The Pathologist at the Tumor Board

At most cancer programs, a multidisciplinary cancer care team convenes at tumor board meetings to discuss and plan the care of their cancer patients. The Commission on Cancer requires surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists and pathologists to attend these meetings in order for the cancer program to maintain their accreditation and it is not uncommon for these meetings to occur several times per week. Other attendees often include but are not limited to nurse navigators, cancer data analysts (CTRs), clinical trials coordinators, palliative care nurses, and others.

This week the OncoLens blog will focus on the role of the pathologist at tumor boards. The pathologist determines the specific type of cancer the patient being discussed has and generates a report about the diagnosis using nationally accepted College of American Pathologists (CAP) standards. This diagnostic data is utilized by the cancer care team to formulate a treatment plan. For the pathologist, preparing for tumor boards is a time-consuming process involving multiple steps, typically taking around four hours per meeting. The list of patients being discussed must be obtained prior to the tumor board and typically relevant slides are pulled, reviewed and put into a PowerPoint presentation.

A recent article in the CAP Today journal (published by the College of American Pathologists) highlights how virtual tumor Board platforms like OncoLens are revolutionizing the tumor board experience for pathologists. The article highlights real world experiences from pathologists using the OncoLens platform in terms of their decreased workload, increased presentation efficiency, easy uploading of relevant reports, and having a complete understanding of the cases being presented, rather than being put on the spot at the time of the tumor board. OncoLens is now the most widely used Tumor Board platform in North America.

You can read the full article here (page 58).

For a free demonstration of how the OncoLens platform can transform your tumor boards, please contact us at