The role of tumor board conferences in neuro-oncology: a nationwide provider survey

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Journal of neuro-oncology


The tumor board or multidisciplinary cancer meeting (MCM) is the foundation of high value multidisciplinary oncology care, coordinating teams of specialists. Little is known on how these meetings are implemented in Neuro-oncology. Benefits of MCMs include coordination, direction for complicated cases, education, and a forum for communication, emerging technology, and clinical trials. This study identifies participation and utilization of neuro-oncology MCMs. A cross-sectional descriptive survey was dispersed through an internet questionnaire. The Society of Neuro-Oncology and the American Brain Tumor Association provided a list of dedicated neuro-oncology centers. All National Cancer Institute designated centers, and participants in the Adult Brain Tumor Consortium or the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative were included, identifying 85 centers. Discussion included primary brain tumors (100%), challenging cases (98%), recurrent disease (96%), neoplastic spine disease (93%), metastatic brain lesions (89%), pre-surgical cases (82%), pathology (76%), and paraneoplastic disease (40%). MCMs were composed of neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, and radiation oncologists (100%), radiologists (98%), pathologists (96%), and clinical trial participants (64%). Individual preparation ranged from 15 to 300 min. MCMs were valued for clinical decision making (94%), education (89%), and access to clinical trials (69%). 13% documented MCMs in the medical record. 38% of centers used a molecular tumor board; however, many commented with uncertainty as to how this is defined. Neuro-oncology MCMs at leading U.S. institutions demonstrate congruity of core disciplines, cases discussed, and perceived value. We identified variability in preparation time and implementation of MCM recommendations. There is high uncertainty as to the definition and application of a molecular tumor board.

Medical Subject Headings

Cross-Sectional Studies; Disease Management; Humans; Medical Oncology; National Cancer Institute (U.S.); Nervous System Neoplasms; Patient Care Team; Societies, Medical; Surveys and Questionnaires; United States

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