Background and Context:There are numerous challenges hindering the development of multidisciplinary teams in resource constrained environments such as the West African sub-region. Communal tumour boards through networking could be a suitable option for effective management of musculoskeletal tumours.
Aim:This study described the development of an integrated care pathway for patients with musculoskeletal tumours via multi institutional networking in Lagos metropolis.
Musculoskeletal tumours managed in different institutions in the Lagos metropolis were included for discussion at monthly meetings, under the aegis of the Lagos Musculoskeletal Oncology Network [LAMON]. The meetings ensured adherence as much as possible to agreed national and international guide lines in the management of musculoskeletal tumours. The agenda were structured into Radiology, Histopathology and other business. Decisions about surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and timing of the modalities, were planned at the meetings.
Programme/Policy Process:The network extended to six pathologists, two radiation oncologists, five radiology consultants, two plastic surgery consultants, nine orthopaedic surgeons and two general surgeons working in various specialist hospitals in the city. In the first 18 months, 117 cases were reviewed of which 81 patients had definitive histological diagnoses. The common histological diagnoses include metastatic bone disease, osteosarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma. The challenges encountered included high cost of adjuvant therapy and available reconstruction modalities.
Outcomes/What was learned:The network has so far contributed to the care of over a hundred patients within the first year of inception. In resource poor environment like the west-African sub-region numerous challenges hinder the care of patients with cancers and other chronic illnesses. With appropriate social and corporate support, communal tumour boards like LAMON may translate into model for multidisciplinary cancer care in developing countries.