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J Cancer Educ. 2002 Summer;17(2):97-100.

Beyond doughnuts: tumor board recommendations influence patient care.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland 97201-3098, USA.



There is little solid evidence to support the belief that tumor conferences directly impact the care patients receive. This study investigated the recommendations made at tumor conferences and whether these recommendations were enacted.


Cancer registrars from Oregon-area hospitals with tumor boards that utilized a prospective "working" format were surveyed regarding tumor board characteristics and content. They also recorded the recommendations made for each prospective case presented at each tumor board for one month. Later, they contacted each patient's provider to see which recommendations had been implemented.


Information from eight tumor boards in six hospitals was recorded. The institutions varied with regard to size, location, number of tumor boards, number of cases reviewed annually, and types of cancers reviewed. One hundred fifty-three specific, prospective recommendations were made for the care of 97 patients. Of these, 128 (84%) were followed, 2 (1%) were pending, and 5 (3%) were status unknown. Of recommendations followed, 21 (16%) were for diagnosis, 100 (78%) were for therapy, and 7 (5%) were for palliation.


Recommendations made at tumor conferences are generally implemented into patient care. Tumor boards can play a strategic role in the planning of care for cancer patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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