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Rieke, Damian T.; Lamping, Mario; Schuh, Marissa; Le Tourneau, Christophe; Baste, Neus; Burkard, Mark E.; Metzeler, Klaus H.; Leyvraz, Serge; Keilholz, Ulrich (2018): Comparison of Treatment Recommendations by Molecular Tumor Boards Worldwide. In: Jco Precision Oncology, Vol. 2
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Purpose Precision oncology holds the promise of improving patient outcome. It is based on the idea that the testing of genomic biomarkers can lead to the recommendation of a treatment option tailored to the specific patient. To derive treatment recommendations from molecular profiles, interdisciplinary molecular tumor boards (MTBs) have been established recently in many academic institutions. The recommendation process in MTBs, however, has not been well defined, which limits applicability to larger clinical trials and patient populations. Methods We created four fictional patients on the basis of recent real cases with genomic information on mutations, fusions, copy numbers, and gene expression. We identified 29 tumor boards from nine countries worldwide and asked them to provide treatment recommendations for the sample patients. In addition, a questionnaire regarding the setup and methods used by MTBs was circulated. Results Five MTBs from four countries provided treatment recommendations and answered the questionnaire. For one patient, three tumor board treatment recommendations were identical, and two tumor boards had identical treatment strategies for the other three patients. There was heterogeneity in the interpretation of tumor and germline aberrations as well as in standards of prioritization. Conclusion Differences in the interpretation and recommendation process contribute to heterogeneity in MTB recommendations. Additional comparative analyses of recommendations could help improve rational decision making and lead to standardization.