First figures on quality of care for lung cancer show excellent results for UZ Leuven

5 May 2021

For the first time, more than 50 Flemish hospitals reported their results and survical rates for lung cancer to the Flemish Institute for Quality of Care (VIKZ). It concerns patients that were diagnosed between 2012 and 2016. UZ Leuven is the largest treatment centre and can present excellent figures, for the general care of lung cancer, as well as specific care for patients being treated with surgery or radiotherapy.

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The general survival rate across all the stages of lung cancer is statistically higher for patients being treated at UZ Leuven than for the average of all Flemish hospitals. UZ Leuven patients have 26% less chance to die within the year post-diagnosis than the average Flemish lung cancer patient. With these figures, UZ Leuven is, together with eight other Flemish hospitals, able to differentiate itself from the rest. 

The observed general survival rate for lung cancer, within 1 year and 3 year post-diagnosis, is respectively 55% and 31% at UZ Leuven.

Surgery for lung cancer

UZ Leuven is by far the largest centre for lung resections for lung cancer. Of all UZ Leuven patients undergoing a lung cancer procedure, the post-surgical mortality rate within 90 days was only 2.6%. These low figures demonstrate the high quality of surgical care. With these figures, UZ Leuven scores better than the Flemish average of 3.9%.

The observed 1- and 3-year survival of patients treated with lung surgery at UZ Leuven is respectively 90% and 74%.

Radiotherapy for lung cancer

The figures for lung cancer radiotherapy are also very good at UZ Leuven. The mortality rate within 60 days after radiotherapy is 6.3% in comparison to 8.9% in the average Flemish hospital. 

For patients treated with radiotherapy at UZ Leuven, the observed 1- and 3-year survival rate was respectively 71% and 33%.

Multidisciplinary consultation and care programme

Prof. dr. Paul De Leyn, head of the thoracic surgery department at UZ Leuven: “This excellent level of quality of care in lung cancer at UZ Leuven could only be realised thanks to the efforts of a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, oncology nursing specialists, onco-coaches and psychologists, completed by a clinical and translational research team.”

The Flemish Institute for Quality of Care (VIKZ) collects all data of the participating hospitals and makes them available on There you can find an interpretation and figures can be compared. 

Last edit: 18 May 2021