WP08 Diagnosis and treatment decision via MTB (molecular tumor boards)

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  • Define MTB structures and functioning across the different countries with a focus on national initiatives. 
  • Provide guidelines for optimized sample and data workflow strategies used in MTBs (starting from the patient and tumor sampling, to the techniques used for molecular profiling, and to the interpretation and reporting of the clinical relevance of identified molecular alterations). 
  • Define impact and challenges of the omics implementation on patient treatment including access to clinical trials and genetic counselling.

Non-standardized variant interpretation and many simultaneous mutations in the cancer genome cause therapy inconsistency and injustice. With the growing number of targeted medicines approved in oncology for the same reason and the complexity of tumor profiles, molecular screening programs have been further incorporated in clinical routine to simplify access to matching therapies via Molecular Tumour Boards (MTBs). Medical oncologists, haematologists, pathologists, geneticists, medical biologists, computational biologists, pharmacists, and radiologists are involved in tumour profiling, molecular changes interpretation, and therapy decision-making in MTBs. Since no standards, quality requirements, or norms have been established, it can vary widely across MTBs.

One of the primary goals of this WP is to define MTB frameworks in various countries, with a focus on national initiatives. From patient and tumor collection to molecular profiling, interpretation, and reporting, we will outline optimal sample and data workflow methodologies for MTBs, beginning with patient and tumor sampling. The impact and challenges of omics implementation on patient treatment (including access to clinical trials and genetic counseling) will be outlined.

All challenges will involve both solid and blood cancers. The consortium’s amassed data will be crucial for future clinical trials and research exploitation. The integration of clinical and molecular data will aid in the development of standardized standards for molecular interpretation that employ reproducible bioinformatics processes to support treatment decisions.