The cancer multidisciplinary team meeting: in need of change? History, challenges and future perspectives

David A. Winters, Tayana Soukup*, Nick Sevdalis, James S.A. Green, Benjamin W. Lamb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Two decades since their inception, multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) are widely regarded as the ‘gold standard’ of cancer care delivery. Benefits of MDT working include improved patient outcomes, adherence to guidelines, and even economic benefits. Benefits to MDT members have also been demonstrated. An increasing body of evidence supports the use of MDTs and provides guidance on best practise. The system of MDTs in cancer care has come under increasing pressure of late, due to the increasing incidence of cancer, the popularity of MDT working, and financial pressures. This pressure has resulted in recommendations by national bodies to implement streamlining to reduce workload and improve efficiency. In the present review we examine the historical evidence for MDT working, and the scientific developments that dictate best practise. We also explore how streamlining can be safely and effectively undertaken. Finally, we discuss the future of MDT working including the integration of artificial intelligence and decision support systems and propose a new model for improving patient centredness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-279
Number of pages9
JournalBJU International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • assessment
  • complexity
  • decision-making
  • multidisciplinary teams
  • observation
  • optimisation
  • quality improvement
  • streamlining


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