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Sample records for japan radiation oncology

  1. Patterns of Radiotherapy Practice for Pancreatic Cancer in Japan: Results of the Japanese Radiation Oncology Study Group (JROSG) Survey

    SciTech Connect

    Ogawa, Kazuhiko; Ito, Yoshinori; Karasawa, Katsuyuki; Ogawa, Yoshihiro; Onishi, Hiroshi; Kazumoto, Tomoko; Shibuya, Keiko; Shibuya, Hitoshi; Okuno, Yoshishige; Nishino, Shigeo; Ogo, Etsuyo; Uchida, Nobue; Karasawa, Kumiko; Nemoto, Kenji; Nishimura, Yasumasa

    2010-07-01

    Purpose: To determine the patterns of radiotherapy practice for pancreatic cancer in Japan. Methods and Materials: A questionnaire-based national survey of radiotherapy for pancreatic cancer treated between 2000 and 2006 was conducted by the Japanese Radiation Oncology Study Group (JROSG). Detailed information on 870 patients from 34 radiation oncology institutions was accumulated. Results: The median age of all patients was 64 years (range, 36-88), and 80.2% of the patients had good performance status. More than 85% of patients had clinical Stage T3-T4 disease, and 68.9% of patients had unresectable disease at diagnosis. Concerning radiotherapy (RT), 49.8% of patients were treated with radical external beam RT (EBRT) (median dose, 50.4 Gy), 44.4% of patients were treated with intraoperative RT (median dose, 25 Gy) with or without EBRT (median dose, 45 Gy), and 5.9% of patients were treated with postoperative radiotherapy (median dose, 50 Gy). The treatment field consisted of the primary tumor (bed) only in 55.6% of the patients. Computed tomography-based treatment planning and conformal RT was used in 93.1% and 83.1% of the patients treated with EBRT, respectively. Chemotherapy was used for 691 patients (79.4%; before RT for 66 patients; during RT for 531; and after RT for 364). Gemcitabine was the most frequently used drug, followed by 5-fluorouracil. Conclusion: This study describes the general patterns of RT practice for pancreatic cancer in Japan. Most patients had advanced unresectable disease, and radical EBRT, as well as intraoperative RT with or without EBRT, was frequently used. Chemotherapy with gemcitabine was commonly used in conjunction with RT during the survey period.

  2. Clinical radiation oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, C.C.

    1988-01-01

    This book presents current concepts of radiation oncology in the management of various malignant diseases. Recent advances such as the use of linear accelerators and recently increased knowledge concerning radiation biology have been incorporated into the text.

  3. Global radiation oncology waybill

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz-Garzón, Victor; Rovirosa, Ángeles; Ramos, Alfredo

    2013-01-01

    Background/aim Radiation oncology covers many different fields of knowledge and skills. Indeed, this medical specialty links physics, biology, research, and formation as well as surgical and clinical procedures and even rehabilitation and aesthetics. The current socio-economic situation and professional competences affect the development and future or this specialty. The aim of this article was to analyze and highlight the underlying pillars and foundations of radiation oncology, indicating the steps implicated in the future developments or competences of each. Methods This study has collected data from the literature and includes highlights from discussions carried out during the XVII Congress of the Spanish Society of Radiation Oncology (SEOR) held in Vigo in June, 2013. Most of the aspects and domains of radiation oncology were analyzed, achieving recommendations for the many skills and knowledge related to physics, biology, research, and formation as well as surgical and clinical procedures and even supportive care and management. Results Considering the data from the literature and the discussions of the XVII SEOR Meeting, the “waybill” for the forthcoming years has been described in this article including all the aspects related to the needs of radiation oncology. Conclusions Professional competences affect the development and future of this specialty. All the types of radio-modulation are competences of radiation oncologists. On the other hand, the pillars of Radiation Oncology are based on experience and research in every area of Radiation Oncology. PMID:24416572

  4. American Society for Radiation Oncology

    MedlinePlus

    ... PAC Become an Advocate Log In SNIPEND American Society for Radiation Oncology Plan your time at the ... oncology practices. RO-ILS The only medical specialty society-sponsored incident learning system for radiation oncology. RO ...

  5. Quality Indicators in Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Albert, Jeffrey M.; Das, Prajnan

    2013-03-15

    Oncologic specialty societies and multidisciplinary collaborative groups have dedicated considerable effort to developing evidence-based quality indicators (QIs) to facilitate quality improvement, accreditation, benchmarking, reimbursement, maintenance of certification, and regulatory reporting. In particular, the field of radiation oncology has a long history of organized quality assessment efforts and continues to work toward developing consensus quality standards in the face of continually evolving technologies and standards of care. This report provides a comprehensive review of the current state of quality assessment in radiation oncology. Specifically, this report highlights implications of the healthcare quality movement for radiation oncology and reviews existing efforts to define and measure quality in the field, with focus on dimensions of quality specific to radiation oncology within the “big picture” of oncologic quality assessment efforts.

  6. Imaging Opportunities in Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Balter, James M.; Haffty, Bruce G.; Dunnick, N. Reed; Siegel, Eliot L.

    2011-02-01

    Interdisciplinary efforts may significantly affect the way that clinical knowledge and scientific research related to imaging impact the field of Radiation Oncology. This report summarizes the findings of an intersociety workshop held in October 2008, with the express purpose of exploring 'Imaging Opportunities in Radiation Oncology.' Participants from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), American Association of physicists in Medicine (AAPM), American Board of Radiology (ABR), Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO), and Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) discussed areas of education, clinical practice, and research that bridge disciplines and potentially would lead to improved clinical practice. Findings from this workshop include recommendations for cross-training opportunities within the allowed structured of Radiology and Radiation Oncology residency programs, expanded representation of ASTRO in imaging related multidisciplinary groups (and reciprocal representation within ASTRO committees), increased attention to imaging validation and credentialing for clinical trials (e.g., through the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN)), and building ties through collaborative research as well as smaller joint workshops and symposia.

  7. Radiation Oncology Treatment Team

    MedlinePlus

    ... Upper GI What is Radiation Therapy? Find a Radiation Oncologist Last Name: Facility: City: State: Zip Code: ... who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer . Radiation Oncologists Radiation oncologists are the doctors who will ...

  8. Insufficiency Fractures After Pelvic Radiation Therapy for Uterine Cervical Cancer: An Analysis of Subjects in a Prospective Multi-institutional Trial, and Cooperative Study of the Japan Radiation Oncology Group (JAROG) and Japanese Radiation Oncology Study Group (JROSG)

    SciTech Connect

    Tokumaru, Sunao; Toita, Takafumi; Oguchi, Masahiko; Ohno, Tatsuya; Kato, Shingo; Niibe, Yuzuru; Kazumoto, Tomoko; Kodaira, Takeshi; Kataoka, Masaaki; Shikama, Naoto; Kenjo, Masahiro; Yamauchi, Chikako; Suzuki, Osamu; Sakurai, Hideyuki; Teshima, Teruki; Kagami, Yoshikazu; Nakano, Takashi; Hiraoka, Masahiro; and others

    2012-10-01

    Purpose: To investigate pelvic insufficiency fractures (IF) after definitive pelvic radiation therapy for early-stage uterine cervical cancer, by analyzing subjects of a prospective, multi-institutional study. Materials and Methods: Between September 2004 and July 2007, 59 eligible patients were analyzed. The median age was 73 years (range, 37-84 years). The International Federation of Gynecologic Oncology and Obstetrics stages were Ib1 in 35, IIa in 12, and IIb in 12 patients. Patients were treated with the constant method, which consisted of whole-pelvic external-beam radiation therapy of 50 Gy/25 fractions and high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy of 24 Gy/4 fractions without chemotherapy. After radiation therapy the patients were evaluated by both pelvic CT and pelvic MRI at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Diagnosis of IF was made when the patients had both CT and MRI findings, neither recurrent tumor lesions nor traumatic histories. The CT findings of IF were defined as fracture lines or sclerotic linear changes in the bones, and MRI findings of IF were defined as signal intensity changes in the bones, both on T1- and T2-weighted images. Results: The median follow-up was 24 months. The 2-year pelvic IF cumulative occurrence rate was 36.9% (21 patients). Using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0, grade 1, 2, and 3 IF were seen in 12 (21%), 6 (10%), and 3 patients (5%), respectively. Sixteen patients had multiple fractures, so IF were identified at 44 sites. The pelvic IF were frequently seen at the sacroileal joints (32 sites, 72%). Nine patients complained of pain. All patients' pains were palliated by rest or non-narcotic analgesic drugs. Higher age (>70 years) and low body weight (<50 kg) were thought to be risk factors for pelvic IF (P=.007 and P=.013, Cox hazard test). Conclusions: Cervical cancer patients with higher age and low body weight may be at some risk for the development of pelvic IF after pelvic radiation therapy.

  9. Pediatric radiation oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Halperin, E.C.; Kun, L.E.; Constine, L.S.; Tarbell, N.J.

    1989-01-01

    This text covers all aspects of radiation therapy for treatment of pediatric cancer. The book describes the proper use of irradiation in each of the malignancies of childhood, including tumors that are rarely encountered in adult practice. These include acute leukemia; supratentorial brain tumors; tumors of the posterior fossa of the brain and spinal canal; retinoblastoma and optic nerve glioma; neuroblastoma; Hodgkin's disease; malignant lymphoma; Ewing's sarcoma; osteosarcoma; rhabdomyosarcoma; Desmoid tumor; Wilms' tumor; liver and biliary tumors; germ cell and stromal cell tumors of the gonads; endocrine, aerodigestive tract, and breast tumors; Langerhans' cell histiocytosis; and skin cancer and hemangiomas. For each type of malignancy, the authors describe the epidemiology, common presenting signs and symptoms, staging, and proper diagnostic workup. Particular attention is given to the indications for radiation therapy and the planning of a course of radiotherapy, including the optimal radiation dose, field size, and technique.

  10. New Technologies in Radiation Oncology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlegel, Wolfgang; Bortfeld, Thomas; Grosu, Anca-Ligia

    This book provides an overview of recent advances in radiation oncology, many of which have originated from physics and engineering sciences. After an introductory section on basic aspects of 3D medical imaging, the role of 3D imaging in the context of radiotherapy is explored in a series of chapters on the various modern imaging techniques. A further major section addresses 3D treatment planning for conformal radiotherapy, with consideration of both external radiotherapy and brachytherapy. Subsequently the modern techniques of 3D conformal radiotherapy are described, including stereotactic radiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, image-guided and adaptive radiotherapy, and radiotherapy with charged particles.

  11. Preparing for the future of radiation oncology.

    PubMed

    Buchholz, Thomas A; McBride, William H; Cox, James D

    2007-08-01

    The field of radiation oncology is currently attracting a high number of accomplished MD and PhD graduates who have aspirations of pursuing physician-scientist career paths. This good fortune comes at a time when radiation oncology is in need of professionals interested in contributing to the exciting advances in treatment technologies and molecular oncology and in helping translate advances in these areas into benefits for patients. Although the profession of radiation oncology has done an outstanding job of attracting excellent residents and providing appropriate environments for their continued academic development during residency training, the profession has not fully prepared an infrastructure for accepting these highly qualified individuals into physician-scientist faculty positions. It is very important that radiation oncology develop a more comprehensive strategy to address this need. Doing so will ensure the preservation and growth of the profession. PMID:17660121

  12. A Research Agenda for Radiation Oncology: Results of the Radiation Oncology Institute's Comprehensive Research Needs Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Jagsi, Reshma; Bekelman, Justin E.; Brawley, Otis W.; Deasy, Joseph O.; Le, Quynh-Thu; Michalski, Jeff M.; Movsas, Benjamin; Thomas, Charles R.; Lawton, Colleen A.; Lawrence, Theodore S.; Hahn, Stephen M.

    2012-10-01

    Purpose: To promote the rational use of scarce research funding, scholars have developed methods for the systematic identification and prioritization of health research needs. The Radiation Oncology Institute commissioned an independent, comprehensive assessment of research needs for the advancement of radiation oncology care. Methods and Materials: The research needs assessment used a mixed-method, qualitative and quantitative social scientific approach, including structured interviews with diverse stakeholders, focus groups, surveys of American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) members, and a prioritization exercise using a modified Delphi technique. Results: Six co-equal priorities were identified: (1) Identify and develop communication strategies to help patients and others better understand radiation therapy; (2) Establish a set of quality indicators for major radiation oncology procedures and evaluate their use in radiation oncology delivery; (3) Identify best practices for the management of radiation toxicity and issues in cancer survivorship; (4) Conduct comparative effectiveness studies related to radiation therapy that consider clinical benefit, toxicity (including quality of life), and other outcomes; (5) Assess the value of radiation therapy; and (6) Develop a radiation oncology registry. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this prioritization exercise is the only comprehensive and methodologically rigorous assessment of research needs in the field of radiation oncology. Broad dissemination of these findings is critical to maximally leverage the impact of this work, particularly because grant funding decisions are often made by committees on which highly specialized disciplines such as radiation oncology are not well represented.

  13. A Multicenter Phase II Study of Local Radiation Therapy for Stage IEA Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue Lymphomas: A Preliminary Report From the Japan Radiation Oncology Group (JAROG)

    SciTech Connect

    Isobe, Koichi Kagami, Yoshikazu; Higuchi, Keiko; Kodaira, Takeshi; Hasegawa, Masatoshi; Shikama, Naoto; Nakazawa, Masanori; Fukuda, Ichiro; Nihei, Keiji; Ito, Kana; Teshima, Teruki; Matsuno, Yoshihiro; Oguchi, Masahiko

    2007-11-15

    Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of moderate dose radiation therapy (RT) for mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma in a prospective multicenter phase II trial. Methods and Materials: The subjects in this study were 37 patients with MALT lymphoma between April 2002 and November 2004. There were 16 male and 21 female patients, ranging in age from 24 to 82 years, with a median of 56 years. The primary tumor originated in the orbit in 24 patients, in the thyroid and salivary gland in 4 patients each, and 5 in the others. The median tumor dose was 30.6 Gy (range, 30.6-39.6 Gy), depending on the primary site and maximal tumor diameter. The median follow-up was 37.3 months. Results: Complete remission (CR) or CR/unconfirmed was achieved in 34 patients (92%). The 3-year overall survival, progression-free survival, and local control probability were 100%, 91.9%, and 97.3%, respectively. Thirteen patients experienced Grade 1 acute toxicities including dermatitis, mucositis, and conjunctivitis. One patient developed Grade 2 taste loss. Regarding late toxicities, Grade 2 reactions including hypothyroidism, and radiation pneumonitis were observed in three patients, and Grade 3 cataract was seen in three patients. Conclusions: This prospective phase II study demonstrated that moderate dose RT was highly effective in achieving local control with acceptable morbidity in 37 patients with MALT lymphoma.

  14. Mentoring medical students in radiation oncology.

    PubMed

    DeNunzio, Nick; Parekh, Arti; Hirsch, Ariel E

    2010-09-01

    Mentoring in academic medicine has been described on a multitude of levels in medical literature, but seldom with respect to medical students. In fact, although some fields have addressed mentoring in the context of medical student education, radiation oncology has yet to do so in a comprehensive fashion. Furthermore, the projected domestic and worldwide epidemiologic trends in cancer cases, coupled with the frequent use of radiation-based cancer treatment regimens, make this an opportune moment to initiate such a discussion. Herein, the authors consider mentoring in the context of radiation oncology and related fields from the perspective of a medical student. They present a paradigm for promoting mentorship through traditional classroom-based and nontraditional socially and research-based initiatives. It is the authors' hope that both radiation oncology and other specialties will benefit from the initiation of this discussion, as well as build on the suggestions detailed here as we prepare the next generation of radiation oncologists. PMID:20816635

  15. 2003 survey of Canadian radiation oncology residents

    SciTech Connect

    Yee, Don . E-mail: donyee@cancerboard.ab.ca; Fairchild, Alysa; Keyes, Mira; Butler, Jim; Dundas, George

    2005-06-01

    Purpose: Radiation oncology's popularity as a career in Canada has surged in the past 5 years. Consequently, resident numbers in Canadian radiation oncology residencies are at all-time highs. This study aimed to survey Canadian radiation oncology residents about their opinions of their specialty and training experiences. Methods and Materials: Residents of Canadian radiation oncology residencies that enroll trainees through the Canadian Resident Matching Service were identified from a national database. Residents were mailed an anonymous survey. Results: Eight of 101 (7.9%) potential respondents were foreign funded. Fifty-two of 101 (51.5%) residents responded. A strong record of graduating its residents was the most important factor residents considered when choosing programs. Satisfaction with their program was expressed by 92.3% of respondents, and 94.3% expressed satisfaction with their specialty. Respondents planning to practice in Canada totaled 80.8%, and 76.9% plan to have academic careers. Respondents identified job availability and receiving adequate teaching from preceptors during residency as their most important concerns. Conclusions: Though most respondents are satisfied with their programs and specialty, job availability and adequate teaching are concerns. In the future, limited time and resources and the continued popularity of radiation oncology as a career will magnify the challenge of training competent radiation oncologists in Canada.

  16. Technology for Innovation in Radiation Oncology.

    PubMed

    Chetty, Indrin J; Martel, Mary K; Jaffray, David A; Benedict, Stanley H; Hahn, Stephen M; Berbeco, Ross; Deye, James; Jeraj, Robert; Kavanagh, Brian; Krishnan, Sunil; Lee, Nancy; Low, Daniel A; Mankoff, David; Marks, Lawrence B; Ollendorf, Daniel; Paganetti, Harald; Ross, Brian; Siochi, Ramon Alfredo C; Timmerman, Robert D; Wong, John W

    2015-11-01

    Radiation therapy is an effective, personalized cancer treatment that has benefited from technological advances associated with the growing ability to identify and target tumors with accuracy and precision. Given that these advances have played a central role in the success of radiation therapy as a major component of comprehensive cancer care, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsored a workshop entitled "Technology for Innovation in Radiation Oncology," which took place at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, on June 13 and 14, 2013. The purpose of this workshop was to discuss emerging technology for the field and to recognize areas for greater research investment. Expert clinicians and scientists discussed innovative technology in radiation oncology, in particular as to how these technologies are being developed and translated to clinical practice in the face of current and future challenges and opportunities. Technologies encompassed topics in functional imaging, treatment devices, nanotechnology, and information technology. The technical, quality, and safety performance of these technologies were also considered. A major theme of the workshop was the growing importance of innovation in the domain of process automation and oncology informatics. The technologically advanced nature of radiation therapy treatments predisposes radiation oncology research teams to take on informatics research initiatives. In addition, the discussion on technology development was balanced with a parallel conversation regarding the need for evidence of efficacy and effectiveness. The linkage between the need for evidence and the efforts in informatics research was clearly identified as synergistic. PMID:26460989

  17. Guidelines for treatment naming in radiation oncology.

    PubMed

    Denton, Travis R; Shields, Lisa B E; Hahl, Michael; Maudlin, Casey; Bassett, Mark; Spalding, Aaron C

    2015-01-01

    Safety concerns may arise from a lack of standardization and ambiguity during the treatment planning and delivery process in radiation therapy. A standardized target and organ-at-risk naming convention in radiation therapy was developed by a task force comprised of several Radiation Oncology Societies. We present a nested-survey approach in a community setting to determine the methodology for radiation oncology departments to standardize their practice. Our Institution's continuous quality improvement (CQI) committee recognized that, due to growth from one to three centers, significant variability existed within plan parameters specific to patients' treatment. A multidiscipline, multiclinical site consortium was established to create a guideline for standard naming. Input was gathered using anonymous, electronic surveys from physicians, physicists, dosimetrists, chief therapists, and nurse managers. Surveys consisted of several primary areas of interest: anatomical sites, course naming, treatment plan naming, and treatment field naming. Additional concepts included capitalization, specification of later-ality, course naming in the event of multiple sites being treated within the same course of treatment, primary versus boost planning, the use of bolus, revisions for plans, image-guidance field naming, forbidden characters, and standard units for commonly used physical quantities in radiation oncology practice. Guidelines for standard treatment naming were developed that could be readily adopted. This multidisciplinary study provides a clear, straightforward, and easily implemented protocol for the radiotherapy treatment process. Standard nomenclature facilitates the safe means of communication between team members in radiation oncology. The guidelines presented in this work serve as a model for radiation oncology clinics to standardize their practices. PMID:27074449

  18. Computers in Radiation Oncology: The Third Decade

    PubMed Central

    Sternick, Edward S.

