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OMMC Hospital Tumor Board A model for other hospitals


Every hospital is supposed to have a tumor board as required by the Department of Health (DOH).


Go into any hospital and inquire into its tumor board. Chances are the answer you will get is a negative one, meaning it is either non-existent or it is existent in name only. There are only a few hospitals with active tumor board, active in the sense that it has meetings and conducts cancer-related activities.


Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center (OMMC) is one of these few hospitals and it is the hospital where a model hospital tumor board is fast emerging.


In July, 2002, the OMMC Hospital Tumor Board (OMMC-HTB) was reorganized. The first thing the new leadership did was to formulate an organizational primer of the OMMC-HTB. In preparing for the primer, the Board asked around for any primer that might have been previously formulated by the DOH, the Philippine College of Surgeons, Philippine Society of Oncologists, Philippine Society of Surgical Oncology, and other medical societies involved in cancer works which it might adopt. However, there was none. Thus, the OMMC-HTB formulated its own.


Briefly, the organizational primer contains information on the following:





Schedule of meetings

Expected activities and accomplishments

Performance parameters and standards

After the formulation of the organizational primer, the OMMC-HTB started accomplishing its expected tasks for the year. The priorities were a cancer registry primarily to determine the cancer load in the hospital and a unified concept on cancer, its causes, prevention, cure, and palliation among the various oncologists in the hospital primarily to facilitate cancer patient management and public health education on cancer .


The OMMC-HTB met 3 times (August, October, and December) in 2002 as prescribed in the primer (once every 2 months) and it has accomplished all its expected tasks for the year.


In 2003, it is expected to formulate clinical practice guidelines on cancer palliation, cancer pain control, and standardized patient management process; to provide public health advisory on cancer; and to produce 4 research papers on cancer. The OMMC-HTB is on track and on schedule performance wise. Please see table below.


Performance Parameters and Standards

OMMC Hospital Tumor Board




Standards and Targets

To formulate integrated, coordinated, and comprehensive hospital-wide policies on the management of patients with cancer in the hospital.

Presence of written policies

Integrated, coordinated, and comprehensive hospital-wide

Continually updated

To monitor and continually improve the quality of care to patients with cancers.

Morbidity and mortality rates

Complaints of patients

For nonhospice cancer patients:

Acceptable rates (<5%)

Acceptable no. of complaints (<5 / year)

To conduct educational and training programs for concerned staff so as to facilitate implementation of hospital policies on management of cancer patients.

Educational and training programs


Geared towards goal and objectives

To promote research on oncology that will continually improve the quality of care for cancer patients.

Research output

Number (4 a year)

Useful enough to be integrated into policies and procedures



The OMMC-HTB is fast becoming a model hospital tumor board in the country because it has clear, definite, and specific direction, task prescription, and performance evaluation as provided in its organizational primer and it is performing satisfactorily in just half a year and in 3 meetings. It is a hospital tumor board that all hospital tumor boards in the country can emulate and ask assistance from, in terms of the organizational primer (the only one in the country), a practical cancer registry that is easy to accomplish and useful, and innovative approaches such as unifying the concepts of different oncologists which often times contribute to slowing if not breakdown of tumor boards. The OMMC-HTB welcomes requests for assistance. Email: