Modern, individualised therapies can improve the survival of patients with colorectal cancer. However, not all patients are referred for treatment to a certified colorectal cancer centre, where a tumor board supports the implementation of their therapy in accordance to guidelines. This study examines the feasibility and demand of a structured, online-based, qualified second opinion for patients with colorectal cancer.
A 15-month pilot study between 2009 and 2011, offered patients with colorectal cancer to obtain a qualified second opinion of a tumour board based on an electronic patient record completed online with the assistance of a case manager. Life-satisfaction levels and quality of life (EORCT QLQ-C30) of the participants has been monitored for a year.
In 95 % of the cases, a complete electronic patient record and a second opinion could be generated. Less than half of the participants received their first therapy recommendation from a clinic with a tumour board. The second opinion confirmed the initial medical opinion in 40 % of the cases – 33 % showed a partial and 27 % showed a significant deviation. In case of a deviation, the implementation of the second opinion improved the patients’ quality of life.
Generating an online-based, qualified second opinion by an interdisciplinary tumour board is technically and logistically well feasible. The online-based second opinion could significantly improve the quality of treatment for patients with colorectal cancer in the future and thus improve their quality of life.
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.