Publications by authors named "Vincent Verschaeve"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Unplanned hospitalizations in older patients with cancer: Occurrence and predictive factors.

J Geriatr Oncol 2021 Apr 19;12(3):368-374. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Department of Medical Oncology, Oncologisch Centrum, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address:

Background: This study aims to investigate the occurrence of unplanned hospitalizations in older patients with cancer and to determine predictive factors.

Methods: A prospective Belgian multicentre (n = 22), observational cohort study was performed. Patients ≥70 years with a malignant tumor were included. Patients underwent G8 screening followed by geriatric assessment (GA) if abnormal at baseline and were followed for unplanned hospitalizations at approximately three months. Uni- and multivariable regression models were performed to determine predictive factors associated with unplanned hospitalizations in older patients with an abnormal G8.

Results: In total, 7763 patients were included in the current analysis of which 2409 (31%) patients with a normal G8 score and 5354 (69%) with an abnormal G8 score. Patients with an abnormal G8 were hospitalized more frequently than patients with a normal G8 (22.9% versus 12.4%; p < 0.0001). Reasons for unplanned hospitalizations were most frequently cancer related (25.7%) or cancer therapy related (28%). In multivariable analysis, predictive factors for unplanned hospitalizations in older patients with cancer and an abnormal G8 were female gender, absence of surgery, chemotherapy, ADL dependency, malnutrition and presence of comorbidities.

Conclusion: Older patients with cancer and an abnormal G8 screening present a higher risk (23%) for unplanned hospitalizations. Predictive factors for these patients were identified and include not only patient and treatment related factors but also GA related factors.
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April 2021

AMTRA: a multicentered experience of a web-based monitoring and tailored toxicity management system for cancer patients.

Support Care Cancer 2021 Feb 9;29(2):859-867. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

Department of Oncology, Multidisciplinary Oncological Center Antwerp, MOCA, University Hospital Antwerp, Wilrijkstraat 10, 2650, Edegem, Belgium.

Background: Technology-based interventions are increasingly being introduced in routine clinical cancer care. There is a need for reliable systems to monitor treatment-related toxicity in a standardized manner. Such electronic tools bridge the gap in providing quality home-based monitoring.

Methods: From July 2017 to December 2017, we performed a multicentered, non-randomized prospective cohort analysis with patients who were receiving routine chemotherapy for various solid tumors, using a web-based patient-reported toxicity registration, management, and intervention system called AMTRA (ambulatory Monitoring of cancer Therapy using an interactive Application) linked to the homecare nursing organization Remedus®. Twelve common toxicities plus pain and two biometrics could be registered daily or more frequently as required. These were processed centrally to generate tailored advice for lesser symptoms or a phone call from a dedicated nurse in case of severe or prolonged toxicity. A compliance tool to monitor oral therapies was incorporated in the system.

Results: One hundred sixty-eight patients (92%) were enrolled, with 31,514 registrations analyzed. One hundred eight patients reported severe toxicity (> 1461 registrations), resulting in 102 clinical interventions ranging from self-management advice, supplemental consultations to hospitalizations. Compliance to oral chemotherapy was high using AMTRA with a median of 98.7% (95 confidence interval (CI) [93.5-100.0%]). Seventy-nine percent of patients stated that the availability of AMTRA self-reports was useful in communication with the care provider, while 75% felt more in control while managing their treatment.

Conclusions: The application of an interactive PRO-system in routine symptom management of cancer patients allowed standardized documentation of toxicities and recorded a high compliance with oral treatment. It allows for rapid interaction for toxicities and cancer-related symptoms experienced at home.
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February 2021

The prognostic value of patient-reported Health-Related Quality of Life and Geriatric Assessment in predicting early death in 6769 older (≥70 years) patients with different cancer tumors.

J Geriatr Oncol 2020 07 16;11(6):926-936. Epub 2020 Apr 16.

Department of General Medical Oncology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Department of Oncology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Objectives: We aimed to determine the prognostic value of baseline Health-Related Quality Of Life (HRQOL) and geriatric assessment (GA) to predict three-month mortality in older patients with cancer undergoing treatment.

