Objective: There is little information on the impact of the colorectal multi-disciplinary team (MDT) in the United Kingdom. Our single operator presented his patients before and after the inception of an MDT meeting in June 2002. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of this on his patients' survival, and trends in the use of adjuvant chemotherapy.
Method: Data were collected on all patients (n = 310) undergoing colectomy for colorectal cancer by one surgeon. Excluding patients with Dukes A stage, the pre-MDT cohort from January 1997 to May 2002 was 176 and the post-MDT cohort from June 2002 to December 2005 was 134. Three-year survival rates were calculated using Kaplan-Meier life table analysis. Prognostic factors were analysed using Cox-proportional hazard regression, and chemotherapy data analysed using the chi-squared test. Independent prognostic indicators of chemotherapy prescription were examined using binary logistic testing.
Results: MDT status was shown to be an independent predictor of survival on hazard regression analysis (P = 0.044). A significantly greater number of patients were prescribed adjuvant chemotherapy in the post-MDT cohort (P = 0.0002). MDT status was shown to be a significant prognostic indicator of chemotherapy prescription (P < 0.0001). Three-year survival for Dukes C patients was 58% in the pre-MDT group, and 66% in the post-MDT group (P = 0.023).
Conclusion: There was a significant increase in patients undergoing adjuvant postoperative chemotherapy after the inception of the MDT. This was associated with a significant survival benefit in patients with Dukes C disease. The data suggest that the MDT process has resulted in an increase in the prescription of adjuvant chemotherapy, with 3-year survival being greater after its inception.