The role of molecular tumor boards in neuro-oncology: a nationwide survey

Lisa S. Hönikl, Sebastian Lange, Vicki M. Butenschoen, Claire Delbridge, Bernhard Meyer, Stephanie E. Combs, Anna Lena Illert, Friederike Schmidt-Graf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In neuro-oncology, the inclusion of tumor patients in the molecular tumor board has only become increasingly widespread in recent years, but so far there are no standards for indication, procedure, evaluation, therapy recommendations and therapy implementation of neuro-oncological patients. The present work examines the current handling of neuro-oncological patients included in molecular tumor boards in Germany. Methods: We created an online based survey with questions covering the handling of neuro-oncologic patient inclusion, annotation of genetic analyses, management of target therapies and the general role of molecular tumor boards in neuro-oncology in Germany. We contacted all members of the Neuro-Oncology working group (NOA) of the German Cancer Society (DKG) by e-mail. Results: 38 responses were collected. The majority of those who responded were specialists in neurosurgery or neurology with more than 10 years of professional experience working at a university hospital. Molecular tumor boards (MTB) regularly take place once a week and all treatment disciplines of neuro-oncology patients take part. The inclusions to the MTB are according to distinct tumors and predominantly in case of tumor recurrence. An independently MTB member mostly create the recommendations, which are regularly implemented in the tumor treatment. Recommendations are given for alteration classes 4 and 5. Problems exist mostly within the cost takeover of experimental therapies. The experimental therapies are mostly given in the department of medical oncology. Conclusions: Molecular tumor boards for neuro-oncological patients, by now, are not standardized in Germany. Similarities exists for patient inclusion and interpretation of molecular alterations; the time point of inclusion and implementation during the patient treatment differ between the various hospitals. Further studies for standardization and harmonisation are needed. In summary, most of the interviewees envision great opportunities and possibilities for molecular-based neuro-oncological therapy in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108
JournalBMC Cancer
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • MTB
  • Molecular tumor board
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Personalized medicine
  • Precision oncology
  • Target therapy

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