The Importance of Radiology and Pathology Communication in the Diagnosis and Staging of Cancer: Mammography as a Case Study. 4.4 The KUMC Model: Techniques designed to reduce breast cancer discordance between pathology and radiology results


Multidisciplinary collaboration of radiology, pathology, and other involved disciplines to establish diagnostic concordance has been shown to impact clinical decision-making and decrease the rate of discordance overtime. 15 One such example of the utilization of multidisciplinary collaboration is the weekly cancer conferences adopted by KUMC.

In this innovative effort, radiologists and pathologists use audio-video conference technology to overcome hurdles such as manpower, time, and geographic constraints in order to conduct weekly multidisciplinary meetings. In these conferences, both groups view pathology findings and radiologic images simultaneously and consider findings and treatment recommendations. The specialists resolve any differences between radiology and pathology results and issue an integrated diagnostic report for each patient. The integrated report is completed and issued by the radiologist following the recommendations of ACR.

The KUMC project included a pilot study to determine whether this web interdisciplinary approach affected decision-making for treatment plans for patients with discordant radiologic-pathologic findings.  The results of this study, presented at the Pathology Visions Conference (October 2008) and at the Molecular Summit 2009 (February 2009) revealed that web-based interdisciplinary conferences had a major impact on the clinical decisions made in one third of the benign discordant cases that were reviewed leading to re-excision of the lesion, re-biopsy, and/or additional radiologic follow-up.

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