Quality indicators for testicular cancer: a population-based study

Eur J Cancer. 2012 May;48(8):1133-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2011.10.023. Epub 2011 Nov 19.


Purpose: This study aimed at developing and measuring an indicator set to monitor the quality of testicular cancer care, to make comparisons over time and to support quality improvement for all practitioners and centres involved in the care of testicular cancer patients.

Methods: Quality indicators were identified from a systematic literature search and from the 2010 Belgian evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. The selection process involved an expert panel evaluating reliability, relevance, interpretability and actionability of each indicator. The quality indicators were pilot tested using the Belgian Cancer Registry (BCR) data linked with claims data for 1307 men with testicular cancer diagnosed between 2001 and 2006. The variability between centres was displayed using funnel plots.

Results: Of the 12 finally selected indicators, 5 were fully and 1 was partly measurable, while 2 indicators were measurable using proxy information. Five-year relative survival was 97%, 95% and 76% for pStage I-III, respectively. Overall 5-year survival slightly improved from 91% in 2001 to 94% in 2004. Between 2004 and 2006, 14 of 97 centres performed ≥10 orchidectomies. Large variability was found between centres. The nine centres with a 5-year observed survival below the lower limit treated less than 20 patients between 2001 and 2006.

Conclusions: The present study demonstrates the feasibility to develop a multidisciplinary set of quality indicators for testicular cancer. Using national cancer registry data linked to claims data, eight indicators were measurable, showing a mixed picture of the quality of care for testicular cancer patients in Belgium.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Belgium
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / mortality
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers, Tumor