What is the multidisciplinary team (MDT)?

The multidisciplinary team (MDT) is a team of experts with specialist knowledge and skills in the treatment and care of brain tumours. It includes doctors, nurses, therapists and other healthcare professionals. The MDT looks after patients with all types of brain tumours and work out the best way of managing patients in a weekly MDT meeting.

The specialist MDT meeting takes place once a week to discuss patient treatment plans. These discussions are recorded and used to guide your treatment. Your GP will also be sent a copy of this record.

It is important that you understand what your treatment involves. Please feel free to ask questions to clarify anything about your care plan that is not clear. We will do our utmost to answer your questions clearly and honestly.

Listed below are the healthcare professionals who are typically part of the MDT.

  • Neurosurgeons - a surgical doctor who specialises in surgery of the brain and spine.

  • Oncologists - a doctor who specialises in the treatment of patients using radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

  • Neurologists - a doctor who specialises in diseases of the brain and nerves. They diagnose and monitor brain tumours that cannot be operated on and manage brain tumour related symptoms such as seizures).

  • Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeons - surgical specialists who diagnose, evaluate and manage a wide range of diseases of the head and neck, including the ear, nose and throat regions.

  • Neuroradiologist (a doctor who specialises in the interpretation of radiological examinations such as x-ray and scans. Find out more about neuroradiology at UCLH.

  • Endocrinologists - doctors who investigate, diagnose and treat disorders of the endocrine (hormonal) system.

  • Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) - A qualified nurse who specialises in the care of patients with a particular type of disease or condition.

  • Your 'key worker' - a healthcare professional who is highly involved in your care and will also lead on specific aspects of your care.

    This role of key worker may transfer from one professional to another at different times during your care.

    A key worker can be any member of the MDT, but you will also have access to a CNS. Your CNS may also be your key worker.

  • Neurotherapists - a therapist who specialises in the assessment and treatment of patients with disabilities and caused by brain or spine problems. Find out more about therapy services

  • Neuropsychologists - Brain tumours and their treatment can cause problems with cognition, mood or behaviour. Cognition includes the ability to learn and remember, plan and organise, solve problems and understand information. Changes in mood and behaviour include depression, anxiety, irritability and mood swings. The neuropsychologist will help to identify and characterise these problems.

    A neuropsychological assessment will assess different aspects of your cognition and behaviour, and will involve asking you to do a variety of paper and pencil tests. The assessment can take up to two hours. It can help explain why certain thinking tasks are difficult for you. This makes it possible to discuss strategies to minimise the impact of any cognitive problems, as well as to offer psychological support and advice to you or your family and help with specific emotional problems, if they are also present.

  • Palliative Care - a doctor who assesses and manages the symptoms of brain tumours, usually towards the end of life.

  • Neuropathologists - a pathologist who specialises in the examination of tissue of the brain or spine removed during an operation.

    Our neuropathology department delivers top quality neuro-oncology diagnostic services whilst meeting all critical key performance indicators. The molecular pathology service is a leading service in the UK and provides extensive, clinically relevant molecular profiling of high grade and low grade gliomas, thus greatly facilitating identification and inclusion of patients into clinical trials.

  • Administration - Our MDT coordinators and administrative staff help us ensure that referrals and scans we receive from other hospitals are available for the MDT meetings. They also ensure that the MDT discussion is then communicated to your hospital team as well as your GP.

    The secretarial staff can help with appointments and scans or provide you access to your medical team if necessary.