Quantifying the utility of a multidisciplinary neuro-oncology tumor board

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore;
  • | 2 Department of Neurology, Brain Cancer Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore;
  • | 3 Neuro-Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda;
  • | 4 Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore; and
  • | 5 Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
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OBJECTIVE

There has been limited research on the efficacy of multidisciplinary tumor boards (MDTBs) in improving the treatment of patients with tumors affecting the nervous system. The objective of the present study was to quantify the utility of MDTBs in providing alternative diagnostic interpretations and treatment plans for this patient population.

METHODS

The authors performed a prospective study of patients in 4 hospitals whose cases were discussed at MDTBs between July and November 2019. Patient demographic data, diagnoses, treatment plans, and eligibility for clinical trials were recorded, among other variables.

RESULTS

A total of 176 cases met eligibility criteria for study inclusion. The majority (53%) of patients were male, and the mean patient age was 52 years. The most frequent diagnosis was glioblastoma (32.4%). Among the evaluable cases, MDTBs led to 38 (21.6%) changes in image interpretation and 103 (58.2%) changes in patient management. Additionally, patients whose cases were discussed at MDTBs had significantly shorter referral times than patients whose cases were not discussed (p = 0.024).

CONCLUSIONS

MDTB discussions led to significant numbers of diagnostic and treatment plan changes as well as shortened referral times, highlighting the potential clinical impact of multidisciplinary care for patients with nervous system tumors.

ABBREVIATIONS

MDTB = multidisciplinary tumor board; NP = nurse practitioner; PA = physician assistant.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Table 1 (PDF 400 KB)
Illustrations from Marx and Schroeder (pp 318–326). Copyright Henry W. S. Schroeder. Published with permission.

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Debraj Mukherjee: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. dmukher1@jhmi.edu.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online September 18, 2020; DOI: 10.3171/2020.5.JNS201299.

Disclosures Dr. Kleinberg reports receiving honoraria from Accuray and receiving support of non–study-related clinical or research effort overseen by the author from Accuray, Novacure, and Arbor. Dr. Brem reports being a consultant for AsclepiX Therapeutics, StemGen, InSightec, Accelerating Combination Therapies, Camden Partners, LikeMinds, Galen Robotics, NexImmune, and Nurami Medical and receiving support of non–study-related clinical or research effort overseen by the author from Arbor Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Acuity Bio Corp.

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