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1.  Surgical treatments for esophageal cancers 
The following, from the 12th OESO World Conference: Cancers of the Esophagus, includes commentaries on the role of the nurse in preparation of esophageal resection (ER); the management of patients who develop high-grade dysplasia after having undergone Nissen fundoplication; the trajectory of care for the patient with esophageal cancer; the influence of the site of tumor in the choice of treatment; the best location for esophagogastrostomy; management of chylous leak after esophagectomy; the optimal approach to manage thoracic esophageal leak after esophagectomy; the choice for operational approach in surgery of cardioesophageal crossing; the advantages of robot esophagectomy; the place of open esophagectomy; the advantages of esophagectomy compared to definitive chemoradiotherapy; the pathologist report in the resected specimen; the best way to manage patients with unsuspected positive microscopic margin after ER; enhanced recovery after surgery for ER: expedited care protocols; and long-term quality of life in patients following esophagectomy.
PMCID: PMC4384171  PMID: 25266029
esophageal resection; Nissen fundoplication; esophagogastrostomy; esophagectomy; chemoradiotherapy; OESO
2.  Laparoscopic versus open gastrectomy for gastric cancer, a multicenter prospectively randomized controlled trial (LOGICA-trial) 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:556.
For gastric cancer patients, surgical resection with en-bloc lymphadenectomy is the cornerstone of curative treatment. Open gastrectomy has long been the preferred surgical approach worldwide. However, this procedure is associated with considerable morbidity. Several meta-analyses have shown an advantage in short-term outcomes of laparoscopic gastrectomy compared to open procedures, with similar oncologic outcomes. However, it remains unclear whether the results of these Asian studies can be extrapolated to the Western population. In this trial from the Netherlands, patients with resectable gastric cancer will be randomized to laparoscopic or open gastrectomy.
The study is a non-blinded, multicenter, prospectively randomized controlled superiority trial. Patients (≥18 years) with histologically proven, surgically resectable (cT1-4a, N0-3b, M0) gastric adenocarcinoma and European Clinical Oncology Group performance status 0, 1 or 2 are eligible to participate in the study after obtaining informed consent. Patients (n = 210) will be included in one of the ten participating Dutch centers and are randomized to either laparoscopic or open gastrectomy. The primary outcome is postoperative hospital stay (days). Secondary outcome parameters include postoperative morbidity and mortality, oncologic outcomes, readmissions, quality of life and cost-effectiveness.
In this randomized controlled trial laparoscopic and open gastrectomy are compared in patients with resectable gastric cancer. It is expected that laparoscopic gastrectomy will result in a faster recovery of the patient and a shorter hospital stay. Secondly, it is expected that laparoscopic gastrectomy will be associated with a lower postoperative morbidity, less readmissions, higher cost-effectiveness, better postoperative quality of life, but with similar mortality and oncologic outcomes, compared to open gastrectomy. The study started on 1 December 2014. Inclusion and follow-up will take 3 and 5 years respectively. Short-term results will be analyzed and published after discharge of the last randomized patient.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC4518687  PMID: 26219670
Gastric cancer; Gastrectomy; Laparoscopy
3.  Accuracy of Detecting Residual Disease After Cross Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy for Esophageal Cancer (preSANO Trial): Rationale and Protocol 
JMIR Research Protocols  2015;4(2):e79.
Results from the recent CROSS trial showed that neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT) significantly increased survival as compared to surgery alone in patients with potentially curable esophageal cancer. Furthermore, in the nCRT arm 49% of patients with a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and 23% of patients with an adenocarcinoma (AC) had a pathologically complete response in the resection specimen. These results provide a rationale to reconsider and study the timing and necessity of esophagectomy in (all) patients after application of the CROSS regimen.
We propose a “surgery as needed” approach after completion of nCRT. In this approach, patients will undergo active surveillance after completion of nCRT. Surgical resection would be offered only to those patients in whom residual disease or a locoregional recurrence is highly suspected or proven. However, before a surgery as needed approach in oesophageal cancer patients (SANO) can be tested in a randomized controlled trial, we aim to determine the accuracy of detecting the presence or absence of residual disease after nCRT (preSANO trial).
This study is set up as a prospective, single arm, multicenter, diagnostic trial. Operable patients with potentially curable SCC or AC of the esophagus or esophagogastric junction will be included. Approximately 4-6 weeks after completion of nCRT all included patients will undergo a first clinical response evaluation (CRE-I) including endoscopy with (random) conventional mucosal biopsies of the primary tumor site and of any other suspected lesions in the esophagus and radial endo-ultrasonography (EUS) for measurement of tumor thickness and area. Patients in whom no locoregional or disseminated disease can be proven by cytohistology will be offered a postponed surgical resection 6-8 weeks after CRE-I (ie, approximately 12-14 weeks after completion of nCRT). In the week preceding the postponed surgical resection, a second clinical response evaluation (CRE-II) will be planned that will include a whole body PET-CT, followed again by endoscopy with (random) conventional mucosal biopsies of the primary tumor site and any other suspected lesions in the esophagus, radial EUS for measurement of tumor thickness and area, and linear EUS plus fine needle aspiration of PET-positive lesions and/or suspected lymph nodes. The main study parameter is the correlation between the clinical response assessment during CRE-I and CRE-II and the final pathological response in the resection specimen.
