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Brussels, Belgium

Leonard D.,Saint Luc University Hospital | Penninckx F.,University Clinic Gasthuisberg | Fieuws S.,Hasselt University | Jouret-Mourin A.,Saint Luc University Hospital | And 3 more authors.
Annals of Surgery | Year: 2010

Objective: To determine preoperative tumor-, patient-, and treatment-related factors that are independently associated with incomplete mesorectal excision. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:: Incomplete total mesorectal excision (TME) for rectal cancer is associated with increased local and overall recurrences. Factors predicting incomplete mesorectal excision have scarcely been studied. Methods: In the context of PROCARE, a Belgian multidisciplinary project on rectal cancer, the quality of 266 consecutive and anonymized TME specimens submitted by 33 candidate-TME-trainers was graded by a blinded pathology review board in a standardized manner. Uni- and multivariable analysis were performed to identify factors that can independently predict incomplete mesorectal excision. Results: Mesorectal resection was complete in 21%, nearly complete in 47%, and incomplete in 32%. Of 57% of TME specimens the grade of resection had not been reported by the local pathologist. Incomplete TME doubled the incidence of a positive circumferential resection margin (P = 0.004). Factors found to be significantly related to incomplete TME in univariate analysis were as follows: surgeon, female gender, pathologic body mass index, low rectal cancer, negative clinical nodal status, the absence of downstaging after long-course chemoradiation, laparoscopic and converted laparoscopic resection, and abdominoperineal resection. Multivariable analysis identified pathologic body mass index (P = 0.017), the absence of downstaging after long-course chemoradiation (P = 0.0005), and laparoscopic or converted laparoscopic resection (P = 0.014) as factors that are independently associated with incomplete mesorectal excision. Conclusion: Good TME quality cannot be guaranteed. This peer-reviewed TME assessment revealed a number of factors that are independently related to incomplete TME. Both specimen and pathology report need to be audited. Copyright © 2010 by Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.


Joye I.,University Hospitals Leuven | Joye I.,Catholic University of Leuven | Lambrecht M.,University Hospitals Leuven | Lambrecht M.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 6 more authors.
Radiotherapy and Oncology | Year: 2014

Background and purpose Quality assurance (QA) for radiation treatment has become a priority since poorly delivered radiotherapy can negatively influence patient outcome. Within a national project we evaluated the feasibility of a central review platform and its role in improving uniformity of clinical target volume (CTV) delineation in daily practice. Material and methods All Belgian radiotherapy departments were invited to participate and were asked to upload CTVs for rectal cancer treatment onto a secured server. These were centrally reviewed and feedback was given per e-mail. For each five consecutive patients per centre, the overlap parameter dice coefficient (DC) and the volumetric parameters volumetric ratio (RV) and commonly contoured volume (VCC) were calculated. Results Twenty departments submitted 1224 eligible cases of which 909 were modified (74.3%). There was a significant increase in RV and VCC between the first ten patients per centre and the others. This was not seen for DC. Statistical analysis did not show a further significant improvement in delineation over the entire review period. Conclusion Central review was feasible and increased the uniformity in CTV delineation in the first ten rectal cancer patients per centre. The observations in this study can be used to optimize future QA initiatives. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Penninckx F.,Universitair Ziekenhuis Gasthuisberg | Kartheuser A.,Cliniques universitaires Saint Luc | Van De Stadt J.,Erasme University Hospital | Pattyn P.,Ghent University | And 6 more authors.
British Journal of Surgery | Year: 2013

