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Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

For a paper in JAMA Network Open, investigators at Japan's National Cancer Center Hospital East and other centers in Japan compare molecular tumor board (MTB) recommendations with treatment recommendations made through a central consensus at a dozen core hospitals in Japan. For the quality improvement study, the team considered MTB and central consensus treatment strategies developed for 50 simulated cancer cases informed by Cancer Genome Atlas data. The treatment recommendations were concordant 62 percent of the time, on average, though concordance reached 100 percent for colorectal cancer cases marked by specific molecular alterations and variants supported by high levels of evidence. On the other hand, the authors saw low MTB and central consensus concordance for cervical cancer cases or cases involving variants with lower evidence levels. "The findings of this study suggest that genomically matched treatment recommendations differ among MTBs, particularly in genomic alterations with low evidence levels wherein treatment is being investigated," the authors report. "Sharing information on matched therapy for low evidence levels may be needed to improve the quality of MTBs."