Hematology

Our Hematology Center is:

  • A tertiary academic hematology center involved in quality clinical care for patients, in academic and industry-driven clinical research and in major international disease-oriented academic networks
  • The second major Hematopoietic Stem Cell (HSC) transplant center in Belgium, performing autologous and allogeneic transplantation with unmanipulated or purified HSC from the bone marrow, peripheral blood or cord blood after myeloablative or non-myeloablative conditioning, with a strong emphasis on clinical and translational research

It encompasses:

  • 24-bed hematology ward, 7-bed transplant ward, 40-bed oncology daycare facility (shared with oncology), > 30 half-days of consultation
  • > 8.500 inpatient hospitalization days, > 5.500 daycare hospital visits & >14.500 outpatient consultations on a yearly basis
  • > 50 allogeneic HSC transplantations and > 35 autologous HSC transplantations per year
  • Collection, processing and storage of autologous or allogeneic: bone marrow (35/year); apheresis products (200/year); cord blood units (500-1.000/year)
  • Minimal processing of cellular products: red cell removal, cell selection (CD34, AC133, Treg) and depletion (CD8, CD2), freezing & thawing
  • Production of cellular ATMP (Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Products): mesenchymal stem cells, preosteoblasts, dendritic cells

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) remains the treatment of choice for many hematological malignancies. The success of HSCT relies on a long-term complete immune reconstitution in the patient after the transplantation.

Several factors can affect the efficacy of HSCT such as the patient’s age and the initial disease, the source of cells and the degree of compatibility of the transplant. In fact, a suboptimal degree of compatibility may cause the emergence of graft-versus-host disease, a possible adverse effect of HSCT. Following transplantation a de novo production of mature lymphocytes will occur. This process is called immune recovery.

Unfortunately, thyme recovery, a central part of the immune recovery process, is a slow process and the degree at which it occurs is affected by the conditioning regimen administered to the patient before the transplantation procedure and by the occurrence of graft-versus-host disease.

IGF-1 is a key mediator of the somatotropic axis (Ghrh-GH-IGF-1) and plays crucial roles in many metabolic processes. Interestingly, IGF-1 can also act on the thymus and influence lymphocyte production.

Researchers at GIGA and CHU are investigating the impact of IGF-1 on thymic recovery in the context of allogeneic HCST.

The second part of their research is focused on the treatment of chronic GVHD with different immunosuppressive drugs. After treatment, clinicians aim at making a distinction between the effects of these drugs on thymic recovery and on cGVHD itself.

This will lead to a better insight into how these drugs function in patients with cGVHD.

Interested in these projects? Drop us an email [info@b2h.be]. We are looking forward to collaborating with you!

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) following a high or reduced dose-conditioning regimen is an usual treatment option for many patients with hematological disorders. Unfortunately, two major complications, infections and/or graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), compromise too frequently the survival or the quality of life of these patients.

Clinicians at CHU are studying the immune reconstitution after conventional or mini – Allo-HSCT in several trials comparing different kinds of conditioning or immunosuppressive treatments…

The goal of these studies is to develop new treatment strategies to improve thymo-dependent immune recovery (in particular in older patients) and so to reduce the infection rate and the GVHD risk.

Another part of their research focus is on the implication of T-reg in GVHD. In particular, a clinical trial is ongoing to compare the clinical and immunological impact on steroid refractory chronic GVHD of the infusion (or not) of donor T-reg after a treatment with rapamycin. This project is realized in collaboration with the KU Leuven.

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation offers potential curative treatment for a wide range of hematological diseases. This therapeutic approach must face multiple challenges. The primary aim is obviously to control the underlying disease. However, the success of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation also relies on complete recovery of hematopoietic functions, limitation of transplant-related toxicity and morbidity and reconstitution of a fully efficient adaptive immune system at long-term. Several pre-transplant factors (such as patient-, disease-, transplant or graft-related factors) may condition the long-term success of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Researchers at GIGA and CHU assess the effects of 1) graft’s source (bone marrow versus peripheral blood versus cord blood), 2) donor’s characteristics, 3) graft’s composition and 4) graft’s modulation on post-transplant outcomes.

