PLCRC biedt een landelijk platform voor onderzoek

naar dunnedarm-, dikkedarm-, endeldarm- en anuskanker.






The impact of surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy on health-related quality of life in patients with colon cancer: Changes at group level versus individual level

30 november 2022

Objective: This study aims to evaluate changes in health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) 1 year after surgical treatment in patients with primary resectable colon cancer and to assess whether changes at group level differ from changes at individual level. In addition, we assess which characteristics are associated with a decline of HR-QoL.

Methods: Patients with primary resectable colon cancer who received surgical treatment and adjuvant chemotherapy if indicated were selected from the Prospective Dutch ColoRectal Cancer cohort (PLCRC). HR-QoL was assessed using EORTC-QLQ-C30 questionnaire before surgery and 12 months post-surgery. Outcomes were assessed at group and individual levels. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess which socio-demographic and clinical characteristics were associated with a clinically relevant decline of HR-QoL at 12 months.

Results: Of all 324 patients, the baseline level of HR-QoL summary score was relatively high with a mean of 88.1 (SD 11.4). On group level, the change of HR-QoL at 12 months varied between -2% for cognitive functioning and +9% for emotional functioning. On individual level, 15% of all patients experienced a clinically relevant decline in HR-QoL summary score at 12 months. Older age, comorbidity burden or the reception of adjuvant chemotherapy was independently associated with a decline of HR-QoL in one of the functional subscales of EORTC-QLQ-C30 at 12 months.

Conclusion: Only trivial changes of HR-QoL were observed after colon cancer treatment on group level, whereas on individual level, at least 1 out of 10 patients experienced a decline of HR-QoL 12 months post-surgery. It is important to consider individual differences while making a treatment decision.

Bekijk deze publicatie

GITR Ligation Improves Anti-PD1-Mediated Restoration of Human MMR-Proficient Colorectal Carcinoma Tumor-Derived T Cells

23 september 2022

Background & aims 

In contrast to mismatch repair deficient colorectal carcinoma (CRC), MMR proficient (pMMR) CRC does not respond to immune checkpoint blockade. We studied immune checkpoint stimulation via glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor-related protein (GITR) on ex vivo functionality of human tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) isolated from pMMR primary CRC and liver metastases (CRLM).



Using lymphocytes from resected tumor, adjacent tissues, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 132 pMMR primary CRC or CRLM patients, we determined GITR expression and the in vitro T-cell agonistic activity of recombinant GITR ligation.



Here, we show that GITR was overexpressed on TIL when compared with other stimulatory immune checkpoints (4-1BB, OX40). Its expression was enhanced in TIL compared with PBMC and adjacent tissues. Among CD4+ TIL, GITR expression was primarily expressed by CD45RA- FoxP3hi activated regulatory T cells. Within CD8+ TIL, GITR was predominantly expressed on functionally exhausted and putative tumor-reactive CD103+ CD39+ TIL. Strikingly, recombinant GITRL reinvigorated ex vivo TIL responses by significantly enhancing CD4+ and CD8+ TIL numbers. Dual treatment with GITRL and nivolumab (anti-PD1) enhanced CD8+ TIL expansion compared with GITRL monotherapy. Moreover, GITRL/anti-PD1 dual therapy further improved anti-PD1-mediated reinvigoration of interferon gamma secretion by exhausted CD8 TIL from primary CRC.



GITR is overexpressed on CD4+ and CD8+ TIL from pMMR CRC and CRLM. Agonistic targeting of GITR enhances ex vivo human TIL functionality and may therefore be a promising approach for novel monotherapy or combined immunotherapies in primary pMRR CRC and CRLM.

Bekijk deze publicatie

Quality of life of patients with rare cancer: a comparison with patients with colorectal cancer and the association with disease trajectory-related factors

31 december 2022

Purpose: Differences in quality of life (QoL) between patients with rare and common cancer might be explained by the specific challenges patients with rare cancer face during their disease trajectory, but research is scarce. This study aimed to (1) assess the difference in QoL between patients with rare and common cancer (i.e. colorectal cancer (CRC)) and (2) examine the association between disease trajectory-related factors and QoL in patients with rare cancer.

Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected among adults with rare cancer by a nationwide online survey in the Netherlands. For comparison with patients with CRC, data from the Prospective Dutch Colorectal Cancer (PLCRC) cohort were used. Associations were assessed by linear regression analyses.

