Identifying challenges in neurofibromatosis: a modified Delphi procedure

Britt A.E. Dhaenens, Rosalie E. Ferner, Annette Bakker, Marco Nievo, D. Gareth Evans, Pierre Wolkenstein, Cornelia Potratz, Scott R. Plotkin, Guenter Heimann, Eric Legius, Rianne Oostenbrink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) and schwannomatosis (SWN) are rare conditions with pronounced variability of clinical expression. We aimed to reach consensus on the most important manifestations meriting the development of drug trials. The five-staged modified Delphi procedure consisted of two questionnaires and a consensus meeting for 40 NF experts, a survey for 63 patient representatives, and a final workshop. In the questionnaires, manifestations were scored on multiple items on a 4-point Likert scale. The highest average scores for NF experts deciding the ‘need for new treatment’ were for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST) (4,0) and high grade glioma (HGG) (3,9) for NF1; meningioma (3,9) for NF2 and pain (3,9) for SWN. The patient representatives assigned high scores to all manifestations, with plexiform neurofibroma being highest in NF1 (4,0), vestibular schwannoma in NF2 (4,0), and pain in SWN (3,9). Twelve experts participated in the consensus meeting and prioritised manifestations. MPNST was ranked the highest for NF1, followed by benign peripheral nerve sheath tumours. Tumour manifestations received highest ranking in NF2, and pain was the most prominent problem for SWN. Patient representative ratings for NF1 were similar to the experts’ opinions, except that they ranked HGG as the most important manifestation. For NF2 and SWN, the patient representatives agreed with the experts. We conclude that NF experts and patient representatives consent to prioritise development of drug trials for MPNST, benign peripheral nerve sheath tumours, cutaneous manifestations and HGG for NF1; tumours for NF2; and pain for SWN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1625-1633
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number11
Early online date26 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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