Evaluating the impact of a single-day multidisciplinary clinic on the management of pancreatic cancer

Ann Surg Oncol. 2008 Aug;15(8):2081-8. doi: 10.1245/s10434-008-9929-7. Epub 2008 May 7.


Purpose: To evaluate the impact of a multidisciplinary clinic on the clinical care recommendations of patients with pancreatic cancer compared with the recommendations the patients received prior to review by the multidisciplinary tumor board.

Methods: The records of 203 consecutive patients referred to the Johns Hopkins pancreatic multidisciplinary clinic were prospectively collected from November 2006 to October 2007. Cross-sectional imaging, pathology, and medical history were evaluated by a panel of medical/radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists, diagnostic radiologists, and geneticists. Alterations in treatment recommendations between the outside institution and the multidisciplinary clinic were recorded and compared.

Results: On presentation, the outside computed tomography (CT) report described locally advanced/unresectable disease (34.9%), metastatic disease (17.7%), and locally advanced disease with metastasis (1.1%). On review of submitted imaging and imaging performed at Hopkins, 38 out of 203 (18.7%) patients had a change in the status of their clinical stage. Review of the histological slides by dedicated pancreatic pathologists resulted in changes in the interpretation for 7 of 203 patients (3.4%). Overall, 48 out of 203 (23.6%) patients had a change in their recommended management based on clinical review of their case by the multidisciplinary tumor board. Enrollment into the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry increased from 52 out of 106 (49.2%) patients in 2005 to 158 out of 203 (77.8%) with initiation of the multidisciplinary clinic.

Conclusion: The single-day pancreatic multidisciplinary clinic provided a comprehensive and coordinated evaluation of patients that led to changes in therapeutic recommendations in close to one-quarter of patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Baltimore
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Prospective Studies