The long-term follow-up clinic
3 million individuals aged over 15 years have had cancer at some time during their life, which represents 6% of the French population in that age group. At present, there are 25,000 adult survivors of childhood cancer in France. 75% of these have severe or incapacitating symptoms 35 years later.
Paediatric oncology long-term follow-up has, therefore, a major role:
- To inform these adults of the danger of potentially serious complications
- To devise follow-up recommendations which are appropriate and personalised
- To detect complications as early as possible
- To establish a network of experts at the service of patients
Objectives and future prospects for the clinic
The objective is to be able to inform patients and to detect and treat late complications in all adults who were treated for cancer during childhood and who have been in complete remission for longer than 5 years.
Their management should be personalised, multidisciplinary and organised.
It is important to organise long-term follow-up nationally and to develop clinical and basic science research projects to identify the risk factors for late complications and to study genetic predisposition to such complications. At a later stage, the findings of these studies will need to be used to personalise therapy in children and adolescents with cancer
Follow-up consultations at Gustave Roussy
In 2012, specific follow-up consultations intended for patients who had been treated for solid tumours in childhood or adolescence were established.
The consultations are preceded by a psychological interview and are then led jointly by a paediatric oncologist and a generalist.
This long consultation (1h to 1h30) is an opportunity for former patients to re-examine their case in a detailed way and thus to appreciate better which treatments were administered and to ask questions if they wish.
At the end of the consultation and according to the treatment given, the doctors make their recommendations for personalised follow-up.
After the consultation, a detailed case summary is sent to the patient. This also contains the follow-up recommendations.