    1978-01-01

    Computers have been used for the past 25 years in radiation oncology for such diverse activities as treatment planning, treatment machine verification, image processing, and tumor registry analysis. This paper reviews each of these areas, with examples of working systems, and outlines a computer hardware configuration most suitable for their implementation. ImagesFig. 1Figure 2Figure 3Figure 4Figure 5

  19. Standardizing Naming Conventions in Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Santanam, Lakshmi; Hurkmans, Coen; Mutic, Sasa; Vliet-Vroegindeweij, Corine van; Brame, Scott; Straube, William; Galvin, James; Tripuraneni, Prabhakar; Michalski, Jeff; Bosch, Walter

    2012-07-15

    Purpose: The aim of this study was to report on the development of a standardized target and organ-at-risk naming convention for use in radiation therapy and to present the nomenclature for structure naming for interinstitutional data sharing, clinical trial repositories, integrated multi-institutional collaborative databases, and quality control centers. This taxonomy should also enable improved plan benchmarking between clinical institutions and vendors and facilitation of automated treatment plan quality control. Materials and Methods: The Advanced Technology Consortium, Washington University in St. Louis, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, Dutch Radiation Oncology Society, and the Clinical Trials RT QA Harmonization Group collaborated in creating this new naming convention. The International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements guidelines have been used to create standardized nomenclature for target volumes (clinical target volume, internal target volume, planning target volume, etc.), organs at risk, and planning organ-at-risk volumes in radiation therapy. The nomenclature also includes rules for specifying laterality and margins for various structures. The naming rules distinguish tumor and nodal planning target volumes, with correspondence to their respective tumor/nodal clinical target volumes. It also provides rules for basic structure naming, as well as an option for more detailed names. Names of nonstandard structures used mainly for plan optimization or evaluation (rings, islands of dose avoidance, islands where additional dose is needed [dose painting]) are identified separately. Results: In addition to its use in 16 ongoing Radiation Therapy Oncology Group advanced technology clinical trial protocols and several new European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer protocols, a pilot version of this naming convention has been evaluated using patient data sets with varying treatment sites. All structures in these data sets were

  20. Value: A Framework for Radiation Oncology

    PubMed Central

    Teckie, Sewit; McCloskey, Susan A.; Steinberg, Michael L.

    2014-01-01

    In the current health care system, high costs without proportional improvements in quality or outcome have prompted widespread calls for change in how we deliver and pay for care. Value-based health care delivery models have been proposed. Multiple impediments exist to achieving value, including misaligned patient and provider incentives, information asymmetries, convoluted and opaque cost structures, and cultural attitudes toward cancer treatment. Radiation oncology as a specialty has recently become a focus of the value discussion. Escalating costs secondary to rapidly evolving technologies, safety breaches, and variable, nonstandardized structures and processes of delivering care have garnered attention. In response, we present a framework for the value discussion in radiation oncology and identify approaches for attaining value, including economic and structural models, process improvements, outcome measurement, and cost assessment. PMID:25113759

  1. Radiation Oncology Physics and Medical Physics Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourland, Dan

    2011-10-01

    Medical physics, an applied field of physics, is the applications of physics in medicine. Medical physicists are essential professionals in contemporary healthcare, contributing primarily to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases through numerous inventions, advances, and improvements in medical imaging and cancer treatment. Clinical service, research, and teaching by medical physicists benefits thousands of patients and other individuals every day. This talk will cover three main topics. First, exciting current research and development areas in the medical physics sub-specialty of radiation oncology physics will be described, including advanced oncology imaging for treatment simulation, image-guided radiation therapy, and biologically-optimized radiation treatment. Challenges in patient safety in high-technology radiation treatments will be briefly reviewed. Second, the educational path to becoming a medical physicist will be reviewed, including undergraduate foundations, graduate training, residency, board certification, and career opportunities. Third, I will introduce the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), which is the professional society that represents, advocates, and advances the field of medical physics (www.aapm.org).

  2. Positron emission tomography and radiation oncology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fullerton, PhD, Gary D.; Fox, MD, Peter; Phillips, MD, William T.

    2001-10-01

    Medical physics research is providing new avenues for addressing the fundamental problem of radiation therapy-how to provide a tumor-killing dose while reducing the dose to a non-lethal level for critical organs in adjacent portions of the patient anatomy. This talk reviews the revolutionary impact of Positron Emission Tomography on the practice of radiation oncology. The concepts of PET imaging and the development of "tumor" imaging methods using 18F-DG flouro-deoxyglucose are presented to provide the foundation for contemporary research and application to therapy. PET imaging influences radiation therapy decisions in multiple ways. Imaging of occult but viable tumor metastases eliminates misguided therapy attempts. The ability to distinguish viable tumor from scar tissue and necroses allows reduction of treatment portals and more selective treatments. Much research remains before the clinical benefits of these advances are fully realized.

  3. Radiation Oncology in Undergraduate Medical Education: A Literature Review

    SciTech Connect

    Dennis, Kristopher E.B.; Duncan, Graeme

    2010-03-01

    Purpose: To review the published literature pertaining to radiation oncology in undergraduate medical education. Methods and Materials: Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE Daily Update and EMBASE databases were searched for the 11-year period of January 1, 1998, through the last week of March 2009. A medical librarian used an extensive list of indexed subject headings and text words. Results: The search returned 640 article references, but only seven contained significant information pertaining to teaching radiation oncology to medical undergraduates. One article described a comprehensive oncology curriculum including recommended radiation oncology teaching objectives and sample student evaluations, two described integrating radiation oncology teaching into a radiology rotation, two described multidisciplinary anatomy-based courses intended to reinforce principles of tumor biology and radiotherapy planning, one described an exercise designed to test clinical reasoning skills within radiation oncology cases, and one described a Web-based curriculum involving oncologic physics. Conclusions: To the authors' knowledge, this is the first review of the literature pertaining to teaching radiation oncology to medical undergraduates, and it demonstrates the paucity of published work in this area of medical education. Teaching radiation oncology should begin early in the undergraduate process, should be mandatory for all students, and should impart knowledge relevant to future general practitioners rather than detailed information relevant only to oncologists. Educators should make use of available model curricula and should integrate radiation oncology teaching into existing curricula or construct stand-alone oncology rotations where the principles of radiation oncology can be conveyed. Assessments of student knowledge and curriculum effectiveness are critical.

  4. Lessons learned from radiation oncology clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fei-Fei; Okunieff, Paul; Bernhard, Eric J; Stone, Helen B; Yoo, Stephen; Coleman, C Norman; Vikram, Bhadrasain; Brown, Martin; Buatti, John; Guha, Chandan

    2013-11-15

    A workshop entitled "Lessons Learned from Radiation Oncology Trials" was held on December 7-8, 2011, in Bethesda, MD, to present and discuss some of the recently conducted radiation oncology clinical trials with a focus on those that failed to refute the null hypothesis. The objectives of this workshop were to summarize and examine the questions that these trials provoked, to assess the quality and limitations of the preclinical data that supported the hypotheses underlying these trials, and to consider possible solutions to these challenges for the design of future clinical trials. Several themes emerged from the discussions: (i) opportunities to learn from null-hypothesis trials through tissue and imaging studies; (ii) value of preclinical data supporting the design of combinatorial therapies; (iii) significance of validated biomarkers; (iv) necessity of quality assurance in radiotherapy delivery; (v) conduct of sufficiently powered studies to address the central hypotheses; and (vi) importance of publishing results of the trials regardless of the outcome. The fact that well-designed hypothesis-driven clinical trials produce null or negative results is expected given the limitations of trial design and complexities of cancer biology. It is important to understand the reasons underlying such null results, however, to effectively merge the technologic innovations with the rapidly evolving biology for maximal patient benefit through the design of future clinical trials. PMID:24043463

  5. Maintenance of Certification for Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Kun, Larry E.; Ang, Kian; Erickson, Beth; Harris, Jay; Hoppe, Richard; Leibel, Steve; Davis, Larry; Hattery, Robert

    2005-06-01

    Maintenance of Certification (MOC) recognizes that in addition to medical knowledge, several essential elements involved in delivering quality care must be developed and maintained throughout one's career. The MOC process is designed to facilitate and document professional development of American Board of Radiology (ABR) diplomates in the essential elements of quality care in Radiation Oncology and Radiologic Physics. ABR MOC has been developed in accord with guidelines of the American Board of Medical Specialties. All Radiation Oncology certificates issued since 1995 are 10-year, time-limited certificates; diplomates with time-limited certificates who wish to maintain specialty certification must complete specific requirements of the American Board of Radiology MOC program. Diplomates with lifelong certificates are not required to participate but are strongly encouraged to do so. Maintenance of Certification is based on documentation of participation in the four components of MOC: (1) professional standing, (2) lifelong learning and self-assessment, (3) cognitive expertise, and (4) performance in practice. Through these components, MOC addresses six competencies-medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice. Details of requirements for components 1, 2, and 3 of MOC are outlined along with aspects of the fourth component currently under development.

  6. Maintenance of certification for radiation oncology.

    PubMed

    Kun, Larry E; Ang, Kian; Erickson, Beth; Harris, Jay; Hoppe, Richard; Leibel, Steve; Davis, Larry; Hattery, Robert

    2005-06-01

    Maintenance of Certification (MOC) recognizes that in addition to medical knowledge, several essential elements involved in delivering quality care must be developed and maintained throughout one's career. The MOC process is designed to facilitate and document professional development of American Board of Radiology (ABR) diplomates in the essential elements of quality care in Radiation Oncology and Radiologic Physics. ABR MOC has been developed in accord with guidelines of the American Board of Medical Specialties. All Radiation Oncology certificates issued since 1995 are 10-year, time-limited certificates; diplomates with time-limited certificates who wish to maintain specialty certification must complete specific requirements of the American Board of Radiology MOC program. Diplomates with lifelong certificates are not required to participate but are strongly encouraged to do so. Maintenance of Certification is based on documentation of participation in the four components of MOC: (1) professional standing, (2) lifelong learning and self-assessment, (3) cognitive expertise, and (4) performance in practice. Through these components, MOC addresses six competencies-medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice. Details of requirements for components 1, 2, and 3 of MOC are outlined along with aspects of the fourth component currently under development. PMID:15890568

  7. Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise in Radiation Oncology Plug and Play-The Future of Radiation Oncology?

    SciTech Connect

    Abdel-Wahab, May; Rengan, Ramesh; Curran, Bruce; Swerdloff, Stuart; Miettinen, Mika; Field, Colin; Ranjitkar, Sunita; Palta, Jatinder; Tripuraneni, Prabhakar

    2010-02-01

    Purpose: To describe the processes and benefits of the integrating healthcare enterprises in radiation oncology (IHE-RO). Methods: The IHE-RO process includes five basic steps. The first step is to identify common interoperability issues encountered in radiation treatment planning and the delivery process. IHE-RO committees partner with vendors to develop solutions (integration profiles) to interoperability problems. The broad application of these integration profiles across a variety of vender platforms is tested annually at the Connectathon event. Demonstration of the seamless integration and transfer of patient data to the potential users are then presented by vendors at the public demonstration event. Users can then integrate these profiles into requests for proposals and vendor contracts by institutions. Results: Incorporation of completed integration profiles into requests for proposals can be done when purchasing new equipment. Vendors can publish IHE integration statements to document the integration profiles supported by their products. As a result, users can reference integration profiles in requests for proposals, simplifying the systems acquisition process. These IHE-RO solutions are now available in many of the commercial radiation oncology-related treatment planning, delivery, and information systems. They are also implemented at cancer care sites around the world. Conclusions: IHE-RO serves an important purpose for the radiation oncology community at large.

  8. The Growth of Academic Radiation Oncology: A Survey of Endowed Professorships in Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Wasserman, Todd H.; Smith, Steven M.; Powell, Simon N.

    2009-06-01

    Purpose: The academic health of a medical specialty can be gauged by the level of university support through endowed professorships. Methods and Materials: We conducted a survey of the 86 academic programs in radiation oncology to determine the current status of endowed chairs in this discipline. Results: Over the past decade, the number of endowed chairs has more than doubled, and it has almost tripled over the past 13 years. The number of programs with at least one chair has increased from 31% to 65%. Conclusions: Coupled with other indicators of academic growth, such as the proportion of graduating residents seeking academic positions, there has been clear and sustained growth in academic radiation oncology.

  9. 2009 Canadian Radiation Oncology Resident Survey

    SciTech Connect

    Debenham, Brock; Banerjee, Robyn; Fairchild, Alysa; Dundas, George; Trotter, Theresa; Yee, Don

    2012-03-15

    Purpose: Statistics from the Canadian post-MD education registry show that numbers of Canadian radiation oncology (RO) trainees have risen from 62 in 1999 to approximately 150 per year between 2003 and 2009, contributing to the current perceived downturn in employment opportunities for radiation oncologists in Canada. When last surveyed in 2003, Canadian RO residents identified job availability as their main concern. Our objective was to survey current Canadian RO residents on their training and career plans. Methods and Materials: Trainees from the 13 Canadian residency programs using the national matching service were sought. Potential respondents were identified through individual program directors or chief resident and were e-mailed a secure link to an online survey. Descriptive statistics were used to report responses. Results: The eligible response rate was 53% (83/156). Similar to the 2003 survey, respondents generally expressed high satisfaction with their programs and specialty. The most frequently expressed perceived weakness in their training differed from 2003, with 46.5% of current respondents feeling unprepared to enter the job market. 72% plan on pursuing a postresidency fellowship. Most respondents intend to practice in Canada. Fewer than 20% of respondents believe that there is a strong demand for radiation oncologists in Canada. Conclusions: Respondents to the current survey expressed significant satisfaction with their career choice and training program. However, differences exist compared with the 2003 survey, including the current perceived lack of demand for radiation oncologists in Canada.

  10. [Legislations on radiation in Japan].

    PubMed

    Okazaki, Ryuji

    2013-10-01

    The Atomic Energy Basic Act was the first law for the prevention of radiation damage in Japan, and was enforced in 1955. The law focused on the research, development and promotion of the use of atomic energy. With an increase in the importing of radioactive isotopes from foreign countries, the Act on Prevention of Radiation Disease Due to Radioisotopes was established under the jurisdiction of the Science and Technology Agency in 1957 and enforced in 1958. The Nuclear Regulation Authority began as an extra-ministerial committee of the Ministry of the Environment in 2012 and has jurisdiction in the area of ionizing radiations regulations.Substantial regulation has been provided by the Labor Standards Act, and the Ordinance on Prevention of Ionizing Radiation Hazards was established as the eleventh ordinance of the Ministry of Labor in 1959. There have been many revisions to the Ordinance, including revisions following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in 2011. This paper explains the Act on Prevention of Radiation Disease Due to Radioisotopes, the Ordinance on Prevention of Ionizing Radiation Hazards, and workmen's accident authorization. PMID:24107339

  11. Radiation oncology physicists will need to better understand medical imaging.

    PubMed

    Li, X Allen; Hendee, William R

    2007-01-01

    Imaging is affecting radiation oncology at a dramatically advancing pace and scale and is likely to create a transformation to individualized, biologically conformal radiation therapy. Deploying and improving imaging technologies and ensuring their correct uses in treatment planning and delivery are the responsibilities of radiation oncology physicists. The potential magnitude of errors arising from the incorrect use of imaging may be far greater than that resulting from typical errors in dose calibration. A major effort is required for radiation oncology physicists to raise the quality assurance of image guidance to a level comparable with that achieved in the maintenance of dosimetric performance. Most radiation oncology physicists lack adequate knowledge to assume this emerging responsibility. Their knowledge of imaging must be enhanced, in most cases through on-the-job training and self-learning. Effective learning strategies include routine interactions with diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine physicists and physicians and the use of educational opportunities provided by professional organizations and vendors. PMID:17412223

  12. The American Society for Radiation Oncology's 2010 Core Physics Curriculum for Radiation Oncology Residents

    SciTech Connect

    Xiao Ying; De Amorim Bernstein, Karen; Chetty, Indrin J.; Eifel, Patricia; Hughes, Lesley; Klein, Eric E.; McDermott, Patrick; Prisciandaro, Joann; Paliwal, Bhudatt; Price, Robert A.; Werner-Wasik, Maria; Palta, Jatinder R.

    2011-11-15

    Purpose: In 2004, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) published its first physics education curriculum for residents, which was updated in 2007. A committee composed of physicists and physicians from various residency program teaching institutions was reconvened again to update the curriculum in 2009. Methods and Materials: Members of this committee have associations with ASTRO, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology, the American Board of Radiology (ABR), and the American College of Radiology. Members reviewed and updated assigned subjects from the last curriculum. The updated curriculum was carefully reviewed by a representative from the ABR and other physics and clinical experts. Results: The new curriculum resulted in a recommended 56-h course, excluding initial orientation. Learning objectives are provided for each subject area, and a detailed outline of material to be covered is given for each lecture hour. Some recent changes in the curriculum include the addition of Radiation Incidents and Bioterrorism Response Training as a subject and updates that reflect new treatment techniques and modalities in a number of core subjects. The new curriculum was approved by the ASTRO board in April 2010. We anticipate that physicists will use this curriculum for structuring their teaching programs, and subsequently the ABR will adopt this educational program for its written examination. Currently, the American College of Radiology uses the ASTRO curriculum for their training examination topics. In addition to the curriculum, the committee updated suggested references and the glossary. Conclusions: The ASTRO physics education curriculum for radiation oncology residents has been updated. To ensure continued commitment to a current and relevant curriculum, the subject matter will be updated again in 2 years.

  13. Geographic Analysis of the Radiation Oncology Workforce

    SciTech Connect

    Aneja, Sanjay; Smith, Benjamin D.; Gross, Cary P.; Wilson, Lynn D.; Haffty, Bruce G.; Roberts, Kenneth; Yu, James B.

    2012-04-01

    Purpose: To evaluate trends in the geographic distribution of the radiation oncology (RO) workforce. Methods and Materials: We used the 1995 and 2007 versions of the Area Resource File to map the ratio of RO to the population aged 65 years or older (ROR) within different health service areas (HSA) within the United States. We used regression analysis to find associations between population variables and 2007 ROR. We calculated Gini coefficients for ROR to assess the evenness of RO distribution and compared that with primary care physicians and total physicians. Results: There was a 24% increase in the RO workforce from 1995 to 2007. The overall growth in the RO workforce was less than that of primary care or the overall physician workforce. The mean ROR among HSAs increased by more than one radiation oncologist per 100,000 people aged 65 years or older, from 5.08 per 100,000 to 6.16 per 100,000. However, there remained consistent geographic variability concerning RO distribution, specifically affecting the non-metropolitan HSAs. Regression analysis found higher ROR in HSAs that possessed higher education (p = 0.001), higher income (p < 0.001), lower unemployment rates (p < 0.001), and higher minority population (p = 0.022). Gini coefficients showed RO distribution less even than for both primary care physicians and total physicians (0.326 compared with 0.196 and 0.292, respectively). Conclusions: Despite a modest growth in the RO workforce, there exists persistent geographic maldistribution of radiation oncologists allocated along socioeconomic and racial lines. To solve problems surrounding the RO workforce, issues concerning both gross numbers and geographic distribution must be addressed.

