In the ACT, a local multidisciplinary team was formed in late 2004 to provide comprehensive input into the management of thoracic malignancies in accordance to national guidelines1.
We explored the demographics of the newly diagnosed patients with thoracic malignancies including malignant pleuro-mesothelioma in ACT discussed at MDMs in the past one year.
A retrospective analysis that involved identifying 100 consecutive eligible cases with thoracic malignancies discussed at multidisciplinary meetings (MDM) in the last one calendar year.
Mean age was 54 years while the range of Charleson-Comorbidity score was 3-14 with a median of 7. 91% of the patients smoked at some stage of their life. 5% of all the patients discussed had Small cell lung cancer while 4% had malignant pleuro-mesotheliomas. The rest were Non-small cell lung cancers. 56% of the patients discussed were advised of treatment with curative intent. 28% patients were treated prior to be discussed at MDM. Radiologic-guidance was used to obtain tissue diagnosis in 60% of the cases. First referrals were made by general practitioners in 52% cases. In terms of the treatment, 21% of the patients had chemotherapy, 14% had radiotherapy, 7% of the population had targeted therapy and chemo-radiotherapy each. 47% of patients were recommended surgery.
Significant heterogeneity existed among the patients discussed at MDM. Ongoing efforts are needed to better understand the population demographics to improve the quality and timeliness of provision of cancer care in the region.