For the third year, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is supporting the ASCO/American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Workshop on Methods in Clinical Cancer Research, to take place July 18–August 3, 2018, at Vail Mountain Marriott Resort in Vail, Colorado.
Celebrating its 60th year in 2018, ASTRO was founded at a time when radiation therapy was still in its relative infancy. Now the premier radiation oncology society in the world, ASTRO has more than 10,000 members, including physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists, and other health-care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. ASTRO is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice, health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. The organization publishes three medical journals and maintains an extensive patient information website.
Among ASTRO’s many programmatic offerings that help address its mission is RO-ILS: Radiation Oncology Incident Learning System®. Launched in 2014, RO-ILS is an online shared-learning environment that is available at no cost to practices. More than 400 facilities across the United States have enrolled in the system, which helps practices report, investigate, and conduct analysis on their safety events. Another initiative is the Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx®), which supports quality improvement in radiation therapy practices by awarding accreditation to those practices that meet rigorous standards for high-quality patient care and safety.
ASTRO also maintains an extensive research grants program, awarding funding to residents, fellows, and junior faculty. In recent years, ASTRO has sought to expand its grant offerings by developing partnerships with other organizations, such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation® and Prostate Cancer Foundation, to co-fund cutting-edge research.
“More and more trials are doing more complicated protocols, so getting data that is meaningful at the end for patients is really critical, and that’s why we need the Methods Workshop.”— Lynn Brown
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ASTRO has collaborated with ASCO and ASCO’s Conquer Cancer Foundation to support the Methods Workshop since 2016, providing funding to enable five radiation oncology students to attend the workshop each year. This workshop teaches the essentials of effective clinical trial designs of therapeutic interventions in the treatment of cancer for clinical fellow and junior faculty clinical researchers in all oncology subspecialties, including radiation and surgical oncology and radiology.
Nancy R. Daly, MS, MPH
“We are honored to have ASTRO’s continued support in bringing radiation oncology fellows, residents, and junior faculty members to the Methods Workshop,” stated Nancy R. Daly, MS, MPH, Conquer Cancer’s Executive Vice President and Chief Philanthropic Officer. “This aptly represents the power of partnership for organizations with similar missions to promote excellence in oncology education.”
“More and more trials are doing more complicated protocols, so getting data that is meaningful at the end for patients is really critical, and that’s why we need the Methods Workshop,” shared Lynn Brown, ASTRO’s Vice President of Education. “As the trials are including combination and targeted therapies, it’s especially important to put together a good protocol. Radiation oncologists are important members of the team.”
Judy Keen, PhD
Judy Keen, PhD, ASTRO’s Director of Scientific Affairs, added, “Technology is changing so rapidly. People need to stay up to date on training…. We need to understand how to best use combination therapies for the best patient care.”
Ms. Brown recalls that Allen S. Lichter, MD, FASCO, who served as Chief Executive Officer for ASCO and Conquer Cancer from 2006 to 2016, participated in the ASTRO strategic plan retreat in 2010.
Allen S. Lichter, MD, FASCO
“Dr. Lichter saw the patient at the center, with the need to personalize care. It’s what we talk about all the time now. He had the vision recognizing the need for collaboration.”
Upon reflecting the value of the ASCO-ASTRO partnership, Dr. Keen stated, “No one does it alone anymore. We’re all oncology professionals, all part of the team together.” ■
© 2018. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.