Impact of a multidisciplinary tumour board meeting for upper-GI malignancies on clinical decision making: a prospective cohort study
Background/aims: The Dutch guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of upper-GI malignancies recommend review of patients by a multidisciplinary tumour board (MDT). The purpose of this study was to determine the effect on clinical decision making of an MDT for patients with upper-GI malignancies. Methods: All physicians participating in the MDT completed an electronic standardised case form to delineate their proposed treatment plan for the patients they presented, including the intent of treatment and the modality of treatment. This therapeutic or diagnostic proposal was then compared with the plan on which consensus was reached by the MDT. Results: A total of 252/280 (90.0%) forms were completed and suitable for analysis. In 87/252 (34.5%) of the case presentations, the MDT altered the proposed plan of management. In 29/87 (33.3%) cases, a more extensive diagnostic work-up was decided upon. In 8/87 (9.2%) cases the curative intent of the proposed treatment was altered to palliation only. In 2/75 (2.7%) cases, however, it was decided that a patient could be treated with curative intent instead of the proposed palliative intent. Conclusion: In over 1/3 of cases, the diagnostic work-up or treatment plan is altered after evaluation by a multidisciplinary tumour board. This study supports Dutch guidelines recommending discussion of patients with upper-GI malignancies by a multidisciplinary tumour board.