The Neuro-Oncology Tumor Board
By Brian Andrews, M.D., FACS, Chair, California Pacific Medical Center Neuroscience Institute
In 2003 CPMC initiated a neuro-oncology tumor board, combining the expertise of neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuroradiologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists, and pathologists. The board was formatted as a once-per-month case review, with presentation by the treating physician, a review of relevant imaging, surgical treatment, and neuro-pathology. All participants weigh in, bringing their particular expertise to further treatment options, following appropriate national oncology guidelines. These discussions have allowed the treating physician to offer patients the best treatment options available. In some cases, this may involve entry into a clinical trial available to oncologists.
Tumors of the brain, spine, and peripheral nerves are included, making this conference the highlight of our weekly neuroscience academic schedule. Since 2003, up to 90 cases per year have been presented, for a current total of 571 cases. The board has proven to be extremely educational, with participation of our Dartmouth medical students, CPMC Department of Medicine residents, Radiation Oncology, and support staff. The board also has proven valuable for both treating physicians and their patients, as the options they have going forward have been developed with the input of all relevant specialists.