Diagnosis and treatment of Waldenström Macroglobulinaemia

BJH - volume 14, issue 3, may 2023

S. van Hecke MD, V. Van Hende MD, A. Janssens MD, PhD


Waldenström Macroglobulinaemia is a rare indolent B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder, which is characterised by infiltration of the bone marrow by lymphoplasmacytic cells in combination with a monoclonal IgM gammopathy. In 2015, the first Belgian guidelines on diagnosis, staging and treatment were published with a first update in 2018. Since then, however a lot has changed. The discovery of the molecular markers MYD88 affected the diagnostic work up. There have also been radical changes in treatment and prognosis due to the use of Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors. In this second update, we revise both diagnosis and treatment and we have a look at the future.

(BELG J HEMATOL 2023;14(3):122–34)

Read more

Diagnosis and treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphomas: Update recommendations of the Belgian Hematology Society (BHS)

BJH - volume 13, issue 2, march 2022

A. Wolfromm MD, S. Bailly MD, E. Van den Neste MD, PhD, M. André MD, PhD, K. Saevels MD, H. Antoine-Poirel MD, PhD, T. Tousseyn MD, PhD, V. Van Hende MD, S. Snauwaert MD, PhD, A. Janssens MD, PhD, C. Jacquy MD, PhD, C. Bonnet MD, PhD


Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) is a heterogeneous group of aggressive diseases associated with poor outcomes. Recent progress in understanding of the biology and pathogenesis based on molecular profiling and next-generation sequencing has led to the introduction of new provisional entities in the World Health Organization (WHO) classification system of 2017 and to the emergence of new drugs.1 Previous Belgian guidelines were published in 2013.2 This review will discuss the diagnosis, work-up and treatment of PTCL including these advances as well as the limitation of the availability of drugs according to the Belgian reimbursement rules.

(BELG J HEMATOL 2022;13(2):65–80)

Read more

How to treat classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma in older patients: Belgian expert opinion

BJH - volume 12, issue 7, november 2021

S. Snauwaert MD, PhD, V. Van Hende MD, A. Janssens MD, PhD, M. André MD, PhD, S. van Hecke MD, E. Van den Neste MD, PhD, On behalf of the lymphoproliferative disease committee BHS


Classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cHL) is a rather rare disease with an incidence of 2-3/100,000 per year and typically presents in patients at the age of 20–30. It is however well known that a second peak occurs at the age of 60–65 years.1 Nowadays Hodgkin is a curable disease for most of the younger patients but treatment is more difficult and less successful in the older patient population. In this review, we want to summarise the possibilities for the treatment of cHL patients above 60 years, with a focus on evidence from the rather rarely available clinical trials. We also look at future treatments. In this article we will use the term ‘older patients’ for patients of 60 years and older at diagnosis. We will make a distinction between fit patients older than 60 years and frail or vulnerable patients (so called elderly).

(BELG J HEMATOL 2021;12(7):296–304)

Read more

Vaccination policy in adult patients with hematological malignancies or asplenia without stem cell transplantation: Recommendations from the advisory board on vaccination of the Belgian Hematological Society

BJH - volume 11, issue 7, november 2020

J. Loos MD, M. Beckers MD, PhD, V. Beckers MD, M. Hoyoux MD, prof. dr. W. Peetermans MD, PhD, A. Van De Velde MD, V. Van Hende MD, A. Vanderfaeillie MD, Y. Van Laethem MD, PhD, A. Janssens MD, PhD


Patients with hematological malignancies suffer from widely varying degrees of immunodeficiency, which leads to an increased susceptibility to a wide range of infections. Some of these, such as influenza and invasive pneumococcal disease, are vaccine preventable. During the Covid19 pandemic these past months patients with hematological malignancies have already shown to be at greater risk of dying, with mortality rates of up to 30% in hospitalized patients.1,2 This has once again highlighted the importance of robust and widely spread vaccination strategies, also we eagerly await an available vaccine for Covid19. In this review, the advisory board on vaccination of the Belgian Hematological Society (BHS), consisting of experts from various disease committees as well as two infectious disease experts attempts to provide clear recommendations regarding vaccinations in patients with hematological malignancies and asplenia. Although transplant recipients share many of the immunodeficiencies of those not transplanted, clear guidelines and vaccination schedules have already been published.3

(BELG J HEMATOL 2020;11(7):305-316)

Read more

Ibrutinib and bleeding management: a Belgian expert consensus

BJH - volume 11, issue 4, june 2020

A. Janssens MD, PhD, D. Bron MD, PhD, V. Van Hende MD, V. Galle MD, K. Jochmans MD, PhD, S. Meers MD, PhD, M. André MD, PhD, M-C. Ngirabacu MD, PhD, K.L. Wu MD, PhD, B. De Prijck MD, P. Verhamme MD, PhD, C. Hermans MD, PhD


In recent years ibrutinib emerged as a paradigm shifting agent in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM). In clinical trials and in real-world studies ibrutinib proved to be an effective agent with an overall favourable tolerability profile. However, compared with standard chemo-immunotherapy (CIT), ibrutinib was associated with a higher incidence of clinically significant bleeding. This has been hypothesized to be linked to the platelet-specific effects of inhibiting Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK). Most bleeding events under ibrutinib are low-grade with a decreasing incidence over time. However, bleeding can have a significant impact on patients and interfere with persistence and compliance of ibrutinib treatment. Currently, no clear consensus exists on the use of ibrutinib in patients with an increased bleeding risk, on the management of ibrutinib-induced bleeding and on the use of ibrutinib around surgery or invasive procedures. In this paper, a panel of Belgian haematology and haemostasis specialists formulated practical advice on bleeding prevention and management in ibrutinib-treated patients.

(BELG J HEMATOL 2020;11(4):174–84)

Read more

Guidelines of the Belgian Hematological Society for newly diagnosed and relapsed follicular lymphoma anno 2019

BJH - volume 11, issue 2, march 2020

M. Clauwaert MD, V. Galle MD, M. Maerevoet MD, A. Janssens MD, PhD, K. Saevels MD, S. Snauwaert MD, PhD, C. Springael MD, PhD, V. Van Hende MD, G. Verhoef MD, PhD, F. Offner MD, PhD


Follicular lymphoma is the most common low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Survival rates have been rising over time mainly due to advancing therapeutic strategies. As the last Belgian guidelines date from 2012, we present an update of the scientific evidence regarding diagnosis, staging, treatment and follow-up, and confront these to the Belgian reimbursement rules anno 2019. Follicular lymphoma grade 3B is classified as high-grade lymphoma and treated accordingly, and will not be discussed in this paper. Early stage disease can be treated with involved-field radiotherapy, which has curative potential. Advanced stage disease is virtually incurable, but many treatment options are available with good results. In first line, treatment is mostly based on chemotherapy combined with rituximab; the latter can be continued as maintenance therapy. In relapsed setting, introduction of the newer and more potent anti-CD20-antibody obinutuzumab, also in combination with chemotherapy, can lead to improved survival in high-risk patients. For older patients with comorbidities, rituximab monotherapy is the preferred option. In further lines, PI3K-inhibition with idelalisib and radioimmunotherapy are available. Finally, autologous or allogeneic stem cell transplantation remain an option in a small group of selected patients.

(BELG J HEMATOL 2020;11(2):67–74)

Read more

P.41 Bone marrow hot pockets mimicking sclerotic bone metastases in a patient with aplastic anemia

BJH - volume 11, issue Abstract Book BHS, february 2020

E. Janssens , dr. J. Van Dorpe , V. Van Hende MD, I. Moors MD, P. Vlummens MD, C. De Vriendt

Read more