Results: Data from 1525 patients with rare cancer and 1047 patients with CRC were analysed. Having a rare cancer was significantly associated with a lower QoL compared to having CRC (p < 0.001). Disease trajectory-related factors significantly associated with QoL in patients with rare cancer were time until diagnosis, misdiagnoses, information on best treatment options, information on late and/or long-term effects, and both satisfaction with physician and specialized nurse care (all: p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Patients with rare cancers have a lower self-reported QoL than patients with CRC, and several disease trajectory-related factors are associated with QoL in patients with rare cancer.

Implications for cancer survivors: To improve QoL of patients with rare cancer, appropriate guidance and support by healthcare professionals throughout the disease trajectory are needed, as well as early diagnosis and proper referral to centres of expertise.

Bekijk deze publicatie

External Validation of the Colon Life Nomogram for Predicting 12-Week Mortality in Dutch Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Patients Treated with Trifluridine/Tipiracil in Daily Practice

18 oktober 2022


Predicting prognosis in refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients is needed to guide decision making. The Colon Life nomogram was developed to predict 12-week mortality in refractory mCRC patients. The aim of this study is to validate the Colon Life nomogram in last line/refractory patients receiving trifluridine/tipiracil (FTD/TPI) in daily practice.



The validation cohort consists of 150 QUALITAS study patients, an observational substudy of the Prospective Dutch CRC cohort, who were treated with FTD/TPI between 2016 and 2019. Model performance was assessed on discrimination, calibration, and clinical usefulness. The additional prognostic value of baseline quality of life (QoL) and thymidine kinase (TK1) expression in tissue was explored.



Of the 150 patients, 25 (16.7%) died within 12 weeks of starting FTD/TPI treatment. The C-statistic was 0.63 (95% C.I. 0.56-0.70). The observed/expected ratio was 0.52 (0.37-0.73). The calibration intercept and slope were -1.06 (-1.53 to -0.58) and 0.41 (0.01-0.81), respectively, which indicated overestimation of 12-week mortality by the nomogram. Decision curve analysis showed the nomogram did not yield a positive net benefit at clinically meaningful thresholds for predicted 12-week mortality. Addition of QoL to the nomogram improved the C-statistic to 0.85 (0.81-0.89). TK1 expression was associated with progression-free survival but not with overall survival.



We demonstrated evident miscalibration of the Colon Life nomogram upon external validation, which hampers its use in clinical practice. We recommend conducting a study with a sufficiently large sample size to update the Colon Life nomogram or to develop a new model including QoL.

Bekijk deze publicatie

Evaluation of an individual feedback report on patient‑reported outcomes in the Prospective Dutch ColoRectal Cancer cohort

31 mei 2022


Returning patient-reported outcomes to patients might aid patients in detecting symptoms and might facilitate early intervention. This descriptive study evaluates the use of an individual feedback report on patient-reported outcomes for colorectal cancer patients and aims to assess differences in patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics and cohort retention between patients who opt and do not opt for the feedback report.



Patients with colorectal cancer participating in the nationwide Prospective Dutch ColoRectal Cancer Cohort, who filled in questionnaires digitally between June 2018 and January 2019, were included. Participants were given the option to receive a feedback report at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months. The usefulness, content, and layout of the feedback report were evaluated. Differences in patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics, patientreported outcomes, and cohort retention at subsequent questionnaires between participants who did and did not opt for feedback were assessed.


A total of 484 participants were included of whom 293 (61%) opted for feedback. The feedback report was considered useful by 92%. No differences in patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics, and patient-reported outcomes were found between participants who did and did not opt for feedback. The response rate was higher among patients who opted for feedback compared to patients who did not opt for feedback at T3 (84 vs 74%), but not at T6 and T12.


The feedback report was used by 6 out of 10 patients. The feedback report was considered valuable and associated with a higher subsequent response rate.

Bekijk deze publicatie

Quality of life and survival of metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with trifluridine-tipiracil (QUALITAS)

24 maart 2022


The RECOURSE trial demonstrated a modest benefit in overall survival (OS) for trifluridine/tipiracil (FTD/TPI) versus placebo in pretreated metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients. Unfortunately, quality of life (QoL) was not assessed. We evaluated QoL and survival of patients treated with FTD/TPI in daily practice.


