Multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach to management of malignant diseases: A review
Background: Multidisciplinary Team meetings (MDTs) in cancer management emphasize collaborative decision making and treatment planning among core members of the specialties relevant to an index case, who come together to share their knowledge and make recommendations for an ‘all-inclusive’ patient management. MDTs are aimed at improving cancer outcomes by providing a team approach to care and ensuring that patients get the right treatment in optimum time.
Objectives: Objectives: To examine the challenges facing the use of MDTs in the management of cancer in Nigeria and proffer solutions to these by drawing from clinical experience garnered in the UK.
Methods: Information was gleaned from scientific articles published on the benefits of MDTs and practical examples were drawn from MDTs conducted at St. James’s University Hospital, Leeds, UK.
Results: Overall, the use of MDTs isvirtually non-existent in Nigeria and is long overdue. Challenges to setting up regular MDT meetings in Nigeria include the lack of required infrastructure, absence of an organised MDT structure and paucity of trained staff. These challenges can be overcome first, by making MDTs mandatory as a policy in cancer patient management. There should also be provision of required infrastructure, setting up broad based MDTs and regional teams, and employment of much needed well trained staff.
Conclusion: The role of MDTs in cancer patient management cannot be overemphasized for optimal patient care and moreso in Nigeria, with lean healthcare resources and where a singular surgical proceduremay be all many a patient could possiblyafford and therefore need to be well planned for.
Keywords: Multidisciplinary Team Meetings (MDTs), cancer, management, patient, Nigerian