Abstract

The aim of this study was to quantify the impact of radiologic image review performed by experienced radiologists in a multidisciplinary team (MDT) for head and neck cancers (HNCs). We performed a retrospective review of cases discussed at MDT meetings from April 2014 to March 2017 for which radiologic review was required. All changes in the former radiologic report were collected and classified as follows: 1) modifications of radiological reports (patients for whom the treatment strategy had not been defined at the moment of MDT meeting) and 2) modifications in treatment strategy (patients for whom treatment strategy had previously been defined and subsequently modified according to the outcome of radiologic revision). The latter subgroup was further categorised as “major changes” and as “minor changes”. A total of 540 cases were retrieved. Imaging review was required at the time of tumour diagnosis in 310 (57.4%) cases. Most patients (69%) had advanced stage tumours (III and IV). In 262 (48%) cases, no change of the initial radiologic report was made. In a total of 144 (27%) cases, the available imaging was not considered sufficient for a final indication to treatment and further imaging was required. In the remaining 134 (25%) cases, radiologic review led to a modification of either tumour staging (55%) or treatment strategy (45%). Specifically, major and minor modifications were applied in 44 (13%) and 17 (11%) of the cases considered, respectively. Among 134 patients for whom the radiologic review led to stage/treatment modification, follow-up was available for 118. In all but one patient, we could confirm the original reports were correctly modified per MDT discussion results. Our data strongly support the importance of including an experienced radiologist as a core member of the MDT for HNCs.