The first patient was enrolled on July 23, 2013, and results are expected in January 2016.
If this preSANO trial shows that the presence or absence of residual tumor can be predicted reliably 6 or 12 weeks after completion of nCRT, a randomized trial comparing nCRT plus standard surgery versus chemoradiotherapy plus “surgery as needed” will be conducted (SANO trial).
Trial Registration
Netherlands Trial Register: NTR4834; (archived by Webcite at
PMCID: PMC4526968  PMID: 26121676
esophageal cancer; neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy; esophagectomy; surgery as needed; active surveillance policy
4.  Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer: updated clinical guidelines with an emphasis on germline CDH1 mutation carriers 
Journal of Medical Genetics  2015;52(6):361-374.
Germline CDH1 mutations confer a high lifetime risk of developing diffuse gastric (DGC) and lobular breast cancer (LBC). A multidisciplinary workshop was organised to discuss genetic testing, surgery, surveillance strategies, pathology reporting and the patient's perspective on multiple aspects, including diet post gastrectomy. The updated guidelines include revised CDH1 testing criteria (taking into account first-degree and second-degree relatives): (1) families with two or more patients with gastric cancer at any age, one confirmed DGC; (2) individuals with DGC before the age of 40 and (3) families with diagnoses of both DGC and LBC (one diagnosis before the age of 50). Additionally, CDH1 testing could be considered in patients with bilateral or familial LBC before the age of 50, patients with DGC and cleft lip/palate, and those with precursor lesions for signet ring cell carcinoma. Given the high mortality associated with invasive disease, prophylactic total gastrectomy at a centre of expertise is advised for individuals with pathogenic CDH1 mutations. Breast cancer surveillance with annual breast MRI starting at age 30 for women with a CDH1 mutation is recommended. Standardised endoscopic surveillance in experienced centres is recommended for those opting not to have gastrectomy at the current time, those with CDH1 variants of uncertain significance and those that fulfil hereditary DGC criteria without germline CDH1 mutations. Expert histopathological confirmation of (early) signet ring cell carcinoma is recommended. The impact of gastrectomy and mastectomy should not be underestimated; these can have severe consequences on a psychological, physiological and metabolic level. Nutritional problems should be carefully monitored.
PMCID: PMC4453626  PMID: 25979631
Cancer: gastric; Clinical genetics; Diagnostics; Cancer: breast; Stomach and duodenum
5.  Technical Feasibility of TachoSil Application on Esophageal Anastomoses 
Purpose. Sealing esophageal anastomoses with a sealant patch (TachoSil) containing human fibrinogen and thrombin may improve mechanical strength. The aim was to evaluate the technical feasibility of the application of a sealant patch in upper gastrointestinal surgery. Methods. In total 15 patients, 18–80 years old, undergoing thoracolaparoscopic esophagectomy with esophagogastrostomy or laparoscopic total gastrectomy with esophagojejunostomy was included. Different techniques of anastomotic TachoSil patch application were tested and recorded on video. Results. TachoSil was successfully applied to the esophagogastrostomy (n = 11) and to the esophagojejunostomy (n = 4). A median of 2 (1–6) attempts was necessary to reach successful application. The median duration was 7 (3–26) minutes before successful application was accomplished. The best technique in esophagectomy was the application of TachoSil with the use of 2 cellophane sheets. For total gastrectomy, the patch was folded into a harmonica shape and wrapped around the esophagojejunostomy. Although not significant, the number of attempts and time to success showed a decreasing trend along with the increased experience. Conclusion. Application of TachoSil as a sealant of esophageal anastomoses was technically feasible. Future studies may investigate the value of TachoSil application on the prevention of anastomotic leakage.
PMCID: PMC4458550  PMID: 26101523
6.  Neo-adjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery versus surgery alone in high-risk patients with resectable colorectal liver metastases: the CHARISMA randomized multicenter clinical trial 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:180.
