Multidisciplinary cancer care teams: sharing knowledge and experiences
Building on our approach to sharing knowledge and experiences from C/Can’s global network of cities and facilitating continued learning on cancer care, multidisciplinary (MDT) teams from Cali and Asunción are visiting two of Barcelona’s leading hospitals this month.
Both teams, integrated by pathologists, nuclear medicine physicians, gynaeconcologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses and specialists in palliative care from cervical cancer multidisciplinary teams will visit Hospital La Mar and the Catalan Oncology Institute (ICO).
During their stay in Barcelona, the two delegations will participate in MDT meetings, review MDT developments and solve practical clinical cases as a team. The aim is to promote cooperation among specialists from Cali and Asunción to expand this clinical approach. The teams will also meet with the relevant departments in the host institutions.
Dr. Rolando Camacho, Global Special Advisor, Technical Assistance de C/Can, outlined the goals of the visit:
“There are four main objectives: one, to learn how MDTs treating gynaecology tumours in Barcelona work as a team and as individual specialists; two, to share the draft guidelines developed for their city, to receive feedback from their peers in the hospitals in Barcelona; three, to initiate direct contact between the specialists leading cervical cancer care in the two cities as part of an initial collaboration between Asuncion and Cali; and finally, to promote partnership between the visiting teams and the hosting institutions.”
The visits are a follow up to the Quality Cancer Care Project on MDT and guidelines drawn up over the last six months in Cali and Asunción after comprehensive assessments of cancer care capacity by the cities’ multi-sector technical groups. Among the main challenges identified by the technical groups were the lack of a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care and a lack of clinical management guidelines adapted to the available resources.
In response, the technical groups in Cali and Asuncion, supported by C/Can, designed a project to develop guidelines on managing patients with the most common and curable cancers, starting with cervix and breast, as well as setting up MDTs. These groups were made up of professionals from the most relevant specialities: pathology, imageology, surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, as well as nursing and supporting/palliative care providers. Care was taken to make sure they were representative of public and private centres. The groups reviewed the most recognized guidelines and prepared a draft that was discussed with a large number of stakeholders. The resulting documents were reviewed by a group of international experts with the support of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS).
Seeing the opportunity to extend the relevance of the Quality Cancer Care Project to increase access to quality cancer care in cities, C/Can accepted an offer from several hospitals in Barcelona, coordinated by the Cancer Plan of Cataluña, to receive specialists from C/Can cities, based on a “train the trainers” approach.
“This first encounter fits perfectly with C/Can’s approach and should be seen as an opportunity to develop future cooperation,” said Dr. Camacho, adding: “through our inclusive partnerships, we learn, evolve and deliver value together.”
After returning to their home countries, the technical groups in Cali and Asuncion will finalize their guidelines, and their draft resolutions for implementation will be signed by the respective health authorities in the two cities, agreeing to implement MDT and the guidelines in all centres treating cervical and breast cancer patients. Attendees will also be asked to complete an evaluation at the end of the visit. As part of the ongoing follow-up, an online survey will be sent to participants at six months and then at one year.
Cervical cancer teams are in Barcelona from November 4 to November 8.
The Catalan Institute of Oncology and Hospital del Mar partner with the City Cancer Challenge Foundation to improve the quality of cancer care around the world.