In 2017, a collaboration between The Belgian Society of Medical Oncology and the KVBR/SRBR was launched. The first achievement was the local guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of immune related adverse events in patients treated with immunotherapies for their cancer. They are accessible on the ImmunoManager website.

Group Leaders

  • Dr. Sandrine Aspeslagh (Oncologist)
  • Dr. Laurent Meric de Bellefon (rhumatologue)

Group objectives

As “organ specialists”, members of the working group regularly attend National Multidisciplinary Immunotoxicity board meetings (every 2 weeks). Those meetings are led by our oncologist colleagues and are online. 
Our tasks are to give an opinion on the diagnosis of the new musculoskeletal adverse event, or the pre-existing auto-immune disease in the context of the immunotherapy.
We help the oncologists regarding the immunosuppression.

The BSMO-KVBR/SRBR collaboration made it possible to carry out scientific work such as:
– Lauwyck J, Schreuer M, Meric de Bellefon L, Van Erps J, Neyns B, Aspeslagh S. Severe treatment-induced inflammatory polyarthritis in advanced melanoma patients: 2 case reports. Melanoma Res. 2022 Jun 1;32(3):200-204. doi: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000814. Epub 2022 Mar 29. PMID: 35377860.

BCR ABSTRACT 2022: Musculoskeletal immune related adverse events in patients treated with checkpoint inhibitors :a multicentric retrospective study . Meric de Bellefon L.1, Sokolova T.1,Malaise O.2,Wittoek R.3, Aerts N.4, Piette Y.5, Neerinckx B.6, Verhaert M.7, Aspeslagh S.7, Durez P.1 

Some local initiatives are also accessible to all rheumatologists:
– PISCO study: Pathophysiology of Induced Synovitis with Checkpoint inhibitors in Oncology. Patients with induced-arthritis undergo a synovial biopsy (ultrasound guided or with needle miniarthroscopy). Histology, immunohistochemistry and gene expression are studied on the synovial fragments.