Efforts to improve the outcome of liver surgery by combining curative resection with chemotherapy have failed to demonstrate definite overall survival benefit. This may partly be due to the fact that these studies often involve strict inclusion criteria. Consequently, patients with a high risk profile as characterized by Fong’s Clinical Risk Score (CRS) are often underrepresented in these studies. Conceptually, this group of patients might benefit the most from chemotherapy. The present study evaluates the impact of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in high-risk patients with primary resectable colorectal liver metastases, without extrahepatic disease. Our hypothesis is that adding neo-adjuvant chemotherapy to surgery will provide an improvement in overall survival (OS) in patients with a high-risk profile.
CHARISMA is a multicenter, randomized, phase III clinical trial. Patients will be randomized to either surgery alone (standard treatment, arm A) or to 6 cycles of neo-adjuvant oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy, followed by surgery (arm B). Patients must be ≥ 18 years of age with liver metastases of histologically confirmed primary colorectal carcinoma. Patients with extrahepatic metastases are excluded. Liver metastases must be deemed primarily resectable. Only patients with a CRS of 3–5 are eligible. The primary study endpoint is OS. Secondary endpoints are progression free survival (PFS), quality of life, morbidity of resection, treatment response on neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, and whether CEA levels can predict treatment response.
CHARISMA is a multicenter, randomized, phase III clinical trial that will provide an answer to the question if adding neo-adjuvant chemotherapy to surgery will improve OS in a well-defined high-risk patient group with colorectal liver metastases.
Trial registration
The CHARISMA is registered at European Union Clinical Trials Register (EudraCT), number: 2013-004952-39, and in the “Netherlands national Trial Register (NTR), number: 4893.
PMCID: PMC4377036  PMID: 25884448
Colorectal liver metastases; Neo-adjuvant chemotherapy; Surgical resection; Clinical risk score
7.  Preoperative inspiratory muscle training to prevent postoperative pulmonary complications in patients undergoing esophageal resection (PREPARE study): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15:144.
Esophageal resection is associated with a high incidence of postoperative pneumonia. Respiratory complications account for almost half of the readmissions to the critical care unit. Postoperative complications can result in prolonged hospital stay and consequently increase healthcare costs. In cardiac surgery a preoperative inspiratory muscle training program has shown to prevent postoperative pneumonia and reduce length of hospital stay. While in some surgical centers inspiratory muscle training is already used in the preoperative phase in patients undergoing esophageal resection, the added value of this intervention on the reduction of pulmonary complications has not yet been investigated in large surgical populations other than cardiac surgery in a randomized and controlled study design.
The effect of a preoperative inspiratory muscle training program on the incidence of postoperative pneumonia in patients undergoing esophageal resection will be studied in a single blind multicenter randomized controlled trial (the PREPARE study). In total 248 patients (age >18 years) undergoing esophageal resection for esophageal cancer will be included in this study. They are randomized to either usual care or usual care with an additional inspiratory muscle training intervention according to a high-intensity protocol which is performed with a tapered flow resistive inspiratory loading device. Patients have to complete 30 dynamic inspiratory efforts twice daily for 7 days a week until surgery with a minimum of 2 weeks. The starting training load will be aimed to be 60% of maximal inspiratory pressure and will be increased based on the rate of perceived exertion.
The main study endpoint is the incidence of postoperative pneumonia. Secondary objectives are to evaluate the effect of preoperative inspiratory muscle training on length of hospital stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, incidence of other postoperative (pulmonary) complications, quality of life, and on postoperative respiratory muscle function and lung function.
The PREPARE study is the first multicenter randomized controlled trial to evaluate the hypothesis that preoperative inspiratory muscle training leads to decreased pulmonary complications in patients undergoing esophageal resection.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC4019558  PMID: 24767575
Inspiratory muscle training; Physical therapy; Preoperative; Esophageal resection; Pneumonia
8.  Imagine a world without cancer 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:186.
Since the “War on Cancer” was declared in 1971, the United States alone has expended some $300 billion on research, with a heavy focus on the role of genomics in anticancer therapy. Voluminous data have been collected and analyzed. However, in hindsight, any achievements made have not been realized in clinical practice in terms of overall survival or quality of life extended. This might be justified because cancer is not one disease but a conglomeration of multiple diseases, with widespread heterogeneity even within a single tumor type.
Only a few types of cancer have been described that are associated with one major signaling pathway. This enabled the initial successful deployment of targeted therapy for such cancers. However, soon after this targeted approach was initiated, it was subverted as cancer cells learned and reacted to the initial treatments, oftentimes rendering the treatment less effective or even completely ineffective. During the past 30 plus years, the cancer classification used had, as its primary aim, the facilitation of communication and the exchange of information amongst those caring for cancer patients with the end goal of establishing a standardized approach for the diagnosis and treatment of cancers. This approach should be modified based on the recent research to affect a change from a service-based to an outcome-based approach. The vision of achieving long-term control and/or eradicating or curing cancer is far from being realized, but not impossible. In order to meet the challenges in getting there, any newly proposed anticancer strategy must integrate a personalized treatment outcome approach. This concept is predicated on tumor- and patient-associated variables, combined with an individualized response assessment strategy for therapy modification as suggested by the patient’s own results. As combined strategies may be outcome-orientated and integrate tumor-, patient- as well as cancer-preventive variables, this approach is likely to result in an optimized anticancer strategy.