QUALITAS is a substudy of the Prospective Dutch CRC cohort (PLCRC). From 150 mCRC patients treated with FTD/TPI, QoL (EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-CR29) was assessed monthly from study entry and linked to clinical data of the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Joint models were constructed combining mixed effects models with Cox PH models. Primary endpoint was difference in QoL over time (which was deemed clinically relevant if ≥10 points). Secondary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS), time to treatment failure (TTF), and OS. We analyzed the association between QLQ-C30 Summary Score (QoL-SS) at FTD/TPI initiation (baseline) and survival.


There was no clinically relevant change in QoL-SS from baseline to 10 months post-baseline (i.e. the cut-off point after which 90% of patients had discontinued FTD/TPI treatment): -5.3 [95% CI -8.7;-1.5]. Patients who were treated with FTD/TPI for ≥3 months (n=85) reported 6.3 [1.6;11.1] points higher baseline QoL, compared to patients treated <3 months (n=65, ‘poor responders’). In the latter, time to a clinically relevant QoL deterioration was <2 months. Median PFS, TTF and OS were 2.9 [2.7;3.1], 3.1 [2.9;3.2] and 7.7 [6.6;8.8] months, respectively. Worse baseline QoL-SS was independently associated with shorter OS (HR 0.45 [0.32;0.63]), PFS (0.63 [0.48;0.83]), and TTF (0.64 [0.47;0.86]).


The maintenance of QoL during FTD/TPI treatment in daily practice supports its use. The QoL deterioration in ‘poor responders’ is likely due to disease progression. The strong association between worse baseline QoL and shorter survival suggests that clinicians should take QoL into account when determining prognosis and treatment strategy for individual patients.

Bekijk deze publicatie

Long-Term Safety Data on S-1 Administered After Previous Intolerance to Capecitabine-Containing Systemic Treatment for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

2 maart 2022


The oral fluoropyrimidine S-1 has shown comparable efficacy to capecitabine in Asian and some Western studies on metastatic colorectal cancer. S-1 is associated with a lower incidence of hand-foot syndrome (HFS) and cardiac toxicity. We assessed the long-term tolerability of S-1 in patients who discontinued capecitabine for reasons of HFS or cardiac toxicity.


Patients and Methods

Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who switched from capecitabine to S-1, given as monotherapy or in combination with other agents, were identified in a Dutch prospective cohort study (2016-2021). The incidence and severity of HFS, cardiotoxicity and other toxicities were assessed.



Forty-seven patients were identified. The median duration of capecitabine treatment was 81 days (range 4-454). In 19 patients (40%) a dose reduction was applied prior to switch to S-1. Reasons for discontinuation of capecitabine were HFS in 36 (77%) patients, coronary artery vasospasms in 10 (21%) patients, and gastrointestinal toxicities in 1 patient (2%). The median number of S-1 cycles was 6 (range 1-36). The median time between last dose of capecitabine and first dose of S-1 was 11 days (range 1-49). After switch to S-1, all patients with prior HFS developed a lower grade or complete resolution of symptoms, and in all other patients symptoms did not recur. Other S-1-related adverse events were limited to grade 1-2. Six patients (13%) discontinued S-1 due to either known fluoropyrimidine-related or bevacizumab-related toxicities. Switch to S-1 did not appear to compromise treatment efficacy.



S-1 is a valid alternative to capecitabine in case HFS or cardiotoxicity occurs.

Bekijk deze publicatie

Physical Activity Is Associated with Improved Overall Survival among Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

21 februari 2022


Physical activity is linked to longer survival among non-metastasized colorectal cancer patients. It is unclear if physical activity is also beneficial for survival among patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. We researched this question in our study of 293 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. We found that participants who reported higher levels of physical activity at diagnosis lived longer compared to patients who reported low activity levels. Furthermore, adherence to the physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors was related to prolonged survival. Our findings suggest that patients with metastatic colorectal cancer also benefit from being physically active. Future studies are needed to investigate whether improving exercise levels after diagnosis of metastasis is also beneficial and what kind of exercise interventions are most optimal for possibly improving survival time of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.



