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Concordance of a decision algorithm and multidisciplinary team meetings for patients with liver cancer—a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Sharlyn ST Ng; Robert Oehring; Nikitha Ramasetti; Roland Roller; Philippe Thomas; Yuxuan Chen; Simon Moosburner; Axel Winter; Max-Magnus Maurer; Timo A Auer; Can Kamali; Johann Pratschke; Christian Benzing; Felix Krenzien
In: Trials, Vol. 24, 577 (2023), No. 1, Pages 1-10, Springer, 9/2023.


Introduction Multidisciplinary team meetings (MDMs), also known as tumor conferences, are a cornerstone of cancer treatments. However, barriers such as incomplete patient information or logistical challenges can postpone tumor board decisions and delay patient treatment, potentially affecting clinical outcomes. Therapeutic Assistance and Decision algorithms for hepatobiliary tumor Boards (ADBoard) aims to reduce this delay by providing automated data extraction and high-quality, evidence-based treatment recommendations. Methods and analysis With the help of natural language processing, relevant patient information will be automatically extracted from electronic medical records and used to complete a classic tumor conference protocol. A machine learning model is trained on retrospective MDM data and clinical guidelines to recommend treatment options for patients in our inclusion criteria. Study participants will be randomized to either MDM with ADBoard (Arm A: MDM-AB) or conventional MDM (Arm B: MDM-C). The concordance of recommendations of both groups will be compared using interrater reliability. We hypothesize that the therapy recommendations of ADBoard would be in high agreement with those of the MDM-C, with a Cohen’s kappa value of ≥ 0.75. Furthermore, our secondary hypotheses state that the completeness of patient information presented in MDM is higher when using ADBoard than without, and the explainability of tumor board protocols in MDM-AB is higher compared to MDM-C as measured by the System Causability Scale. Discussion The implementation of ADBoard aims to improve the quality and completeness of the data required for MDM decision-making and to propose therapeutic recommendations that consider current medical evidence and guidelines in a transparent and reproducible manner.