Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, has announced the result of a collaboration with the University of Missouri School of Medicine to implement—for the first time in the United States—Roche’s software solution to streamline and standardize the management of tumor boards, which are multidisciplinary meetings oncology care teams hold to make clinical treatment decisions for cancer patients.


Alan Wright, MD, MPH, Roche.

Managing tumor boards is labor-intensive and time-consuming for healthcare providers because it often requires manually collecting and organizing patient information from various sources, such as radiology and microscope slide images, pathology reports, and electronic medical records. “Our goal in working on this pilot with the MU School of Medicine and clinicians at MU Health Care was to fine-tune a digital decision support tool that could help transform the tumor board process,” says Alan Wright, MD, MPH, chief medical officer at Roche Diagnostics. “The collaboration gave us the opportunity to improve the software in a way that would fundamentally change the way their oncology care teams prepare for, conduct, and document clinical treatment decisions for cancer patients.”

The Navify tumor board solution streamlines and standardizes tumor board workflows by combining relevant patient data from disparate sources into a Cloud-based workflow solution and dashboard that facilitate efficient team collaboration, reduce errors, and give the care team more time to evaluate potential treatment options.

In addition to piloting the software for Roche and providing extensive feedback in the development process, MU Health Care has now used the newly launched commercial version of the software for actual tumor boards with two of its nine oncology care teams, and plans to implement the software across all the remaining teams in the near future.

Photo ParkerJerry

Jerry Parker, PhD, MU School of Medicine.

“As an academic health center, one of our goals is to bring innovation and discovery to the field of medicine,” says Jerry Parker, PhD, associate dean for research at the MU School of Medicine. “With our partners at Roche, we’ve only begun to explore the possibilities, but we already see tremendous potential for this type of solution to help advance cancer care. The workflow is much easier for our oncology nursing staff to manage, and the patient information is presented much more clearly, so we expect that to improve efficiency in the meetings and create more time for in-depth discussion of patient cases and the best treatment options.”

The software creates a centralized repository of tumor board data, which will eventually enable MU Health Care providers and other oncology care teams to see how they managed similar patients in the past. The software also allows remote participation of experts from outside the location during the meeting, facilitating the concept of virtual tumor boards.

“There is the opportunity for a software solution like this to expand access to tumor boards in smaller communities,” says Parker. “It’s estimated that less than 50% of cancer patients in the United States benefit from tumor boards, in part because many communities are not close in proximity to oncology providers. I can foresee a day when a small community provider or hospital will be able to upload data to a regional cancer center tumor board to get access to highly specialized advice regarding their patients—or participate in tumor boards themselves remotely. There is exciting potential there to expand quality healthcare for cancer patients regardless of their location.”

To learn more, visit Roche Diagnostics.