  14. PET/CT in radiation oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Tinsu; Mawlawi, Osama

    2008-11-15

    PET/CT is an effective tool for the diagnosis, staging and restaging of cancer patients. It combines the complementary information of functional PET images and anatomical CT images in one imaging session. Conventional stand-alone PET has been replaced by PET/CT for improved patient comfort, patient throughput, and most importantly the proven clinical outcome of PET/CT over that of PET and that of separate PET and CT. There are over two thousand PET/CT scanners installed worldwide since 2001. Oncology is the main application for PET/CT. Fluorine-18 deoxyglucose is the choice of radiopharmaceutical in PET for imaging the glucose uptake in tissues, correlated with an increased rate of glycolysis in many tumor cells. New molecular targeted agents are being developed to improve the accuracy of targeting different disease states and assessing therapeutic response. Over 50% of cancer patients receive radiation therapy (RT) in the course of their disease treatment. Clinical data have demonstrated that the information provided by PET/CT often changes patient management of the patient and/or modifies the RT plan from conventional CT simulation. The application of PET/CT in RT is growing and will become increasingly important. Continuing improvement of PET/CT instrumentation will also make it easier for radiation oncologists to integrate PET/CT in RT. The purpose of this article is to provide a review of the current PET/CT technology, to project the future development of PET and CT for PET/CT, and to discuss some issues in adopting PET/CT in RT and potential improvements in PET/CT simulation of the thorax in radiation therapy.

  15. National Institutes of Health Funding in Radiation Oncology: A Snapshot

    SciTech Connect

    Steinberg, Michael; McBride, William H.; Vlashi, Erina; Pajonk, Frank

    2013-06-01

    Currently, pay lines for National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants are at a historical low. In this climate of fierce competition, knowledge about the funding situation in a small field like radiation oncology becomes very important for career planning and recruitment of faculty. Unfortunately, these data cannot be easily extracted from the NIH's database because it does not discriminate between radiology and radiation oncology departments. At the start of fiscal year 2013 we extracted records for 952 individual grants, which were active at the time of analysis from the NIH database. Proposals originating from radiation oncology departments were identified manually. Descriptive statistics were generated using the JMP statistical software package. Our analysis identified 197 grants in radiation oncology. These proposals came from 134 individual investigators in 43 academic institutions. The majority of the grants (118) were awarded to principal investigators at the full professor level, and 122 principal investigators held a PhD degree. In 79% of the grants, the research topic fell into the field of biology, 13% in the field of medical physics. Only 7.6% of the proposals were clinical investigations. Our data suggest that the field of radiation oncology is underfunded by the NIH and that the current level of support does not match the relevance of radiation oncology for cancer patients or the potential of its academic work force.

  16. Results of the Association of Directors of Radiation Oncology Programs (ADROP) Survey of Radiation Oncology Residency Program Directors

    SciTech Connect

    Harris, Eleanor Abdel-Wahab, May; Spangler, Ann E.; Lawton, Colleen A.; Amdur, Robert J.

    2009-06-01

    Purpose: To survey the radiation oncology residency program directors on the topics of departmental and institutional support systems, residency program structure, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements, and challenges as program director. Methods: A survey was developed and distributed by the leadership of the Association of Directors of Radiation Oncology Programs to all radiation oncology program directors. Summary statistics, medians, and ranges were collated from responses. Results: Radiation oncology program directors had implemented all current required aspects of the ACGME Outcome Project into their training curriculum. Didactic curricula were similar across programs nationally, but research requirements and resources varied widely. Program directors responded that implementation of the ACGME Outcome Project and the external review process were among their greatest challenges. Protected time was the top priority for program directors. Conclusions: The Association of Directors of Radiation Oncology Programs recommends that all radiation oncology program directors have protected time and an administrative stipend to support their important administrative and educational role. Departments and institutions should provide adequate and equitable resources to the program directors and residents to meet increasingly demanding training program requirements.

  17. Paediatric radiation oncology in the care of childhood cancer: A position paper by the International Paediatric Radiation Oncology Society (PROS).

    PubMed

    Kortmann, Rolf-Dieter; Freeman, Carolyn; Marcus, Karen; Claude, Line; Dieckmann, Karin; Halperin, Edward; Esiashvili, Natia; Paulino, Arnold; Mahajan, Anita; Seiersen, Klaus; Ahern, Verity; Ricardi, Umberto; Carrie, Christian

    2016-05-01

    Paediatric malignancies are a challenge for the radiation oncologist due to their rarity, the great variety of histological types, and the complexity of treatment concepts that evolve over time. The Paediatric Radiation Oncology Society (PROS) is the only internationally operating society for paediatric radiation oncology. The objectives of PROS are to set a world-wide standard of excellence with respect to radiation oncology aspects in curing children and adolescents with cancer, to provide a forum for communication between radiation oncologists, and to exchange information with all professionals involved in the management of paediatric and adolescent cancer. Challenges include the need to promote education and support practice in low and middle income countries (LMIC) as well as the cost and availability of modern treatment technologies for all but most especially these countries. Collaborations with other societies that include for example the education programmes provided jointly with ESTRO, and the upgraded technical platform of the PROS web site offer new possibilities to enhance the efficacy of PROS in education and support of paediatric radiation oncology practice world-wide. PROS has made an important contribution to the management of childhood malignancies over the past decade and new and developing collaborations between PROS and other societies or organizations will ultimately lead to a reduction in world-wide health care inequalities. PMID:27106553

  18. New Zealand: one small country's history of radiation oncology.

    PubMed

    Probert, J C; Atkinson, C H

    1996-09-01

    New Zealand, with its short history, has a proud record in the development of radiation oncology. The first independent department of radiotherapy was formed in Dunedin in 1931, and the first clinical physicist was appointed in Wellington in 1933. Prominent research workers include the radiobiologist Dr. John Read and the physicist Sir Ernest Rutherford. PMID:8892474

  19. American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Survey of Radiation Biology Educators in U.S. and Canadian Radiation Oncology Residency Programs

    SciTech Connect

    Rosenstein, Barry S.; Held, Kathryn D.; Rockwell, Sara; Williams, Jacqueline P.; Zeman, Elaine M.

    2009-11-01

    Purpose: To obtain, in a survey-based study, detailed information on the faculty currently responsible for teaching radiation biology courses to radiation oncology residents in the United States and Canada. Methods and Materials: In March-December 2007 a survey questionnaire was sent to faculty having primary responsibility for teaching radiation biology to residents in 93 radiation oncology residency programs in the United States and Canada. Results: The responses to this survey document the aging of the faculty who have primary responsibility for teaching radiation biology to radiation oncology residents. The survey found a dramatic decline with time in the percentage of educators whose graduate training was in radiation biology. A significant number of the educators responsible for teaching radiation biology were not fully acquainted with the radiation sciences, either through training or practical application. In addition, many were unfamiliar with some of the organizations setting policies and requirements for resident education. Freely available tools, such as the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Radiation and Cancer Biology Practice Examination and Study Guides, were widely used by residents and educators. Consolidation of resident courses or use of a national radiation biology review course was viewed as unlikely by most programs. Conclusions: A high priority should be given to the development of comprehensive teaching tools to assist those individuals who have responsibility for teaching radiation biology courses but who do not have an extensive background in critical areas of radiobiology related to radiation oncology. These findings also suggest a need for new graduate programs in radiobiology.

  20. An Increase in Medical Student Knowledge of Radiation Oncology: A Pre-Post Examination Analysis of the Oncology Education Initiative

    SciTech Connect

    Hirsch, Ariel E. Mulleady Bishop, Pauline; Dad, Luqman; Singh, Deeptej; Slanetz, Priscilla J.

    2009-03-15

    Purpose: The Oncology Education Initiative was created to advance oncology and radiation oncology education by integrating structured didactics into the existing core radiology clerkship. We set out to determine whether the addition of structured didactics could lead to a significant increase in overall medical student knowledge about radiation oncology. Methods and Materials: We conducted a pre- and posttest examining concepts in general radiation oncology, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. The 15-question, multiple-choice exam was administered before and after a 1.5-hour didactic lecture by an attending physician in radiation oncology. Individual question changes, overall student changes, and overall categorical changes were analyzed. All hypothesis tests were two-tailed (significance level 0.05). Results: Of the 153 fourth-year students, 137 (90%) took the pre- and posttest and were present for the didactic lecture. The average test grade improved from 59% to 70% (p = 0.011). Improvement was seen in all questions except clinical vignettes involving correct identification of TNM staging. Statistically significant improvement (p {<=} 0.03) was seen in the questions regarding acute and late side effects of radiation, brachytherapy for prostate cancer, delivery of radiation treatment, and management of early-stage breast cancer. Conclusions: Addition of didactics in radiation oncology significantly improves medical students' knowledge of the topic. Despite perceived difficulty in teaching radiation oncology and the assumption that it is beyond the scope of reasonable knowledge for medical students, we have shown that even with one dedicated lecture, students can learn and absorb general principles regarding radiation oncology.

  1. Grade Inflation in Medical Student Radiation Oncology Clerkships: Missed Opportunities for Feedback?

    SciTech Connect

    Grover, Surbhi; Swisher-McClure, Samuel; Sosnowicz, Stasha; Li, Jiaqi; Mitra, Nandita; Berman, Abigail T.; Baffic, Cordelia; Vapiwala, Neha; Freedman, Gary M.

    2015-07-15

    Purpose: To test the hypothesis that medical student radiation oncology elective rotation grades are inflated and cannot be used to distinguish residency applicants. Methods and Materials: The records of 196 applicants to a single radiation oncology residency program in 2011 and 2012 were retrospectively reviewed. The grades for each rotation in radiation oncology were collected and converted to a standardized 4-point grading scale (honors, high pass, pass, fail). Pass/fail grades were scored as not applicable. The primary study endpoint was to compare the distribution of applicants' grades in radiation oncology with their grades in medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology core clerkships. Results: The mean United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 score of the applicants was 237 (range, 188-269), 43% had additional Masters or PhD degrees, and 74% had at least 1 publication. Twenty-nine applicants were graded for radiation oncology rotations on a pass/fail basis and were excluded from the final analysis. Of the remaining applicants (n=167), 80% received the highest possible grade for their radiation oncology rotations. Grades in radiation oncology were significantly higher than each of the other 4 clerkships studied (P<.001). Of all applicants, 195 of 196 matched into a radiation oncology residency. Higher grades in radiation oncology were associated with significantly higher grades in the pediatrics core clerkship (P=.002). However, other medical school performance metrics were not significantly associated with higher grades in radiation oncology. Conclusions: Although our study group consists of a selected group of radiation oncology applicants, their grades in radiation oncology clerkships were highly skewed toward the highest grades when compared with grades in other core clerkships. Student grading in radiation oncology clerkships should be re-evaluated to incorporate more objective and detailed performance metrics to allow for

  2. The radiation oncology workforce: a focus on medical dosimetry.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Gregg F; Mobile, Katherine; Yu, Yan

    2014-01-01

    The 2012 Radiation Oncology Workforce survey was conducted to assess the current state of the entire workforce, predict its future needs and concerns, and evaluate quality improvement and safety within the field. This article describes the dosimetrist segment results. The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Workforce Subcommittee, in conjunction with other specialty societies, conducted an online survey targeting all segments of the radiation oncology treatment team. The data from the dosimetrist respondents are presented in this article. Of the 2573 dosimetrists who were surveyed, 890 responded, which resulted in a 35% segment response rate. Most respondents were women (67%), whereas only a third were men (33%). More than half of the medical dosimetrists were older than 45 years (69.2%), whereas the 45 to 54 years age group represented the highest percentage of respondents (37%). Most medical dosimetrists stated that their workload was appropriate (52%), with respondents working a reported average of 41.7 ± 4 hours per week. Overall, 86% of medical dosimetrists indicated that they were satisfied with their career, and 69% were satisfied in their current position. Overall, 61% of respondents felt that there was an oversupply of medical dosimetrists in the field, 14% reported that supply and demand was balanced, and the remaining 25% felt that there was an undersupply. The medical dosimetrists׳ greatest concerns included documentation/paperwork (78%), uninsured patients (80%), and insufficient reimbursement rates (87%). This survey provided an insight into the dosimetrist perspective of the radiation oncology workforce. Though an overwhelming majority has conveyed satisfaction concerning their career, the study allowed a spotlight to be placed on the profession׳s current concerns, such as insufficient reimbursement rates and possible oversupply of dosimetrists within the field. PMID:24630911

  3. Burnout in United States Academic Chairs of Radiation Oncology Programs

    SciTech Connect

    Kusano, Aaron S.; Thomas, Charles R.; DeWeese, Theodore L.; Formenti, Silvia C.; Hahn, Stephen M.; Lawrence, Theodore S.; Mittal, Bharat B.

    2014-02-01

    Purpose: The aims of this study were to determine the self-reported prevalence of burnout in chairs of academic radiation oncology departments, to identify factors contributing to burnout, and to compare the prevalence of burnout with that seen in other academic chair groups. Methods and Materials: An anonymous online survey was administered to the membership of the Society of Chairs of Academic Radiation Oncology Programs (SCAROP). Burnout was measured with the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS). Results: Questionnaires were returned from 66 of 87 chairs (76% response rate). Seventy-nine percent of respondents reported satisfaction with their current positions. Common major stressors were budget deficits and human resource issues. One-quarter of chairs reported that it was at least moderately likely that they would step down in the next 1 to 2 years; these individuals demonstrated significantly higher emotional exhaustion. Twenty-five percent of respondents met the MBI-HSS criteria for low burnout, 75% for moderate burnout, and none for high burnout. Group MBI-HSS subscale scores demonstrated a pattern of moderate emotional exhaustion, low depersonalization, and moderate personal accomplishment, comparing favorably with other specialties. Conclusions: This is the first study of burnout in radiation oncology chairs with a high response rate and using a validated psychometric tool. Radiation oncology chairs share similar major stressors to other chair groups, but they demonstrate relatively high job satisfaction and lower burnout. Emotional exhaustion may contribute to the anticipated turnover in coming years. Further efforts addressing individual and institutional factors associated with burnout may improve the relationship with work of chairs and other department members.

  4. The radiation oncology workforce: A focus on medical dosimetry

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, Gregg F.; Mobile, Katherine; Yu, Yan

    2014-07-01

    The 2012 Radiation Oncology Workforce survey was conducted to assess the current state of the entire workforce, predict its future needs and concerns, and evaluate quality improvement and safety within the field. This article describes the dosimetrist segment results. The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Workforce Subcommittee, in conjunction with other specialty societies, conducted an online survey targeting all segments of the radiation oncology treatment team. The data from the dosimetrist respondents are presented in this article. Of the 2573 dosimetrists who were surveyed, 890 responded, which resulted in a 35% segment response rate. Most respondents were women (67%), whereas only a third were men (33%). More than half of the medical dosimetrists were older than 45 years (69.2%), whereas the 45 to 54 years age group represented the highest percentage of respondents (37%). Most medical dosimetrists stated that their workload was appropriate (52%), with respondents working a reported average of 41.7 ± 4 hours per week. Overall, 86% of medical dosimetrists indicated that they were satisfied with their career, and 69% were satisfied in their current position. Overall, 61% of respondents felt that there was an oversupply of medical dosimetrists in the field, 14% reported that supply and demand was balanced, and the remaining 25% felt that there was an undersupply. The medical dosimetrists' greatest concerns included documentation/paperwork (78%), uninsured patients (80%), and insufficient reimbursement rates (87%). This survey provided an insight into the dosimetrist perspective of the radiation oncology workforce. Though an overwhelming majority has conveyed satisfaction concerning their career, the study allowed a spotlight to be placed on the profession's current concerns, such as insufficient reimbursement rates and possible oversupply of dosimetrists within the field.

  5. [Possibilities and perspectives of quality management in radiation oncology].

    PubMed

    Seegenschmiedt, M H; Zehe, M; Fehlauer, F; Barzen, G

    2012-11-01

    The medical discipline radiation oncology and radiation therapy (treatment with ionizing radiation) has developed rapidly in the last decade due to new technologies (imaging, computer technology, software, organization) and is one of the most important pillars of tumor therapy. Structure and process quality play a decisive role in the quality of outcome results (therapy success, tumor response, avoidance of side effects) in this field. Since 2007 all institutions in the health and social system are committed to introduce and continuously develop a quality management (QM) system. The complex terms of reference, the complicated technical instruments, the highly specialized personnel and the time-consuming processes for planning, implementation and assessment of radiation therapy made it logical to introduce a QM system in radiation oncology, independent of the legal requirements. The Radiation Center Hamburg (SZHH) has functioned as a medical care center under medical leadership and management since 2009. The total QM and organization system implemented for the Radiation Center Hamburg was prepared in 2008 and 2009 and certified in June 2010 by the accreditation body (TÜV-Süd) for DIN EN ISO 9001:2008. The main function of the QM system of the SZHH is to make the basic principles understandable for insiders and outsiders, to have clear structures, to integrate management principles into the routine and therefore to organize the learning processes more effectively both for interior and exterior aspects. PMID:23069993

  6. [Patient information duties in radiation oncology].

    PubMed

    Pourel, N; Py, B; Safran, D

    2014-10-01

    Patient information duties are a basic task of radiation oncologists in their daily practice. This article is essentially a factsheet on legal obligations, the value of written informed consent and information documents that ought to be given to patient. PMID:25201635

  7. A National Radiation Oncology Medical Student Clerkship Survey: Didactic Curricular Components Increase Confidence in Clinical Competency

    SciTech Connect

    Jagadeesan, Vikrant S.; Raleigh, David R.; Koshy, Matthew; Howard, Andrew R.; Chmura, Steven J.; Golden, Daniel W.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Students applying to radiation oncology residency programs complete 1 or more radiation oncology clerkships. This study assesses student experiences and perspectives during radiation oncology clerkships. The impact of didactic components and number of clerkship experiences in relation to confidence in clinical competency and preparation to function as a first-year radiation oncology resident are evaluated. Methods and Materials: An anonymous, Internet-based survey was sent via direct e-mail to all applicants to a single radiation oncology residency program during the 2012-2013 academic year. The survey was composed of 3 main sections including questions regarding baseline demographic information and prior radiation oncology experience, rotation experiences, and ideal clerkship curriculum content. Results: The survey response rate was 37% (70 of 188). Respondents reported 191 unique clerkship experiences. Of the respondents, 27% (19 of 70) completed at least 1 clerkship with a didactic component geared towards their level of training. Completing a clerkship with a didactic component was significantly associated with a respondent's confidence to function as a first-year radiation oncology resident (Wilcoxon rank–sum P=.03). However, the total number of clerkships completed did not correlate with confidence to pursue radiation oncology as a specialty (Spearman ρ P=.48) or confidence to function as a first year resident (Spearman ρ P=.43). Conclusions: Based on responses to this survey, rotating students perceive that the majority of radiation oncology clerkships do not have formal didactic curricula. Survey respondents who completed a clerkship with a didactic curriculum reported feeling more prepared to function as a radiation oncology resident. However, completing an increasing number of clerkships does not appear to improve confidence in the decision to pursue radiation oncology as a career or to function as a radiation oncology resident. These results

  8. A national radiation oncology medical student clerkship survey: Didactic curricular components increase confidence in clinical competency

    PubMed Central

    Jagadeesan, Vikrant S.; Raleigh, David R.; Koshy, Matthew; Howard, Andrew R.; Chmura, Steven J.; Golden, Daniel W.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose/Objectives Students applying to radiation oncology residency programs complete one or more radiation oncology clerkships. This study assesses student experiences and perspectives during radiation oncology clerkships. The impact of didactic components and number of clerkship experiences in relation to confidence in clinical competency and preparation to function as a first year radiation oncology resident are evaluated. Methods and Materials An anonymous, internet-based survey was sent via direct e-mail to all applicants to a single radiation oncology residency program during the 2012–2013 academic year. The survey was composed of three main sections including questions regarding baseline demographic information and prior radiation oncology experience, rotation experiences, and ideal clerkship curriculum content. Results The survey response rate was 37% (70/188). Respondents reported 191 unique clerkship experiences. 27% of respondents (19/70) completed at least one clerkship with a didactic component geared towards their level of training. Completing a clerkship with a didactic component was significantly associated with a respondent’s confidence to function as a first- year radiation oncology resident (Wilcoxon rank-sum p = 0.03). However, the total number of clerkships completed did not correlate with confidence to pursue radiation oncology as a specialty (Spearman’s rho p = 0.48) or confidence to function as a first year resident (Spearman’s rho p = 0.43). Conclusions Based on responses to this survey, rotating students perceive that the majority of radiation oncology clerkships do not have formal didactic curricula. Survey respondents who completed a clerkship with a didactic curriculum reported feeling more prepared to function as a radiation oncology resident. However, completing an increasing number of clerkships does not appear to improve confidence in the decision to pursue radiation oncology as a career or to function as a radiation

  9. Technical aspects of quality assurance in radiation oncology

    PubMed Central

    Saw, CB; Ferenci, MS; Wanger, H

    2008-01-01

    The technical aspects of quality assurance (QA) in radiation oncology as practice in the United States will be reviewed and updated in the spirit of offering the experience to the radiation oncology communities in the Asia-Pacific region. The word “technical” is used to express the organisational components or processes and not the materials within the QA program. A comprehensive QA program in radiation oncology will have an official statement declaring the quality plan for effective patient care services it provides in a document. The QA program will include all aspects of patient care: physical, clinical, and medical aspects of the services. The document will describe the organisational structure, responsibilities, checks and procedures, and resources allocated to ensure the successful implementation of the quality of patient management. Regulatory guidelines and guidelines from accreditation agencies should be incorporated in the QA program to ensure compliance. The organisational structure will have a multidisciplinary QA committee that has the authority to evaluate continuously the effectiveness of the QA program to provide prompt corrective recommendations and to request feedback as needed to monitor the response. The continuous monitoring aspects require meetings to be held at regular intervals with the minutes of the meetings officially recorded and documented. To ensure that a QA program is effective, the program itself should be audited for quality at regular intervals at least annually. It has been recognised that the current QA program has not kept abreast with the rapid implementation of new and advanced radiation therapy technologies with the most recent in image-based radiation therapy technology. The societal bodies (ASTRO and AAPM) and federal agency (NCI) acknowledge this inadequacy and have held workshops to address this issue. The challenges for the societal bodies and federal agency are numerous that include (a) the prescriptive methodology

  10. Imaging Tumor Hypoxia to Advance Radiation Oncology

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chen-Ting; Boss, Mary-Keara

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Most solid tumors contain regions of low oxygenation or hypoxia. Tumor hypoxia has been associated with a poor clinical outcome and plays a critical role in tumor radioresistance. Recent Advances: Two main types of hypoxia exist in the tumor microenvironment: chronic and cycling hypoxia. Chronic hypoxia results from the limited diffusion distance of oxygen, and cycling hypoxia primarily results from the variation in microvessel red blood cell flux and temporary disturbances in perfusion. Chronic hypoxia may cause either tumor progression or regressive effects depending on the tumor model. However, there is a general trend toward the development of a more aggressive phenotype after cycling hypoxia. With advanced hypoxia imaging techniques, spatiotemporal characteristics of tumor hypoxia and the changes to the tumor microenvironment can be analyzed. Critical Issues: In this review, we focus on the biological and clinical consequences of chronic and cycling hypoxia on radiation treatment. We also discuss the advanced non-invasive imaging techniques that have been developed to detect and monitor tumor hypoxia in preclinical and clinical studies. Future Directions: A better understanding of the mechanisms of tumor hypoxia with non-invasive imaging will provide a basis for improved radiation therapeutic practices. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 21, 313–337. PMID:24329000

  11. The future of Radiation Oncology: Considerations of Young Medical Doctor

    PubMed Central

    Urbański, Bartosz

    2012-01-01

    Radiation therapy plays an increasingly important role in the management of cancer. Currently, more than 50% of all cancer patients can expect to receive radiotherapy during the course of their disease, either in a primary management (radical or adjuvant radiotherapy) or for symptom control (palliative radiotherapy). Radiation oncology is a very unique branch of medicine connected with clinical knowledge and also with medical physics. In recent years, this approach has become increasingly absorbed with technological advances. This increasing emphasis on technology, together with other important changes in the health-care economic environment, now place the specialty of radiation oncology in a precarious position. New treatment technologies are evolving at a rate unprecedented in radiation therapy, paralleled by improvements in computer hardware and software. These techniques allow assessment of changes in the tumour volume and its location during the course of therapy (interfraction motion) so that re-planning can adjust for such changes in an adaptive radiotherapy process. If radiation oncologists become simply the guardians of a single therapeutic modality they may find that time marches by and, while the techniques will live on, the specialty may not. This article discusses these threats to the field and examines strategies by which we may evolve, diversify, and thrive. PMID:24669310

  12. Can Melatonin Help Us in Radiation Oncology Treatments?

    PubMed Central

    Mahdavi, Seied Rabie; Aliasgharzadeh, Akbar

    2014-01-01

    Nowadays, radiotherapy has become an integral part of the treatment regimen in various malignancies for curative or palliative purposes. Ionizing radiation interacts with biological systems to produce free radicals, which attack various cellular components. Radioprotectors act as prophylactic agents that are administered to shield normal cells and tissues from the harmful effects of radiation. Melatonin has been shown to be both a direct free radical scavenger and an indirect antioxidant by stimulating antioxidant enzymes and suppressing prooxidative enzymes activity. In addition to its antioxidant property, there have also been reports implicating antiapoptotic function for melatonin in normal cells. Furthermore, through its antitumor and radiosensitizing properties, treatment with melatonin may prevent tumor progression. Therefore, addition of melatonin to radiation therapy could lower the damage inflicted to the normal tissue, leading to a more efficient tumor control by use of higher doses of irradiation during radiotherapy. Thus, it seems that, in the future, melatonin may improve the therapeutic gain in radiation oncology treatments. PMID:24900972

  13. Advances in Radiation Therapy in Pediatric Neuro-oncology.

    PubMed

    Bindra, Ranjit S; Wolden, Suzanne L

    2016-03-01

    Radiation therapy remains a highly effective therapy for many pediatric central nervous system tumors. With more children achieving long-term survival after treatment for brain tumors, late-effects of radiation have become an important concern. In response to this problem, treatment protocols for a variety of pediatric central nervous system tumors have evolved to reduce radiation fields and doses when possible. Recent advances in radiation technology such as image guidance and proton therapy have led to a new era of precision treatment with significantly less exposure to healthy tissues. These developments along with the promise of molecular classification of tumors and targeted therapies point to an optimistic future for pediatric neuro-oncology. PMID:26271789

  14. ASTRO's core physics curriculum for radiation oncology residents

    SciTech Connect

    Klein, Eric E. . E-mail: klein@radonc.wustl.edu; Balter, James M.; Chaney, Edward L.; Gerbi, Bruce J.; Hughes, Lesley

    2004-11-01

    In 2002, the Radiation Physics Committee of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) appointed an Ad-hoc Committee on Physics Teaching to Medical Residents. The main initiative of the committee was to develop a core curriculum for physics education. Prior publications that have analyzed physics teaching have pointed to wide discrepancies among teaching programs. The committee was composed of physicists or physicians from various residency program based institutions. Simultaneously, members had associations with the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), ASTRO, Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO), American Board of Radiology (ABR), and the American College of Radiology (ACR). The latter two organizations' representatives were on the physics examination committees, as one of the main agendas was to provide a feedback loop between the examining organizations and ASTRO. The document resulted in a recommended 54-h course. Some of the subjects were based on American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements (particles, hyperthermia), whereas the majority of the subjects along with the appropriated hours per subject were devised and agreed upon by the committee. For each subject there are learning objectives and for each hour there is a detailed outline of material to be covered. Some of the required subjects/h are being taught in most institutions (i.e., Radiation Measurement and Calibration for 4 h), whereas some may be new subjects (4 h of Imaging for Radiation Oncology). The curriculum was completed and approved by the ASTRO Board in late 2003 and is slated for dissemination to the community in 2004. It is our hope that teaching physicists will adopt the recommended curriculum for their classes, and simultaneously that the ABR for its written physics examination and the ACR for its training examination will use the recommended curriculum as the basis for subject matter and depth of

  15. International Outreach: What Is the Responsibility of ASTRO and the Major International Radiation Oncology Societies?

    SciTech Connect

    Mayr, Nina A.; Hu, Kenneth S.; Liao, Zhongxing; Viswanathan, Akila N.; Amendola, Beatriz E.; Calaguas, Miriam J.; Palta, Jatinder R.; Yue, Ning J.; Rengan, Ramesh; Williams, Timothy R.

    2014-07-01

    In this era of globalization and rapid advances in radiation oncology worldwide, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is committed to help decrease profound regional disparities through the work of the International Education Subcommittee (IES). The IES has expanded its base, reach, and activities to foster educational advances through a variety of educational methods with broad scope, in addition to committing to the advancement of radiation oncology care for cancer patients around the world, through close collaboration with our sister radiation oncology societies and other educational, governmental, and organizational groups.

  16. The road not taken and choices in radiation oncology.

    PubMed

    Coleman, C Norman; Glatstein, Eli

    2010-01-01

    Accomplishments and contributions in a career in radiation oncology, and in medicine in general, involve individual choices that impact the direction of a specialty, decisions in patient care, consequences of treatment outcome, and personal satisfaction. Issues in radiation oncology include: the development and implementation of new radiation treatment technology; the use of multimodality and biologically based therapies; the role of nonradiation "energy" technologies, often by other medical specialties, including the need for quality assurance in treatment and data reporting; and the type of evidence, including appropriate study design, analysis, and rigorous long-term follow-up, that is sought before widespread implementation of a new treatment. Personal choices must weigh: the pressure from institutions-practices, departments, universities, and hospitals; the need to serve society and the underserved; the balance between individual reward and a greater mission; and the critical role of personal values and integrity, often requiring difficult and "life-defining" decisions. The impact that each of us makes in a career is perhaps more a result of character than of the specific details enumerated on one's curriculum vitae. The individual tapestry weaved by choosing the more or less traveled paths during a career results in many pathways that would be called success; however, the one path for which there is no good alternative is that of living and acting with integrity. PMID:20413638

  17. Imaging-Based Treatment Adaptation in Radiation Oncology.

    PubMed

    Troost, Esther G C; Thorwarth, Daniela; Oyen, Wim J G

    2015-12-01

    In many tumor types, significant effort is being put into patient-tailored adaptation of treatment to improve outcome and preferably reduce toxicity. These opportunities first arose with the introduction of modern irradiation techniques (e.g., intensity-modulated radiotherapy) combined with functional imaging for more precise delineation of target volume. On the basis of functional CT, MRI, and PET results, radiation target volumes are altered during the course of treatment, or subvolumes inside the primary tumor are defined to enhance the dosing strategy. Moreover, the probability of complications to normal tissues is predicted using anatomic or functional imaging, such as in the use of CT or PET to predict radiation pneumonitis. Besides focusing, monitoring, and adapting photon therapy for solid tumors, PET also has a role in verifying proton-beam therapy. This article discusses the current state and remaining challenges of imaging-based treatment adaptation in radiation oncology. PMID:26429959

  18. Japan Society of Gynecologic Oncology guidelines 2013 for the treatment of uterine body neoplasms.

    PubMed

    Ebina, Yasuhiko; Katabuchi, Hidetaka; Mikami, Mikio; Nagase, Satoru; Yaegashi, Nobuo; Udagawa, Yasuhiro; Kato, Hidenori; Kubushiro, Kaneyuki; Takamatsu, Kiyoshi; Ino, Kazuhiko; Yoshikawa, Hiroyuki

    2016-06-01

    The third version of the Japan Society of Gynecologic Oncology guidelines for the treatment of uterine body neoplasms was published in 2013. The guidelines comprise nine chapters and nine algorithms. Each chapter includes a clinical question, recommendations, background, objectives, explanations, and references. This revision was intended to collect up-to-date international evidence. The highlights of this revision are to (1) newly specify costs and conflicts of interest; (2) describe the clinical significance of pelvic lymph node dissection and para-aortic lymphadenectomy, including variant histologic types; (3) describe more clearly the indications for laparoscopic surgery as the standard treatment; (4) provide guidelines for post-treatment hormone replacement therapy; (5) clearly differentiate treatment of advanced or recurrent cancer between the initial treatment and the treatment carried out after the primary operation; (6) collectively describe fertility-sparing therapy for both atypical endometrial hyperplasia and endometrioid adenocarcinoma (corresponding to G1) and newly describe relapse therapy after fertility-preserving treatment; and (7) newly describe the treatment of trophoblastic disease. Overall, the objective of these guidelines is to clearly delineate the standard of care for uterine body neoplasms in Japan with the goal of ensuring a high standard of care for all Japanese women diagnosed with uterine body neoplasms. PMID:27116188

  19. American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Survey of Radiation Biology Educators in U.S. and Canadian Radiation Oncology Residency Programs

    PubMed Central

    Rosenstein, Barry S.; Held, Kathryn D.; Rockwell, Sara; Williams, Jacqueline P.; Zeman, Elaine M.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose The goal of this survey was to obtain detailed information on the faculty currently responsible for teaching radiation biology courses to radiation oncology residents in the U.S. and Canada. Methods and Materials In March-December 2007 a survey questionnaire was sent to faculty having primary responsibility for teaching radiation biology to residents in 93 radiation oncology residency programs in the U.S. and Canada. Results The responses to this survey document the aging of the faculty who have primary responsibility for teaching radiation biology to radiation oncology residents. The survey found a dramatic decline with time in the percentage of educators whose graduate training was in radiation biology. A significant number of the educators responsible for teaching radiation biology were not fully acquainted with the radiation sciences, either through training or practical application. In addition, many were unfamiliar with some of the organizations setting policies and requirements for resident education. Freely available tools, such as the ASTRO Radiation & Cancer Biology Practice Exam used by residents and educators. Consoination and Study Guides, were widely lidation of resident courses or use of a national radiation biology review course, were viewed as unlikely to be employed by most programs. Conclusions A high priority should be given to the development of comprehensive teaching tools to assist those individuals who have responsibility for teaching radiation biology courses, but who do not have an extensive background in critical areas of radiobiology related to radiation oncology. These findings also suggest a need for new graduate programs in radiobiology. PMID:19733012

  20. Iodine-131 tositumomab (Bexxar) in a radiation oncology environment

    SciTech Connect

    Macklis, Roger M. . E-mail: macklir@ccf.org

    2006-10-01

    Iodine-131 (I-131) tositumomab (Bexxar; GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC) is one of two recently approved radiolabeled antibodies directed against the CD20 surface antigen found on normal B cells and in more than 95% of B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The compound itself is formulated as an IgG2a immunoglobulin radiolabeled with the mixed beta/gamma emitter I-131. Multicenter clinical trials have repeatedly shown impressive clinical responses (20-40% complete response rates and 60-80% overall response rates) in the patient groups for whom this treatment is indicated. Treatment-related toxicity is generally extremely mild and typically involves only reversible hematopoietic suppression and (in some cases) a risk of treatment-induced hypothyroidism. Owing to Radiation safety concerns necessitated by the clinical use of this targeted radiopharmaceutical, it is important for radiation oncology departments wishing to participate in the care of these patients to establish methodologies and standard operating procedures for safe and efficient departmental use. This summary reviews the pertinent background information related to the current clinical experience with I-131 tositumomab and highlights some of the major opportunities for the participation of radiation oncology in the patient evaluation and treatment process. I-131 tositumomab provides an excellent example of the way in which the increasingly important new field of 'targeted therapy' intersects with the practice of clinical radiotherapy. The author contends that it will be worth the time and effort involved in establishing a firm basis for the development of a comprehensive program for systemic targeted radiopharmaceutical therapies (STaRT) within Radiation medicine domain.

  1. American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2012 Workforce Study: The Radiation Oncologists' and Residents' Perspectives

    SciTech Connect

    Pohar, Surjeet; Fung, Claire Y.; Hopkins, Shane; Miller, Robert; Azawi, Samar; Olsen, Christine

    2013-12-01

    Purpose: The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) conducted the 2012 Radiation Oncology Workforce Survey to obtain an up-to-date picture of the workforce, assess its needs and concerns, and identify quality and safety improvement opportunities. The results pertaining to radiation oncologists (ROs) and residents (RORs) are presented here. Methods: The ASTRO Workforce Subcommittee, in collaboration with allied radiation oncology professional societies, conducted a survey study in early 2012. An online survey questionnaire was sent to all segments of the radiation oncology workforce. Respondents who were actively working were included in the analysis. This manuscript describes the data for ROs and RORs. Results: A total of 3618 ROs and 568 RORs were surveyed. The response rate for both groups was 29%, with 1047 RO and 165 ROR responses. Among ROs, the 2 most common racial groups were white (80%) and Asian (15%), and the male-to-female ratio was 2.85 (74% male). The median age of ROs was 51. ROs averaged 253.4 new patient consults in a year and 22.9 on-treatment patients. More than 86% of ROs reported being satisfied or very satisfied overall with their career. Close to half of ROs reported having burnout feelings. There was a trend toward more frequent burnout feelings with increasing numbers of new patient consults. ROs' top concerns were related to documentation, reimbursement, and patients' health insurance coverage. Ninety-five percent of ROs felt confident when implementing new technology. Fifty-one percent of ROs thought that the supply of ROs was balanced with demand, and 33% perceived an oversupply. Conclusions: This study provides a current snapshot of the 2012 radiation oncology physician workforce. There was a predominance of whites and men. Job satisfaction level was high. However a substantial fraction of ROs reported burnout feelings. Perceptions about supply and demand balance were mixed. ROs top concerns reflect areas of attention for the

  2. Radiation Oncology Medical Student Clerkship: Implementation and Evaluation of a Bi-institutional Pilot Curriculum

    SciTech Connect

    Golden, Daniel W.; Spektor, Alexander; Rudra, Sonali; Ranck, Mark C.; Krishnan, Monica S.; Jimenez, Rachel B.; Viswanathan, Akila N.; Koshy, Matthew; Howard, Andrew R.; Chmura, Steven J.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To develop and evaluate a structured didactic curriculum to complement clinical experiences during radiation oncology clerkships at 2 academic medical centers. Methods and Materials: A structured didactic curriculum was developed to teach fundamentals of radiation oncology and improve confidence in clinical competence. Curriculum lectures included: (1) an overview of radiation oncology (history, types of treatments, and basic clinic flow); (2) fundamentals of radiation biology and physics; and (3) practical aspects of radiation treatment simulation and planning. In addition, a hands-on dosimetry session taught students fundamentals of treatment planning. The curriculum was implemented at 2 academic departments in 2012. Students completed anonymous evaluations using a Likert scale to rate the usefulness of curriculum components (1 = not at all, 5 = extremely). Likert scores are reported as (median [interquartile range]). Results: Eighteen students completed the curriculum during their 4-week rotation (University of Chicago n=13, Harvard Longwood Campus n=5). All curriculum components were rated as extremely useful: introduction to radiation oncology (5 [4-5]); radiation biology and physics (5 [5-5]); practical aspects of radiation oncology (5 [4-5]); and the treatment planning session (5 [5-5]). Students rated the curriculum as “quite useful” to “extremely useful” (1) to help students understand radiation oncology as a specialty; (2) to increase student comfort with their specialty decision; and (3) to help students with their future transition to a radiation oncology residency. Conclusions: A standardized curriculum for medical students completing a 4-week radiation oncology clerkship was successfully implemented at 2 institutions. The curriculum was favorably reviewed. As a result of completing the curriculum, medical students felt more comfortable with their specialty decision and better prepared to begin radiation oncology residency.

