The Emergence of Virtual Tumor Boards in Neuro-Oncology: Opportunities and Challenges.

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california; santa monica; pacific neuroscience institute


Background Virtual tumor board (VTB) platforms are an important aspect of cancer management. They enable easier access to a multidisciplinary team of experts. To deliver high-quality cancer care, it is necessary to coordinate numerous therapies and providers, share technical knowledge, and maintain open lines of communication among all professionals involved. The VTB is an essential tool in the diagnosis and treatment of brain cancer. For patients with glioma and brain metastases, multidisciplinary tumor board guidelines should guide diagnosis and therapy throughout the course of the illness. VTBs are an emerging resource across various cancer care networks in the United States. Methodology We performed a systematic search of all VTBs incorporating a platform designed for this specific role. We reviewed the records of the Genomet VTB, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) VTB, and Xcures VTB. Summary data examined included the year of launch, demographics, characteristics of cases, average response time, advantages, and how they handle protected health information. Results Overall, 30% of VTBs examined were launched in 2017. All had a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant online environment. On a review of Xcures records, the median age of the female patients was 57 years and the median age of the male patients was 55 years. The data showed that 44% (4.4 out of every 10 patients) with a confirmed treatment chose the VTB integrated option. Overall, 76% of patients in the Xcures registry had primary central nervous system tumors, with at least 556 patients in the tumor registry which included 46% glioblastoma cases (96% primary, 4% secondary). In the MUSC VTB project, 112 thoracic tumor cases and nine neuro-oncology cases were reviewed. The tumor board met weekly, and the average response time was within 24 hours of case review and presentation. The Genomet VTB de-identifies all patient information; this is a virtual platform primarily focused on neuro-oncology cases. Cases involved a median of five specialists most commonly neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, molecular pathologists, and neuroradiologists. The case review revealed an age range of six months to 84 years (mean age = 44.5 years), with 69.6% males and 30.4% females, 43.5% glioblastomas, 8.7% adenocarcinomas, and 8.7% infratentorial tumors. The average response time observed in all cases was ≤24 hours. Conclusions VTBs allow for quicker expert analysis of cases. This has resulted in an accelerated number of cases reviewed with a shortened communication time. More studies are needed to gain additional insights into user engagement metrics.

Clinical Institute


Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)