Tumor Boards

Tumor board review at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is a treatment planning approach used at OHSU and other facilities where cancer specialists of multiple different disciplines (including medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation medicine, pathology, diagnostic imaging and others) come together to review and discuss a patient’s medical condition and the possible treatment options.  The ultimate goal of the tumor board is to find the best possible treatment plan for the specific patient.

Unlike community hospitals that may have one to four different tumor boards that meet periodically, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute has 15 disease-specific tumor boards that meet regularly including:

  • Breast
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Genitourinary
  • GYN Oncology
  • Head and Neck
  • Hepatobiliary
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Adult Neuro-oncology
  • Pediatric Neuro-oncology
  • Pediatric Hematology Oncology
  • Sarcoma
  • Thoracic
  • Thyroid






Cases are selected for tumor board based upon complexity, unusual manifestation of the disease, or special interest as a teaching opportunity. Typically cases are presented by the attending physician giving the patient’s medical history, clinical findings, diagnostic studies, therapy modalities and research data.  This may be followed by presentations by pathology using projected slides of the tumor and/or a review of diagnostic images as appropriate.  Discussion includes input from each of the disciplines in attendance to arrive at the best treatment plan for the patient being presented.  Potential clinical trials may be considered as appropriate.

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute has a Committee on Cancer that is accredited by the American College of Surgeons. This committee oversees the tumor boards and the tumor registry.

Patients may have the following questions about being presented at a tumor board:

  1. How many physicians are on the specific tumor board?
  2. Do they represent the full range of opinions one would expect to seek in this type of case?
  3. Was a clinical trial suggested?
  4. Was there enough information presented to come to a conclusion regarding treatment?