Methods: Logistic regressions analysed HRQOL, as measured with the EORTC Global Health Status (GHS) scale, and geriatric information prognostic for early mortality controlling for oncology variables. The assessment was established with the odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (CI) and level of significance set at p < 0.05. Discriminative power was evaluated with area under the curve (AUC).

Results: In total, 6769 patients were included in the study, of whom 1259 (18.60%) died at three months. Our model showed higher odds of early death for patients with lower HRQOL (GHS, OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.98-0.99; p < 0.001), a geriatric risk profile (G8 Screening Tool, 1.94, 1.14-3.29; p = 0.014), cognitive decline (Mini Mental State Examination, 1.41, 1.15-1.72; p = 0.001), being at risk for malnutrition (Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form, 1.54, 1.21-1.98; p = 0.001), fatigue (Visual Analogue Scale for Fatigue, 1.45, 1.16-1.82; p = 0.012) and comorbidities (Charlson Comorbidity index, 1.23, 1.02-1.49; p = 0.033). Additionally, older age, poor ECOG PS and being male increased the odds of early death, although the magnitude differed depending on tumor site and stage, and treatment (all p < 0.05). Predictive accuracy increased with 3.7% when including HRQOL and GA in the model.

Conclusion: The results suggest that, in addition to traditional clinical measures, HRQOL and GA provide additional prognostic information for early death, but the odds differ by patient and tumor characteristics.
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July 2020

Health related quality of life in older patients with solid tumors and prognostic factors for decline.

J Geriatr Oncol 2019 11 18;10(6):895-903. Epub 2019 Apr 18.

Department of General Medical Oncology, University Hospitals Leuven, Department of Oncology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Objectives: This study aims to investigate health-related quality of life (HRQOL) at baseline and at follow-up in older patients with cancer and to determine prognostic factors for HRQOL decline.

Methods: A prospective Belgian multicentre (n = 22) study was performed. Patients ≥70 years with a malignant tumor and abnormal G8 (≤14/17) screening tool were included. Patients underwent geriatric assessment (GA) and HRQOL evaluation with follow up at three months. Uni- and multivariate regression models were performed to determine factors associated (p < .05) with baseline HRQOL and HRQOL decline at follow-up.

Results: Results reflect data collected from 3673 patients. A multivariate analysis showed that younger patients, and those with poor Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group - Performance Status (ECOG-PS), specific tumor types (gastrointestinal, gynaecological and thorax) and higher stage had lower baseline HRQOL. In addition worse functional status and presence of pain, fatigue, depression and malnutrition were associated with lower baseline HRQOL. During treatment (n = 2972), improvement in HRQOL was observed in 1037 patients (35%) and a decline in 838 patients (28.2%). In multivariate analysis, stage and presence of baseline comorbidities, pain, fatigue or malnutrition were associated with HRQOL evolution.

Conclusion: Baseline HRQOL in older patients with cancer and an abnormal G8 depends on tumor and age related parameters. During follow-up, HRQOL improved in one third of patients, indicating that they may benefit from cancer treatment while one quarter demonstrated a HRQOL decline for which prognostic factors were identified.
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November 2019

Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor-2 Polymorphism rs2981582 is Correlated With Progression-free Survival and Overall Survival in Patients With Metastatic Clear-cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Treated With Sunitinib.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2019 04 16;17(2):e235-e246. Epub 2018 Nov 16.

Department of General Medical Oncology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven Cancer Institute, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Inserm UMR1162 Génomique Fonctionnelle des Tumeurs Solides, Université Paris-5 René Descartes, Paris, France. Electronic address:

Background: There are no validated markers that predict response or resistance in patients with metastatic clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (mccRCC) treated with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as sunitinib and pazopanib. Recently, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2981582 in Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 2 (FGFR2) was found to be associated with clinical outcome in patients with mccRCC treated with pazopanib and sunitinib. We aimed to validate these findings in patients treated with sunitinib.

Materials And Methods: Germline DNA was collected in patients with mccRCC starting first-line systemic therapy with sunitinib. SNP rs2981582 in FGFR2 C>T was genotyped. Association of the genotype with response rate, tumor shrinkage, median progression-free survival (mPFS), and median overall survival (mOS) was studied.

