Tumor Talk: Reasoning, Results, and Relevance in Novel Neuro-oncology Studies

The Journal of Neuro-Oncology, sponsored by the Tumor Section for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and 8 other prestigious medical societies, has formally launched a new, innovative webinar series aimed at highlighting novel, potentially impactful studies involving brain tumors. This initiative, led by Dr. Randy D’Amico, Associate Editor for Webinars, Dr. Jason Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief, and Dr. Gautam Mehta, a member of the editorial board and Special Issue Editor, facilitates live discussion by inviting key, contributing authors to discuss the critical aspects of their studies on air. Unlike traditional podcasts involving scientific summaries, this webinar incorporates PowerPoint presentations that include cogent, distilled data, figures, and intraoperative videos depicting key portions of relevant operations.

This format offers numerous advantages that advance the Tumor Section’s mission of disseminating educational materials to neurosurgeons. First, all sessions are available free of charge, and provide new research content to those who may not have institutional subscriptions to the journal or are unable to travel to formal national meetings. This significantly increases accessibility among both domestic and international audiences. Second, the presence of the principal investigator and contributing authors offers the opportunity for viewers to ask clarifying questions in real-time and receive multiple points of view regarding new ideas from both authors and members of the editorial board. This encourages lively discussion and additional insights regarding the reasoning behind different choices in study design/analysis and relieves viewers from needing to individually contact the corresponding author with questions.

Similar concepts have recently been employed by some of the highest-impact journals in medicine. Dr. Howard Bauchner, Editor-in-Chief of JAMA, regularly hosts a podcast where manuscript authors have an opportunity to discuss their work and answer questions.  The New England Journal of Medicine provides audio summaries and commentary for newly published papers.

Overall, the Tumor Talk initiative is achieving increasing recognition and participation. This past week, over 500 individuals tuned in for the live discussion. Recent topics have included the use of exoscopes in the resection of glioblastoma (GBM), stereotactic radiosurgery vs. chemotherapy for recurrent malignant gliomas, and surgical options for multifocal GBM.

Tumor Talks occur on Tuesdays at 4:00 PM Eastern Time