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Site-Specific Tumor Conferences at Baylor Sammons Cancer Center



The care of cancer patients at Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas will be streamlined and enriched by the additional space and improved facilities that will be available in the new outpatient cancer center. A key element that will remain at the heart of patient care and education is the site-specific tumor conference program.


When Baylor Sammons Cancer Center opened on May 1, 1976, many physicians felt that the traditional concept of a tumor board, in which a small group of physicians discussed patients with a variety of different types of cancer, was outmoded. Typically, a tumor board would bring together involved disciplines (e.g., radiologist, surgeon, medical oncologist) to exchange information. Patient cases would be presented, and recommendations about treatment plans (frequently binding) would be made.


Baylor Sammons Cancer Center took this concept to a higher level. New advances in multidisciplinary approaches created the need for separate committees for the major cancer sites. In turn, each site-specific committee was responsible for organizing and running a site conference. One site-specific conference on gynecologic oncology was already in place when the center opened; today there are 12 additional site-specific conferences for bone and soft tissue, breast, chest, endocrine, head and neck, liver, hematopoietic disease, neuro-oncology, skin, skull base, stem cell transplant, and urology.


Rather than focusing solely on recommendations for patient care (non-binding), the site-specific conferences also aim at educating the medical professionals in attendance. Continuing medical education credit is available for physicians who attend. Because several patient cases with the same diagnosis are presented at each conference, attendees are provided with an in-depth view from various specialists, accompanied by lively discussion. The site-specific conferences have proven to be extremely popular, with 238 conferences held in 2009 attended by 6,760 medical professionals, including staff physicians (about 40% of attendees), students, residents, social workers, and nurses.


The site-specific tumor conferences have been held in various locations at Baylor University Medical Center, but most are now held in the 10th-floor conference center in the new outpatient cancer center.


Marvin J. Stone, MD, the first director of Baylor Sammons Cancer Center, spearheaded the development of the site-specific tumor conference program. According to Dr. Stone, “These conferences have become the nuts and bolts of Baylor Sammons Cancer Center, directly contributing to high quality patient care and learning at multiple levels. Their success is the direct results of participation by numerous physicians devoted to clinical excellence.”



Conference Schedule


Bone and Soft Tissue

1st Tuesday


Alternating Thursdays


1st, 2nd and 4th Wednesday


3rd Tuesday


Alternating Thursdays



Head and Neck

2nd and 4th Tuesday

Head and Neck Journal Club

5th Tuesdays

Hematology/Oncology Journal Club*

Rotating Wednesdays


Rotating Wednesdays


2nd Tuesday


Rotating Wednesdays


2nd and 4th Wednesday


1st and 3rd Wednesday

Skull Base

1st Wednesday

Stem Cell Transplant*

Rotating Wednesdays


3rd Wednesday (quarterly)


* Rotate during the month

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    For information about site-specific tumor conferences at Baylor Sammons Cancer Center, please call: 214.820.4073.

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