Elsevier launches new article type to showcase tumor board case reports

New York, NY, September 18, 2017

Elsevier, the information analytics business specializing in science and health, is launching a new article type in its journal Current Problems in Cancer -- Tumor Board Reports. Elsevier launched the new section at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress (ESMO) in Madrid.

Tumor boards, both general and specialized, are a cancer treatment planning approach, often involving a joint effort between clinicians and research scientists. The boards facilitate collaborations between a diverse range of healthcare professionals including surgeons, pathologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists. Patient histories are presented at board meetings and then the team weighs different options before coming to a consensus on a treatment plan.

While tumor boards have typically dealt with conventional treatment approaches, in recent years precision oncology tumor boards have sprung up in academic medical centers around the world. Advancements in cancer genomics mean that oncologists can characterize a patient’s tumor and treat for the specific molecular aberrations they find. Precision oncology tumor boards interpret tumor sequencing results and decide on the most appropriate, targeted treatment for these complex cases.

The face-to-face multidisciplinary collaborations at tumor board meetings lead to unique insights and cross-pollination. This collaborative approach means that clinicians can learn from each other’s cases, and use the breadth of experience in the room to help choose treatments for particularly difficult or complex cases. The groups discuss cases in the context of recent results from preclinical research and clinical trials and the latest professional society guidelines. This means that patients benefit from the most up-to-date information. Teams can provide nuanced insights and significant levels of experience and expertise. The resulting information is a previously untapped resource for the oncology community.

“At the moment, there is no dedicated platform for this type of information, and it remains siloed within medical institutions,” noted Current Problems in Cancer Publisher, Vindra Dass. “These cases are truly unique – no two are alike.” The siloed information is a huge loss to oncologists globally, and particularly to community oncologists, who are not usually present at tumor board meetings. “Entire new paradigms of care have emerged in the last decade, including immunotherapy, targeted molecular therapy, and cell-based therapies. The publication of Tumor Board Reports is an opportunity for oncologists to see how experts in the field tackle these issues,” said Associate Editor of Current Problems in Cancer and the Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Kevin Elias, MD. Oncologists in low-resource settings, without access to the technology and breadth of experience available to world-class tumor boards, will also significantly benefit from access to this information.

This new article type, Tumor Board Reports, published by Elsevier in Current Problems in Cancer, is the perfect home for this content. It will provide an outlet for this previously unpublished information. Each article will consist of a detailed case report that focuses on treatment or management decisions. The section will highlight important or unusual clinical phenomena and new treatment protocols based on recent advances. The articles will include the patient’s clinical history, a clear rationale for treatment choice, and treatment outcomes. Each decision reflects the team's collaborative nature and contributions from experts on the tumor board. In addition, the overall treatment tactics of the board will be clear.

Making this information accessible will allow tumor boards to compare notes on a whole range of issues that are ripe for cross-pollination and standardization. Tumor boards frequently develop their own preferred methods and practices, and therefore can learn from each other. This is particularly important in new and developing fields such as precision oncology. Here, issues include ways to define what constitutes an actionable molecular target, choosing the best candidates for sequencing, selecting an appropriate drug therapy – and even ways in which precision oncology can be performed most cost-effectively.

By presenting what has worked for specific tumor boards, Tumor Board Reports will contribute to the evolution of the field. “With increased understanding of cancer biology, development of novel therapeutics, and evolving treatment paradigms, it is increasingly difficult for one physician to keep abreast of the latest advances. Tumor Boards Reports represent an avenue to share difficult cases and demonstrate the current state of the art,” explained Editor-in-Chief of Current Problems in Cancer and Professor of Medicine at the Stanford University Medical Center, Prof. Shivanni Kummar, MD, FACP.

Reports should be “challenging cases where the rationale for pursuing a line of therapy is clear,” said Dr. Elias. “Submissions should include a discussion on potential treatments, pros and cons for various options, and the rationale for the recommended treatment,” Dr. Kummar explained. They should demonstrate the rationale for the treatment choice, which should combine scientific evidence and personal experience. The treatment rationale should be clearly explained so as to be instructive for others planning treatments for similar cases. This article type will cater for submissions from general and specialized tumor boards. “To ensure the content is well-presented, we have taken the time to craft a template to help authors draft their submissions,” said Dass.

Elsevier is proud to launch this new initiative, and has the commitment and resources in its ScienceDirect, ClinicalKey and journal platforms to unlock, share, and promote this information.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we’re committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.elsevier.com

Vindra Dass
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