle aspiration also results in an accurate analysis of molecular alterations (by ImmunoHistoChemistry, Fluorescence In Situ Hybridisation, or gene sequencing) provided that the endoscopist takes sufficient tumour samples and a dedicated cytopathologist is involved in the mastery of the specimens.

Endobronchial ultrasound guided transbronchial needle aspiration samples can be handled in different ways. Liquid-based cytology and smears are mostly used. The choice of the testing method should be based primarily on the nature of the sample to be tested, testing laboratory’s expertise, and available equipment. ImmunoHistoChemistry, Fluorescence In Situ Hybridisation and targeted polymerase chain reaction-based sequencing can be performed on >80% of the endobronchial ultrasound guided transbronchial needle aspiration specimens, as the latter is more sensitive in terms of limit of detection than Sanger sequencing. The next step are the next generation sequencing assays, with only 10–20 ng of DNA sample input per gene mutation, which will minimise rejected samples due to insufficient sample quantity.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2016;10(1):15–20)

Read more

Malignant pleurisy and palliative therapy

BJMO - volume 9, issue 7, december 2015

J. Yserbyt MD, C. Dooms MD, PhD


Management of malignant pleurisy should be patient- and symptom-centred. The presence of trapped lung is the most important factor compromising the success rate of pleurodesis. Although scientific evidence is debatable, early referral for pleurodesis is advisable and thoracoscopy with talc poudrage is the treatment option of choice. The use of indwelling catheters is a novel alternative technique for specific indications.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2015;9(7):279–85)

Read more

Early detection of prostate cancer: the EAU versus the AUA recommendations

BJMO - volume 9, issue 5, september 2015

D. Mortier MD, H. Van Poppel MD, PhD

To present a comparison between the recommendations for early detection of prostate cancer in men without evidence of prostate cancer related symptoms, as proposed by the European Association of Urology and the American Urological Association. Prostate-specific antigen screening for prostate cancer has been and still is one of the most controversial issues in medicine. Recent guideline statements and recommendations have led to further confusion and controversy regarding the use of prostate-specific antigen testing for the early detection of prostate cancer. In this text we try to summarise the different points of view of both societies and the evidence they are based upon.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2015;9(5):179–82)

Read more

RAS-testing in colorectal cancer: Belgian guidelines

BJMO - volume 9, issue 5, september 2015

A. Jouret-Mourin MD, PhD, C. Cuvelier MD, PhD, P. Demetter MD, PhD, N. D’Haene MD, PhD, A. Driessen MD, PhD, A. Hoorens MD, PhD, N. Nagy MD, X. Sagaert MD, P. Pauwels MD, PhD, On behalf of the Working Group of Digestive Pathology and the Belgian Society of Pathology.

There is an urgent need for predictive biomarkers in several cancers. In colorectal cancers, KRAS exon 2 mutation analyses were mandatory when considering anti-epidermal growth factor antibody therapy with agents such as cetuximab or panitumumab. However, since the introduction of this testing, a cohort of patients still did not appear to benefit from this therapy. Recently, additional testing for KRAS exon 3 and 4, and NRAS considerably improved the predictive power for therapy success. Therefore, an update of the Belgian guidelines for RAS testing was urgently needed.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2015;9(5):183–90)

Read more

Screening for dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency to prevent severe fluoropyrimidine-associated toxicity

BJMO - volume 9, issue 3, july 2015

A.B.P. van Kuilenburg PhD

Fluoropyrimidines are the cornerstones of all currently applied regimens for the treatment of patients with cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, breast, head and neck. Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase plays a pivotal role in the metabolism of 5-fluorouracil and, as such, a deficiency of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase has been recognised as an important risk factor, predisposing patients to develop severe 5-fluorouracil associated toxicity. Screening for dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency would not only decrease fluoropyrimidine morbidity and enhance patient quality of life but also potentially reduce costs by avoiding toxicity-related hospitalisations. Genotype and phenotype-based dosing recommendations of fluoropyrimidines propose a dose of 50% of the starting dose followed by an increase in dose in patients experiencing no or clinically tolerable toxicity, to ensure efficacy and a dose decrease in patients who do not tolerate the starting dose, to minimize toxicity.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2015;9(3):95–8)

Read more

Therapy-orienting testing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutations in women with ovarian cancer

BJMO - volume 9, issue 2, may 2015

K. Claes PhD, H. Denys MD, PhD, M. Huizing MD, PhD, I. Vergote MD, PhD, F. Kridelka MD, PhD, J. De Grève MD, PhD, V. Bours MD, PhD, On behalf of the BRCA Testing Working Group.

With the aim to optimally position poly-(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase inhibitors in the treatment of ovarian cancer, a panel of Belgian Experts came to a national multidisciplinary consensus: (i) germline BRCA1/2 testing should be indicated for all women with high-grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer, who are in good general condition (i.e. eligible for systemic treatment with low toxicity); BRCA1/2 mutation detection ratios being about 15–20% in this group; (ii) as the finding of a BRCA1/2 germline mutation has therapeutic implications in ovarian cancer patients, the request for therapy-orienting testing should be made as soon as possible during the course of first-line treatment. Pre-test genetic counselling is important because positive testing has implications for both the patients and their relatives, and the nature of the discussions depends on whether they take place in a therapeutic or familial context. The organisation of consultations should be coordinated in a collaborative effort between clinical geneticists, and gynaecological and medical oncologists, keeping in mind that ‘fast-track’ pre-test genetic counselling and short turnaround times are required for patients for whom the test results will have a therapeutic impact. Offering germline BRCA1/2 testing to all patients with high-grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer who are eligible for systemic treatment with low toxicity will lead to a limited increase in the number of patients eligible for this test in Belgium.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2015;9(2):65–70)

Read more