Research Article|Articles in Press

Hospital practice variation in the proportion of patients with esophagogastric cancer discussed during an expert multidisciplinary team meeting

Published:March 14, 2023DOI:



      Multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTM) and especially MDTMs in which expert centres are involved (expert MDTMs) are a key element in adequate cancer care. However, variation among hospitals in the proportion of patients presented during an expert MDTM has been described. This study aims to investigate national practice variation in the proportion of patients with oesophageal or gastric cancer being discussed during an expert MDTM.


      Patients diagnosed with oesophageal or gastric cancer in 2018–2019 were selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry (n = 6,921). Multilevel logistic regression analyses were used to analyse the association between patient, and tumour characteristics, and the probability to be discussed in an expert MDTM. Variation was analysed according to the hospital and region of diagnosis for: all patients, patients with a potentially curable (cT1-4A cTX, any cN, cM0) or incurable tumour stage (cT4b and/or cM1).


      In total, 79% of patients were discussed during an expert MDTM, of whom 84% (n = 3,424) and 71% (n = 2,018) with potentially curable, or incurable oesophageal or gastric cancer, respectively. The proportion of patients discussed during an expert MDTM ranged from 54% to 98%, and 17% to 100% between hospitals for potentially curable and incurable patients, respectively (all p < 0.0001). Adjusted analyses showed significant hospital (all p < 0.0001), but no regional variation regarding the patients discussed during an expert MDTM.


      For patients with oesophageal or gastric cancer the probability of being discussed during an expert MDTM varies considerably according to the hospital of diagnosis.
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