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Onkologie. 2005 Jan;28(1):22-6.

The brain tumor board: lessons to be learned from an interdisciplinary conference.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital, Freiburg, Germany. lutterba@mst1.ukl.uni-freiburg.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of this study is to analyze the work of the interdisciplinary Brain Tumor Board (BTB) which was established at Freiburg University Hospital in 1998.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

From January 1998 to December 2003, a total of 1,516 patients were discussed in 259 meetings of the BTB. The protocols of the BTB were analyzed retrospectively.

RESULTS:

In 79% of the patients, the diagnosis was based on histological findings or a typical radiological appearance of a lesion, or both. This group was composed of 4 subgroups: 28% benign skull base tumors (19% meningiomas, 4% pituitary adenomas, 3% acoustic schwannomas, 2% others), 24% primary brain tumors of glial origin (8% glioblastomas, 12% gliomas other than glioblastomas, 5% oligoastrocytomas or oligodendrogliomas), 19% brain metastases, and 8% other brain or skull base tumors. In 13% of the cases, the exact diagnosis was still unknown when the patient was presented. 8% of the presentations were motivated by nontumorous interdisciplinary problems (e.g. arterio-venous malformations). The recommendations given by the BTB included: 23% further diagnostic procedures (11% non-invasive examinations, 12% stereotactic biopsies), 57% active antitumoral therapy (22% resection, 17% fractionated radiotherapy, 13% radiosurgery, 5% chemotherapy, <1% embolization), 20% no treatment (14% watchful waiting, 6% supportive care). 91% of the BTB recommendations were realized within 3 months.

CONCLUSION:

Interdisciplinary care seems to be particularly necessary in patients with benign skull base tumors, gliomas and brain metastases. Decisions made in a small interdisciplinary group of experts have a high potential of subsequently being realized.

PMID:
15616378
DOI:
10.1159/000082124
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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