Due to the complex nature of cancer cases, it is imperative that the involved healthcare providers coordinate the patients care plan in union to reach the best possible outcome in the smoothest and fastest manner. This is what multidisciplinary tumor board (MTB) meetings strive to achieve. Conducting regular MTB meetings requires significant investment of time and finances. It is thus vital to assess the empirical benefits of such practice.
A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the literature regarding the impact of MTB meetings on patient 5-year survival. Relevant studies were identified by searching Ovid MEDLINE and Embase databases from January 1995 to July 2019. Studies were included if they assessed 5-year survival in cases discussed in MTB meetings and used a comparison group and/or a pretest and posttest design.
Five articles met the study's inclusion criteria. Quality of studies was affected by selection bias and the use of historic cohorts. The results showed significantly improved 5-year survival in the MTB group compared with the non-MTB groups (odds ratio for 5-year death rate of 0.59, CI 0.45–0.78, p < 0.001).
This meta-analysis showed that cancer MTB meetings have a significant impact on patients' 5-year survival. This could be because of several reasons, such as less time to treatment initiation, better adherence to guidelines, higher numbers of investigational imaging, lesser surgical complications, and recurrence rates. Future prospective studies are needed to further delineate reasons for improvement of outcome to enhance the benefits of this approach.
Source of Support: None. Conflict of Interest: None.