Results: We collected clinical data from 154 patients with available germline DNA. Baseline prognostic markers were well-balanced between both subgroups. Patients with the TT genotype had a poorer outcome compared with patients with the CT/CC genotype. The median shrinkage of selected tumor target lesions during treatment with sunitinib was -16% versus -31% (P = .002), mPFS was 8 versus 15 months (P = .0007), and mOS was 22 versus 33 months (P = .04), respectively. On multivariate analysis, rs2981582 remained an independent predictor of PFS (hazard ratio, 2.858; 95% confidence interval, 1.659-4.923; P < .0001) and OS (hazard ratio, 1.795; 95% confidence interval, 1.003-3.212; P = .049).

Conclusion: Polymorphism rs2981582 in FGFR2 is correlated to PFS and OS in patients with mccRCC treated with sunitinib. Prospective validation of the impact of this SNP is warranted.
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April 2019

ABCG2 Polymorphism rs2231142 and hypothyroidism in metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients treated with sunitinib.

Acta Clin Belg 2019 Jun 23;74(3):180-188. Epub 2018 May 23.

a Department of General Medical Oncology , University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven Cancer Institute and Department of Oncology, KU Leuven , Leuven , Belgium.

Background And Aim: Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (VEGFR-TKIs) cause significant adverse events including thyroid dysfunction, mainly hypothyroidism, in a considerable proportion of patients. In a series of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) patients treated with sunitinib, we aimed to study the correlation between hypothyroidism and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in sunitinib pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Patients And Methods: We included 79 mRCC patients who started sunitinib between November 2005 and March 2016. Serum thyroid function markers were collected at start and during sunitinib therapy. Germ-line DNA genotyping for 16 SNPs in 8 candidate genes was performed. Endpoints were time to increase in thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and time to decrease in T4 or free T4 (FT4) on day 1 and day 28 of each sunitinib cycle.

Results: Patients with the ABCG2 rs2231142 CC-genotype had a significantly longer time-to-TSH-increase on day 1 (11 vs. 5 cycles; p = 0.0011), and time-to-T4/FT4-decrease on day 1 (not reached vs. 10 cycles; p = 0.013) and day 28 (28 vs. 7 cycles; p = 0.03) compared to CA-carriers. Patients with the CYP3A5 rs776746 GG-genotype had a significantly longer time-to-TSH-increase at day 1 compared to GA-patients: 11 vs. 5 cycles (p = 0.0071). Significant associations were also found between PDGFRA rs35597368 and rs1800812 and time-to-TSH-increase at day 28.

Conclusion: Polymorphism rs2231142 in the efflux pump ABCG2 is associated with hypothyroidism in mRCC patients treated with sunitinib.
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June 2019

Phase II study of dual phosphoinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor BEZ235 in patients with locally advanced or metastatic transitional cell carcinoma.

BJU Int 2016 Sep 11;118(3):408-15. Epub 2016 Feb 11.

Department of Medical Oncology, Institut Roi Albert II, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Objective: To assess, in a multicentre phase II trial, the safety and efficacy of BEZ235, an oral pan-class I phosphoinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex1/2 inhibitor, in locally advanced or metastatic transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) after failure of platinum-based therapy.

Patients And Methods: Patients with locally advanced or metastatic TCC progressing after platinum therapy were prospectively stratified by PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway alterations, defined as PTEN loss and PIK3CA mutation. All patients received BEZ235 until progressive disease or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was the progression-free survival (PFS) rate at 16 weeks. This study was, however, closed prematurely because BEZ235 was withdrawn from further development.

Results: A total of 20 patients (18 without and two with PI3K/Akt/mTOR alterations) were enrolled and received BEZ235. One partial response (5%) and two cases of stable disease (10%) were observed, all in patients without PI3K/mTOR pathway alterations. The PFS rate at 8 and 16 weeks was 15 and 10%, respectively; the median (range) PFS was 62 (38-588) days (95% confidence interval [CI] 53-110); and the median (range) overall survival was 127 (41-734) days (95% CI 58-309). Among the 90% of patients who experienced drug-related adverse events of any grade, 50% experienced grade 3-4 adverse events, including stomatitis (15%), fatigue (5%), nausea (5%), diarrhoea (5%), renal failure (5%), cutaneous rash (5%), hepatotoxicity (5%) and hypertension (5%).

