The Role of Navigation Around Tumor Board Participation

  • Sharon Gentry


A general multidisciplinary cancer conference or tumor board is one of the five foundations for the basic structure of an accredited cancer program by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) program accreditation. The navigator is an extended member of this team and often a core responsibility within a nurse navigator’s job description calls for the role of patient advocacy in tumor conference participation. A literature review to explore exactly what a navigator contributed to a cancer conference or tumor board revealed sparse comments in limited publications on the subject. The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) has conducted sessions on this topic at their annual conferences and website videos on navigators’ participation around tumor boards. To further clarify the role of a navigator around tumor board activities, AONN+ asked its members to reply to a survey titled Multidisciplinary Tumor Board Questionnaire in the spring of 2017. The results of this survey are shared in three phases of tumor board participation—case preparation, activities during the actual tumor board, and follow-up after the discussion. A discussion on CME activities, legal implications, navigator participation within their professional role boundaries, and metrics are also discussed. The navigator can proactively recognize the need for a tumor board consult, champion the unique needs of each patient during the discussion, promote adherence to planned treatment, and support patients during transitions of care regarding future issues related to treatment goals.


Navigation Tumor board Multidisciplinary cancer conference Tumor conference Patient navigation 



The author would like to acknowledge the work of AONN+ staff on creating, dispatching, and collecting the responses of the survey titled Multidisciplinary Tumor Board Questionnaire in the spring of 2017.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Novant Health Derrick L. Davis Cancer CenterWinston-SalemUSA

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