In 2003 colorectal multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) were established in all major Danish hospitals treating colorectal cancer.
Dr Wille-Jørgensen and colleagues improved the prognosis by multidisciplinary evaluation and decision about surgical and oncological treatment, based on medical history, clinical examination, imaging, histology and comorbidity.
The team evaluated the effect of the introduction of colorectal multidisciplinary teams in 2004 in 2 Danish hospitals.
The research team performed a retrospective cohort study comparing the outcome during the last 3 years before introduction of multidisciplinary teams with the first 2 years after.
The researchers examined the national colorectal cancer database, with follow-up recorded by the National Patient Registry in 2010.
|Preoperative MRI scans increased in the multidisciplinary teams cohort |
The end-points included the incidence of preoperative radiochemotherapy offered according to the national guidelines, R0/R1/R2 resection, postoperative mortality, local recurrence, distant recurrence and over-all and disease-free survival.
The team of doctors found that 811 patients were diagnosed with primary rectal cancer in Hvidovre and Bispebjerg hospitals between 2001 and 2006.
The frequency of preoperative MRI scans increased in the multidisciplinary teams cohort and perioperative mortality decreased.
More metachronous distant metastases were found in the multidisciplinary teams cohort but there was no difference in overall survival.
Dr Wille-Jørgensen's team concluded "There was an improved postoperative mortality but no other potential benefits for the patients were seen after the implementation of colorectal multidisciplinary teams."