  3. Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT): A radiation oncology perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Dorn, R.V. III Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID )

    1994-03-30

    Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) offers considerable promise in the search for the ideal cancer therapy, a therapy which selectively and maximally damages malignant cells while sparing normal tissue. This bimodal treatment modality selectivity concentrates a boron compound in malignant cells, and then [open quotes]activates[close quotes] this compound with slow neutrons resulting in a highly lethal event within the cancer cell. This article reviews this treatment modality from a radiation oncology, biology, and physics perspective. The remainder of the articles in this special issue provide a survey of the current [open quotes]state-of-the-art[close quotes] in this rapidly expanding field, including information with regard to boron compounds and their localization. 118 refs., 3 figs.

  4. Radiation Therapy Oncology Group clinical trials with misonidazole

    SciTech Connect

    Wasserman, T.H.; Stetz, J.; Phillips, T.L.

    1981-05-15

    This paper presents a review of the progressive clinical trials of the hypoxic cell radiosensitizer, misonidazole, in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG). Presentation is made of all the schemas of the recently completed and currently active RTOG Phase II and Phase III studies. Detailed information is provided on the clinical toxicity of the Phase II trials, specifically regarding neurotoxicity. With limitations in drug total dose, a variety of dose schedules have proven to be tolerable, with a moderate incidence of nausea and vomiting and mild peripheral neuropathy or central neuropathy. No other organ toxicity has been seen, specifically no liver, renal or bone marrow toxicities. An additional Phase III malignant glioma trial in the Brain Tumor Study Group is described.

  5. Dosimetry of ionising radiation in modern radiation oncology.

    PubMed

    Kron, Tomas; Lehmann, Joerg; Greer, Peter B

    2016-07-21

    Dosimetry of ionising radiation is a well-established and mature branch of physical sciences with many applications in medicine and biology. In particular radiotherapy relies on dosimetry for optimisation of cancer treatment and avoidance of severe toxicity for patients. Several novel developments in radiotherapy have introduced new challenges for dosimetry with small and dynamically changing radiation fields being central to many of these applications such as stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy and intensity modulated radiation therapy. There is also an increasing awareness of low doses given to structures not in the target region and the associated risk of secondary cancer induction. Here accurate dosimetry is important not only for treatment optimisation but also for the generation of data that can inform radiation protection approaches in the future. The article introduces some of the challenges and highlights the interdependence of dosimetric calculations and measurements. Dosimetric concepts are explored in the context of six application fields: reference dosimetry, small fields, low dose out of field, in vivo dosimetry, brachytherapy and auditing of radiotherapy practice. Recent developments of dosimeters that can be used for these purposes are discussed using spatial resolution and number of dimensions for measurement as sorting criteria. While dosimetry is ever evolving to address the needs of advancing applications of radiation in medicine two fundamental issues remain: the accuracy of the measurement from a scientific perspective and the importance to link the measurement to a clinically relevant question. This review aims to provide an update on both of these. PMID:27351409

  6. Dosimetry of ionising radiation in modern radiation oncology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kron, Tomas; Lehmann, Joerg; Greer, Peter B.

    2016-07-01

    Dosimetry of ionising radiation is a well-established and mature branch of physical sciences with many applications in medicine and biology. In particular radiotherapy relies on dosimetry for optimisation of cancer treatment and avoidance of severe toxicity for patients. Several novel developments in radiotherapy have introduced new challenges for dosimetry with small and dynamically changing radiation fields being central to many of these applications such as stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy and intensity modulated radiation therapy. There is also an increasing awareness of low doses given to structures not in the target region and the associated risk of secondary cancer induction. Here accurate dosimetry is important not only for treatment optimisation but also for the generation of data that can inform radiation protection approaches in the future. The article introduces some of the challenges and highlights the interdependence of dosimetric calculations and measurements. Dosimetric concepts are explored in the context of six application fields: reference dosimetry, small fields, low dose out of field, in vivo dosimetry, brachytherapy and auditing of radiotherapy practice. Recent developments of dosimeters that can be used for these purposes are discussed using spatial resolution and number of dimensions for measurement as sorting criteria. While dosimetry is ever evolving to address the needs of advancing applications of radiation in medicine two fundamental issues remain: the accuracy of the measurement from a scientific perspective and the importance to link the measurement to a clinically relevant question. This review aims to provide an update on both of these.

  7. Analysis of outcomes in radiation oncology: An integrated computational platform

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Dezhi; Ajlouni, Munther; Jin, Jian-Yue; Ryu, Samuel; Siddiqui, Farzan; Patel, Anushka; Movsas, Benjamin; Chetty, Indrin J.

    2009-01-01

    Radiotherapy research and outcome analyses are essential for evaluating new methods of radiation delivery and for assessing the benefits of a given technology on locoregional control and overall survival. In this article, a computational platform is presented to facilitate radiotherapy research and outcome studies in radiation oncology. This computational platform consists of (1) an infrastructural database that stores patient diagnosis, IMRT treatment details, and follow-up information, (2) an interface tool that is used to import and export IMRT plans in DICOM RT and AAPM/RTOG formats from a wide range of planning systems to facilitate reproducible research, (3) a graphical data analysis and programming tool that visualizes all aspects of an IMRT plan including dose, contour, and image data to aid the analysis of treatment plans, and (4) a software package that calculates radiobiological models to evaluate IMRT treatment plans. Given the limited number of general-purpose computational environments for radiotherapy research and outcome studies, this computational platform represents a powerful and convenient tool that is well suited for analyzing dose distributions biologically and correlating them with the delivered radiation dose distributions and other patient-related clinical factors. In addition the database is web-based and accessible by multiple users, facilitating its convenient application and use. PMID:19544785

  8. Regional cancer centre demonstrates voluntary conformity with the national Radiation Oncology Practice Standards

    SciTech Connect

    Manley, Stephen Last, Andrew; Fu, Kenneth; Greenham, Stuart; Kovendy, Andrew; Shakespeare, Thomas P

    2015-06-15

    Radiation Oncology Practice Standards have been developed over the last 10 years and were published for use in Australia in 2011. Although the majority of the radiation oncology community supports the implementation of the standards, there has been no mechanism for uniform assessment or governance. North Coast Cancer Institute's public radiation oncology service is provided across three main service centres on the north coast of NSW. With a strong focus on quality management, we embraced the opportunity to demonstrate conformity with the Radiation Oncology Practice Standards. The Local Health District's Clinical Governance units were engaged to perform assessments of our conformity with the standards and this was signed off as complete on 16 December 2013. The process of demonstrating conformity with the Radiation Oncology Practice Standards has enhanced the culture of quality in our centres. We have demonstrated that self-assessment utilising trained auditors is a viable method for centres to demonstrate conformity. National implementation of the Radiation Oncology Practice Standards will benefit individual centres and the broader radiation oncology community to improve the service delivered to our patients.

  9. Regional cancer centre demonstrates voluntary conformity with the national Radiation Oncology Practice Standards

    PubMed Central

    Manley, Stephen; Last, Andrew; Fu, Kenneth; Greenham, Stuart; Kovendy, Andrew; Shakespeare, Thomas P

    2015-01-01

    Radiation Oncology Practice Standards have been developed over the last 10 years and were published for use in Australia in 2011. Although the majority of the radiation oncology community supports the implementation of the standards, there has been no mechanism for uniform assessment or governance. North Coast Cancer Institute's public radiation oncology service is provided across three main service centres on the north coast of NSW. With a strong focus on quality management, we embraced the opportunity to demonstrate conformity with the Radiation Oncology Practice Standards. The Local Health District's Clinical Governance units were engaged to perform assessments of our conformity with the standards and this was signed off as complete on 16 December 2013. The process of demonstrating conformity with the Radiation Oncology Practice Standards has enhanced the culture of quality in our centres. We have demonstrated that self-assessment utilising trained auditors is a viable method for centres to demonstrate conformity. National implementation of the Radiation Oncology Practice Standards will benefit individual centres and the broader radiation oncology community to improve the service delivered to our patients. PMID:26229680

  10. Quantitative Assessment of Workload and Stressors in Clinical Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Mazur, Lukasz M.; Mosaly, Prithima R.; Jackson, Marianne; Chang, Sha X.; Burkhardt, Katharin Deschesne; Adams, Robert D.; Jones, Ellen L.; Hoyle, Lesley; Xu, Jing; Rockwell, John; Marks, Lawrence B.

    2012-08-01

    Purpose: Workload level and sources of stressors have been implicated as sources of error in multiple settings. We assessed workload levels and sources of stressors among radiation oncology professionals. Furthermore, we explored the potential association between workload and the frequency of reported radiotherapy incidents by the World Health Organization (WHO). Methods and Materials: Data collection was aimed at various tasks performed by 21 study participants from different radiation oncology professional subgroups (simulation therapists, radiation therapists, physicists, dosimetrists, and physicians). Workload was assessed using National Aeronautics and Space Administration Task-Load Index (NASA TLX). Sources of stressors were quantified using observational methods and segregated using a standard taxonomy. Comparisons between professional subgroups and tasks were made using analysis of variance ANOVA, multivariate ANOVA, and Duncan test. An association between workload levels (NASA TLX) and the frequency of radiotherapy incidents (WHO incidents) was explored (Pearson correlation test). Results: A total of 173 workload assessments were obtained. Overall, simulation therapists had relatively low workloads (NASA TLX range, 30-36), and physicists had relatively high workloads (NASA TLX range, 51-63). NASA TLX scores for physicians, radiation therapists, and dosimetrists ranged from 40-52. There was marked intertask/professional subgroup variation (P<.0001). Mental demand (P<.001), physical demand (P=.001), and effort (P=.006) significantly differed among professional subgroups. Typically, there were 3-5 stressors per cycle of analyzed tasks with the following distribution: interruptions (41.4%), time factors (17%), technical factors (13.6%), teamwork issues (11.6%), patient factors (9.0%), and environmental factors (7.4%). A positive association between workload and frequency of reported radiotherapy incidents by the WHO was found (r = 0.87, P value=.045

  11. Multiple Authorship in Two English-Language Journals in Radiation Oncology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halperin, Edward C.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    A study of multiple authorship in 1,908 papers in the "International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics" and "Radiotherapy and Oncology" from 1983-87 investigated patterns and trends in number of authors per article by journal, article type, country, author's institution, author gender, and order of listing of authors. (MSE)

  12. ASTRO's 2007 Core Physics Curriculum for Radiation Oncology Residents

    SciTech Connect

    Klein, Eric E. . E-mail: eklein@radonc.wustl.edu; Gerbi, Bruce J.; Price, Robert A.; Balter, James M.; Paliwal, Bhudatt; Hughes, Lesley; Huang, Eugene

    2007-08-01

    In 2004, American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) published a curriculum for physics education. The document described a 54-hour course. In 2006, the committee reconvened to update the curriculum. The committee is composed of physicists and physicians from various residency program teaching institutions. Simultaneously, members have associations with American Association of Physicists in Medicine, ASTRO, Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology, American Board of Radiology, and American College of Radiology. Representatives from the latter two organizations are key to provide feedback between the examining organizations and ASTRO. Subjects are based on Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requirements (particles and hyperthermia), whereas the majority of subjects and appropriated hours/subject were developed by consensus. The new curriculum is 55 hours, containing new subjects, redistribution of subjects with updates, and reorganization of core topics. For each subject, learning objectives are provided, and for each lecture hour, a detailed outline of material to be covered is provided. Some changes include a decrease in basic radiologic physics, addition of informatics as a subject, increase in intensity-modulated radiotherapy, and migration of some brachytherapy hours to radiopharmaceuticals. The new curriculum was approved by the ASTRO board in late 2006. It is hoped that physicists will adopt the curriculum for structuring their didactic teaching program, and simultaneously, American Board of Radiology, for its written examination. American College of Radiology uses the ASTRO curriculum for their training examination topics. In addition to the curriculum, the committee added suggested references, a glossary, and a condensed version of lectures for a Postgraduate Year 2 resident physics orientation. To ensure continued commitment to a current and relevant curriculum, subject matter will be updated again in 2 years.

  13. Emerging concepts in biomarker discovery; The US-Japan workshop on immunological molecular markers in oncology

    PubMed Central

    Tahara, Hideaki; Sato, Marimo; Thurin, Magdalena; Wang, Ena; Butterfield, Lisa H; Disis, Mary L; Fox, Bernard A; Lee, Peter P; Khleif, Samir N; Wigginton, Jon M; Ambs, Stefan; Akutsu, Yasunori; Chaussabel, Damien; Doki, Yuichiro; Eremin, Oleg; Fridman, Wolf Hervé; Hirohashi, Yoshihiko; Imai, Kohzoh; Jacobson, James; Jinushi, Masahisa; Kanamoto, Akira; Kashani-Sabet, Mohammed; Kato, Kazunori; Kawakami, Yutaka; Kirkwood, John M; Kleen, Thomas O; Lehmann, Paul V; Liotta, Lance; Lotze, Michael T; Maio, Michele; Malyguine, Anatoli; Masucci, Giuseppe; Matsubara, Hisahiro; Mayrand-Chung, Shawmarie; Nakamura, Kiminori; Nishikawa, Hiroyoshi; Palucka, A Karolina; Petricoin, Emanuel F; Pos, Zoltan; Ribas, Antoni; Rivoltini, Licia; Sato, Noriyuki; Shiku, Hiroshi; Slingluff, Craig L; Streicher, Howard; Stroncek, David F; Takeuchi, Hiroya; Toyota, Minoru; Wada, Hisashi; Wu, Xifeng; Wulfkuhle, Julia; Yaguchi, Tomonori; Zeskind, Benjamin; Zhao, Yingdong; Zocca, Mai-Britt; Marincola, Francesco M

    2009-01-01

    Supported by the Office of International Affairs, National Cancer Institute (NCI), the "US-Japan Workshop on Immunological Biomarkers in Oncology" was held in March 2009. The workshop was related to a task force launched by the International Society for the Biological Therapy of Cancer (iSBTc) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to identify strategies for biomarker discovery and validation in the field of biotherapy. The effort will culminate on October 28th 2009 in the "iSBTc-FDA-NCI Workshop on Prognostic and Predictive Immunologic Biomarkers in Cancer", which will be held in Washington DC in association with the Annual Meeting. The purposes of the US-Japan workshop were a) to discuss novel approaches to enhance the discovery of predictive and/or prognostic markers in cancer immunotherapy; b) to define the state of the science in biomarker discovery and validation. The participation of Japanese and US scientists provided the opportunity to identify shared or discordant themes across the distinct immune genetic background and the diverse prevalence of disease between the two Nations. Converging concepts were identified: enhanced knowledge of interferon-related pathways was found to be central to the understanding of immune-mediated tissue-specific destruction (TSD) of which tumor rejection is a representative facet. Although the expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) likely mediates the inflammatory process leading to tumor rejection, it is insufficient by itself and the associated mechanisms need to be identified. It is likely that adaptive immune responses play a broader role in tumor rejection than those strictly related to their antigen-specificity; likely, their primary role is to trigger an acute and tissue-specific inflammatory response at the tumor site that leads to rejection upon recruitment of additional innate and adaptive immune mechanisms. Other candidate systemic and/or tissue-specific biomarkers were recognized that

  14. New paradigms and future challenges in Radiation Oncology: An Update of Biological Targets and Technology*

    PubMed Central

    Liauw, Stanley L.; Connell, Philip P.; Weichselbaum, Ralph R.

    2013-01-01

    The primary objective of radiation oncology is to exploit the biological interaction of radiation within tissue to promote tumor death while minimizing damage to surrounding normal tissue. The clinical delivery of radiation relies on principles of radiation physics that define how radiation energy is deposited in the body, as well as technology that facilitates accurate tumor targeting. This review will summarize the current landscape of recent biological and technological advances in radiation oncology, describe the challenges that exist, and offer potential avenues for improvement. PMID:23427246

  15. WE-G-9A-01: Radiation Oncology Outcomes Informatics

    SciTech Connect

    Mayo, C; Miller, R; Sloan, J; Wu, Q; Howell, R

    2014-06-15

    The construction of databases and support software to enable routine and systematic aggregation, analysis and reporting of patient outcomes data is emerging as an important area. “How have results for our patients been affected by the improvements we have made in our practice and in the technologies we use?” To answer this type of fundamental question about the overall pattern of efficacy observed, it is necessary to systematically gather and analyze data on all patients treated within a clinic. Clinical trials answer, in great depth and detail, questions about outcomes for the subsets of patients enrolled in a given trial. However, routine aggregation and analysis of key treatment parameter data and outcomes information for all patients is necessary to recognize emergent patterns that would be of interest from a public health or practice perspective and could better inform design of clinical trials or the evolution of best practice principals. To address these questions, Radiation Oncology outcomes databases need to be constructed to enable combination essential data from a broad group of data types including: diagnosis and staging, dose volume histogram metrics, patient reported outcomes, toxicity metrics, performance status, treatment plan parameters, demographics, DICOM data and demographics. Developing viable solutions to automate aggregation and analysis of this data requires multidisciplinary efforts to define nomenclatures, modify clinical processes and develop software and database tools requires detailed understanding of both clinical and technical issues. This session will cover the developing area of Radiation Oncology Outcomes Informatics. Learning Objectives: Audience will be able to speak to the technical requirements (software, database, web services) which must be considered in designing an outcomes database. Audience will be able to understand the content and the role of patient reported outcomes as compared to traditional toxicity measures

  16. Beyond the Standard Curriculum: A Review of Available Opportunities for Medical Students to Prepare for a Career in Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Agarwal, Ankit; DeNunzio, Nicholas J.; Ahuja, Divya; Hirsch, Ariel E.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To review currently available opportunities for medical students to supplement their standard medical education to prepare for a career in radiation oncology. Methods and Materials: Google and PubMed were used to identify existing clinical, health policy, and research programs for medical students in radiation oncology. In addition, results publicly available by the National Resident Matching Program were used to explore opportunities that successful radiation oncology applicants pursued during their medical education, including obtaining additional graduate degrees. Results: Medical students can pursue a wide variety of opportunities before entering radiation oncology. Several national specialty societies, such as the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the Radiological Society of North America, offer summer internships for medical students interested in radiation oncology. In 2011, 30% of allopathic senior medical students in the United States who matched into radiation oncology had an additional graduate degree, including PhD, MPH, MBA, and MA degrees. Some medical schools are beginning to further integrate dedicated education in radiation oncology into the standard 4-year medical curriculum. Conclusions: To the authors' knowledge, this is the first comprehensive review of available opportunities for medical students interested in radiation oncology. Early exposure to radiation oncology and additional educational training beyond the standard medical curriculum have the potential to create more successful radiation oncology applicants and practicing radiation oncologists while also promoting the growth of the field. We hope this review can serve as guide to radiation oncology applicants and mentors as well as encourage discussion regarding initiatives in radiation oncology opportunities for medical students.

  17. Practice-Based Evidence to Evidence-Based Practice: Building the National Radiation Oncology Registry

    PubMed Central

    Efstathiou, Jason A.; Nassif, Deborah S.; McNutt, Todd R.; Bogardus, C. Bob; Bosch, Walter; Carlin, Jeffrey; Chen, Ronald C.; Chou, Henry; Eggert, Dave; Fraass, Benedick A.; Goldwein, Joel; Hoffman, Karen E.; Hotz, Ken; Hunt, Margie; Kessler, Marc; Lawton, Colleen A.F.; Mayo, Charles; Michalski, Jeff M.; Mutic, Sasa; Potters, Louis; Rose, Christopher M.; Sandler, Howard M.; Sharp, Gregory; Tomé, Wolfgang; Tran, Phuoc T.; Wall, Terry; Zietman, Anthony L.; Gabriel, Peter E.; Bekelman, Justin E.

