Comprehensive Cancer Center Limburg

Maastricht, Netherlands

Comprehensive Cancer Center Limburg

Maastricht, Netherlands
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Kimman M.L.,MAASTRO Clinic | Kimman M.L.,Maastricht University | Dirksen C.D.,Maastricht University | Voogd A.C.,Maastricht University | And 17 more authors.
European Journal of Cancer | Year: 2011

Background: An economic evaluation was performed alongside a randomised controlled trial (ISRCTN 74071417) investigating the cost-effectiveness of nurse-led telephone follow-up instead of hospital visits, and of a short educational group programme (EGP) in the first year after breast cancer treatment. Method: This economic evaluation (n = 299) compared the one-year costs and the effects of four follow-up strategies: (1) hospital follow-up; (2) nurse-led telephone follow-up; (3) hospital follow-up plus EGP; and (4) nurse-led telephone follow-up plus EGP. Costs were measured using cost diaries and hospital registrations. Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were measured using the EQ-5D. Outcomes were expressed in incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves. Results: Hospital follow-up plus EGP yielded most QALYs (0.776), but also incurred the highest mean annual costs (4914). The ICER of this strategy versus the next best alternative, nurse-led telephone follow-up plus EGP (0.772 QALYs and 3971), amounted to 235.750/QALY. Hospital and telephone follow-up without EGP both incurred higher costs and less QALYs than telephone follow-up plus EGP and were judged inferior. Hospital follow-up plus EGP was not considered cost-effective, therefore, telephone follow-up plus EGP was the preferred strategy. The probability of telephone follow-up plus EGP being cost-effective ranged from 49% to 62% for different QALY threshold values. Secondary and sensitivity analyses showed that results were robust. Conclusion: Nurse-led telephone follow-up plus EGP seems an appropriate and cost-effective alternative to hospital follow-up for breast cancer patients during their first year after treatment. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Velthuis M.J.,Comprehensive Cancer Center Middle Netherlands | Velthuis M.J.,University Utrecht | May A.M.,University Utrecht | Koppejan-Rensenbrink R.A.G.,Comprehensive Cancer Center Middle Netherlands | And 9 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2010

Background: Fatigue is a major problem of cancer patients. Thirty percent of cancer survivors report serious fatigue three years after finishing treatment. There is evidence that physical exercise during cancer treatment reduces fatigue. This may also lead to an improvement of quality of life. Such findings may result in a decrease of healthcare related expenditures and societal costs due to sick leave. However, no studies are known that investigated these hypotheses. Therefore, the primary aim of our study is to assess the effect of exercise during cancer treatment on reducing complaints of fatigue and on reducing health service utilisation and sick leave.Methods/Design: The Physical Activity during Cancer Treatment study is a multicentre randomised controlled trial in 150 breast and 150 colon cancer patients undergoing cancer treatment. Participants will be randomised to an exercise or a control group. In addition to the usual care, the exercise group will participate in an 18-week supervised group exercise programme. The control group will be asked to maintain their habitual physical activity pattern. Study endpoints will be assessed after 18 weeks (short term) and after 9 months (long term). Validated questionnaires will be used. Primary outcome: fatigue (Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory and Fatigue Quality List) and cost-effectiveness, health service utilisation and sick leave. Secondary outcome: health related quality of life (European Organisation Research and Treatment of Cancer-Quality of Life questionnaire-C30, Short Form 36 healthy survey), impact on functioning and autonomy (Impact on functioning and autonomy questionnaire), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), physical fitness (aerobic peak capacity, muscle strength), body composition and cognitive-behavioural aspects. To register health service utilisation and sick leave, participants will keep diaries including the EuroQuol-5D. Physical activity level will be measured using the Short Questionnaire to Assess Health-Enhancing Physical Activity and will be monitored with an exercise log and a pedometer.Discussion: This study investigates the (cost)-effectiveness of exercise during adjuvant treatment of patients with breast or colon cancer. If early physical exercise proves to be (cost) effective, establishing standardised physical exercise programmes during cancer treatment will be planned.Trial registration: Current Controlled trials ISRCTN43801571, Dutch Trial Register NTR2138. © 2010 Velthuis et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Grutters J.P.C.,Maastricht University | Joore M.A.,Maastricht University | Wiegman E.M.,University of Groningen | Langendijk J.A.,University of Groningen | And 5 more authors.
Thorax | Year: 2010

Background and aims: The EuroQol 5D (EQ-5D) is a standardised instrument for measuring health-related quality of life (HRQoL). It provides a utility score for health, and a self-rating of HRQoL (EQ-VAS). In this study, the EQ-5D was used to assess HRQoL in survivors of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The influence of tumour stage, adverse events, initial treatment and presence of recurrence was examined. Methods: Patients treated for NSCLC were sent a questionnaire, consisting of the EQ-5D, EQ-VAS and questions regarding adverse events. Tumour stage, date and type of initial treatment, and presence of recurrence were derived from patient files once patients had completed the questionnaire and informed consent form. Influencing factors were examined by exploring subgroups and using multiple regression analysis. Results: Of the 374 patients contacted, 260 (70%) returned a completed questionnaire. The EQ-VAS generated an average self-rated health of 69 (SD 18). The mean utility score was 0.74 (SD 0.27). Respondents with severe adverse events (dyspnoea grade ≥3) had statistically significantly lower utility scores than respondents without severe adverse events (median 0.52 vs 0.81; p <0.001). Subgroups based on a patient's initial treatment modality revealed statistically significantly different utility scores (p=0.010). Conclusion: The results of the present study provide original data on HRQoL during survival of NSCLC. Adverse events were found to have a considerable impact on HRQoL. This stresses the need to search for treatment modalities that not only improve survival, but also reduce adverse events.


Kimman M.L.,Maastricht University | Dirksen C.D.,Maastricht University | Voogd A.C.,Maastricht University | Falger P.,Maastricht University | And 14 more authors.
European Journal of Cancer | Year: 2011

Objective: To investigate whether frequent hospital follow-up in the first year after breast cancer treatment might partly be replaced by nurse-led telephone follow-up without deteriorating health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and whether a short educational group programme (EGP) would enhance HRQoL. Patients and methods: A multicentre pragmatic randomised controlled trial (RCT) with a 2 x 2 factorial design was performed among 320 breast cancer patients who were treated with curative intent. Participants were randomised to follow-up care as usual (3-monthly outpatient clinic visits), nurse-led telephone follow-up, or the former strategies combined with an educational group programme. The primary outcome for both interventions was HRQoL, measured by EORTC QLQ-C30. Secondary outcomes were role and emotional functioning and feelings of control and anxiety. Results: Data of 299 patients were available for evaluation. There was no significant difference in HRQoL between nurse-led telephone and hospital follow-up at 12 months after treatment (p = 0.42; 95% confidence interval (CI) for difference: -1.93-4.64) and neither between follow-up with or without EGP (p = 0.86; 95% CI for difference: -3.59-3.00). Furthermore, no differences between the intervention groups and their corresponding control groups were found in role and emotional functioning, and feelings of control and anxiety (all p-values >0.05). Conclusion: Replacement of most hospital follow-up visits in the first year after breast cancer treatment by nurse-led telephone follow-up does not impede patient outcomes. Hence, nurse-led telephone follow-up seems an appropriate way to reduce clinic visits and represents an accepted alternative strategy. An EGP does not unequivocally affect positive HRQoL outcomes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Verhoeven R.H.A.,Comprehensive Cancer Center South | Louwman M.W.J.,Comprehensive Cancer Center South | Buntinx F.,Maastricht University | Buntinx F.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Cancer Prevention | Year: 2011

Exposure to cadmium has been established to be carcinogenic for humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, but this is mainly based on studies with occupational exposures. The substantial 100 year long emission of cadmium by three zinc smelters in the Kempen area across the Dutch-Belgian border might have affected the incidence of cancer in this region. Following a study of increased risks of lung cancer due to cadmium emission (hazard ratio was 4.2 for high vs. low cadmium exposure areas in that study), we used data from the three regional population-based cancer registries, covering an area with 2.9 million inhabitants. Analyses of observed incidence were carried out for all cancers and cancer of the lung, kidney, bladder, prostate, testis, and breast separately. At the municipality level standardized incidence ratios were calculated and smoothed using a Poisson-gamma or a conditional autoregressive model. To detect clusters and to calculate an observed/expected ratio (O/E ratio) for each cluster a spatial scan statistic was applied. Significantly increased cancer incidence rates were found at a multimunicipality level for female lung cancer (O/E ratio=1.2), male and female bladder cancer (O/E ratio male=1.8, O/E ratio female=1.7), and prostate cancer (O/E ratio=1.3), none of these clusters being located specifically around the area of the zinc smelters. Therefore, the long term emission of cadmium by the zinc smelters in the Kempen area did not seem to lead to an increase in the incidence of all cancers, and lung, kidney, bladder, prostate, testicular, or breast cancer. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.


Steevens J.,Maastricht University | Botterweck A.A.M.,Comprehensive Cancer Center Limburg | Dirx M.J.M.,Comprehensive Cancer Center Limburg | Van Den Brandt P.A.,Maastricht University | Schouten L.J.,Maastricht University
European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2010

Objective: Time trend studies in the USA have shown that the incidences of adenocarcinomas of the oesophagus and gastric cardia have risen strongly since the 1970s, whereas the incidence of squamous cell carcinomas of the oesophagus has declined. Earlier, we found that the incidence of these adenocarcinomas also rose in some European countries until the early 1990s. The main goal of this study was to investigate more recent trends in the incidence of oesophageal and stomach cancer subtypes in the European countries. Methods: Eurocim cancer incidence data of 23 cancer registries from 13 European countries were used to investigate the incidence trends in oesophageal and stomach cancer subtypes during the 1983-1997 period. We calculated estimated annual percentage changes (EAPCs) in European age-standardized incidence rates and 95% confidence intervals. Results: The incidence of adenocarcinomas of the oesophagus and gastric cardia rose in most, but not all, registration areas (EAPCs were usually 1-7%), the strongest in the UK and Ireland. Oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma incidence rose mostly in Northern European and Slovakian men (EAPCs: 1-5%) and in women from all regions (EAPCs: 1-8%), but declined mostly in Southern and Western European men (EAPCs: -1 to -5%). Conclusion: Our Results are partly in line with earlier findings on adenocarcinomas of the oesophagus and gastric cardia. There was, however, substantial heterogeneity in trends of subtypes of these cancers within Europe. There may be different risk factors for these cancers, and the prevalence of these risk factors may differ among countries. © 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott.


Emond Y.,Maastricht University | De Groot J.,Comprehensive Cancer Center Limburg | Wetzels W.,Comprehensive Cancer Center Limburg | Van Osch L.,Maastricht University | Van Osch L.,Research School CAPHRI
Psycho-Oncology | Year: 2013

Background Many cancer patients turn to the Internet to obtain information on their disease. This digital quest is often motivated by a perceived discrepancy between the information received from health professionals and patients' actual informational needs. This discrepancy may be reduced by supplementing standard patient education with reliable online information sources. This study investigates health professionals' opinions, cognitions, and behavior regarding referring cancer patients to Internet-based information. Methods Online and written questionnaires were distributed among Dutch oncology nurses and medical specialists, measuring perception of patients' informational needs, prompted and unprompted Internet referral, and socio-cognitive factors regarding referral behavior. Results Health professionals (N = 130) positively appraised Internet use among cancer patients. Despite recognizing patients' needs for additional information (84%) and need for referral to reliable websites (67%), only 20% frequently referred patients to Internet-based information. Prompted Internet referral was higher (64%). Motives for nonreferral included unfamiliarity with websites and uncertainty about information quality. Intentions towards future referral were moderate to high. To translate intentions into referral, health professionals need reminder tools and information on reliability and content of websites. Cognitive determinants of referral behavior included professionals' attitude, self-efficacy, and intentions regarding referral. Conclusions Recognition of patients' information needs does not culminate in Internet referral among health professionals in cancer care. High intentions to change, however, indicate good prospects for future referral. This study yields valuable insights into behavioral determinants of health professionals' Internet referral behavior. Targeting determinants and barriers in future interventions will provide opportunities for optimization of educational practices. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Paap E.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Holland R.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Heeten G.J.D.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Van Schoor G.,Radboud University Nijmegen | And 3 more authors.
Cancer Causes and Control | Year: 2010

Objective: We designed a case-referent study to investigate the effect of mammographic screening at the individual level, looking at the association of breast cancer death with screening history. Methods: The study population included all women aged 50-75 in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands who had been invited to the screening program from 1989 to 2006. From this population, 118 cases originated who died of breast cancer in 2004 or 2005. The screening history of these cases was collected and compared with a sample of the invited population. The breast cancer death rate in the screened relative to the unscreened women was estimated as the odds ratio (OR). This OR was adjusted for self-selection bias, the difference in baseline risk for breast cancer death between screened and unscreened women. Results: Analysis of the data showed a breast cancer mortality reduction of 70% in the screened versus the unscreened women (OR = 0.30, 95% CI 0.14-0.63). The magnitude of self-selection was estimated specifically for Limburg. After correction for self-selection bias, the effect of screening increased to 76% (OR = 0.24, 95% CI 0.10-0.58). Conclusion: Screening resulted in a remarkable reduction in breast cancer mortality. Contrary to findings in other countries, adjustment for self-selection in Limburg had no influence on the impact of screening. Thanks to a well-organized centralized screening program, similar results are expected in other regions of the Netherlands. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Korfage I.J.,Rotterdam University | van Ballegooijen M.,Rotterdam University | Wauben B.,Comprehensive Cancer Center Limburg | Habbema J.D.F.,Rotterdam University | And 2 more authors.
Patient Education and Counseling | Year: 2011

Objective: Screening for cervical cancer may have favourable or unfavourable effects at the individual level. This study assesses whether invitees in the Netherlands made an informed choice about screen uptake. Methods: Attached to the invitation letter and the information leaflet, screen invitees were sent a questionnaire. An informed decision was defined as based on decision-relevant knowledge, while the woman's attitude was consistent with her actual screening behaviour. Results: Of all cervical screen participants, 60% (924/1551) responded to the questionnaire. Decision-relevant knowledge was sufficient in 595 women. Especially knowledge about false-positive and false-negative test results was limited. The attitude towards cervical screening was mainly positive (99%). Requirements for informed decision making were met in 571 (68%) women and in 91% when an alternative cut-off point of sufficient decision-relevant knowledge was applied. Most frequently reported main reasons to attend were early detection of abnormalities (67%) and reassurance in case of a normal smear (22%). Conclusion: Insufficient decision-relevant knowledge was the main cause of uninformed attendance. Practice implication: Adequate strategies to provide invitees with sufficient decision-relevant information are still needed, especially regarding false-positive and false-negative test results. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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