eISSN: 2081-2841
ISSN: 1689-832X
Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
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vol. 10

The Tumor Boards – is this strategy worth for developing countries?

Antonio Cassio de Assis Pellizzon

J Contemp Brachytherapy 2018; 10, 3: 191–192
Online publish date: 2018/06/30
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Cancer treatment is becoming more complex and has a potential need of having physicians of various specialties participating in the treatment planning. In general, as a consequence of a confirmation of cancer diagnosis, patients are sent to specialists who examine them generally and perform diagnostic procedures in order to stage the disease and define accurate steps of treatment. These steps involve different oncologic medical specialists such as surgeons, radiation and clinical oncologists, apart from other supporting teams. This multidisciplinary management performed sequentially it’s a time consuming approach that can create anxiety in patients and family members, factors that cannot be overlooked. In many situations of cancer treatment, patients can consider different management options, in which more time is spent when attending different clinics. In fact, usually more than one specialty involved in the treatment will be necessary to take the final decision about the treatment scheme. To reduce the time gap between diagnosis and starting of treatment, the introduction of Tumor Boards (TBs) through multidisciplinary clinics or meetings, which are formal with the presence of key specialists to discuss the diagnosis and management of cancer patients, can be a helpful tool [1]. By definition, the TBs tend to be held on weekly, regularly basis. Besides its educational functions, the attendance of radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, oncologic surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, and other specialists, depending on the type and origin of cancer, gives a unique chance to review each and every case individually [2]. Furthermore, the advent of the Internet has led to an increased number of patients with better knowledge and higher cancer awareness who seek a multidisciplinary clinic for second opinion. It is important to note that TBs are not designed to be a form of second opinion but in most cases, they are used for this purpose, especially because expert’s opinions are based on case exams and literature reviews to present an evidence-based recommendation.
There are few studies that investigated TBs recommendations and their impact on the oncologic outcomes. One survey of Oregon hospitals found that TBs recommendations were generally implemented into patient care, and played a strategic role in the treatment planning for cancer patients [3]. Another single-institutional study of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, published in 2008, evaluated...

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