Conclusion: BEZ235 showed modest clinical activity and an unfavourable toxicity profile in patients with advanced and pretreated TCC; however, a minority of patients experienced a clinical benefit, suggesting that a complete blockade of the PI3K/mTOR axis could improve outcome in some specific patients. Furthermore, this study showed that molecular stratification of patients for personalized medicine before treatment is feasible.
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September 2016

Patient outcome in the Belgian medical need program on bevacizumab for recurrent glioblastoma.

J Neurol 2015 Mar 9;262(3):742-51. Epub 2015 Jan 9.

Department of Neurosurgery, UZ Brussel, Brussels, Belgium,

Bevacizumab (BEV) has demonstrated anti-tumor activity in patients with recurrent glioblastoma (rGB). Given the unmet need for active therapeutic options in rGB patients, a medical need program was initiated by the Belgian competent authorities. Between November 2010 and February 2013, a total of 313 patients with rGB initiated treatment with BEV administered at a dose of 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks. All patients had failed prior treatment with at least radiation therapy and temozolomide and the majority of patients (70 %) were treated with corticosteroids at baseline. Patients received a median of 6 BEV administrations (range 1-53). Overall, BEV was well tolerated. During BEV treatment the WHO-Performance Score (WHO-PS) improved in 59 patients (19 %) and stabilized for at least 6 weeks in an additional 139 (44 %) patients. Corticosteroid treatment could be stopped in 16 % or reduced in dose in 32 % of patients. The best objective tumor response rate using RANO criteria (investigator's assessment) was 3.5 % CR, 22 % PR, 38 % SD and 37 % PD. The median and 6-month PFS were 13 weeks (95 % CI 12.7-14) and 27.3 % (95 % CI 22.3-32.5), median and 6-month OS rates were 26 weeks (23-29) and 52 % (46.4-58.6), respectively. WHO-PS (0-1 vs. 2-3) and baseline steroid use were significantly correlated with PFS and OS. Our observations support the use of BEV as a monotherapy for patients with rGB who have no alternative treatment options. Optimal benefit from BEV treatment is likely to be obtained when treatment is initiated before the performance status deteriorates to two or less.
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March 2015

Prospective randomized study comparing docetaxel, estramustine, and prednisone with docetaxel and prednisone in metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2008 Nov 15;26(32):5261-8. Epub 2008 Sep 15.

Department of Medical Oncology and Urology, Université Catholique de Louvain, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium.

Purpose: To assess the efficacy and toxicity of the addition of estramustine to docetaxel (D) for the treatment of metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

Patients And Methods: One hundred fifty patients were randomly assigned to D alone (35 mg/m(2) on days 2 and 9, every 3 weeks) or D in combination with estramustine (D/E; 280 mg orally three times a day on days 1 to 5 and 8 to 12, every 3 weeks). All patients received prednisone (10 mg/d). The primary end point was prostate-specific antigen (PSA) response rate, which was defined as a decrease in PSA > or = 50% from baseline. The study was powered to test the hypothesis that D/E would improve the PSA response rate by 25%.

Results: The PSA response rate was not statistically different between the two groups. PSA of less than 4 ng/mL occurred in 29 (41%) of 71 patients receiving D/E and in 17 (25%) of 69 patients receiving D (P = .05). No significant differences were found for median time to PSA progression (D/E, 6.9 months; D, 7.3 months) or median overall survival time (D/E, 19.3 months; D, 21 months). More patients had at least one grade 3 or 4 toxicity with D/E (45%) compared with D (21%; P = .005), mainly as a result of grade 3 or 4 GI toxicity (P = .05). Serious adverse events were more frequent with D/E (n = 20) than with D (n = 9; P = .04).

Conclusion: The addition of estramustine to weekly D does not provide any clinically relevant advantage. Both regimens are well tolerated, although the toxicity profile favors D without estramustine.
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November 2008