Herein, we introduce such an anticancer strategy for all cancer patients, experts, and organizations: Imagine a World without Cancer.
PMCID: PMC3995593  PMID: 24629025
Cancer; Carcinogenesis; Multimodal therapy; Cancer classification; Personalized anticancer therapy; Individualized anticancer therapy
9.  Adding Preoperative Radiotherapy Plus Cetuximab to Perioperative Chemotherapy for Resectable Esophageal Adenocarcinoma: A Single-Center Prospective Phase II Trial 
The Oncologist  2013;19(1):32-33.
Local and systemic recurrence are important sources of treatment failure following surgical resection of esophageal adenocarcinoma. We hypothesized that adding preoperative cetuximab and radiotherapy (cetux-RT) to perioperative chemotherapy would increase treatment efficacy with acceptable toxicity.
In this prospective phase II trial, patients were treated with three cycles of epirubicin, cisplatin, and capecitabine (ECX), followed by cetux-RT. After surgery with curative intent, patients received three more cycles of ECX. Primary endpoints were efficacy, determined by histopathological complete response (pCR) rate, and safety, which was assessed with resectability rate.
Of the 12 patients enrolled in this trial, six received at least one dose of cetux-RT. In five patients, cetux-RT was not started because of adverse events (AEs) related to preoperative chemotherapy; one patient had progressive disease. Addition of cetux-RT was well tolerated and did not interfere with the resectability rate (100%). However, the pCR rate was 0, and 50% of patients experienced serious adverse events (SAEs) postoperatively.
With 12 patients enrolled, the lack of initial signs of efficacy and a high incidence of postoperative SAEs prompted us to end this study prematurely. Perioperative ECX was associated with considerable toxicity, and further treatment intensification is problematic.
PMCID: PMC3903062  PMID: 24335595
10.  Strategies to reduce pulmonary complications after esophagectomy 
Esophagectomy, the surgical removal of all or part of the esophagus, is a surgical procedure that is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Pulmonary complications are an especially important postoperative problem. Therefore, many perioperative strategies to prevent pulmonary complications after esophagectomy have been investigated and introduced in daily clinical practice. Here, we review these strategies, including improvement of patient performance and technical advances such as minimally invasive surgery that have been implemented in recent years. Furthermore, interventions such as methylprednisolone, neutrophil elastase inhibitor and epidural analgesia, which have been shown to reduce pulmonary complications, are discussed. Benefits of the commonly applied routine nasogastric decompression, delay of oral intake and prophylactic mechanical ventilation are unclear, and many of these strategies are also evaluated here. Finally, we will discuss recent insights and new developments aimed to improve pulmonary outcomes after esophagectomy.
PMCID: PMC3801361  PMID: 24151374
Esophagectomy; Complications; Pneumonia; Acute lung injury; Acute respiratory distress syndrome
11.  Early severe mediastinal bleeding after esophagectomy: a potentially lethal complication 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2013;5(2):E58-E60.
Anastomotic leakage after cervical oesophagogastrostomy is a common and difficult problem. Mediastinal manifestation of anastomotic leakage may lead to mediastinitis with dramatic and potentially lethal outcome. Contamination of the mediastinum can be controlled by endoscopic placement of an expandable metal stent. We present two cases of severe haemorrhage after mediastinal manifestation of anastomotic leakage in patients with and without expandable metal stent (EMS).
This case report describes two cases of severe haemorrhage after thoracolaparoscopic esophagectomy with cervical oesophagogastrostomy. The recovery of both patients was complicated by anastomotic leakage with mediastinal manifestation. In one case, 11 days after placement of an EMS for anastomotic leakage a bleeding occurred in the cervical wound. Angiography during surgery showed contrast leakage in the aortic arch. Despite sternotomy and endovascular catheterization, there were no surgical options to treat this condition and the patient died of exsanguination. In the other case the patient presented with severe hematemesis 11 days after surgery. Shortly after this hematemesis the patient became hemodynamic instable. The patient was taken to the operation theatre, but before any intervention could take place resuscitation was needed and the patient died of exsanguination.
Severe haemorrhage is a rare and potentially lethal complication after esophagectomy. This condition is related to anastomotic leakage with mediastinal manifestation. Awareness of this potentially lethal complication is important for early recognition and treatment of this condition. The role of endoscopic stenting of the cervical anastomosis is controversial and potentially dangerous.
PMCID: PMC3621925  PMID: 23585960
Severe haemorrhage; expandable metal stent; anastomotic leakage; mediastinitis
12.  Robot-assisted minimally invasive thoraco-laparoscopic esophagectomy versus open transthoracic esophagectomy for resectable esophageal cancer, a randomized controlled trial (ROBOT trial) 
Trials  2012;13:230.
For esophageal cancer patients, radical esophagolymphadenectomy is the cornerstone of multimodality treatment with curative intent. Transthoracic esophagectomy is the preferred surgical approach worldwide allowing for en-bloc resection of the tumor with the surrounding lymph nodes. However, the percentage of cardiopulmonary complications associated with the transthoracic approach is high (50 to 70%).
Recent studies have shown that robot-assisted minimally invasive thoraco-laparoscopic esophagectomy (RATE) is at least equivalent to the open transthoracic approach for esophageal cancer in terms of short-term oncological outcomes. RATE was accompanied with reduced blood loss, shorter ICU stay and improved lymph node retrieval compared with open esophagectomy, and the pulmonary complication rate, hospital stay and perioperative mortality were comparable. The objective is to evaluate the efficacy, risks, quality of life and cost-effectiveness of RATE as an alternative to open transthoracic esophagectomy for treatment of esophageal cancer.
This is an investigator-initiated and investigator-driven monocenter randomized controlled parallel-group, superiority trial. All adult patients (age ≥18 and ≤80 years) with histologically proven, surgically resectable (cT1-4a, N0-3, M0) esophageal carcinoma of the intrathoracic esophagus and with European Clinical Oncology Group performance status 0, 1 or 2 will be assessed for eligibility and included after obtaining informed consent. Patients (n = 112) with resectable esophageal cancer are randomized in the outpatient department to either RATE (n = 56) or open three-stage transthoracic esophageal resection (n = 56). The primary outcome of this study is the percentage of overall complications (grade 2 and higher) as stated by the modified Clavien–Dindo classification of surgical complications.
This is the first randomized controlled trial designed to compare RATE with open transthoracic esophagectomy as surgical treatment for resectable esophageal cancer. If our hypothesis is proven correct, RATE will result in a lower percentage of postoperative complications, lower blood loss, and shorter hospital stay, but with at least similar oncologic outcomes and better postoperative quality of life compared with open transthoracic esophagectomy. The study started in January 2012. Follow-up will be 5 years. Short-term results will be analyzed and published after discharge of the last randomized patient.
Trial registration
Dutch trial register: NTR3291 NCT01544790
PMCID: PMC3564860  PMID: 23199187
13.  Exploring Gene Expression Signatures for Predicting Disease Free Survival after Resection of Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastases 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49442.
Background and Objectives
This study was designed to identify and validate gene signatures that can predict disease free survival (DFS) in patients undergoing a radical resection for their colorectal liver metastases (CRLM).
Tumor gene expression profiles were collected from 119 patients undergoing surgery for their CRLM in the Paul Brousse Hospital (France) and the University Medical Center Utrecht (The Netherlands). Patients were divided into high and low risk groups. A randomly selected training set was used to find predictive gene signatures. The ability of these gene signatures to predict DFS was tested in an independent validation set comprising the remaining patients. Furthermore, 5 known clinical risk scores were tested in our complete patient cohort.
No gene signature was found that significantly predicted DFS in the validation set. In contrast, three out of five clinical risk scores were able to predict DFS in our patient cohort.
No gene signature was found that could predict DFS in patients undergoing CRLM resection. Three out of five clinical risk scores were able to predict DFS in our patient cohort. These results emphasize the need for validating risk scores in independent patient groups and suggest improved designs for future studies.
PMCID: PMC3504021  PMID: 23185333
14.  Efficacy and Complications of Nasojejunal, Jejunostomy and Parenteral Feeding After Pancreaticoduodenectomy 
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery  2012;16(6):1144-1151.
European nutritional guidelines recommend routine use of enteral feeding after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) whereas American guidelines do not. Data on the efficacy and, especially, complications of the various feeding strategies after PD are scarce.
Retrospective monocenter cohort study in 144 consecutive patients who underwent PD during a period wherein the routine post-PD feeding strategy changed twice. Patients not receiving nutritional support (n=15) were excluded. Complications were graded according to the Clavien-Dindo classification and the International Study Group of Pancreatic Surgery (ISGPS) definitions. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. Primary endpoint was the time to resumption of normal oral intake.
