The Journal of National Cancer Institute published a new study December 28, 2012. It was reported that tumor boards may not really be improving the quality of care for oncology patients.
Tumor board members make up a multidisciplinary team, including medical, surgical, and radiation oncologist. Others on the board are pathologists, x-ray specialists, nurses, social workers, and others.
Whenever someone has been diagnosed with cancer, their name, diagnosis, and treatment protocols go into a database. The tumor board conference meets to discuss what may be the appropriate treatment plans, and did they work.
The study investigators found there was not a signiﬁcant degree of difference between the presence of tumor boards and the recommended stage speciﬁc cancer care.
Douglas Blayney, MD from the Stanford Cancer Institute in California wrote, “The fact that team meetings do not improve the performance on measures of quality care should be of no surprise.”
Well, I have to agree with Dr Blayney. If all they are going to do is get together and talk about chemotherapy and radiation, what do they expect? Let’s hope they will start talking more about what can be done to help the patient build their immune system which could help them with the ﬁght of their life. Let’s hope they will start talking about all the health care modalities that may be of interest to the patient. Let’s hope they will start talking about how the doctor needs to support their patient’s rights to add other safe and proven protocols.
Let’s hope they will talk about where has all the compassion gone.
image courtesy of: www.gerardnadal.com