Maximising recruitment into randomised controlled trials: the role of multidisciplinary cancer teams

Eur J Cancer. 2008 Nov;44(17):2623-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2008.08.009. Epub 2008 Sep 18.


Multidisciplinary cancer teams offer many theoretical benefits, although few have been formally examined. This study evaluated the role of multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings in recruitment into randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Consecutive MDT patient records were categorised into those with or without a recommendation for a national multicentre RCT. Clinical trial office records identified whether patients were subsequently screened and randomised. In 125 MDT meetings, 350 new patients were discussed, of whom 103 were potentially suitable for a RCT. The MDT recommended 68 patients for the trial, of whom 58 (85%) were screened for trial eligibility. Of the 35 without an MDT trial recommendation, only 23 (66%) were screened (p=0.022). This difference persisted and resulted in a greater proportion of MDT recommended patients being recruited (65% versus 49%; p=0.12). This study demonstrates that trial recommendation by an MDT significantly increases trial screening rates and may improve recruitment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Professional Role*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods*