Tumor board formats: "Fascinating case" versus "working conference"

John T. Vetto, Kathryn Richert-Boe, Marilyn Desler, Larry Dufrain, Hazel Hagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background and Methods. To test the hypothesis that a "working conference" (WC; tumor board format in which any case requiring multispecialty input is presented for discussion) was preferable to a "fascinating case" (FC; only "interesting" or "unusual" cases presented) format, tumor board format at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center was changed from FC to WC. Results. The number of cases presented in tumor board reflected this change. For example, for the period from 1990 to 1991 (prior to the change), 63 of 557 registered cases (11%) were presented in tumor board. By 1992-1993, 206 of 547 registered cases (38%) were presented. This increase was highly significant (p <0.001). Three years after the format change, the authors surveyed 22 regular participants of the tumor board, many of whom had been participants prior to the change. Of those surveyed, 77% preferred the WC to the FC format, and 18% preferred a combined format. Most of those surveyed felt that the WC format was more helpful to the provider and to patient care (86% and 100%, respectively). Eighty percent felt that the WC format facilitated protocol enrollment, and 100% of the respondents were satisfied with the quality of case discussion that resulted from the WC format. Conclusions. The change to a "working case" format increased provider satisfaction with tumor board quality compared with the previous "fascinating case" format.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-88
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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