    2013-01-01

    The National Radiation Oncology Registry (NROR), sponsored by the Radiation Oncology Institute and the American Society for Radiation Oncology, is designed to collect standardized information on cancer care delivery among patients treated with radiotherapy in the United States and will focus on patients with prostate cancer. Stakeholders were engaged through a forum that emphasized the need for patient-centered outcomes, minimal data burden, and maximal connectivity to existing registries and databases. An electronic infrastructure is under development to provide connectivity across radiation oncology and hospital information systems. The NROR Gateway features automatic abstraction as well as aggregation of treatment and outcome data. The prostate cancer data dictionary provides standardized elements in four domains: facility, physician, patient, and treatment. The pilot phase will consist of clinical centers chosen to provide a representative mix of radiation treatment modalities, facility types, population-based settings, and regional locations. The initial set of radiation practice metrics includes physician board certification and maintenance, ordering of staging scans, active surveillance discussion, dose prescriptions for low-risk/high-risk disease, radiation fields for low-risk/high-risk disease, image-guided radiation therapy use, androgen deprivation therapy use, post-brachytherapy implant computed tomography dosimetry, collection of toxicity assessments, and longitudinal patient follow-up. The NROR pilot study will provide the framework for expansion to a nationwide electronic registry for radiation oncology. PMID:23942508

  18. A Personal Reflection on the History of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

    SciTech Connect

    Chu, Florence C.H.

    2011-07-01

    Purpose: To provide a historical and personal narrative of the development of radiation oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), from its founding more than 100 years ago to the present day. Methods and Materials: Historical sources include the Archives of MSKCC, publications by members of MSKCC, the author's personal records and recollections, and her communications with former colleagues, particularly Dr. Basil Hilaris, Dr. Zvi Fuks, and Dr. Beryl McCormick. Conclusions: The author, who spent 38 years at MSKCC, presents the challenges and triumphs of MSKCC's Radiation Oncology Department and details MSKCC's breakthroughs in radiation oncology. She also describes MSKCC's involvement in the founding of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

  19. Faculty of Radiation Oncology survey of work practices.

    PubMed

    Stevens, G; Berry, M; Firth, I

    1999-05-01

    The aim of the present paper was to determine the current working conditions of practising radiation oncologists (RO) in Australasia and their attitudes towards their work and work environment. The authors were requested by the Faculty of Radiation Oncology to conduct a survey of Fellows' work conditions and attitudes. The need for such a survey arose from a workshop of the Faculty held in Sydney in 1995, to determine future directions of the Faculty. Issues of potential interest were identified at the workshop and supplemented by the authors into a survey consisting of both directed and open questions. Respondents were free to remain anonymous. An address list of RO was supplied by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR). Two mailouts were performed to increase the response rate. The survey was completed during the second half of 1996 and analysed in 1997. The response rate was 79% (63-100% according to state/country). The age range was 30-69 years (median: 43 years; mean: 44 years), and 78% of the respondents were male. A public centre was identified as the sole or main place of work for 84% of respondents. The number of RO per practice varied from one to 25 (median: 5). The estimated hours worked per week ranged from 20 to 79 (mean: 52 h; median: 50 h). There were significant differences in allocation of hours between public and private (more clinical hours for private (P = 0.008), more teaching hours for public (P = 0.007)) but no difference in total hours. The responses for clinical work profile were: 'general' 39%, 'largely subspecialty' 37% and both 2% (23% did not respond). The proportion whose practice was 'largely subspecialty' differed between public and private (53% vs 13%, respectively; P = 0.06), and varied according to the number of RO in the practice (62% for > five RO vs 35% for < or = five RO, P = 0.03). The need for subspecialization for the treatment of common tumours (breast, gynaecological etc.) was held by 78% of

  20. First Author Research Productivity of United States Radiation Oncology Residents: 2002-2007

    SciTech Connect

    Morgan, Peter B. Sopka, Dennis M.; Kathpal, Madeera; Haynes, Jeffrey C.; Lally, Brian E.; Li, Linna

    2009-08-01

    Purpose: Participation in investigative research is a required element of radiation oncology residency in the United States. Our purpose was to quantify the first author research productivity of recent U.S. radiation oncology residents during their residency training. Methods and Materials: We performed a computer-based search of PubMed and a manual review of the proceedings of the annual meetings of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology to identify all publications and presented abstracts with a radiation oncology resident as the first author between 2002 and 2007. Results: Of 1,098 residents trained at 81 programs, 50% published {>=}1 article (range, 0-9), and 53% presented {>=}1 abstract (range, 0-3) at an American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology annual meeting. The national average was 1.01 articles published and 1.09 abstracts presented per resident during 4 years of training. Of 678 articles published, 82% represented original research and 18% were review articles. Residents contributed 15% of all abstracts at American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology annual meetings, and the resident contribution to orally presented abstracts increased from 12% to 21% during the study period. Individuals training at programs with >6 residents produced roughly twice as many articles and abstracts. Holman Research Pathway residents produced double the national average of articles and abstracts. Conclusion: Although variability exists among individuals and among training programs, U.S. radiation oncology residents routinely participate in investigative research suitable for publication or presentation at a scientific meeting. These data provide national research benchmarks that can assist current and future radiation oncology residents and training programs in their self-assessment and research planning.

  1. An Assessment of the Current US Radiation Oncology Workforce: Methodology and Global Results of the American Society for Radiation Oncology 2012 Workforce Study

    SciTech Connect

    Vichare, Anushree; Washington, Raynard; Patton, Caroline; Arnone, Anna; Olsen, Christine; Fung, Claire Y.; Hopkins, Shane; Pohar, Surjeet

    2013-12-01

    Purpose: To determine the characteristics, needs, and concerns of the current radiation oncology workforce, evaluate best practices and opportunities for improving quality and safety, and assess what we can predict about the future workforce. Methods and Materials: An online survey was distributed to 35,204 respondents from all segments of the radiation oncology workforce, including radiation oncologists, residents, medical dosimetrists, radiation therapists, medical physicists, nurse practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, and practice managers/administrators. The survey was disseminated by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) together with specialty societies representing other workforce segments. An overview of the methods and global results is presented in this paper. Results: A total of 6765 completed surveys were received, a response rate of 19%, and the final analysis included 5257 respondents. Three-quarters of the radiation oncologists, residents, and physicists who responded were male, in contrast to the other segments in which two-thirds or more were female. The majority of respondents (58%) indicated they were hospital-based, whereas 40% practiced in a free-standing/satellite clinic and 2% in another setting. Among the practices represented in the survey, 21.5% were academic, 25.2% were hospital, and 53.3% were private. A perceived oversupply of professionals relative to demand was reported by the physicist, dosimetrist, and radiation therapist segments. An undersupply was perceived by physician's assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses. The supply of radiation oncologists and residents was considered balanced. Conclusions: This survey was unique as it attempted to comprehensively assess the radiation oncology workforce by directly surveying each segment. The results suggest there is potential to improve the diversity of the workforce and optimize the supply of the workforce segments. The survey also provides a benchmark for

  2. Gender Trends in Radiation Oncology in the United States: A 30-Year Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Ahmed, Awad A.; Egleston, Brian; Holliday, Emma; Eastwick, Gary; Takita, Cristiane; Jagsi, Reshma

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Although considerable research exists regarding the role of women in the medical profession in the United States, little work has described the participation of women in academic radiation oncology. We examined women's participation in authorship of radiation oncology literature, a visible and influential activity that merits specific attention. Methods and Materials: We examined the gender of first and senior US physician-authors of articles published in the Red Journal in 1980, 1990, 2000, 2004, 2010, and 2012. The significance of trends over time was evaluated using logistic regression. Results were compared with female representation in journals of general medicine and other major medical specialties. Findings were also placed in the context of trends in the representation of women among radiation oncology faculty and residents over the past 3 decades, using Association of American Medical Colleges data. Results: The proportion of women among Red Journal first authors increased from 13.4% in 1980 to 29.7% in 2012, and the proportion among senior authors increased from 3.2% to 22.6%. The proportion of women among radiation oncology full-time faculty increased from 11% to 26.7% from 1980 to 2012. The proportion of women among radiation oncology residents increased from 27.1% to 33.3% from 1980 to 2010. Conclusions: Female first and senior authorship in the Red Journal has increased significantly, as has women's participation among full-time faculty, but women remain underrepresented among radiation oncology residents compared with their representation in the medical student body. Understanding such trends is necessary to develop appropriately targeted interventions to improve gender equity in radiation oncology.

  3. GENDER TRENDS IN RADIATION ONCOLOGY IN THE UNITED STATES: A 30 YEAR ANALYSIS

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Awad A; Egleston, Brian; Holliday, Emma; Eastwick, Gary; Takita, Cristiane; Jagsi, Reshma

    2013-01-01

    Purpose/Objective Although considerable research exists regarding the role of women in the medical profession in the United States, little work has described the participation of women in academic radiation oncology. We examined women’s participation in authorship of radiation oncology literature, a visible and influential activity that merits specific attention. Methods and Materials We examined the gender of first and senior U.S. physician-authors of articles published in the Red Journal in 1980, 1990, 2000, 2004, 2010 and 2012. The significance of trends over time was evaluated using logistic regression. Results were compared to female representation in journals of general medicine and other major medical specialties. Findings were also placed in the context of trends in the representation of women among radiation oncology faculty and residents over the last three decades, using AAMC data. Results The proportion of women among Red Journal first authors increased from 13.4% in 1980 to 29.7% in 2012, and the proportion among senior authors increased from 3.2% to 22.6%. The proportion of women among radiation oncology full-time faculty increased from 11% to 26.7% from 1980 to 2012. The proportion of women among radiation oncology residents increased from 27.1% to 33.3% from 1980 to 2010. Conclusion Female first and senior authorship in the Red Journal has increased significantly, as has women’s participation among full-time faculty, but women remain under-represented among radiation oncology residents as compared to their representation in the medical student body. Understanding such trends is necessary to develop appropriately targeted interventions to improve gender equity in radiation oncology. PMID:24189127

  4. Oncologic imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Bragg, D.G.; Rubin, P.; Youker, J.E.

    1985-01-01

    This book presents papers on nuclear medicine. Topics considered include the classification of cancers, oncologic diagnosis, brain and spinal cord neoplasms, lymph node metastases, the larynx and hypopharynx, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, bladder cancer, tumors of the skeletal system, pediatric oncology, computed tomography and radiation therapy treatment planning, and the impact of future technology on oncologic diagnosis.

  5. Medical Malpractice Claims in Radiation Oncology: A Population-Based Study 1985-2012

    SciTech Connect

    Marshall, Deborah C.; Punglia, Rinaa S.; Fox, Dov; Recht, Abram; Hattangadi-Gluth, Jona A.

    2015-10-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine trends in radiation oncology malpractice claims and expenses during the last 28 years and to compare radiation oncology malpractice claims to those of other specialties. Methods and Materials: We performed a retrospective analysis of closed malpractice claims filed from 1985 to 2012, collected by a nationwide medical liability insurance trade association. We analyzed characteristics and trends among closed claims, indemnity payments (payments to plaintiff), and litigation expenses. We also compared radiation oncology malpractice claims to those of 21 other medical specialties. Time series dollar amounts were adjusted for inflation (2012 was the index year). Results: There were 1517 closed claims involving radiation oncology, of which 342 (22.5%) were paid. Average and median indemnity payments were $276,792 and $122,500, respectively, ranking fifth and eighth, respectively, among the 22 specialty groups. Linear regression modeling of time trends showed decreasing total numbers of claims (β = −1.96 annually, P=.003), increasing average litigation expenses paid (β = +$1472 annually, P≤.001), and no significant changes in average indemnity payments (β = −$681, P=.89). Conclusions: Medical professional liability claims filed against radiation oncologists are not common and have declined in recent years. However, indemnity payments in radiation oncology are large relative to those of many other specialties. In recent years, the average indemnity payment has been stable, whereas litigation expenses have increased.

  6. Report of China’s innovation increase and research growth in radiation oncology

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Hongcheng; Yang, Xi; Qin, Qin; Bian, Kangqi; Zhang, Chi; Liu, Jia; Cheng, Hongyan

    2014-01-01

    Aims To investigate the research status of radiation oncology in China through survey of literature in international radiation oncology journals and retrospectively compare the outputs of radiation oncology articles of the three major regions of China—Mainland (ML), Taiwan (TW) and Hong Kong (HK). Methods Radiation oncology journals were selected from “oncology” and “radiology, nuclear & medical image” category from Science Citation Index Expand (SCIE). Articles from the ML, TW and HK were retrieved from MEDLINE. The number of total articles, clinical trials, case reports, impact factors (IF), institutions and articles published in each journals were conducted for quantity and quality comparisons. Results A total 818 articles from 13 radiation oncology journals were searched, of which 427 are from ML, 259 from TW, and 132 from HK. Ninety-seven clinical trials and 5 case reports are reported in China. Accumulated IF of articles from ML (1,417.11) was much higher than that of TW (1,003.093) and HK (544.711), while the average IF of articles from ML is the lowest. Conclusions The total number of articles from China especially ML increased significantly in the last decade. The number of articles published from the ML has exceeded those from TW and HK. However, the quality of articles from TW and HK is better than that from ML. PMID:25035656

  7. American Society of Radiation Oncology recommendations for documenting intensity-modulated radiation therapy treatments.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Timothy; Das, Rupak; Low, Daniel; Yin, Fang-Fang; Balter, James; Palta, Jatinder; Eifel, Patricia

    2009-08-01

    Despite the widespread use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for approximately a decade, a lack of adequate guidelines for documenting these treatments persists. Proper IMRT treatment documentation is necessary for accurate reconstruction of prior treatments when a patient presents with a marginal recurrence. This is especially crucial when the follow-up care is managed at a second treatment facility not involved in the initial IMRT treatment. To address this issue, an American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) workgroup within the American ASTRO Radiation Physics Committee was formed at the request of the ASTRO Research Council to develop a set of recommendations for documenting IMRT treatments. This document provides a set of comprehensive recommendations for documenting IMRT treatments, as well as image-guidance procedures, with example forms provided. PMID:19616738

  8. American Society of Radiation Oncology Recommendations for Documenting Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy Treatments

    SciTech Connect

    Holmes, Timothy Das, Rupak; Low, Daniel; Yin Fangfang; Balter, James; Palta, Jatinder; Eifel, Patricia

    2009-08-01

    Despite the widespread use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for approximately a decade, a lack of adequate guidelines for documenting these treatments persists. Proper IMRT treatment documentation is necessary for accurate reconstruction of prior treatments when a patient presents with a marginal recurrence. This is especially crucial when the follow-up care is managed at a second treatment facility not involved in the initial IMRT treatment. To address this issue, an American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) workgroup within the American ASTRO Radiation Physics Committee was formed at the request of the ASTRO Research Council to develop a set of recommendations for documenting IMRT treatments. This document provides a set of comprehensive recommendations for documenting IMRT treatments, as well as image-guidance procedures, with example forms provided.

  9. Current status and recommendations for the future of research, teaching, and testing in the biological sciences of radiation oncology: report of the American Society for Radiation Oncology Cancer Biology/Radiation Biology Task Force, executive summary.

    PubMed

    Wallner, Paul E; Anscher, Mitchell S; Barker, Christopher A; Bassetti, Michael; Bristow, Robert G; Cha, Yong I; Dicker, Adam P; Formenti, Silvia C; Graves, Edward E; Hahn, Stephen M; Hei, Tom K; Kimmelman, Alec C; Kirsch, David G; Kozak, Kevin R; Lawrence, Theodore S; Marples, Brian; McBride, William H; Mikkelsen, Ross B; Park, Catherine C; Weidhaas, Joanne B; Zietman, Anthony L; Steinberg, Michael

    2014-01-01

    In early 2011, a dialogue was initiated within the Board of Directors (BOD) of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) regarding the future of the basic sciences of the specialty, primarily focused on the current state and potential future direction of basic research within radiation oncology. After consideration of the complexity of the issues involved and the precise nature of the undertaking, in August 2011, the BOD empanelled a Cancer Biology/Radiation Biology Task Force (TF). The TF was charged with developing an accurate snapshot of the current state of basic (preclinical) research in radiation oncology from the perspective of relevance to the modern clinical practice of radiation oncology as well as the education of our trainees and attending physicians in the biological sciences. The TF was further charged with making suggestions as to critical areas of biological basic research investigation that might be most likely to maintain and build further the scientific foundation and vitality of radiation oncology as an independent and vibrant medical specialty. It was not within the scope of service of the TF to consider the quality of ongoing research efforts within the broader radiation oncology space, to presume to consider their future potential, or to discourage in any way the investigators committed to areas of interest other than those targeted. The TF charge specifically precluded consideration of research issues related to technology, physics, or clinical investigations. This document represents an Executive Summary of the Task Force report. PMID:24246724

  10. Current Status and Recommendations for the Future of Research, Teaching, and Testing in the Biological Sciences of Radiation Oncology: Report of the American Society for Radiation Oncology Cancer Biology/Radiation Biology Task Force, Executive Summary

    SciTech Connect

    Wallner, Paul E.; Anscher, Mitchell S.; Barker, Christopher A.; Bassetti, Michael; Bristow, Robert G.; Dicker, Adam P.; Formenti, Silvia C.; Graves, Edward E.; Hahn, Stephen M.; Hei, Tom K.; Kimmelman, Alec C.; Kirsch, David G.; Kozak, Kevin R.; Lawrence, Theodore S.; Marples, Brian; and others

    2014-01-01

    In early 2011, a dialogue was initiated within the Board of Directors (BOD) of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) regarding the future of the basic sciences of the specialty, primarily focused on the current state and potential future direction of basic research within radiation oncology. After consideration of the complexity of the issues involved and the precise nature of the undertaking, in August 2011, the BOD empanelled a Cancer Biology/Radiation Biology Task Force (TF). The TF was charged with developing an accurate snapshot of the current state of basic (preclinical) research in radiation oncology from the perspective of relevance to the modern clinical practice of radiation oncology as well as the education of our trainees and attending physicians in the biological sciences. The TF was further charged with making suggestions as to critical areas of biological basic research investigation that might be most likely to maintain and build further the scientific foundation and vitality of radiation oncology as an independent and vibrant medical specialty. It was not within the scope of service of the TF to consider the quality of ongoing research efforts within the broader radiation oncology space, to presume to consider their future potential, or to discourage in any way the investigators committed to areas of interest other than those targeted. The TF charge specifically precluded consideration of research issues related to technology, physics, or clinical investigations. This document represents an Executive Summary of the Task Force report.

  11. Results of the 2004 Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) Survey

    SciTech Connect

    Patel, Shilpen . E-mail: spatel@umm.edu; Jagsi, Reshma; Wilson, John; Frank, Steven; Thakkar, Vipul V.; Hansen, Eric K.

    2006-11-15

    Purpose: The aim of this study was to document adequacy of training, career plans after residency, use of the in-service examination, and motivation for choice of radiation oncology as a specialty. Methods and Materials: In 2004, the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) conducted a nationwide survey of all radiation oncology residents in the United States. Results: The survey was returned by 297 residents (response rate, 54%). Of the respondents, 29% were female and 71% male. The most popular career choice was joining an established private practice (38%), followed by a permanent academic career (29%). Residents for whom a permanent academic career was not their first choice were asked whether improvements in certain areas would have led them to be more likely to pursue an academic career. The most commonly chosen factors that would have had a strong or moderate influence included higher salary (81%), choice of geographic location (76%), faculty encouragement (68%), and less time commitment (68%). Of respondents in the first 3 years of training, 78% believed that they had received adequate training to proceed to the next level of training. Of those in their fourth year of training, 75% believed that they had received adequate training to enter practice. Conclusions: Multiple factors affect the educational environment of physicians in training. Data describing concerns unique to resident physicians in radiation oncology are limited. The current survey was designed to explore a variety of issues confronting radiation oncology residents. Training programs and the Residency Review Committee should consider these results when developing new policies to improve the educational experiences of residents in radiation oncology.

  12. Considerations for observational research using large data sets in radiation oncology.

    PubMed

    Jagsi, Reshma; Bekelman, Justin E; Chen, Aileen; Chen, Ronald C; Hoffman, Karen; Shih, Ya-Chen Tina; Smith, Benjamin D; Yu, James B

    2014-09-01

    The radiation oncology community has witnessed growing interest in observational research conducted using large-scale data sources such as registries and claims-based data sets. With the growing emphasis on observational analyses in health care, the radiation oncology community must possess a sophisticated understanding of the methodological considerations of such studies in order to evaluate evidence appropriately to guide practice and policy. Because observational research has unique features that distinguish it from clinical trials and other forms of traditional radiation oncology research, the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics assembled a panel of experts in health services research to provide a concise and well-referenced review, intended to be informative for the lay reader, as well as for scholars who wish to embark on such research without prior experience. This review begins by discussing the types of research questions relevant to radiation oncology that large-scale databases may help illuminate. It then describes major potential data sources for such endeavors, including information regarding access and insights regarding the strengths and limitations of each. Finally, it provides guidance regarding the analytical challenges that observational studies must confront, along with discussion of the techniques that have been developed to help minimize the impact of certain common analytical issues in observational analysis. Features characterizing a well-designed observational study include clearly defined research questions, careful selection of an appropriate data source, consultation with investigators with relevant methodological expertise, inclusion of sensitivity analyses, caution not to overinterpret small but significant differences, and recognition of limitations when trying to evaluate causality. This review concludes that carefully designed and executed studies using observational data that possess these qualities hold

  13. Considerations for Observational Research Using Large Data Sets in Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Jagsi, Reshma; Bekelman, Justin E.; Chen, Aileen; Chen, Ronald C.; Hoffman, Karen; Tina Shih, Ya-Chen; Smith, Benjamin D.; Yu, James B.

    2014-09-01

    The radiation oncology community has witnessed growing interest in observational research conducted using large-scale data sources such as registries and claims-based data sets. With the growing emphasis on observational analyses in health care, the radiation oncology community must possess a sophisticated understanding of the methodological considerations of such studies in order to evaluate evidence appropriately to guide practice and policy. Because observational research has unique features that distinguish it from clinical trials and other forms of traditional radiation oncology research, the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics assembled a panel of experts in health services research to provide a concise and well-referenced review, intended to be informative for the lay reader, as well as for scholars who wish to embark on such research without prior experience. This review begins by discussing the types of research questions relevant to radiation oncology that large-scale databases may help illuminate. It then describes major potential data sources for such endeavors, including information regarding access and insights regarding the strengths and limitations of each. Finally, it provides guidance regarding the analytical challenges that observational studies must confront, along with discussion of the techniques that have been developed to help minimize the impact of certain common analytical issues in observational analysis. Features characterizing a well-designed observational study include clearly defined research questions, careful selection of an appropriate data source, consultation with investigators with relevant methodological expertise, inclusion of sensitivity analyses, caution not to overinterpret small but significant differences, and recognition of limitations when trying to evaluate causality. This review concludes that carefully designed and executed studies using observational data that possess these qualities hold

  14. US Food and Drug Administration Regulation of Medical Devices and Radiation Oncology: Can Reform Improve Safety?

    PubMed Central

    Hattangadi, Jona A.; O'Reilly, James T.; Recht, Abram

    2012-01-01

    Although radiation therapy is highly safe and effective in treating cancer, recent reports of dangerous radiation-related errors have focused a national spotlight on the field of radiation oncology and, more specifically, on the rapidly evolving and complex nature of radiation devices and how they are regulated. The purpose of this review is to explore the issues involved in medical device regulation in radiation oncology. We start with a general review of federal medical device regulation, including explanations of the legal and regulatory framework, and then discuss issues specific to radiation oncology with real-world examples. We also provide our thoughts on potential solutions and reforms to the current system, including better reporting of radiation-related errors in a centralized database, well-defined criteria for establishing substantial equivalence of a new device, and standard postmarket surveillance of radiation devices. Modern radiation therapy is a powerful tool that can help cure many patients' cancers and alleviate others' suffering with limited adverse effects. We must ensure that this promise is never compromised by avoidable mistakes. PMID:22548012

  15. [Simultaneous whole-body PET-MRI in pediatric oncology : More than just reducing radiation?].

    PubMed

    Gatidis, S; Gückel, B; la Fougère, C; Schmitt, J; Schäfer, J F

    2016-07-01

    Diagnostic imaging plays an essential role in pediatric oncology with regard to diagnosis, therapy-planning, and the follow-up of solid tumors. The current imaging standard in pediatric oncology includes a variety of radiological and nuclear medicine imaging modalities depending on the specific tumor entity. The introduction of combined simultaneous positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has opened up new diagnostic options in pediatric oncology. This novel modality combines the excellent anatomical accuracy of MRI with the metabolic information of PET. In initial clinical studies, the technical feasibility and possible diagnostic advantages of combined PET-MRI have been in comparison with alternative imaging techniques. It was shown that a reduction in radiation exposure of up to 70 % is achievable compared with PET-CT. Furthermore, it has been shown that the number of imaging studies necessary can be markedly reduced using combined PET-MRI. Owing to its limited availability, combined PET-MRI is currently not used as a routine procedure. However, this new modality has the potential to become the imaging reference standard in pediatric oncology in the future. This review article summarizes the central aspects of pediatric oncological PET-MRI based on existing literature. Typical pediatric oncological PET-MRI cases are also presented. PMID:27306199

  16. Modern Radiation Therapy for Primary Cutaneous Lymphomas: Field and Dose Guidelines From the International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group

    SciTech Connect

    Specht, Lena; Dabaja, Bouthaina; Illidge, Tim; Wilson, Lynn D.; Hoppe, Richard T.

    2015-05-01

    Primary cutaneous lymphomas are a heterogeneous group of diseases. They often remain localized, and they generally have a more indolent course and a better prognosis than lymphomas in other locations. They are highly radiosensitive, and radiation therapy is an important part of the treatment, either as the sole treatment or as part of a multimodality approach. Radiation therapy of primary cutaneous lymphomas requires the use of special techniques that form the focus of these guidelines. The International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group has developed these guidelines after multinational meetings and analysis of available evidence. The guidelines represent an agreed consensus view of the International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group steering committee on the use of radiation therapy in primary cutaneous lymphomas in the modern era.

  17. Future trends in the supply and demand for radiation oncology physicists.

    PubMed

    Mills, Michael D; Thornewill, Judah; Esterhay, Robert J

    2010-01-01

    Significant controversy surrounds the 2012 / 2014 decision announced by the Trustees of the American Board of Radiology (ABR) in October of 2007. According to the ABR, only medical physicists who are graduates of a Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs, Inc. (CAMPEP) accredited academic or residency program will be admitted for examination in the years 2012 and 2013. Only graduates of a CAMPEP accredited residency program will be admitted for examination beginning in the year 2014. An essential question facing the radiation oncology physics community is an estimation of supply and demand for medical physicists through the year 2020. To that end, a Demand & Supply dynamic model was created using STELLA software. Inputs into the model include: a) projected new cancer incidence and prevalence 1990-2020; b) AAPM member ages and retirement projections 1990-2020; c) number of ABR physics diplomates 1990-2009; d) number of patients per Qualified Medical Physicist from Abt Reports I (1995), II (2002) and III (2008); e) non-CAMPEP physicists trained 1990-2009 and projected through 2014; f) CAMPEP physicists trained 1993-2008 and projected through 2014; and g) working Qualified Medical Physicists in radiation oncology in the United States (1990-2007). The model indicates that the number of qualified medical physicists working in radiation oncology required to meet demand in 2020 will be 150-175 per year. Because there is some elasticity in the workforce, a portion of the work effort might be assumed by practicing medical physicists. However, the minimum number of new radiation oncology physicists (ROPs) required for the health of the profession is estimated to be 125 per year in 2020. The radiation oncology physics community should plan to build residency programs to support these numbers for the future of the profession. PMID:20592690

  18. Ontario Radiation Oncology Residents' Needs in the First Postgraduate Year-Residents' Perspective Survey

    SciTech Connect

    Szumacher, Ewa Warner, Eiran; Zhang Liying; Kane, Gabrielle; Ackerman, Ida; Nyhof-Young, Joyce; Agboola, Olusegun; Metz, Catherine de; Rodrigues, George; Rappolt, Susan

    2007-10-01

    Purpose: To assess radiation oncology residents' needs and satisfaction in their first postgraduate year (PGY-1) in the province of Ontario. Methods and Materials: Of 62 radiation oncology residents, 58 who had completed their PGY-1 and were either enrolled or had graduated in 2006 were invited to participate in a 31-item survey. The questionnaire explored PGY-1 residents' needs and satisfaction in four domains: clinical workload, faculty/learning environment, stress level, and discrimination/harassment. The Fisher's exact and Wilcoxon nonparametric tests were used to determine relationships between covariate items and summary scores. Results: Of 58 eligible residents, 44 (75%) responded. Eighty-four percent of residents felt that their ward and call duties were appropriate. More than 50% of respondents indicated that they often felt isolated from their radiation oncology program. Only 77% agreed that they received adequate feedback, and 40% received sufficient counseling regarding career planning. More than 93% of respondents thought that faculty members had contributed significantly to their learning experience. Approximately 50% of residents experienced excessive stress and inadequate time for leisure or for reading the medical literature. Less than 10% of residents indicated that they had been harassed or experienced discrimination. Eighty-three percent agreed or strongly agreed that their PGY-1 experience had been outstanding. Conclusions: Most Ontario residents were satisfied with their PGY-1 training program. More counseling by radiation oncology faculty members should be offered to help residents with career planning. The residents might also benefit from more exposure to 'radiation oncology' and an introduction to stress management strategies.

  19. The Negative Impact of Stark Law Exemptions on Graduate Medical Education and Health Care Costs: The Example of Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Anscher, Mitchell S.; Anscher, Barbara M.; Bradley, Cathy J.

    2010-04-15

    Purpose: To survey radiation oncology training programs to determine the impact of ownership of radiation oncology facilities by non-radiation oncologists on these training programs and to place these findings in a health policy context based on data from the literature. Methods and Materials: A survey was designed and e-mailed to directors of all 81 U.S. radiation oncology training programs in this country. Also, the medical and health economic literature was reviewed to determine the impact that ownership of radiation oncology facilities by non-radiation oncologists may have on patient care and health care costs. Prostate cancer treatment is used to illustrate the primary findings. Results: Seventy-three percent of the surveyed programs responded. Ownership of radiation oncology facilities by non-radiation oncologists is a widespread phenomenon. More than 50% of survey respondents reported the existence of these arrangements in their communities, with a resultant reduction in patient volumes 87% of the time. Twenty-seven percent of programs in communities with these business arrangements reported a negative impact on residency training as a result of decreased referrals to their centers. Furthermore, the literature suggests that ownership of radiation oncology facilities by non-radiation oncologists is associated with both increased utilization and increased costs but is not associated with increased access to services in traditionally underserved areas. Conclusions: Ownership of radiation oncology facilities by non-radiation oncologists appears to have a negative impact on residency training by shifting patients away from training programs and into community practices. In addition, the literature supports the conclusion that self-referral results in overutilization of expensive services without benefit to patients. As a result of these findings, recommendations are made to study further how physician ownership of radiation oncology facilities influence graduate

  20. Image storage in radiation oncology: What did we learn from diagnostic radiology?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blodgett, Kurt; Luick, Marc; Colonias, Athanasios; Gayou, Olivier; Karlovits, Stephen; Werts, E. Day

    2009-02-01

    The Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard was developed by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) for medical image archiving and retrieval. An extension to this implemented a standard named DICOM-RT for use in Radiation Oncology. There are currently seven radiotherapy-specific DICOM objects which include: RT Structure Set, RT Plan, RT Dose, RT Image, RT Beams Treatment Record, RT Brachy Treatment Record, and RT Treatment Summary Record. The type of data associated with DICOM-RT includes (1) Radiation treatment planning datasets (CT, MRI, PET) with radiation treatment plans showing beam arrangements, isodose distributions, and dose volume histograms of targets/normal tissues and (2) Image-guided radiation modalities such as Siemens MVision mega-voltage cone beam CT (MV-CBCT). With the advent of such advancing technologies, there has been an exponential increase in image data collected for each patient, and the need for reliable and accessible image storage has become critical. A potential solution is a Radiation Oncology specific picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) that would allow data storage from multiple vendor devices and support the storage and retrieval needs not only of a single site but of a large, multi-facility network of radiation oncology clinics. This PACS system must be reliable, expandable, and cost-effective to operate while protecting sensitive patient image information in a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant environment. This paper emphasizes the expanding DICOM-RT storage requirements across our network of 8 radiation oncology clinics and the initiatives we undertook to address the increased volume of data by using the ImageGrid (CANDELiS Inc, Irvine CA) server and the IGViewer license (CANDELiS Inc, Irvine CA) to create a DICOM-RT compatible PACS system.

  1. Making the right software choice for clinically used equipment in radiation oncology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The customer of a new system for clinical use in radiation oncology must consider many options in order to find the optimal combination of software tools. Many commercial systems are available and each system has a large number of technical features. However an appraisal of the technical capabilities, especially the options for clinical implementations, is hardly assessable at first view. The intention of this article was to generate an assessment of the necessary functionalities for high precision radiotherapy and their integration in ROKIS (Radiation oncology clinic information system) for future customers, especially with regard to clinical applicability. Therefore we analysed the clinically required software functionalities and divided them into three categories: minimal, enhanced and optimal requirements for high conformal radiation treatment. PMID:24956936

  2. Making the right software choice for clinically used equipment in radiation oncology.

    PubMed

    Vorwerk, Hilke; Zink, Klemens; Wagner, Daniela Michaela; Engenhart-Cabillic, Rita

    2014-01-01

    The customer of a new system for clinical use in radiation oncology must consider many options in order to find the optimal combination of software tools. Many commercial systems are available and each system has a large number of technical features. However an appraisal of the technical capabilities, especially the options for clinical implementations, is hardly assessable at first view.The intention of this article was to generate an assessment of the necessary functionalities for high precision radiotherapy and their integration in ROKIS (Radiation oncology clinic information system) for future customers, especially with regard to clinical applicability. Therefore we analysed the clinically required software functionalities and divided them into three categories: minimal, enhanced and optimal requirements for high conformal radiation treatment. PMID:24956936

  3. Advances in radiation oncology for the management of oropharyngeal tumors.

    PubMed

    Gunn, G Brandon; Frank, Steven J

    2013-08-01

    The major benefits of modern radiation therapy (eg, intensity-modulated [x-ray] radiation therapy [IMRT]) for oropharyngeal cancer are reduced xerostomia and better quality of life. Intensity-modulated proton therapy may provide additional advantages over IMRT by reducing radiation beam-path toxicities. Several acute and late treatment-related toxicities and symptom constellations must be kept in mind when designing and comparing future treatment strategies, particularly because currently most patients with oropharyngeal carcinoma present with human papillomavirus-positive disease and are expected to have a high probability of long-term survival after treatment. PMID:23910474

  4. SU-E-T-524: Web-Based Radiation Oncology Incident Reporting and Learning System (ROIRLS)

    SciTech Connect

    Kapoor, R; Palta, J; Hagan, M; Grover, S; Malik, G

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: Describe a Web-based Radiation Oncology Incident Reporting and Learning system that has the potential to improve quality of care for radiation therapy patients. This system is an important facet of continuing effort by our community to maintain and improve safety of radiotherapy.Material and Methods: The VA National Radiation Oncology Program office has embarked on a program to electronically collect adverse events and near miss data of radiation treatment of over 25,000 veterans treated with radiotherapy annually. Software used for this program is deployed on the VAs intranet as a Website. All data entry forms (adverse event or near miss reports, work product reports) utilize standard causal, RT process step taxonomies and data dictionaries defined in AAPM and ASTRO reports on error reporting (AAPM Work Group Report on Prevention of Errors and ASTROs safety is no accident report). All reported incidents are investigated by the radiation oncology domain experts. This system encompasses the entire feedback loop of reporting an incident, analyzing it for salient details, and developing interventions to prevent it from happening again. The operational workflow is similar to that of the Aviation Safety Reporting System. This system is also synergistic with ROSIS and SAFRON. Results: The ROIRLS facilitates the collection of data that help in tracking adverse events and near misses and develop new interventions to prevent such incidents. The ROIRLS electronic infrastructure is fully integrated with each registered facility profile data thus minimizing key strokes and multiple entries by the event reporters. Conclusions: OIRLS is expected to improve the quality and safety of a broad spectrum of radiation therapy patients treated in the VA and fulfills our goal of Effecting Quality While Treating Safely The Radiation Oncology Incident Reporting and Learning System software used for this program has been developed, conceptualized and maintained by TSG Innovations

  5. Advising Japan on Medical Aspects of Radiation Exposure | ORAU

    SciTech Connect

    Wiley, Al; Sugarman, Steve

    2015-03-08

    Because of Japan's March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant suffered catastrophic damage—ultimately leaking dangerously high amounts of radiation that led to the evacuation of more than 80,000 Japanese citizens within a 12-mile radius of the crippled plant. Responding agencies were concerned about the medical impacts of radiation exposure, the effect upon food and water safety and what actions individuals could take to protect themselves. To provide advice and consultation, the physicians and health physicists at REAC/TS were on-call 24/7 and responded to more than 700 inquiries in the days and weeks that followed.

  6. Pelvic Normal Tissue Contouring Guidelines for Radiation Therapy: A Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Consensus Panel Atlas

    SciTech Connect

    Gay, Hiram A.; Barthold, H. Joseph; O'Meara, Elizabeth; Bosch, Walter R.; El Naqa, Issam; Al-Lozi, Rawan; Rosenthal, Seth A.; Lawton, Colleen; Lee, W. Robert; Sandler, Howard; Zietman, Anthony; Myerson, Robert; Dawson, Laura A.; Willett, Christopher; Kachnic, Lisa A.; Jhingran, Anuja; Portelance, Lorraine; Ryu, Janice; and others

    2012-07-01

    Purpose: To define a male and female pelvic normal tissue contouring atlas for Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) trials. Methods and Materials: One male pelvis computed tomography (CT) data set and one female pelvis CT data set were shared via the Image-Guided Therapy QA Center. A total of 16 radiation oncologists participated. The following organs at risk were contoured in both CT sets: anus, anorectum, rectum (gastrointestinal and genitourinary definitions), bowel NOS (not otherwise specified), small bowel, large bowel, and proximal femurs. The following were contoured in the male set only: bladder, prostate, seminal vesicles, and penile bulb. The following were contoured in the female set only: uterus, cervix, and ovaries. A computer program used the binomial distribution to generate 95% group consensus contours. These contours and definitions were then reviewed by the group and modified. Results: The panel achieved consensus definitions for pelvic normal tissue contouring in RTOG trials with these standardized names: Rectum, AnoRectum, SmallBowel, Colon, BowelBag, Bladder, UteroCervix, Adnexa{sub R}, Adnexa{sub L}, Prostate, SeminalVesc, PenileBulb, Femur{sub R}, and Femur{sub L}. Two additional normal structures whose purpose is to serve as targets in anal and rectal cancer were defined: AnoRectumSig and Mesorectum. Detailed target volume contouring guidelines and images are discussed. Conclusions: Consensus guidelines for pelvic normal tissue contouring were reached and are available as a CT image atlas on the RTOG Web site. This will allow uniformity in defining normal tissues for clinical trials delivering pelvic radiation and will facilitate future normal tissue complication research.

  7. The changing role of radiation oncology in cancer management

    SciTech Connect

    Brady, L.W.

