Cancer survivorship

  1. History

    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.

  2. Membership

    In June 2014, Dr. de Azambuja resigned as chair of the Task Force and was succeeded by Dr. Langenaeken.
    At present, the Task Force includes the following members:

    Dr. Christine Langenaeken* AZ KLINA, Brasschaat
    Dr. Frank Cornelis Cliniques Universitaires St Luc, UCL
    Pr. Annie Drowar Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels
    Pr. Jean Klastersky Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels
    Dr. Christel Fontaine UZ Brussel, Brussels
    Dr. Philip Debruyne AZ Groeninge, Kortrijk
    Dr. Vincent Verschaeve GHDC, Charleroi
    Dr. Florence Van Ryckeghem AZ Glorieux, Ronse
    Pr. Jeroen Mebis Jessa Ziekenhuis, Hasselt
    Dr. Katherine Vandenborre AZ Vesalius, Tongeren


    Physicians who would like to have more information about the Survivorship Task Force and/or would like to join the group: please contact the chair or a member of the Task Force

  3. Projects

    The Task Force has reviewed a number of subjects, e.g. a European registry of cardiac toxicity, the metabolic syndrome, management of neurocognitive complaints, transmural care models for the oncological patient….
    Furthermore, it has supported several research projects:

    [ Debruyne] The EMOTICON trial: A clinical trial set up in 2016 on behalf of the BSMO Survivorship Task Force to determine the efficacy of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) as an intervention strategy to reduce cognitive complaints in cancer survivors. The project was submitted to the Fund Suzanne Duchesne  and ‘Kom op tegen Kanker’ joint call for innovative projects regarding psychosocial care in (ex) cancer patients and their caregivers, and approved for funding. The trial was recently published in the new open access journal of The Lancet Group, EClinicalMedicine; the results are very promising. 

    [Dr. Debruyne] Regarding this innovative technique, another project on the use of EFT for Fear of Cancer Recurrence was granted the Pfizer Oncology Award 2020: . The project is now in the process of protocol writing and set-up preparation.

    [Dr. Debruyne] The implementation of EFT during and after cancer treatment is the subject of a project approved by the Social Grants 2021 call of the ‘Stichting tegen Kanker’

    Members of the group have participated in the survivorship & rehabilitation working group of the Belgian Cancer Barometer in 2021.