Lung cancer tumor boards can bring some key learnings to experts. Dr. Lyudmila Bazhenova and Dr. Jessica Bauman share insights about multidisciplinary tumor boards and how information could potentially be shared with community practices.
Dr. Nicole Rochester:
Well, Dr. Bazhenova, I know that you lead a weekly tumor board for lung cancer, and I’d love to learn more about some of the things that you can share that may be insightful for other lung cancer experts as a result of the tumor board.
Dr. Lyudmila Bazhenova:
At UC San Diego, we actually have two tumor boards where lung cancer patients can be presented, one is just a traditional multidisciplinary thoracic tumor board, which is attended by a medical oncologist, surgeons, radiation oncologist, pathologist, interventional people, clinical trial coordinators. And I think this is not unique to UC San Diego. The multidisciplinary tumor boards are available in all major academic institutions. And I think lung cancer care is becoming more and more multidisciplinary, especially with the new advances of new adjuvant to chemo-immunotherapy and controversies we still have to this point in management of stage III disease. And I think what I find in a multidisciplinary tumor board…
Because I think what I want to build upon as Dr. Bauman statement that she said that times of an essence here, and I think the multi-d tumor board help us make medical decisions on the spot rather than me sending a patient to see a surgeon or sending a patient to see radiation oncologist and sending patients to see interventional radiologist, and then the IR is telling you, “Oh, we can’t do that biopsy, you gotta send it to the pulmonologist.” I think that actually streamlines the patient care. The second tumor board what we have, that maturity of the lung cancer patients actually don’t get presented there, it’s a molecular tumor board. And the reason why we don’t present majority of the lung cancer patients there because management of antigen-driven lung cancer is pretty straightforward.
I think only presentations I would ever make there if they have an unusual mutation that I can’t find any information about, then I need the help of our molecular pathologist, but it is a good avenue for those weird rare molecular abnormalities that I’ve seen in other malignancies and so that is another option. And there’s actually…many institutions have molecular tumor boards as well. We do open our tumor board not to all communities. So we are not as good as you, Dr. Bauman. So only one community practice can join us because they’re kind of part of us, so we don’t usually…we don’t have it open to the whole community, and I think as an academic institution, we probably should strive to have an open tumor boards where everybody can join and listen and present and that’s the most important.
Dr. Jessica Bauman:
I do want to say, we don’t..I must have misspoken, we definitely don’t include community practices. So I do think that that would be a fantastic offering in the sense of some of the…I don’t know that we could do that on a weekly basis, but consider something like on a monthly basis or even a quarterly basis of a true tumor board where people can present cases in real time from community practices.