Molecular tumour boards and molecular diagnostics for patients with cancer in the Netherlands: experiences, challenges, and aspirations
SourceBritish Journal of Cancer, 121, 1, (2019), pp. 34-36
Article / Letter to editor
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British Journal of Cancer
SubjectRadboudumc 14: Tumours of the digestive tract RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Advances in molecular tumour diagnostics and the number of targeted therapies increase rapidly. Molecular tumour boards (MTBs) are designated to interpret these data and provide clinical recommendations. Not all patients with cancer have access to advice of an MTB. We aimed to determine the current status, opportunities, and challenges of the organisation of MTBs in the Netherlands. We interviewed several stakeholders about their experiences with an MTB, using template analysis. Most clinicians and patient representatives underscore the significance of an MTB, because it can stimulate rational treatment options, enrolment in clinical trials, and interdisciplinary knowledge transfer. Health insurance companies and financial managers are concerned about increasing costs. Registries to assess the clinical benefit of MTBs, guidelines on quality control, financial agreements, and logistical resources are lacking. The national organisation of MTBs and a registry of molecular and clinical data are important issues to address.
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