Multicenter Comparison of Molecular Tumor Boards in The Netherlands: Definition, Composition, Methods, and Targeted Therapy Recommendations

Bart Koopman, Harry J. M. Groen, Marjolijn J. L. Ligtenberg, Katrien Grünberg, Kim Monkhorst, Adrianus J. de Langen, Mirjam C. Boelens, Marthe S Paats, Jan H Von der Thüsen, Winand N. M. Dinjens, Nienke Solleveld, Tom Van Wezel, Hans Gelderblom, Lizza E. Hendriks, Ernst-Jan M. Speel, Tom E Theunissen, Leonie I. Kroeze, Niven Mehra, Berber Piet, A. J. van der WekkenArja Elst, ter, Wim Timens, Stefan M. Willems, Ruud W J Meijers, Wendy W. J. De Leng, Anne S. R. van Lindert, Teodora Radonic, Sayed M S Hashemi, Danielle A. M. Heideman, Ed Schuuring, L. van Kempen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background Molecular tumor boards (MTBs) provide rational, genomics-driven, patient-tailored treatment recommendations. Worldwide, MTBs differ in terms of scope, composition, methods, and recommendations. This study aimed to assess differences in methods and agreement in treatment recommendations among MTBs from tertiary cancer referral centers in The Netherlands.

Materials and Methods MTBs from all tertiary cancer referral centers in The Netherlands were invited to participate. A survey assessing scope, value, logistics, composition, decision-making method, reporting, and registration of the MTBs was completed through on-site interviews with members from each MTB. Targeted therapy recommendations were compared using 10 anonymized cases. Participating MTBs were asked to provide a treatment recommendation in accordance with their own methods. Agreement was based on which molecular alteration(s) was considered actionable with the next line of targeted therapy.

Results Interviews with 24 members of eight MTBs revealed that all participating MTBs focused on rare or complex mutational cancer profiles, operated independently of cancer type-specific multidisciplinary teams, and consisted of at least (thoracic and/or medical) oncologists, pathologists, and clinical scientists in molecular pathology. Differences were the types of cancer discussed and the methods used to achieve a recommendation. Nevertheless, agreement among MTB recommendations, based on identified actionable molecular alteration(s), was high for the 10 evaluated cases (86%).

Conclusion MTBs associated with tertiary cancer referral centers in The Netherlands are similar in setup and reach a high agreement in recommendations for rare or complex mutational cancer profiles. We propose a "Dutch MTB model" for an optimal, collaborative, and nationally aligned MTB workflow.

Implications for Practice Interpretation of genomic analyses for optimal choice of target therapy for patients with cancer is becoming increasingly complex. A molecular tumor board (MTB) supports oncologists in rationalizing therapy options. However, there is no consensus on the most optimal setup for an MTB, which can affect the quality of recommendations. This study reveals that the eight MTBs associated with tertiary cancer referral centers in The Netherlands are similar in setup and reach a high agreement in recommendations for rare or complex mutational profiles. The Dutch MTB model is based on a collaborative and nationally aligned workflow with interinstitutional collaboration and data sharing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1347–e1358
Number of pages12
JournalThe Oncologist
Issue number8
Early online date10-Nov-2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2021


  • Molecular tumor board
  • Rare mutations
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Decision making
  • Multidisciplinary

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