Publications by authors named "Tim Mertens"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The tele-transition of toxicity management in routine oncology care during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic.

Br J Cancer 2021 04 9;124(8):1366-1372. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Department of Oncology, Antwerp University Hospital Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.

Background: Telehealth modalities were introduced during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to assure continuation of cancer care and maintain social distance.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort analysis of our telehealth expansion programme. We adapted two existing patient-reported outcome (PRO) telemonitoring tools that register and (self-)manage toxicities to therapy, while screening for SARS-CoV-2-related symptoms. Outpatients from a tertiary cancer centre were enrolled. The adapted PRO interface allowed for uniform registration of SARS-CoV-2-related symptoms and effective triage of patients at home where we also implemented systematic throat washings, when available.

Results: Three hundred and sixty patients registered to the telemonitoring systems from March 13 to May 15, 2020. Four prespecified SARS-CoV-2 alarms resulted in three patients with positive PCR testing. Other Covid-19 symptoms (fever 5× and cough 2×) led to pretreatment triage resulting in 1 seroconversion after initial negative testing. One of the 477 throat washings proved positive.

Conclusions: The rapid adoption of an amended PRO (self-)registrations and toxicity management system was feasible and coordinated screening for Covid-19. Continued clinical cancer care was maintained, with significant decreased waiting time. The systemic screening with throat washings offered no real improvement.
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April 2021

Subcutaneous trastuzumab (Herceptin) versus intravenous trastuzumab for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer: A time, motion and cost assessment study in a lean operating day care oncology unit.

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2018 Feb 7;221:46-51. Epub 2017 Dec 7.

Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic, Antwerp University Hospital-University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Objective: The subcutaneous (SC) formulation of trastuzumab represents an alternative to the intravenous (IV) infusion in the treatment of patients with HER2-positive metastatic and early breast cancer. We compared the two formulations in terms of time and cost differential.

Study Desing: We conducted a time, motion and cost assessment study in a lean operating day care oncology unit to determine and compare the time and costs of trastuzumab SC versus IV administration in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. Outcomes were the mean costs and the mean dedicated time of the health care professional (HCP) and patient chair time. Direct observation methodology was applied to collect data and statistical analysis was performed.

Results: The total preparation and administration time for trastuzumab IV was 4.07 times longer than the total time required for the trastuzumab SC administration. The total patient time spent in the day care oncology unit (in minutes) was 71% shorter with using SC administration. IV administration costs € 50.4 ($54,89) more in HCP time and consumable supplies and €162.53 ($177.00) of drug wastage. SC administration was associated with a total time saving of 53.7min for the HCPs and 122.5min for the patients. The administration of trastuzumab SC was translated in a cost saving of €212.93 ($231.73) per patient episode compared to trastuzumab IV, which could lead to a total potential saving of €3,832.74 ($4,171.06) over a full course of treatment (18 cycles) CONCLUSION: SC administration of trastuzumab was associated with a substantial reduction in active HCP time, patient chair time, unit time, and overall cost. These time and cost could be used to increase capacity within existing resources in a lean operating day dare oncology unit.
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February 2018