Click Here to
Subscribe
Breaking
News, Updates,
& More
Stay Up
to Date

Not All Cancer Specialists Embrace Multidisciplinary Collaboration in Care

Multidisciplinary collaboration in cancer care is becoming the standard philosophy for treating cancer patients. However, due to varying opinions among specialists regarding patient care, not all specialists are working together.

For instance, according to a study published in the scientific journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), surgeons often include radiation oncologists too late in a patient’s treatment decision-making process. This is potentially leading to more mastectomies over breast-conserving therapy due to patients being uninformed of all of their treatment options.

During an interview of 318 surgeons and 160 radiation oncologists, researchers delved into the specialists’ practice patterns and attitudes toward multidisciplinary care. According to almost 30% of radiation oncologists, their biggest challenge was other providers failing to include them in the treatment decision process early enough. Correspondingly, nearly half of surgeons stated that almost none of the breast cancer patients they treated in the past year had consulted with a radiation oncologist prior to surgery.

Almost 100% of both surgeons and radiation oncologists had access to a multidisciplinary tumor board, which allows physicians from different specialties to discuss cases with one another. However, a large percentage of radiation oncologists in this study reported concern that they were involved too late in the decision-making process.

Another difficulty in true multidisciplinary care is the differing opinions among specialties regarding standard treatment. Study results showed that surgeons and radiation oncologists varied greatly on treatments for early-stage breast cancer and appropriate margin width. For this reason, the researchers believe developing institutional guidelines will help to avoid provider-based variations in care.

“If such efforts to increase multidisciplinary involvement before surgery are successful, patients may benefit from exposure to a variety of viewpoints before proceeding with definitive local therapy decisions,” Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said. “This could lead to their decision-making process being more informed and more in accord with their preferences.”

Source: ASTRO.

Related Items
Comparing Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factors Prescribing Practices versus Guideline Recommendations in a Large Community Cancer Center
Kirollos S. Hanna, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, Robert Mancini, PharmD, BCOP, Dave Wilson, PharmD, Dan Zuckerman, MD
JHOP - September 2019 Vol 9, No 3 published on September 9, 2019 in Practical Issues for Pharmacists
ASHP Foundation Forecast Provides Actionable Recommendations for Pharmacy Leaders
Web Exclusives published on February 23, 2016 in Practical Issues for Pharmacists
Analyzing Trends in Oral Anticancer Agents in an Academic Medical Facility
Jacob K. Kettle, PharmD, BCOP
Audiocasts published on April 15, 2015 in Practical Issues for Pharmacists
Raising Awareness on the Use of LMWH in Patients with Acute Venous Thromboembolism and Active Cancer
David W Stewart, PharmD, BCPS
Audiocasts published on April 15, 2015 in Practical Issues for Pharmacists
Financial Savings from On-Site Dispensing of Oral Chemotherapies
Adam Kramer, PharmD, Colleen Powell, CPhT
JHOP - September 2013 VOL 3, NO 3 published on September 13, 2013 in Practical Issues for Pharmacists
Impact of a Pharmacist-Managed Oral Chemotherapy Program on Nonfulfillment Rates
Robert Mancini, PharmD, BCOP, April Sondag, PharmD, Kaylee Drenker, PharmD
JHOP - June 2012, Vol 2, No 2 published on July 3, 2012 in Practical Issues for Pharmacists
Last modified: September 8, 2015