129 patients undergoing PD (111 pylorus preserving) were included. 44 patients (34%) received enteral nutrition via nasojejunal tube (NJT), 48 patients (37%) via jejunostomy tube (JT) and 37 patients (29%) received total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Groups were comparable with respect to baseline characteristics, Clavien ≥II complications (P=0.99), in-hospital stay (P=0.83) and mortality (P=0.21). There were no differences in time to resumption of normal oral intake (primary endpoint; NJT/JT/TPN: median 13, 16 and 14 days, P=0.15) and incidence of delayed gastric emptying (P=0.30). Duration of enteral nutrition was shorter in the NJT- compared to the JT- group (median 8 vs. 12 days, P=0.02). Tube related complications occurred mainly in the NJT-group (34% dislodgement). In the JT-group, relaparotomy was performed in three patients (6%) because of JT-leakage or strangulation leading to death in one patient (2%). Wound infections were most common in the TPN group (NJT/JT/TPN: 16%, 6% and 30%, P=0.02).
None of the analysed feeding strategies was found superior with respect to time to resumption of normal oral intake, morbidity and mortality. Each strategy was associated with specific complications. Nasojejunal tubes dislodged in a third of patients, jejunostomy tubes caused few but potentially life-threatening bowel strangulation and TPN doubled the risk of infections.
PMCID: PMC3354327  PMID: 22528573
Pancreas; Surgery; Feeding; Nutrition; Complications
15.  Preoperative Imaging of Colorectal Liver Metastases After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy: A Meta-Analysis 
Annals of Surgical Oncology  2012;19(9):2805-2813.
Chemotherapy treatment induces parenchymal changes that potentially affect imaging of CRLM. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to provide values of diagnostic performance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), and FDG-PET/CT for preoperative detection of colorectal liver metastases (CRLM) in patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
A comprehensive search was performed for original articles published from inception to 2011 assessing diagnostic performance of MRI, CT, FDG-PET, or FDG-PET/CT for preoperative evaluation of CRLM following chemotherapy. Intraoperative findings and/or histology were used as reference standard. For each imaging modality we calculated pooled sensitivities for patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy as well as for chemonaive patients, defined as number of malignant lesions detected divided by number of malignant lesions as confirmed by the reference standard.
A total of 11 papers, comprising 223 patients with 906 lesions, were included. Substantial variation in study design, patient characteristics, imaging features, and reference tests was observed. Pooled sensitivity estimates of MRI, CT, FDG-PET, and FDG-PET/CT were 85.7% (69.7–94.0%), 69.9% (65.6–73.9%), 54.5% (46.7–62.1%), and 51.7% (37.8–65.4%), respectively. In chemonaive patients, sensitivity rates were 80.5% (67.0–89.4%) for CT, 81.3% (64.1–91.4%) for FDG-PET, and 71.0% (64.3–76.9%) for FDG-PET/CT. Specificity could not be calculated because of non-reporting of “true negative lesions.”
In the neoadjuvant setting, MRI appears to be the most appropriate imaging modality for preoperative assessment of patients with CRLM. CT is the second-best diagnostic modality and should be used in the absence of MRI. Diagnostic accuracy of FDG-PET and PET-CT is strongly affected by chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3433675  PMID: 22396005
16.  Primary lymphoma of the liver - A complex diagnosis 
World Journal of Radiology  2012;4(2):53-57.
A 59-year-old woman presented with the clinical symptoms and radiologic investigations of a liver lesion suspect of metastasis. However, postoperative histopathology revealed a primary hepatic lymphoma (PHL). The case of a patient with a solitary PHL, which was treated by resection and subsequent chemotherapy, will be discussed with a short overview of the literature.
PMCID: PMC3304094  PMID: 22423319
Primary; Hepatic; Lymphoma; Liver; Diagnosis; Computed tomography; Magnetic resonance imaging
18.  Risk of Thromboembolic Events after Perioperative Chemotherapy Versus Surgery Alone for Esophageal Adenocarcinoma 
Annals of Surgical Oncology  2011;19(2):684-692.
Major oncologic surgery is associated with a high incidence of thromboembolic events (TEE). Addition of perioperative chemotherapy in esophageal cancer surgery may increase the risk of TEE.
The thromboembolic toxicity profile was analyzed in patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Two groups were identified: patients who underwent esophagectomy and received perioperative chemotherapy with epirubicin, cisplatin, and capecitabine (ECC; n = 52), and patients who were treated with surgery alone (n = 35).
A total of 22 TEEs was observed in 17 patients (32.7%) in the chemotherapy group and 3 patients (7.5%) in the surgery-alone group (P < .01). The relative risk of developing a TEE for patients receiving perioperative chemotherapy during the whole treatment period was 3.8 (95% confidence interval 1.2–12.0). A preoperatively occurring TEE did not increase the risk of postoperative TEE, nor did it increase postoperative hospital stay (P = .325). Median postoperative hospital stay was 23 days (range 14–78) for patients with a postoperative TEE and 15 days (range 10–105) for patients without TEE (P = .126). Perioperative chemotherapy with the epirubicin, cisplatin, and capecitabine regimen was independently associated with the development of TEE in the combined preoperative and postoperative period (P = .034).
