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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 54 (2012) 11, 921 - 925

Short report

Disease profiling in haemato-oncology

P.C. Huijgens

Summary
background
In the field of haemato-oncology the staging of disease began in the 1960s with the mapping of the extent of a disease in order to create opportunities for effective local treatment. This led to the characterisation of cancer cells with the help of various techniques ranging from microscopy to the profiling of gene expression.
aim To provide an overview of staging and profiling in haematology.
method A description is given of the relevant methods and techniques and of the way in which these procedures are organised in the Netherlands.
results In haematology it is essential to characterise an illness during diagnosis and during treatment. Slowly but surely protocols for estimating the severity of the patient’s disease and patient’s quality of life are being introduced. In the Netherlands the Dutch-Belgian Study Group for haemato-oncology for adults (hovon foundation) has been actively engaged for 25 years in integrating into one structure and one quality system the developments in disease profiling and the simultaneous improvements in treatment.
conclusion In the treatment of patients with a haematological malignancy it has become normal practice to characterise both the diseased cell and the extent of the illness during diagnosis and in the course of treatment. Improvements in characterisation and in treatment run parallel to each other and influence each other continuously. The hovon foundation keeps a record of the results of each patient.

keywords hematology, oncology, profiling, staging