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Assessing the Impact of Referral on Multidisciplinary Tumor Board Outcomes in Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Zhang Y, Weinreb JC, Czeyda-Pommersheim F, Taddei TH. Assessing the Impact of Referral on Multidisciplinary Tumor Board Outcomes in Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Journal of the American College of Radiology : JACR. 2020 Dec 1; 17(12):1636-1643.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a complex and unique cancer. At many tertiary care institutions, optimal treatment is planned at a multidisciplinary liver tumor board (MDLTB). This study examined the impact of referral on MDLTB outcomes for patients with HCC. METHODS: Chart review was performed of incident HCC cases presented over 3 years at an American College of Surgeons accredited MDLTB. Internal cases were defined as patients whose care originated within the tertiary care institution of the MDLTB; external cases were defined as patients who received initial care from outside institutions and referred to the tertiary care MDLTB for consultation. Internal and external cases were compared for differences in HCC diagnosis, treatment, and survival. RESULTS: There were 120 internal cases and 163 external cases. Compared with internal cases, external cases took significantly more time to be diagnosed with HCC (4.5 versus 37.5 days, P < .001) and to be discussed at MDLTB (19 versus 53 days, P < .001). Internal cases were more often diagnosed by imaging studies (77.5%), and external cases were more often diagnosed by biopsy (43%) or by consensus of experts at MDLTB (26%). CONCLUSION: Patients with HCC, whose care originated within the tertiary care institution of the MDLTB, were less likely to require biopsy and had shorter time from initial suspicion to diagnosis of HCC. The data suggest that referral of external HCC cases to a tertiary center MDLTB at initial suspicion may limit unnecessary diagnostic procedures, possibly resulting in decreased health care costs and reduced uncertainty for patients.





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