Perioperative chemotherapy improves survival for operable esophageal cancer but comes at the price of toxicity. Perioperative chemotherapy for EAC increases the risk of TEE. However, chemotherapy-related preoperative TEE did not increase the risk of postoperative TEE, nor did it increase postoperative hospital stay, justifying its use in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3264865  PMID: 21837523
19.  Viable Tumor Tissue Adherent to Needle Applicators after Local Ablation: A Risk Factor for Local Tumor Progression 
Annals of Surgical Oncology  2011;18(13):3702-3710.
Local tumor progression (LTP) is a serious complication after local ablation of malignant liver tumors, negatively influencing patient survival. LTP may be the result of incomplete ablation of the treated tumor. In this study, we determined whether viable tumor cells attached to the needle applicator after ablation was associated with LTP and disease-free survival.
In this prospective study, tissue was collected of 96 consecutive patients who underwent local liver ablations for 130 liver malignancies. Cells and tissue attached to the needle applicators were analyzed for viability using glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase staining and autofluorescence intensity levels of H&E stained sections. Patients were followed-up until disease progression.
Viable tumor cells were found on the needle applicators after local ablation in 26.7% of patients. The type of needle applicator used, an open approach, and the omission of track ablation were significantly correlated with viable tumor tissue adherent to the needle applicator. The presence of viable cells was an independent predictor of LTP. The attachment of viable cells to the needle applicators was associated with a shorter time to LTP.
Viable tumor cells adherent to the needle applicators were found after ablation of 26.7% of patients. An independent risk factor for viable cells adherent to the needle applicators is the omission of track ablation. We recommend using only RFA devices that have track ablation functionality. Adherence of viable tumor cells to the needle applicator after local ablation was an independent risk factor for LTP.
PMCID: PMC3222809  PMID: 21590455
20.  Behavioral and psychosocial effects of rapid genetic counseling and testing in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients: Design of a multicenter randomized clinical trial 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:6.
It has been estimated that between 5% and 10% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a hereditary form of the disease, primarily caused by a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. Such women have an increased risk of developing a new primary breast and/or ovarian tumor, and may therefore opt for preventive surgery (e.g., bilateral mastectomy, oophorectomy). It is common practice to offer high-risk patients genetic counseling and DNA testing after their primary treatment, with genetic test results being available within 4-6 months. However, some non-commercial laboratories can currently generate test results within 3 to 6 weeks, and thus make it possible to provide rapid genetic counseling and testing (RGCT) prior to primary treatment. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of RGCT on treatment decisions and on psychosocial health.
In this randomized controlled trial, 255 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with at least a 10% risk of carrying a BRCA gene mutation are being recruited from 12 hospitals in the Netherlands. Participants are randomized in a 2:1 ratio to either a RGCT intervention group (the offer of RGCT directly following diagnosis with tests results available before surgical treatment) or to a usual care control group. The primary behavioral outcome is the uptake of direct bilateral mastectomy or delayed prophylactic contralateral mastectomy. Psychosocial outcomes include cancer risk perception, cancer-related worry and distress, health-related quality of life, decisional satisfaction and the perceived need for and use of additional decisional counseling and psychosocial support. Data are collected via medical chart audits and self-report questionnaires administered prior to randomization, and at 6 month and at 12 month follow-up.
This trial will provide essential information on the impact of RGCT on the choice of primary surgical treatment among women with breast cancer with an increased risk of hereditary cancer. This study will also provide data on the psychosocial consequences of RGCT and of risk-reducing behavior.
Trial registration
The study is registered at the Netherlands Trial Register (NTR1493) and (NCT00783822).
PMCID: PMC3022885  PMID: 21219598
21.  Axillary Staging in Breast Cancer Patients with Exclusive Lymphoscintigraphic Drainage to the Internal Mammary Chain 
World Journal of Surgery  2010;35(1):159-164.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the need of axillary staging in breast cancer patients showing exclusive lymphatic drainage to the internal mammary chain (IMC).
A total of 2203 patients treated for breast carcinoma in three participating hospitals between July 2001 and July 2008 were analyzed. Only patients showing drainage to the IMC on preoperative lymphoscintigraphy were included. The number of harvested IMC sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs), axillary SLNs, and metastases were recorded. Finally, the follow-up of this group of patients was analyzed.
In 25/426 patients, drainage was exclusively to the IMC. Exploration of the axilla resulted in the harvesting of blue SLNs in 9 patients (36%) and the retrieval of an enlarged lymph node in 1 patient. In 4 of the remaining 15 patients, an axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) was done. Lymph node metastases were found in 3 patients who had blue axillary SLNs and in 1 patient who underwent ALND. In the 11 patients who had no blue SLNs and no ALND, no axillary recurrences were observed during follow-up (median = 26 months).
