JOURNAL ARTICLE
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EURECCA colorectal: multidisciplinary management: European consensus conference colon & rectum.

BACKGROUND: Care for patients with colon and rectal cancer has improved in the last 20years; however considerable variation still exists in cancer management and outcome between European countries. Large variation is also apparent between national guidelines and patterns of cancer care in Europe. Therefore, EURECCA, which is the acronym of European Registration of Cancer Care, is aiming at defining core treatment strategies and developing a European audit structure in order to improve the quality of care for all patients with colon and rectal cancer. In December 2012, the first multidisciplinary consensus conference about cancer of the colon and rectum was held. The expert panel consisted of representatives of European scientific organisations involved in cancer care of patients with colon and rectal cancer and representatives of national colorectal registries.

METHODS: The expert panel had delegates of the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO), European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology (ESTRO), European Society of Pathology (ESP), European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), European Society of Radiology (ESR), European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP), European CanCer Organisation (ECCO), European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) and the European Colorectal Cancer Patient Organisation (EuropaColon), as well as delegates from national registries or audits. Consensus was achieved using the Delphi method. For the Delphi process, multidisciplinary experts were invited to comment and vote three web-based online voting rounds and to lecture on the subjects during the meeting (13th-15th December 2012). The sentences in the consensus document were available during the meeting and a televoting round during the conference by all participants was performed. This manuscript covers all sentences of the consensus document with the result of the voting. The consensus document represents sections on diagnostics, pathology, surgery, medical oncology, radiotherapy, and follow-up where applicable for treatment of colon cancer, rectal cancer and metastatic colorectal disease separately. Moreover, evidence based algorithms for diagnostics and treatment were composed which were also submitted to the Delphi process.

RESULTS: The total number of the voted sentences was 465. All chapters were voted on by at least 75% of the experts. Of the 465 sentences, 84% achieved large consensus, 6% achieved moderate consensus, and 7% resulted in minimum consensus. Only 3% was disagreed by more than 50% of the members.

CONCLUSIONS: Multidisciplinary consensus on key diagnostic and treatment issues for colon and rectal cancer management using the Delphi method was successful. This consensus document embodies the expertise of professionals from all disciplines involved in the care for patients with colon and rectal cancer. Diagnostic and treatment algorithms were developed to implement the current evidence and to define core treatment guidance for multidisciplinary team management of colon and rectal cancer throughout Europe.

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