REVIEW ONCOLOGY

Bone health in cancer

BJMO - volume 16, issue 4, june 2022

D. Schrijvers MD, PhD

Bone health is an important factor in the quality of life of cancer patients. Complications of impaired bone health can impact the quality of life and the survival of these patients. Every oncologist should look at problems of bone health such as osteoporosis and complications related to patient characteristics, the oncological disease and the cancer treatment. Complications should be prevented and, if they occur, adequately treated.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2022;16(4):161–5)

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Escalation and de-escalation strategies in early breast cancer

BJMO - volume 16, issue 3, may 2022

D. Taylor MD, E. de Azambuja MD, PhD, K. Punie MD

SUMMARY

Early breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women worldwide. Different subtypes have been identified, and with them, new treatment strategies have emerged. In order to elaborate a personalised treatment, clinicians need reliable pathological and molecular disease subtyping, refined assessments of the risk of relapse, and predictive markers to estimate treatment benefit. Combining these elements allows for de-escalation in some patients and, on the contrary, identifies those who should receive more intensive therapy and serve as candidates for escalation strategies in standard practice or clinical trials. This article reviews the de-escalation and escalation strategies currently available and will explore future treatment perspectives in early breast cancer.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2022;16(3):102–13)

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Using artificial intelligence in the diagnosis of breast cancer: First results after implementation in a radiology department of a breast clinic

BJMO - volume 16, issue 3, may 2022

D. Verhoeven MD, PhD, I.G.G.M. Biltjes MD, N. van den Eede MD, P. Bracke MD, S. Haegeman MD, W. Volders MD

SUMMARY

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being rapidly introduced in the daily practice of the medical professions. Here, an AI algorithm specialised in the detection of suspicious breast lesions on 2D and DBT images was used. This is a product from RMS: iCAD-ProFound 2D-3D Mammography. The first experiences are now presented, highlighting the advantages and pitfalls of the system.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2022;16(3):114–8)

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Doublets in the first-line treatment of metastatic renal cell cancer with clear cell histology

BJMO - volume 16, issue 2, march 2022

D. Schrijvers MD, PhD, S. Van Wambeke MD, W. Teurfs MD

SUMMARY

The treatment of mRCC has undergone a tremendous evolution in the last decades. There are data that the doublets of checkpoints inhibitors with each other or with anti-angiogenic agents improve PFS compared to sunitinib alone.

In this article, we review the different combinations and give some guidance for their use.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2022;16(2):48–52)

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Is there a place for thromboprophylaxis in cancer patients?

BJMO - volume 16, issue 2, march 2022

A. Awada MD, PhD, C. Vulsteke MD, J-F. Baurain MD, PhD, J. Mebis MD, K. Jochmans MD, P. Hainaut MD, P. Verhamme MD, T. Vanassche MD, V. Mathieux MD

SUMMARY

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is common in cancer patients. It is associated with poor outcomes and increased mortality. In fact, VTE is known as the second most common cause of mortality in cancer patients. Although the benefit of thromboprophylaxis is clear for acutely ill hospitalised cancer patients, routine prophylaxis is not recommended for all ambulatory cancer patients. The reason is the risk to treat a high proportion of patients who do not need treatment and an increased risk of major bleeding. Here we highlight the importance of adequate risk assessment models to select patients at an increased VTE risk and present pivotal trial results that form the basis for the latest international treatment guidelines related to thromboprophylaxis in cancer patients.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2022;16(2):53–9)

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Cardiotoxicity of immune-checkpoint inhibitors: A rare, yet possibly fatal complication

BJMO - 2022, issue 1, february 2022

E. Agostinetto MD, E. de Azambuja MD, PhD

SUMMARY

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) represent a class of drugs that has dramatically improved survival outcomes of patients with several solid and haematological malignancies. Due to their mechanism of action, treatment-related adverse events (AEs) induced by ICI are mostly immune-related AEs, which can affect any organ, including the cardiovascular system. Immune-related cardiac AEs are rare, occurring in less than 1% of patients receiving ICI. However, they are associated with a high fatality rate compared to other AEs. Together with an increasing awareness among physicians, cardiotoxicity of ICI requires further investigation to better understand the pathophysiology of this rare but possibly fatal complication, and to improve its diagnosis and treatment. The present narrative review aimed to describe the incidence and the underlying mechanism of ICIs’ cardiotoxicity, providing key messages for clinical practice for oncologists and cardiologists on their clinical manifestations and management.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2022;16(1):4-10)

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Late cardiovascular side effects of cancer treatment

BJMO - 2022, issue 1, february 2022

C. Jacquemart MD, G. Jerusalem MD, PhD, M. Moonen MD, PhD, P. Lancellotti MD, PhD

SUMMARY

Thanks to the enormous progress made in cancer treatment, there are more and more cancer survivors. Oncologists are now concerned with the long-term management of patients who have recovered from their cancer. Giving them the best chance of a healthy survival is a very important issue. However, in this context, epidemiological studies and registries have revealed that the prognosis of cancer survivors is marred by the onset of more frequent and earlier cardiovascular disease. The emerging cardio-oncology discipline is seriously concerned about this issue as the number of patients potentially affected is large and growing. The task consists of identifying patients at increased risk of cardiovascular events after cancer treatment. Patients at risk are those with pre-existing cardiovascular risk factors and heart disease, and those exposed to anticancer treatment with cardiac toxicity that appears during their follow-up. Identifying those high-risk patients is possible thanks to clinical, biological and imaging monitoring. Furthermore, this monitoring allows therapeutic interventions, ranging from lifestyle recommendations to pharmacological treatment. However, several important pending questions remain, including whether cancer survivors would benefit from a more aggressive approach than that used to treat non-cancer survivor patients for the same cardiovascular problem.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2022;16(1):11–16)

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