Tumour boards provide a collaborative, multidisciplinary procedure to cancer care, bringing together various specialists in the sub-disciplines of Oncology, namely Medical Oncologist, Surgical Oncologist, Radiation Oncologist, Onco-pathologist, Radiologist, Intervention Radiologist and Palliative Care physician on a collaborative platform to aid in decision making and improve care coordination, based on available scientific literature and evidence of the time.

Today, tumour boards are conventional even in smaller settings and virtual settings. Their purpose has evolved “from general case meetings into weekly focused discussions on cancers affecting specific organs, ‘mini-tumour boards,’ and even ‘molecular tumour boards’.

Tumor Board Objectives

Tumor Board Objectives
• Educating health care practitioners
• Assist with patient care decisions and treatment preparation
• Building greater coordination and recognition between the different specialities

Tumour board meetings provide various benefits in preventing and Diagnosing cancers, planning treatment, and evaluating decisions. Research shows Cancer Doctors frequently modify their treatment decisions based on the information considered with other cancer specialists at tumour boards. The meetings also have teaching value, providing education to attendees and exposing trainees to real cancer cases.

Increasingly complex Cancer Treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach, and although the specific meeting format, an effective tumour board relies on an optimized workflow from gathering and preparing patient data to documenting treatment plans. With various specialists working on a single cancer case, one of the main benefits of a tumour board is ensuring all diagnostic tests and treatment options for a patient are considered.

Some of the potential advantages of Tumor Board Review include

  • Improved Patient care
  • Staging Accuracy
  • Receiving care per clinical practice and standard guidelines.
  • Improved communication
  • Cost-effective care
  • Improved clinical and patient satisfaction

Tumour board meetings usually follow a structured format, with every member computing his or her own specialized expertise to the conversation. For example, an Oncologist and/or Onco Surgeon presents a patient’s relevant history and reviews the key points in the patient’s case, followed by a radiologist’s presentation of imaging and diagnostic tests. A pathologist then impersonates glass slides or digital images of the tumour’s pathology and reviews the histopathology report, making sure those findings are well recognized by all disciplines present. Other specialists in attendance (if applicable) present their findings before the entire team considers the data and determines the individual patient’s treatment plan.