Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1467–1473 | Cite as

Detection of lung cancer relapse using self-reported symptoms transmitted via an Internet Web-application: pilot study of the sentinel follow-up

  • Fabrice DenisEmail author
  • Louise Viger
  • Alexandre Charron
  • Eric Voog
  • Olivier Dupuis
  • Yoann Pointreau
  • Christophe Letellier
Original Article



We aimed to investigate whether patient self-evaluated symptoms transmitted via Internet can be used between planned visits to provide an early indication of disease relapse in lung cancer.


Between 2/2013 and 8/2013, 42 patients with lung cancer having access to Internet were prospectively recruited to weekly fill a form of 11 self-assessed symptoms called “sentinel follow-up”. Data were sent to the oncologist in real-time between planned visits. An alert email was sent to oncologist when self-scored symptoms matched some predefined criteria. Follow-up visit and imaging were then organized after a phone call for confirming suspect symptoms. Weekly and monthly compliances, easiness with which patients used the web-application and the accuracy of the sentinel follow-up for relapse detection were assessed and compared to a routine visit and imaging follow-up.


Median follow-up duration was 18 weeks (8–32). Weekly and monthly average compliances were 79 and 94 %, respectively. Sixty percents of patients declared to be less anxious during the few days before planned visit and imaging with the sentinel follow-up than without. Sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values provided by the sentinel (planned imaging) follow-up were 100 %(84 %), 89 %(96 %), 81 %(91 %), and 100 %(93 %), respectively and well correlated with relapse ( 2 < 0.001). On average, relapses were detectable 5 weeks earlier with sentinel than planned visit.


An individualized cancer follow-up that schedule visit and imaging according to the patient status based on weekly self-reported symptoms transmitted via Internet is feasible with high compliance. It may even provide earlier detection of lung cancer relapse and care.


Lung cancer Follow-up Supportive care Personalized medicine Early relapse detection M-health 


Financial disclosures, conflicts of interest

There are no financial disclosures, conflicts of interest, for the authors, and no funding sources for the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabrice Denis
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Louise Viger
    • 2
  • Alexandre Charron
    • 1
  • Eric Voog
    • 1
  • Olivier Dupuis
    • 1
  • Yoann Pointreau
    • 1
  • Christophe Letellier
    • 2
  1. 1.Private Institut of CancerLe MansFrance
  2. 2.CORIA—University of RouenSaint-Etienne du Rouvray cedexFrance

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