• Vol. 36 No. 5, 347–351
  • 15 May 2007

Improvements in Quality of Care Resulting From a Formal Multidisciplinary Tumour Clinic in the Management of High-grade Glioma



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Introduction: There is increasing belief that a formal protocol-based multidisciplinary care model should be adopted as an optimal care model in oncology. However, there is minimal outcome evidence to demonstrate an improvement in patient care. The aim of this study was to compare clinical quality outcomes between patients with high-grade glioma managed at one hospital using a formal neuro-oncology multidisciplinary tumour clinic (MTC) and a second hospital with a traditional on-call referral pattern (non-MTC). Materials and Methods: Patients with high-grade glioma managed radically with radiation therapy at 2 Singapore hospitals from May 2002 to May 2006 were entered into a prospective database. Patients were grouped into management via MTC or non-MTC. Four clinical quality indicators were chosen retrospectively to assess the variation in practice: a) Use of computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging post-resection (POI) for assessment of residual disease; b) Commencement of radiation therapy (RT) within 28 days of surgery; c) Adjuvant chemotherapy use for glioblastoma multiforme (CTGBM) and d) Median survival. Results: Sixty-seven patients were managed radically, with 47 by MTC and by 20 by non-MTC. MTC patients were more likely to have POI (P = 0.042), and CTGBM (P = 0.025). Although the RT start time was similar for the whole cohort (60% versus 45%: P = 0.296); for GBM patients, the RT start was earlier (63% vs 33% P = 0.024). The median survival for the MTC group was 18.7 months versus 11.9 months for the non-MTC group (P = 0.11). Conclusion: Clinical quality outcomes were significantly improved in patients with high-grade glioma managed in this neuro-oncology MTC.

Multidisciplinary care has now been established as the optimal management principle for the majority of malignancies.1,2 However, the model of multidisciplinary care, specifically the role of a formal multidisciplinary tumour clinic (MTC), remains unestablished outside of breast cancer care.2 There is minimal evidence to quantitatively assess the potential benefits of this resource intensive service.3-5

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