Background There are few reports on the oncological quality of resection and outcome after laparoscopic versus open total mesorectal excision (TME) for rectal cancer in everyday surgical practice. Methods Between January 2006 and October 2011, data for patients with mid or low rectal adenocarcinoma who underwent elective TME were recorded in the PROCARE database. A multivariable model and the propensity score as a co-variable in Cox or logistic regression models were used for adjustment of differences in patient mix and non-random assignment of surgical approach. Results Data for 2660 patients from 82 hospitals were recorded. Implementation of laparoscopic TME was highly variable. The oncological quality of resection was similar in the laparoscopic and the open group: incomplete mesorectal excision in 13·2 and 11·4 per cent respectively, circumferential resection margin positivity in 18·1 per cent, and a median of 11 lymph nodes examined per specimen in both groups. The hazard ratio for survival after laparoscopic versus open TME was 1·05 (95 per cent confidence interval 0·88 to 1·24) after correction for differences in patient mix, and 1·06 (0·89 to 1·25) after correction for the propensity score. The definitive colostomy rate was similar in the two groups: 31·0 per cent after open and 31·4 per cent after laparoscopic TME. Postoperative morbidity was lower and length of stay was shorter after laparoscopic TME compared with open TME. Survival was not negatively affected by converted laparoscopic resection, whereas postoperative morbidity, mortality and length of stay after converted laparoscopy were comparable with those after open TME. Conclusion Oncological outcome is comparable after laparoscopic and open TME in everyday surgical practice. Oncological safety confirmed © 2013 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Penninckx F.,UZ Gasthuisberg | Fieuws S.,Hasselt University | Beirens K.,Belgian Cancer Registry | Demetter P.,Erasme University Hospital | And 6 more authors.
Gut | Year: 2013

Objective: The abdominoperineal excision (APE) rate, a quality of care indicator in rectal cancer surgery, has been criticised if not adjusted for confounding factors. This study evaluates variability in APE rate between centres participating in PROCARE, a Belgian improvement initiative, before and after risk adjustment. It also explores the effect of merging the Hartmann resections (HR) rate with that of APE on benchmarking. Design: Data of 3197 patients who underwent elective radical resection for invasive rectal adenocarcinoma up to 15 cm were registered between January 2006 and March 2011 by 59 centres, each with at least 10 patients in the registry. Variability of APE or merged APE/HR rates between centres was analysed before and after adjustment for gender, age, ASA score (3 or more), tumour level (rectal third), depth of tumour invasion (cT4) and preoperative incontinence. Results: The overall APE rate was 21.1% (95% CI 19.7 to 22.5%). Significant variation of the APE rate was observed before and after risk adjustment (p<0.0001). For cancers in the lower rectal third, the overall APE rate increased to 45.8% (95% CI 43.1 to 48.5%). Also, variation between centres increased. Risk adjustment influenced the identification of outliers. HR was performed in only 2.6% of patients. However, merging of risk adjusted APE and HR rates identified other centres with outlying definitive colostomy rates than APE rate alone. Conclusion: Significant variation of the APE rate was observed. Adjustment for confounding factors as well as merging HR with APE rates were found to be important for the assessment of performances.


Van Den Bruel A.,General Hospital Sint Jan | Francart J.,Belgian Cancer Registry | Dubois C.,Belgian Health Care Knowledge Center | Adam M.,Belgian Cancer Registry | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2013

Context: Increased thyroid cancer incidence is at least partially attributed to increased detection and shows considerable regional variation. Objective: We investigated whether regional variation in cancer incidence was associated with variations in thyroid disease management. Design: We conducted a retrospective population-based cohort study that involved linking data from the Belgian Health Insurance database and the Belgian Cancer Registry to compare thyroid-related procedures between regions with high and low cancer incidence. Main Outcome Measures: Primary outcome measures were rates of TSH testing, imaging, fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC), and thyroid surgery. Secondary study outcomes were proportions of subjects with thyrotoxicosis and nodular disease treated with surgery, of subjects treated with surgery preceded by FNAC or with synchronous lymph node dissection, and of thyroid cancer diagnosis after surgery. Results: The rate of TSH testing was similar, but the rate of imaging was lower in the low incidence region. The rate of FNAC was similar, whereas the rate of surgery was lower in the low incidence region (34 [95% CI 33; 35] vs 80 [95% CI 79; 81] per 100 000 person years in the high incidence region; P <.05). In the low incidence region compared to the high incidence region, surgery represented a less chosen therapy for euthyroid nodular disease patients (47% [95% CI 46; 48] vs 69% [95% CI 68; 70]; P<.05), proportionally more surgery was preceded by FNAC, more cancer was diagnosed aftertotal thyroidectomy, and thyroid cancer patients had more preoperative FNAC and synchronous lymph node dissection. Conclusion: Regional variation in thyroid cancer incidence, most marked for low-risk disease, is associated with different usage of thyroid imaging and surgery, supporting variable detection as a key determinant in geographic variation. Copyright © 2013 by The Endocrine Society.

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