30 July 2020

Approximately 14,000 patients get colorectal cancer every year. Almost all patients are operated on and monitored afterwards (follow-up). In 2019 Radboudumc started a new approach to follow-up research after the treatment of stage II/III colorectal cancer. The intensity and setting of the follow-up was tailored to the needs and individual risk of the patients. The patients themselves took blood samples and looked at the results. In case of an unclear or 'wrong' result, the patients themselves contacted the hospital for follow-up steps.
   
More personal and more affordable
This has been an affordably better project, in which patients organise their own follow-up after 1 year, with the help of the health insurance company. In the Radboudumc this has saved 118 patients in one year about 22,000 euros and will possibly save between 5-10 million euros on an annual basis in the Netherlands. Most patients were very satisfied with this new way of follow-up and about 70% did not seek contact with the hospital and arranged the follow-up themselves.
   
Expand and record
Surgeon Hans de Wilt and his colleagues from the Department of Surgery and the Amsterdam UMC received a ZonMW subsidy of € 903,315 to develop a protocol for this new more personal and cost-effective form of follow-up. The study will consist of two parts, in which the protocol as applied in the Radboudumc will be introduced in four other hospitals in the Netherlands. In addition, the researchers at the Amsterdam UMC will investigate whether there are patients who may need a different form of follow-up. The expectation is that this will also make it possible to introduce an optimal follow-up schedule per patient in other hospitals in the Netherlands afterwards.

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