Presented by: Nathalie Belpame, PhD (University Hospital Ghent, Belgium)
Winning the Pfizer award in 2018, an update to the development, implementation and evaluation of a multidisciplinary oncologic consultation (MOC) for adolescents and young adults (AYAs) was presented at the 23rd BSMO annual meeting in 2021. This project aims to address the unique psychosocial and medical unmet clinical needs of young cancer patients.
Cancer in AYAs is rare and treatment is often decentralised. This is exemplified by the fact that the 1,000 annual cases in Flanders are spread over 56 hospitals. Furthermore, there is no universal agreement on AYA age range, meaning that the needs of these patients can be overlooked. Addressing these clinical shortfalls, this project developed a needs assessment template for AYA patients that could be discussed at MOC.
Interviewing 21 specialists working within oncology from the hospitals of UZ Gent, AZ Jan Palfijn, AZ St. Lucas and AZ Maria Middelares, key criteria were identified for the optimisation of AYA care. This included the development of a fertility clinic referral pathway for all AYA patients and the awareness of potential clinical trial enrolment. Furthermore, these specialists required the AYA-MOC to be time sensitive and to optimise current multidisciplinary team communications tools, rather than introduce entirely new ones.
As a result of this consultation, an AYA template was designed that can be inserted into the pre-existing MOC template, which included fertility clinic and clinical trial referral sections. This template is also available on CoZo, ensuring the continuation of multidisciplinary communication across various clinical settings. Furthermore, fourteen clinical indicators were designed using RedCap database software, to assess the scope of these interventions. Moving forward, these templates and indicators will be refined further and individual hospitals will have access to these analytics through RedCap. Finally, this project will work with the Flemish League Against Cancer to ensure the wider implementation of this AYA-MOC package in medical centres across the Flemish region of Belgium.
BELG J MED ONCOL 2021;15(3):134-44