Cancer survivorship

The Cancer Survivorship Task Force was established in April 2012. The first chair was Dr. Evandro de Azambuja, medical director, Br.E.A.S.T. Data Centre, Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels. The members were Drs. Azim Jr, Buisseret, tKint de Roodenbeeke (Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels) and Dr. Langenaeken (AZ KLINA, Brasschaat).

The aim of the Task Force was to develop guidance on issues regarding follow-up of breast cancer patients who have completed their primary treatment. Guidelines were developed with regard to follow-up, both in the general breast cancer population and in high-risk and special populations, fertility issues, cardiac toxicity, bone health, neurocognitive dysfunction, and neurotoxicity of adjuvant treatment.These guidelines were reported in the Belgian Journal of Medical Oncology (Belg J Med Oncol 2013;7(5):142-55)1.

In June 2014, Dr. de Azambuja resigned as chair of the Task Force, and Dr. Langenaeken took over his job.
At present, the Task Force includes the following members:

  • Dr. Frank Cornelis (Cliniques Universitaires St Luc, UCL)
  • Dr. Christel Fontaine and Dr Dirk Kerkhove (UZ Brussel, Brussels)
  • Dr. Philip Debruyne (AZ Groeninge, Kortrijk)
  • Dr. Lore Lapeire (UZ Gent, Gent)
  • Dr. Vincent Verschaeve (GHDC, Charleroi)

The Task Force reviewed possible subjects: e.g. european registry of cardiac toxicity, the metabolic syndrome, reduction of neurocognitive complaints, transmural care models for the oncological patient. A research proposal has been drafted to determine the efficacy of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) as an intervention strategy to reduce cognitive complaints in cancer survivors (Dr. Debruyne). This project was submitted to the Fund Suzanne Duchesne and ‘Kom op tegen Kanker’ following their joint call for innovative projects regarding psychosocial care in (ex) cancer patients and their caregivers.The project has been accepted for funding, and is now in the process of protocol writing and set-up preparation. Another research project on the effect of exercise intervention and diet on the metabolic syndrome in early breast cancer has also been drafted and has been submitted for funding as well (Dr Fontaine).