Study reveals modest association between presence of tumor boards and types of cancer care

Published on December 29, 2012 at 6:36 AM · No Comments

There is little association of multidisciplinary tumor boards with measures of use, quality, or survival, and measuring only the presence of tumor boards may not be adequate in determining their effects on cancer care, according to a study published December 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Tumor board reviews offer a multidisciplinary approach to treatment planning, which encompasses doctors from many specialties reviewing and discussing the medical condition and the treatment of patients. Even though the use of tumor boards is widespread, there is little data on how it affects cancer care.

In order to determine the effects tumor boards have on cancer care, Nancy L. Keating, M.D., M.P.H., Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, and colleagues gathered information about tumor boards from 138 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers and linked cancer registry and administrative data to gauge receipt of stage-specific recommended care, survival, or use for patients with colorectal, lung, prostate, hematologic, and breast cancers diagnosed during 2001-2004 and followed through to 2005.

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