ESMO Designated Centre of Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care
|Contact person||Dr Christian Focan|
|Contact||Phone: +32 4 2248990 - Christian(dot)focan(at)chc(dot)be|
The hospital centre comprises of six different sites in the same geographical area. On the main site (Clinique Saint-Joseph) all facilities are offered regarding diagnosis (i.e. medical imaging with NRM,PET and CT scans; as well as anatomo-pathology (with IHC and molecular biology)), management and treatment of cancer patients (with surgery, radiotherapy and medical oncology wards including sterile rooms, oncological day-hospital…). The PC unit is located on the site of Clinique Notre-Dame Hermalle; in-patients are managed on a multi-disciplinary philosophy; an out-patient unit is also active. The same staff offers its competence to the patients hospitalised elsewhere (on the six different sites) on a daily basis. (The palliative care mobile team are called the 'flying PC team').
The centre comprises around 1100 acute beds. With 2,000 new cancer patients acknowledged each year, our group is classified in the Belgian top five of cancer centres (and among the top three for breast cancer pathology, with around 350 new cases annually).
Cancer patients are hospitalised in surgical wards and in internal medicine wards, more precisely in the medical oncology unit (developed on the main hospital site) comprising 35 beds with six beds of sterile hematological unit. Annually the oncology department receives about 15,000 out-patients in external consultations and provides day-hospital care for around 10,000 admissions. All cancer patients are managed on a multidisciplinary philosophy including, for example, a PC team which helps also in the management of pain and psycho-social problems.
Oncological staff comprises 10 oncologists (with two fellows in training), five coordination nurses, three onco-dieteticians, three onco-psychologists, two social workers and five data-managers. PC staff comprises four specialist doctors and 16 specialist nurses; also four psychologists.
All possible facilities from the screening, diagnosis to treatment and continuous/palliative cares are offered to patients with up-to-date equipments and include:
- Radiology department with last generation CT-scans and NRMs; possibility of invasive diagnosis and treatment (for pain with targeted infiltrations; for bone reconstruction); well structured breast clinic (Belgian and European recognitions) and GI-tract clinic.
- Medical imaging department with fully equiped nuclear medicine department (ie PET-CT scans).
- Anatomo-pathology department with immediate diagnosis if necessary; IHC and molecular biology as required.
Pluri-disciplinary management is offered on a daily-practice expressed i.e. through multi-disciplinary concertations for all patients newly diagnosed or in a new disease phase.
Well-trained surgical staff are dedicated either to breast, GI, lung, gynecological, urological specialised surgery. Minimally-invasive treatments (i.e. through laparoscopy; partial surgeries…) are considered if feasible for all cases.
On-site radiotherapy permits the application of concomittant chemo-radiotherapy therapies as well as standard indications. The medical oncology staff can manage acute therapy for in-patients (hospital ward of 36 beds), out-patients (day-hospital) and provides adequate follow-up for them.
The medical oncology and hematology treatments are based on classical knowledge (according to internally-published guidelines and shared on the internal network) and on new and future hopes (numerous cancer trials from phase I to III including hundred of patients each year). The hematology staff also chair a sterile unit for leukemic patients, neutropenic patients and patients undergoing autologous bone marrow transplantation.
Areas of specialisation
The hospital is a leader in oncological care for breast and GI tract cancers. However all types of cancer patients can be managed from the screening, diagnosis, various therapies and continuous/palliative care.
Palliative and supportive care
The PC department comprises an in-unit of six beds located on the Clinique ND Hermalle site (near Liège), where end-of-life patients are welcome for symptoms equilibration (pain, dyspnea, …) or for their ultimate multidisciplinary management. Care is also extended to the family of the patient.
The same medico-nursing staff acting as 'a palliative care mobile team' providing care for cancer patients, in collaboration with the oncologists, on the five other sites of the hospital. A multidisciplinary meeting takes place every week in order to discuss all the problems concerning the patients and there family.