Survey on paediatric tumour boards in Europe: current situation and results from the ExPo-r-Net project

Abstract

Background

Under the ExPO-r-NeT project (European Expert Paediatric Oncology Reference Network for Diagnostics and Treatment), we aimed to identify paediatric oncology tumour boards in Europe to investigate the kind of technologies and logistics that are in place in different countries and to explore current differences between regions.

Methods

A 20-question survey regarding several features of tumor boards was designed. Data collected included infrastructure, organization, and clinical decision-making information from the centres. The survey was distributed to the National Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Societies that forwarded the survey to the sites. For comparative analysis, respondents were grouped into four geographical regions.

Results

The questionnaire was distributed amongst 30 countries. Response was obtained from 23 (77%) that altogether have 212 paediatric oncology treating centres. A total of 121 institutions answered (57%). Ninety-one percent of the centres hold multidisciplinary boards; however, international second consultations are performed in 36% and only 15% participate on virtual tumor boards. Videoconferencing facilities and standard operational procedures (SOPs) are available in 49 and 43% of the centres, respectively. There were statistically significant differences between European regions concerning meeting infrastructure and organization/logistics: specific room, projecting equipment, access to medical records, videoconferencing facilities, and existence of SOPs.

Conclusion

Paediatric tumor boards are a common feature in Europe. To reduce inequalities and have equal access to healthcare, a virtual network is needed. Important differences on the functioning and access to technology between regions in Europe have been observed and need to be addressed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. 1.

    Wright F, De Vito C, Langer B, Hunter A; Expert Panel on the Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference Standards. Multidisciplinary cancer conference standards. Toronto (ON): Cancer Care Ontario; Program in Evidence-based Care Evidence-based Series MCC Standards Special Report. 2006 Jun 1.

  2. 2.

    Brar SS, Hong NL, Wright FC. Multidisciplinary cancer care: does it improve outcomes? J Surg Oncol. 2014;110:494–9.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Hong NJ, Wright FC, Gagliardi AR, Paszat LF. Examining the potential relationship between multidisciplinary cancer care and patient survival: an inter- national literature review. J Surg Oncol. 2010;102:125–34.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Cancer Program Standards 2012 Version 1.2.1: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care (released January 2014). Retrieved from https://www.facs.org/*/media/files/ quality%20programs/cancer/coc/programstandards2012updates.ashx. Accessed the 01 Jul 2015.

  5. 5.

    Cancer Strategy of the Spanish National Health System. Update approved by the National Health System Interterritorial Council on October 22, 2009. Retrieved from http://www.msssi.gob.es/organizacion/sns/planbCalidadSNS/pdf.Cancer_Strategy_of_the_Spanish_2009.pdf.

  6. 6.

    Standards for Pediatric Cancer Centers. Hematol Oncol so. Pediatrics. 2014;134:410–4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Kowalczyk J, Samardakiewicz M, Kowalewska-Bajor, Pomaska EA, Fitzgerald E, Essiaf S. European Standards of Care for Children with Cancer. Retrieved from http://www.siope.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/European_ Standards_final_2011.pdf, (2009, October 14) Accessed the 01 Jul 2015.

  8. 8.

    De Angelis R, Sant M, Coleman MP, Francisci S, Baili P, Pierannunzio D et al. Cancer survival in Europe (1999–2007) by country and age: results of EUROCARE-5—a population-based study. Lancet Oncol 15(1)23–34

  9. 9.

    Wright FC, Lookhong N, Urbach D, Davis D, McLeod RS, Gagliardi AR. Multidisciplinary cancer conferences: identifying opportunities to promote implementation. Ann Surg Oncol. 2009;16:2731–7.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    NICE. Guidance on cancer services—improving outcomes in children and young people with cancer. London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence; 2005.

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Kowalczyk JR, Samardakiewicz M, Fitzgerald E, Essiaf S, Ladenstein R, Vassal G, et al. Towards reducing inequalities: European standards of care for children with cancer. Eur J Cancer. 2014;50:481–5.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Unidades asistenciales del área del cáncer. Estándares y recomendaciones de calidad y seguridad. Retrieved from: http://www.msssi.gob.es/organizacion/sns/ planCalidadSNS/docs/Cancer_EyR.pdf. 2013. Accessed the 01 Jul 2015.

  13. 13.

    De Ieso PB, Coward JI, Letsa I, Schick U, Nandhabalan M, Frentzas S, et al. A study of the decision outcomes and financial costs of multidisciplinary team meetings (MDMs) in oncology. Br J Cancer. 2013;109:2295–300.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Mark MA, Poulsen MG. Multidisciplinary care in oncology: medicolegal implications of group decisions. Lancet Oncol. 2006;7:951–4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Sidhom MA, Poulsen MG. Group decisions in oncology: Doctors’ perceptions of the legal responsibilities arising from multidisciplinary meetings. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2008;52:287–92.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Evans AC, Zorbas HM, Keaney MA. Medicolegal implications of a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care: consensus recommendations from a national workshop. MJA. 2008;188:401–4.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Berlanga P, Segura V, Ribelles AJ, de Toledo PS, Acha T, Castel V et al. Paediatric tumour boards in Spain: a national survey. Clin Transl Oncol. 2015. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12094-015-1466-9.

Download references

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all paediatric oncologists for the collaboration and response to the questionnaire, including P Kearns, G Bisogno, J Michon, D Valteau-Couanet, J Nicholson, C Petersen, A Pourtsidis, G Vassal, and M Schrappe. This work was supported the project Expo-r-Net which has received funding from the European Union in the framework of the Health Programme (2008–2013) Grant agreement 2013 12 07.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. Juan Ribelles.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Juan Ribelles, A., Berlanga, P., Schreier, G. et al. Survey on paediatric tumour boards in Europe: current situation and results from the ExPo-r-Net project. Clin Transl Oncol 20, 1046–1052 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12094-017-1820-1

Download citation

Keywords

  • Paediatric cancer
  • Multidisciplinary care
  • Virtual tumour boards
  • European survey
  • European reference networks