Objectives This project aimed to summarize the experience of a mentor pathologist in the IGCS ECHO project virtual tumor boards, which utilize case-based analysis of patients using videoconferencing technology to connect physicians in low resource settings with international mentors.
Methods All cases discussed by a single pathologist in the IGCS project ECHO virtual tumor board sessions from July 2019 to May 2021 were included. De-identified information was entered into a spreadsheet. Standard descriptive analysis was performed.
Results Since July 2019, 50 virtual tumor board sessions were attended by one mentor pathologist. One to three cases were presented each session. A local site pathologist was present in 60% of sessions. Pre-meeting case details and microscopic images were emailed to mentor for 94% of sessions and 64% of cases, respectively. Pathologic diagnosis was included for 91% of cases. Mentor pathologist significantly contributed to the discussion of 71 (86%) cases. Cases discussed were primarily cancers of the ovary (n=30), cervix (n=23) and endometrium (n=10). Cancers of the uterus (n=4), vulva (n=4), vagina (n=2), fallopian-tube (n=1), germ cell tumors (n=4), pregnancy-related malignancies (n=3), and tuberculosis (n=1) were also reviewed. Case discussions were focused on tumor morphology, grading and accurate classification, prognostic factors, differential diagnosis, immunohistochemistry, appropriate tumor sampling, and the value of cytology. Appropriate references were suggested for review.
Conclusions Participation of consultant pathologists in IGCS project ECHO virtual tumor boards significantly improves the quality of pathology data for clinical management and provides educational opportunities to physicians in low resource settings for better management of gynecological cancers.
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