Interested in these projects? Drop us an email [info@b2h.be]. We are looking forward to collaborating with you!

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is an effective treatment for many hematological malignancies, but patients have prolonged anemia after transplantation. This anemia is facilitated by a relative erythropoietin (Epo) deficiency and patients may benefit from treatment with recombinant human erythropoietin (RhEPO).

Iron metabolism has not been extensively studied after HSC transplantation, with only a few publications including hepcidin (the key regulator of iron metabolism). Post-transfusional iron overload decreases only slowly after transplantation. In addition, after conditioning, ferritin levels are markedly elevated before progressively declining. Iron overload has also been associated with early and late hepatic complications, veno-occlusive disease, infections, relapse and decreased survival.

Researchers and clinicians at GIGA aim at determining the predictive factors of response to RhEPO in patients undergoing allo-HCT. In addition, they (1) analyze hepcidin evolution following allo-HCT (after conditioning, during aplasia, during erythropoiesis recovery; relationships with iron overload and inflammation); (2) evaluate the prognostic value of pre-transplant ferritin values on various transplant outcome and toxicities, in relation with the type of conditioning (myeloablative or not); (3) follow the evolution of iron overload after allo-HCT and the impact of iron chelation; (4) evaluate the pathophysiological significance of ferritin levels following allo-HCT. Several parts of this project are undertaken in collaboration with the Hospital Center of Lyon-Sud.

Interested in these projects? Drop us an email [info@b2h.be]. We are looking forward to collaborating with you!

Clinicians at CHU have developed the ULICE program for autologous and allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell (HSC) transplantation with family or unrelated marrow, peripheral blood or cord blood for malignant, genetic and other hematological disorders. The program is the second in size in Belgium (±100 transplants/year) and has received the international JACIE accreditation.

Clinicians have also expertise in the investigation of immune functions after HSC transplantation or in certain forms of cell therapy. For more information, click here.

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

VOC measurements

One of the research teams at ULg is leading the field of volatile organic compounds (VOC) measurements in all kinds of biological matrices.

The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art Separation Science tools and offers all possible sample collection and introduction devices (TD, SPME, mSBSE, DHS, SHS, SPE…), each being automated.

The analysis of VOCs in patient exhalation for the diagnosis is performed using high-resolution spectrometry (GC×GC-HRTOFMS) that makes all chromatographic separation efficient and mass spectrometric measurements accurate and precise for both target and unknown characterization and measurements

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

 

Thrombotic diseases

Clinical management of cardiovascular thrombotic diseases and participation in several international studies in acute coronary syndromes.

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

Cardio-oncology

At Belgian level, CHU de Liège coordinates the European multicenter registry which is in charge to evaluate current practices in terms of diagnosis and management of cardiac toxicity of breast cancer treatments (COT registry: EACVI/HFA Cardiac Oncology Toxicity Registry in Breast Cancer: EURObservational Research Program of the European Society of Cardiology).

In addition, our team evaluates new cardiac toxicity biomarkers (mRNA, BNP, ST2, Troponine, etc) in breast cancer as well as multi-modality imaging evaluations of cardiovascular complications of radiotherapy in adult.

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

 

Valvular Heart Disease

Our team has been working for 10 years on valvular heart disease and highlighted several factors of poor clinical outcome through biomarker assay  (BNP, ST2, etc), the use of advanced echocardiographic techniques (study of myocardial deformation, ultrasound effort, etc) and the assessment of functional capacity.

CHU de Liège has created the ‘Heart Valve Clinic’, regrouping a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, nurses, radiologists, anaesthesiologists and surgeons:

  • Proficient in diagnosing and treating all cardiac valve syndromes and disorders. This involves sophisticated cardiac valve symptoms recognition, diagnostic techniques such as three-dimensional echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance, cardiac CT and cardiac catheterization
  • Providing help in optimizing and monitoring medical treatment
  • Assisting the general cardiologists for clinical decision-making
  • Determining the correct timing and type of intervention
  • Referring the patient to the most suitable surgeon
  • Assessing results after intervention
  • Informing patients to motivate them to follow their prescribed medications and be alert for signs indicating a worsening of their disease

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

Abdominal aortic aneurysms

A study carried out by the teams at CHU de Liège revealed that recourse to the PET-CT medical imaging method was efficient in detecting aneurysms that are likely to rupture.

They are currently exploring if a correlation between PET-CT images and the presence of specific molecules in the samples of aortic wall taken from the areas of high metabolic activity in the aneurysm can be detected.

With the collaboration of the Karolinska Institute, the CHU de Liège has launched a systematic screening campaign for abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is funded by Aneurysmal Pathology Foundation (APF).

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

Radiotracers

GIGA researchers have developed the 18F-FB-mini-PEG-E[c(RGDyK)](2), 18F-FPRGD2, a radiopharmaceutical targeting the integrin αvβ3, a transmembrane heterodimeric receptor regulating cell interaction with the extracellular matrix (ECM). The interaction site of integrin αvβ3 with ECM is a tripeptide sequence arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) present in a wide range of ECM molecules including fibronectin, fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor, thrombospondin, vitronectin, tenascin, osteopontin and bone sialoprotein.

They have recently reported the osteoarticular uptake of 18F-FPRGD2 in a large cohort of 61 patients primarily studied for oncologic purposes. The results were the first showing the systematic analysis 18F-FPRGD2 uptake in the musculoskeletal system. Their data clearly identified a homogeneous binding of the 18F-FPRGD2 within structures that anatomically correspond to the cartilage surrounding the femoral head of an osteoarthritic hip. They have observed similar global fixation of the tracer on the entire degenerated disc.

Highlighting the role of integrins in osteoarthritis development opens the door to osteoarthritis diagnosis using in vivo non-invasive and quantitative imaging technology.

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

Patient diagnosis, treatment & follow-up

  • Histological changes: development of specific MRI sequences to demonstrate histological changes associated with spinal cord injury, including degeneration of white matter tracts. These new quantitative imaging techniques allow to assess the degree of damage and the beneficial effects of spinal cord repair strategies.
  • Measure axonal loss in patients with a corticospinal tract impairment, based on transcranial magnetic stimulation. This technique provides accurate data to identify patients in need of a more aggressive therapy and will potentially be a reliable tool to measure the secondary progression of the disability.
  • GAIMS project: collaborative project between ULg and CHU to develop a new gait analysis system well suited for the clinical routine. It provides a reference database with the gait characteristics of many MS patients and healthy people. Related to the disease progression, gait impairment characteristics allow to define an objective and quantitative score for the longitudinal follow-up of MS patients during their treatment and rehabilitation programs

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

Patient diagnosis, treatment & follow-up

The CHU de Liège has created a Science Alliance called MoVeRe bringing together scientists involved in the study and care of patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. This group is specialized in:

  • Diagnostic consultations of patients with cognitive impairment
  • Neuropsychological characterization of cognitive difficulties
  • Analysis of the sub-thalamic nucleus at rest and during specific tasks
  • Assessment of quantitative gait features in a clinical setting
  • Integrating clinical scales, brain imaging (by MRI, PET or EEG), motion sensors and molecular information
  • Evaluating treatments for cognitive difficulties
  • Implementing and evaluating cognitive rehabilitation methods
  • Performing pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic trials
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

MoVeRe has access to a large clinical database of more than 1.000 patients with Parkinson’s disease and abnormal movement patterns.

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].

Patient diagnosis, treatment & follow-up

  • Discriminating prognostic classification based on clinical and biological analysis
  • Novel magnetic resonance imaging sequences to predict the topography of tumor recurrence
  • Revisiting the structural and functional anatomy of the Sylvian fissure (lateral sulcus) which includes the white matter pathways for surgery of the insula in case of glioblastoma

Looking for clinical advice or support, or preparing for a clinical study? We will help you set up a cost-effective and time-efficient study! Get in touch with our experts [info@b2h.be].