Proper staging of the axilla remains crucial in patients showing exclusive drainage to the IMC. When no axillary node can be retrieved, ALND remains subject to discussion.
PMCID: PMC3006651  PMID: 20936283
22.  Minimally invasive image-guided therapy for inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma: What is the evidence today? 
Insights into Imaging  2010;1(3):167-181.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a primary malignant tumor of the liver that accounts for an important health problem worldwide. Only 10–15% of HCC patients are suitable candidates for hepatic resection and liver transplantation due to the advanced stage of the disease at time of diagnosis and shortage of donors. Therefore, several minimally invasive image-guided therapies for locoregional treatment have been developed. Tumor ablative techniques are either based on thermal tumor destruction, as in radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, microwave ablation, laser ablation and high-intensity focused ultrasound, or chemical tumor destruction, as in percutaneous ethanol injection. Image-guided catheter-based techniques rely on intra-arterial delivery of embolic, chemoembolic or radioembolic agents. These minimally invasive image-guided therapies have revolutionized the management of inoperable HCC. This review provides a description of all minimally invasive image-guided therapies currently available, an up-to-date overview of the scientific evidence for their clinical use, and thoughts for future directions.
PMCID: PMC3288853  PMID: 23100194
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liver cancer; Ablation techniques; Intra-arterial infusion; Embolization
24.  Feasibility of MRI-guided large-core-needle biopsy of suspiscious breast lesions at 3 T 
European Radiology  2009;19(7):1639-1644.
The feasibility of large-core-needle magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided breast biopsy at 3 T was assessed. Thirty-one suspicious breast lesions shown only by MRI were detected in 30 patients. Biopsy procedures were performed in a closed-bore 3-T clinical MR system on a dedicated phased-array breast coil with a commercially available add-on stereotactic biopsy device. Tissue sampling was technically successful in 29/31 (94%) lesions. Median lesion size (n = 29) was 9 mm. Histopathological analysis showed 19 benign lesions (66%) and one inconclusive biopsy result (3%). At follow-up of these lesions, 15 lesions showed no malignancy, no information was available in three patients and two lesions turned out to be malignant (one lesion at surgical excision 1 month after biopsy and one lesion at a second biopsy because of a more malignant enhancement curve at 12-months follow-up MRI). Nine biopsy results showed a malignant lesion (31%) which were all surgically removed. No complications occurred. MRI-guided biopsy at 3 T is a safe and effective method for breast biopsy in lesions that are occult on mammography and ultrasound. Follow-up MRI at 6 months after the biopsy should be performed in case of a benign biopsy result.
PMCID: PMC2691521  PMID: 19214520
Breast neoplasms; Magnetic resonance imaging; Biopsy; High field
25.  Laparoscopic ileocolic resection versus infliximab treatment of distal ileitis in Crohn's disease: a randomized multicenter trial (LIR!C-trial) 
BMC Surgery  2008;8:15.
With the availability of infliximab, nowadays recurrent Crohn's disease, defined as disease refractory to immunomodulatory agents that has been treated with steroids, is generally treated with infliximab. Infliximab is an effective but expensive treatment and once started it is unclear when therapy can be discontinued. Surgical resection has been the golden standard in recurrent Crohn's disease. Laparoscopic ileocolic resection proved to be safe and is characterized by a quick symptom reduction.
The objective of this study is to compare infliximab treatment with laparoscopic ileocolic resection in patients with recurrent Crohn's disease of the distal ileum with respect to quality of life and costs.
The study is designed as a multicenter randomized clinical trial including patients with Crohn's disease located in the terminal ileum that require infliximab treatment following recent consensus statements on inflammatory bowel disease treatment: moderate to severe disease activity in patients that fail to respond to steroid therapy or immunomodulatory therapy. Patients will be randomized to receive either infliximab or undergo a laparoscopic ileocolic resection. Primary outcomes are quality of life and costs. Secondary outcomes are hospital stay, early and late morbidity, sick leave and surgical recurrence. In order to detect an effect size of 0.5 on the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire at a 5% two sided significance level with a power of 80%, a sample size of 65 patients per treatment group can be calculated. An economic evaluation will be performed by assessing the marginal direct medical, non-medical and time costs and the costs per Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) will be calculated. For both treatment strategies a cost-utility ratio will be calculated. Patients will be included from December 2007.
The LIR!C-trial is a randomized multicenter trial that will provide evidence whether infliximab treatment or surgery is the best treatment for recurrent distal ileitis in Crohn's disease.
Trial registration
Nederlands Trial Register NTR1150
PMCID: PMC2533646  PMID: 18721465

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