Regular physical activity (PA) is associated with improved overall survival (OS) in stage I–III colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. This association is less defined in patients with metastatic CRC (mCRC). We therefore conducted a study in mCRC patients participating in the Prospective Dutch Colorectal Cancer cohort. PA was assessed with the validated SQUASH questionnaire, filled-in within a maximum of 60 days after diagnosis of mCRC. PA was quantified by calculating Metabolic Equivalent Task (MET) hours per week. American College of Sports and Medicine (ACSM) PA guideline adherence, tertiles of moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA), and sport and leisure time MVPA (MVPA-SL) were assessed as well. Vital status was obtained from the municipal population registry. Cox proportional-hazards models were used to study the association between PA determinants and all-cause mortality adjusted for prognostic patient and treatment-related factors. In total, 293 mCRC patients (mean age 62.9 ± 10.6 years, 67% male) were included in the analysis. Compared to low levels, moderate and high levels of MET-hours were significantly associated with longer OS (fully adjusted hazard ratios: 0.491, (95% CI 0.299–0.807, p value = 0.005) and 0.485 (95% CI 0.303–0.778, p value = 0.003), respectively), as were high levels of MVPA (0.476 (95% CI 0.278–0.816, p value = 0.007)) and MVPA-SL (0.389 (95% CI 0.224–0.677, p value < 0.001)), and adherence to ACSM PA guidelines compared to non-adherence (0.629 (95% CI 0.412–0.961, p value = 0.032)). The present study provides evidence that higher PA levels at diagnosis of mCRC are associated with longer OS.

Bekijk deze publicatie

Work Ability in Patients With Stage I-IV Colon Cancer: Results of the Dutch Prospective Colorectal Cancer Cohort.

21 oktober 2021

Background: Colon cancer affects a patient's ability to work. Many colon cancer patients are employed at the time of diagnosis.

Objective: We evaluated work ability during the first two years after colon cancer diagnosis.

Design: This study is a national prospective study, the Prospective Dutch ColoRectal Cancer cohort, including clinical data and patient reported outcomes.

Settings: Data were collected in 59 medical centers in the Netherlands.

Patients: Patients <67 years, with stage I-IV colon cancer, who completed work ability index questionnaires, were selected.

Main outcome measures: Work ability was assessed at baseline, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. The work ability index (ranging from 0-49) was evaluated using linear mixed models. Outcomes were matched to population controls without cancer.

Results: Of 390 patients, 84% had paid employment. Work ability of stage I-IV patients was significantly lower at time of diagnosis compared to matched population controls (31±8.2 and 41±5.6, respectively). Patients with stage I-III disease receiving surgery only regained work ability index scores comparable to matched population controls at 18 months. Patients receiving adjuvant systemic treatment initially demonstrated a decrease in work ability with improvements from 6 months onwards and normalization at 24 months. Stage IV patients did not demonstrate improvements in work ability outcomes over time. Work ability scores were negatively influenced by the administration of systemic treatment and ≥1 comorbidities.

Limitations: Only patients with patient reported outcomes and work at baseline were included in this analysis. Also, questionnaire response rates decreased over time.

Conclusion: Work ability in colon cancer patients is decreased for a prolonged time. Recovery depends on disease stage, type of treatment and comorbidity. Patients with stage I-III disease treated with curative surgery alone are first to regain work ability, followed by patients who receive adjuvant chemotherapy. Stage IV disease patients do not regain work ability. See Video Abstract at

Bekijk deze publicatie

Trajectories of health-related quality of life and psychological distress in patients with colorectal cancer: A population-based study

29 augustus 2021

Background: The aim of this nationwide cohort study was to examine the course of symptoms and trajectories of health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) and psychological distress during follow-up and to identify vulnerable patients.
Methods: Patients with pathological stage IeIII colorectal cancer (CRC) between 2013 and 2018 were included. Baseline characteristics were collected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry, and patients completed the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30/CR29, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and low anterior resection syndrome (LARS) questionnaires at the baseline and subsequently at 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months. Latent class growth and multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed to outline 24-month trajectories in HR-QoL and distress and to identify predictive factors.
Results: : A total of 1535 patients with colon cancer or rectal cancer were included. Trajectory analysis of HR-QoL identified three patient classes: high HR-QoL (62.7%), improving HRQoL (29.0%) and low HR-QoL (8.3%). The following patient groups were identified with having low distress (64.0%), moderate distress (26.9%) and high distress (9.1%). Around 13% of the total cohort had either persistent low HR-QoL or high psychological distress throughout follow-up. Patients belonging to this vulnerable group were significantly more likely to befemale, to be younger aged, to have lower education, to have disease stage II-III or to have major LARS.
Conclusions: Although most patients treated for stage I-III CRC fared well, a small but significant proportion of around 13% did not recover during follow-up and reported low HRQoL and/or high psychological distress levels throughout. This study’s findings should be
taken into account when organising and selecting patients for tailored follow-up.

Bekijk deze publicatie