The development of a clinical screening instrument for tumour predisposition syndromes in childhood cancer patients
European Journal of Cancer , Volume 49 - Issue 15 p. 3247- 3254
Background: Identification of tumour predisposition syndromes in patients who have cancer in childhood is paramount for optimal care. A screening instrument that can help to identify such patients will facilitate physicians caring for children with cancer. The complete screening instrument should consist of a standardised series of pictures and a screening form for manifestations not visible in the pictures. Here we describe the development of such a screening form based on an international two-stage Delphi process and an initial validation of the complete instrument. Patients and methods: We identified manifestations that may contribute to the diagnosis of a tumour predisposition syndrome through the Winter-Baraitser Dysmorphology Database and the textbook "Gorlin's Syndromes of the Head and Neck". In a two-round Delphi process, eight international content-experts scored the contribution of each of these manifestations. We performed a clinical validation of the instrument in a selected cohort of 10 paediatric cancer patients from another centre. Results: In total, 49 manifestations were found to contribute to the diagnosis of a tumour predisposition syndrome and were included in the screening form. The pilot validation study showed that patients suspected of having a tumour predisposition syndrome were recognised. Excellent correlation for indications of patient's referral between the screening instrument and the reference standard (personal evaluation by an experienced clinical geneticist) was found. Conclusions: The Delphi process performed by international specialists with a function as opinion leaders in their field of expertise, has led to a screening instrument for childhood cancer patients. Patients who may have a tumour predisposition syndrome and thus have an indication to be referred for further genetic analysis, can be identified using the screening instrument.
|Childhood cancer, Delphi process, Paediatric oncology, Questionnaires, Screening instrument, Tumour predisposition syndromes|
|European Journal of Cancer|
|Organisation||Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam|
Hopman, S.M.J, Merks, J.H.M, de Borgie, C.A, Aalfs, C.M, Biesecker, L.G, Cole, T.J, … Hennekam, R.C.M. (2013). The development of a clinical screening instrument for tumour predisposition syndromes in childhood cancer patients. European Journal of Cancer, 49(15), 3247–3254. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2013.06.015