What is the role of a specialist regional mesothelioma multidisciplinary team meeting? A service evaluation of one tertiary referral centre in the UK

British Medical Journal 2016 September 8 [Link]

Bibby AC, Williams K, Smith S, Bhatt N, Maskell NA


Multidisciplinary team meetings are standard care for cancer in the UK and Europe. Professional bodies recommend that mesothelioma cases should be discussed at specialist multidisciplinary team meetings. However, no evidence exists exploring the role of the specialist mesothelioma multidisciplinary team meeting.
To evaluate the clinical activity of 1 specialist mesothelioma multidisciplinary team meeting and to determine how often a definitive diagnosis was made, whether the core requirements of the meeting were met and whether there was any associated benefit or detriment.
A service evaluation using routinely collected data from 1 specialist mesothelioma multidisciplinary team meeting in a tertiary referral hospital in the South-West of England.
All cases discussed between 1/1/2014 and 31/12/2015.
The primary outcome measure was whether a definitive diagnosis was made. Secondary outcomes included whether treatment advice was offered, information on clinical trials provided or further investigations suggested. Additional benefits of the multidisciplinary team meeting and time taken from referral to outcome were also collected.
A definitive diagnosis was reached in 171 of 210 cases discussed (81%). Mesothelioma was diagnosed in 153/210 (73%). Treatment advice was provided for 127 of 171 diagnostic cases (74%) and further investigations suggested for all 35 non-diagnostic cases. 86/210 cases (41%) were invited to participate in a trial, of whom 43/86 (50%) subsequently enrolled. Additional benefits included the avoidance of postmortem examination if the coroner was satisfied with the multidisciplinary team decision. The overall process from referral to outcome dispatch was <2 weeks in 75% of cases. CONCLUSIONS: This specialist mesothelioma multidisciplinary team meeting was effective at making diagnoses and providing recommendations for further investigations or treatment. The core requirements of a specialist mesothelioma multidisciplinary team meeting were met. The process was timely, with most outcomes returned within 2 weeks of referral.