    1983-06-15

    Radiation therapy has made major contributions to the improved quality of care for the cancer patient. This quality improvement has derived not only from a greater understanding of the natural history of the disease process but also from a more critical evaluation of the results of clinical treatment. Today, clinical radiation therapy stands on a firm foundation of basic understanding of ionizing radiations and its effect on tissue, the biology of the effect in normal tissues and tumor. This explosive growth in knowledge relative to radiation therapy physics, clinical treatment planning, the utilization of computers in radiation therapy as well as basic information in radiation biology and how it might be implemented in clinical situations are well known. Data will be presented to illustrate how major and important applications of basic physics and biologic data in clinical practice are beginning to influence the changing character of cancer management. These new techniques, now being implemented in general clinical practice, offer major potential opportunities toward improving the expectation for cure of many cancers, not cured in the past.

  8. Innovative techniques in radiation oncology. Clinical research programs to improve local and regional control in cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Brady, L.W.; Markoe, A.M.; Micaily, B.; Fisher, S.A.; Lamm, F.R. )

    1990-02-01

    There is a growing importance in failure analysis in cancer management. In these analyses locoregional failure as the cause of death emerges as a significant problem in many tumor sites, e.g., head and neck cancer, gynecologic cancer, genitourinary cancer. Because of these data, the radiation oncology community has attributed high priority to research efforts to improve locoregional control. These efforts include the following: (1) brachytherapy alone or with external beam radiation therapy or surgery; (2) intraoperative radiation therapy; (3) hyperthermia with radiation therapy; (4) particle irradiation (protons, neutrons, stripped nuclei, and pions); and (5) routes of administration of the treatment, including infusional (intravenous) chemotherapy with radiation therapy, intraarterial monoclonal antibodies with radionuclides, and intraarterial chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Each area of investigation is discussed.

  9. Establishing a Global Radiation Oncology Collaboration in Education (GRaCE): Objectives and priorities.

    PubMed

    Turner, Sandra; Eriksen, Jesper G; Trotter, Theresa; Verfaillie, Christine; Benstead, Kim; Giuliani, Meredith; Poortmans, Philip; Holt, Tanya; Brennan, Sean; Pötter, Richard

    2015-10-01

    Representatives from countries and regions world-wide who have implemented modern competency-based radiation- or clinical oncology curricula for training medical specialists, met to determine the feasibility and value of an ongoing international collaboration. In this forum, educational leaders from the ESTRO School, encompassing many European countries adopting the ESTRO Core Curriculum, and clinician educators from Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand considered the training and educational arrangements within their jurisdictions, identifying similarities and challenges between programs. Common areas of educational interest and need were defined, which included development of new competency statements and assessment tools, and the application of the latter. The group concluded that such an international cooperation, which might expand to include others with similar goals, would provide a valuable vehicle to ensure training program currency, through sharing of resources and expertise, and enhance high quality radiation oncology education. Potential projects for the Global Radiation Oncology Collaboration in Education (GRaCE) were agreed upon, as was a strategy designed to maintain momentum. This paper describes the rationale for establishing this collaboration, presents a comparative view of training in the jurisdictions represented, and reports early goals and priorities. PMID:26381531

  10. International Conference on Advances in Radiation Oncology (ICARO): Outcomes of an IAEA Meeting

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The IAEA held the International Conference on Advances in Radiation Oncology (ICARO) in Vienna on 27-29 April 2009. The Conference dealt with the issues and requirements posed by the transition from conventional radiotherapy to advanced modern technologies, including staffing, training, treatment planning and delivery, quality assurance (QA) and the optimal use of available resources. The current role of advanced technologies (defined as 3-dimensional and/or image guided treatment with photons or particles) in current clinical practice and future scenarios were discussed. ICARO was organized by the IAEA at the request of the Member States and co-sponsored and supported by other international organizations to assess advances in technologies in radiation oncology in the face of economic challenges that most countries confront. Participants submitted research contributions, which were reviewed by a scientific committee and presented via 46 lectures and 103 posters. There were 327 participants from 70 Member States as well as participants from industry and government. The ICARO meeting provided an independent forum for the interaction of participants from developed and developing countries on current and developing issues related to radiation oncology. PMID:21294881

  11. Internal qualification and credentialing of radiation oncology physicists to perform patient special procedures.

    PubMed

    Mills, Michael D

    2014-01-01

    In the arena of radiation oncology special procedures, medical physicists are often the focus professionals for implementation and administration of advanced and complex technologies. One of the most vexing and challenging aspects of managing complexity concerns the ongoing internal qualification and credentialing of radiation oncology physicists to perform patient special procedures. To demonstrate ongoing qualification, a physicist must: (a) document initial training and successful completion of competencies to implement and perform this procedure, (b) demonstrate familiarity with all aspects of the commissioning and quality assurance process, (c) demonstrate continuing education respecting this procedure, (d) demonstrate the peer-reviewed completion of a minimum number of patient special procedures during a specified time span, and (e) demonstrate satisfactory overall progress toward maintenance of specialty board certification. In many respects, this information complement is similar to that required by an accredited residency program in therapy physics. In this investigation, we report on the design of a management tool to qualify staff radiation oncology physicists to deliver patient procedures. PMID:24427742

  12. Regulatory review time for approval of oncology drugs in Japan between 2001 and 2014. Considerations of changes, factors that affect review time, and difference with the United States.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Hideki; Kurokawa, Tatsuo

    2015-05-01

    In this study, we comprehensively and historically studied the review time of oncology drugs approved by the regulatory authorities in Japan with publicly available information. A total of 120 applications of oncology drugs were approved in Japan between April 2001 and July 2014. The review time peaked with 732.0 days (24.4 months) in 2005, and showed a tendency to decline gradually each year thereafter. After 2012, a significant reduction of the review time was seen in comparison to the median of 13-year median time. In addition, we compared the review time with that in the United States. The median review time lag with the United States was significantly peaked in 2005. After 2005, the review time lag with the FDA has decreased, but lag did not significantly reduce by 2014. We also examined factors influencing the review time in Japan with multiple regression analysis. It was found that the factors related to a use of overseas data and expedited program for accelerating the reviews influenced the direction of shortening the review time. We consider that regulatory authorities in Japan need to keep making efforts to reduce the review time further and eliminate the review time lag with the United States. PMID:25560978

  13. RT_Image: an open-source tool for investigating PET in radiation oncology.

    PubMed

    Graves, Edward E; Quon, Andrew; Loo, Billy W

    2007-04-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) has emerged as a valuable imaging modality for the diagnosis and staging of cancer. However, despite evidence that PET may be useful for defining target volumes for radiation therapy, no standardized methodology for accomplishing this task exists. To facilitate the investigation of the utility of PET imaging in radiotherapy treatment planning and accelerate its integration into clinical radiation oncology, we have developed software for exploratory analysis and segmentation of functional imaging datasets. The application, RT_Image, allows display of multiple imaging datasets and associated three-dimensional regions-of-interest (ROIs) at arbitrary view angles and fields of view. It also includes semi-automated image segmentation tools for defining metabolically active tumor volumes that may aid creation of target volumes for treatment planning. RT_Image is DICOM compliant, permitting the transfer of imaging data and DICOM-RT structure sets between the application and treatment planning software. RT_Image has been used by radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and radiation physicists to analyze over 200 PET datasets. Novel segmentation techniques have been implemented within this programming framework for therapy planning and for evaluation of molecular imaging-derived parameters as prognostic indicators. RT_Image represents a freely-available software base on which further investigations of the utlity of PET and molecular imaging in radiation oncology may be built. The development of tools such as this is critical in order to realize the potential of molecular imaging-guided radiation therapy. PMID:17375973

  14. Oral tissue changes of radiation-oncology and their management

    SciTech Connect

    Fleming, T.J. )

    1990-04-01

    The cytologic effects of radiation therapy involve all tissues and most significantly bone within the treated area. Of greatest concern is the permanence of the compromised healing and resistance to infection of the irradiated tissues. Those dental procedures that do not cause tissue trauma are considered nonrisk. Any procedure that traumatizes previously irradiated tissues can exceed the healing potential of the compromised tissue and frequently results in an uncontrollable necrosis. The adequate utilization of hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to be 95% effective in preventing osteoradionecrosis in postirradiated tissues. 9 references.

  15. Potential factors correlating to the PMDA's decision to waive Japanese Phase 2 and 3 studies for oncology drugs New Drug Application in Japan.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Keitaro; Chiba, Koji; Tsubamoto, Hisao; Walsh, Jaimie; Strawn, Laurie; Suwa, Toshio

    2013-08-01

    Current status of oncology drugs approved in Japan without supporting Japanese Phase 2 and 3 clinical trial (J-P2/3) data and potential factors correlating to the decision of Japanese health agency Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) to waive J-P2/3 data were investigated. Approximately 15 % of 61 investigated recently-approved oncology drugs were granted a J-P2/3 waiver. Drugs that were designated as Fast Track in the United States tended to be granted a J-P2/3 waiver. The orphan drug designation in Japan was also suggested to be correlated with the decision of J-P2/3 waiver, even though the trend was not significant. Specific factors related to the clinical importance, such as the designation of US Fast Track status, may have a correlation with the likelihood of J-P2/3 waiver, suggesting that the clinical importance of the drug is common in both countries. If the key criteria used to determine the waiving of Japanese clinical trial data were clearly disclosed by the regulatory agency, the development of some clinically important oncology drugs could be further expedited. PMID:23250712

  16. Occupational doses in radiation oncology in Manitoba--1980 to 1986

    SciTech Connect

    Huda, W.; Bews, J.; Sourkes, A.M. )

    1989-10-01

    The province of Manitoba (population of 1.0 million) has two radiotherapy centers employing a number of people, of whom about 60 are exposed to radiation during the course of their work. The individual and collective radiation doses to these workers, as recorded by thermoluminescent dosimeter plaques, were reviewed for the period 1980 to 1986. Whole-body doses to radiotherapy technologists responsible for operating the treatment machines and brachytherapy afterloading procedures ranged from 0.5 to 2.5 mSv y-1, whereas the corresponding doses to nursing staff working on a hospital brachytherapy ward were about 1.0 mSv y-1. The collective occupational dose from radiotherapy in Manitoba was approximately 70 person-mSv. Trends show individual operator and collective doses to be increasing at a higher rate than the number of patients undergoing radiotherapy. Occupational exposure in radiotherapy in this province was found to be comparable to that encountered in nuclear medicine in Manitoba and greater than that in diagnostic radiology.

  17. Nanoparticles in radiation oncology: From bench-side to bedside.

    PubMed

    Rancoule, Chloé; Magné, Nicolas; Vallard, Alexis; Guy, Jean-Baptiste; Rodriguez-Lafrasse, Claire; Deutsch, Eric; Chargari, Cyrus

    2016-06-01

    Nanoparticles (NP) are "in vogue" in medical research. Pre-clinical studies accumulate evidence of NP enhancing radiation therapy. On one hand, NP, selected for their intrinsic physicochemical characteristics, are radio-sensitizers. Thus, when NP accumulate in cancer cells, they increase the radiation absorption coefficient specifically in tumour tissue, sparing healthy surrounding tissue from toxicity. On the other hand, NP, by being drug vectors, can carry radio-sensitizer therapeutics to cancer cells. Finally, NP present theranostic effects. Indeed they are used in imaging as contrast agents. NP therefore can be multi-tasking and have promising prospect in radiotherapy field. In spite of the numerous encouraging preclinical evidence, the very small number of clinical trials investigating NP possible involvement in the radiotherapy clinical practice suggests a physicians' unwillingness. Many prerequisites seem necessary including define biological mechanisms of NP radiosensitization pathways and of NP clearance. NP biocompatibility and toxicities should be better investigated to select, among the extensive range of possible systems, the harmless and most efficient one, and to finally come to a safe and successful clinical use. The present review focuses on the various interests of NP in the radiotherapy area and proposes a discussion about their role in the future clinical practice. PMID:26987625

  18. The Evolving Role of Regional Radiation Oncology Societies in Resident Education.

    PubMed

    Mattes, Malcolm D

    2015-09-01

    The goal of this study is to develop insight into how a regional radiation oncology organization like the New York Roentgen Society (NYRS) can best assist in the education and development of residents. From April to June 2012, an electronic survey was sent to all 41 post-graduate year 2-4 radiation oncology residents in the New York metropolitan area. Questions were formatted using Likert scales (ranging from 1 to 5), and the Friedman and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to compare the mean ratings of each answer option. Surveys were completed by 34 residents (response rate 83 %). The three highest rated features that residents hope to get out of their membership in the NYRS included "networking" (mean 4.21), "career mentoring" (mean 4.18), and "education" (mean 4.15), all of which were rated significantly higher (p < 0.002) than the lowest rated "physics boards review" (mean 3.36) and "radiation biology boards review" (mean 3.15). The three highest rated types of subject matter for meetings included "boards review" (mean 4.03), "debate on a controversial clinical topic" (mean 3.97), and a "career mentoring workshop" (mean 3.93), all of which were rated significantly higher (p < 0.001) than the lowest rated "lecture on a research topic" (mean 2.40) and "lecture on a radiation biology/physics topic" (mean 2.07). Residents favor networking, career mentoring, and clinical educational content (particularly as it relates to boards review) from their regional radiation oncology society. These findings may be applicable to similar organizations in other cities, as a guide for future programming. PMID:24903140

  19. Medical Student–Reported Outcomes of a Radiation Oncologist–Led Preclinical Course in Oncology: A Five-Year Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Agarwal, Ankit; Koottappillil, Brian; Shah, Bhartesh; Ahuja, Divya; Hirsch, Ariel E.

    2015-07-15

    Purpose: There is a recognized need for more robust training in oncology for medical students. At our institution, we have offered a core dedicated oncology block, led by a radiation oncologist course director, during the second year of the medical school curriculum since the 2008-2009 academic year. Herein, we report the outcomes of the oncology block over the past 5 years through an analysis of student perceptions of the course, both immediately after completion of the block and in the third year. Methods and Materials: We analyzed 2 separate surveys. The first assessed student impressions of how well the course met each of the course's learning objectives through a survey that was administered to students immediately after the oncology block in 2012. The second was administered after students completed the oncology block during the required radiology clerkship in the third year. All questions used a 5-level Likert scale and were analyzed by use of a Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results: Of the 169 students who took the oncology course in 2012, 127 (75.1%) completed the course feedback survey. Over 73% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the course met its 3 learning objectives. Of the 699 medical students who took the required radiology clerkship between 2010 and 2013, 538 participated in the second survey, for a total response rate of 77%. Of these students, 368 (68.4%) agreed or strongly agreed that the course was effective in contributing to their overall medical education. Conclusion: Student perceptions of the oncology block are favorable and have improved across multiple categories since the inception of the course. Students self-reported that a dedicated preclinical oncology block was effective in helping identify the basics of cancer therapy and laying the foundation for clinical electives in oncology, including radiation oncology.

  20. Nuclear data needed for applications in radiation oncology

    SciTech Connect

    White, R.M.; Chadwick, M.B.; Siantar, C.L.H.; Chandler, W.P.

    1994-03-01

    Fast neutrons have been used to treat over 15,000 cancer patients in approximately twenty centers worldwide and proton therapy is emerging as a potential treatment of choice for tumors near critical anatomical structures. Neutron therapy requires reaction data to {approximately}70 MeV while proton therapy requires data to {approximately}250 MeV. The cross section databases require energy- and angle-dependent cross sections for secondary neutrons, charged-particles and recoil nuclei. We discuss expansion of our nuclear databases and development of a three-dimensional radiation transport package that uses CT images as the input mesh to an all-particle Monte Carlo code. Called PEREGRINE, this code calculates dose distributions in the human body and can be used as a tool to determine the dependence of dose on details of the evaluated nuclear data.

  1. Targeted Molecular Imaging in Oncology: Focus on Radiation Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Nimmagadda, Sridhar; Ford, Eric C.; Wong, John W.; Pomper, Martin G.

    2008-01-01

    Anatomically based technologies (CT, MR, etc.) are in routine use in radiotherapy for planning and assessment purposes. Even with improvements in imaging, however, radiotherapy is still limited in efficacy and toxicity in certain applications. Further advances may be provided by technologies that image the molecular activities of tumors and normal tissues. Possible uses for molecular imaging include better localization of tumor regions and early assay for the radiation response of tumors and normal tissues. Critical to the success of this approach is the identification and validation of molecular probes that are suitable in the radiotherapy context. Recent developments in molecular imaging probes and integration of functional imaging with radiotherapy are promising. This review focuses on recent advances in molecular imaging strategies and probes that may aid in improving the efficacy of radiotherapy. PMID:18314068

  2. Processes for quality improvements in radiation oncology clinical trials.

    PubMed

    FitzGerald, T J; Urie, Marcia; Ulin, Kenneth; Laurie, Fran; Yorty, Jeffrey; Hanusik, Richard; Kessel, Sandy; Jodoin, Maryann Bishop; Osagie, Gani; Cicchetti, M Giulia; Pieters, Richard; McCarten, Kathleen; Rosen, Nancy

    2008-01-01

    Quality assurance in radiotherapy (RT) has been an integral aspect of cooperative group clinical trials since 1970. In early clinical trials, data acquisition was nonuniform and inconsistent and computational models for radiation dose calculation varied significantly. Process improvements developed for data acquisition, credentialing, and data management have provided the necessary infrastructure for uniform data. With continued improvement in the technology and delivery of RT, evaluation processes for target definition, RT planning, and execution undergo constant review. As we move to multimodality image-based definitions of target volumes for protocols, future clinical trials will require near real-time image analysis and feedback to field investigators. The ability of quality assurance centers to meet these real-time challenges with robust electronic interaction platforms for imaging acquisition, review, archiving, and quantitative review of volumetric RT plans will be the primary challenge for future successful clinical trials. PMID:18406943

  3. Esophageal cancer management controversies: Radiation oncology point of view.

    PubMed

    Tai, Patricia; Yu, Edward

    2014-08-15

    Esophageal cancer treatment has evolved from single modality to trimodality therapy. There are some controversies of the role, target volumes and dose of radiotherapy (RT) in the literature over decades. The present review focuses primarily on RT as part of the treatment modalities, and highlight on the RT volume and its dose in the management of esophageal cancer. The randomized adjuvant chemoradiation (CRT) trial, intergroup trial (INT 0116) enrolled 559 patients with resected adenocarcinoma of the stomach or gastroesophageal junction. They were randomly assigned to surgery plus postoperative CRT or surgery alone. Analyses show robust treatment benefit of adjuvant CRT in most subsets for postoperative CRT. The Chemoradiotherapy for Oesophageal Cancer Followed by Surgery Study (CROSS) used a lower RT dose of 41.4 Gray in 23 fractions with newer chemotherapeutic agents carboplatin and paclitaxel to achieve an excellent result. Target volume of external beam radiation therapy and its coverage have been in debate for years among radiation oncologists. Pre-operative and post-operative target volumes are designed to optimize for disease control. Esophageal brachytherapy is effective in the palliation of dysphagia, but should not be given concomitantly with chemotherapy or external beam RT. The role of brachytherapy in multimodality management requires further investigation. On-going studies of multidisciplinary treatment in locally advanced cancer include: ZTOG1201 trial (a phase II trial of neoadjuvant and adjuvant CRT) and QUINTETT (a phase III trial of neoadjuvant vs adjuvant therapy with quality of life analysis). These trials hopefully will shed more light on the future management of esophageal cancer. PMID:25132924

  4. Esophageal cancer management controversies: Radiation oncology point of view

    PubMed Central

    Tai, Patricia; Yu, Edward

    2014-01-01

    Esophageal cancer treatment has evolved from single modality to trimodality therapy. There are some controversies of the role, target volumes and dose of radiotherapy (RT) in the literature over decades. The present review focuses primarily on RT as part of the treatment modalities, and highlight on the RT volume and its dose in the management of esophageal cancer. The randomized adjuvant chemoradiation (CRT) trial, intergroup trial (INT 0116) enrolled 559 patients with resected adenocarcinoma of the stomach or gastroesophageal junction. They were randomly assigned to surgery plus postoperative CRT or surgery alone. Analyses show robust treatment benefit of adjuvant CRT in most subsets for postoperative CRT. The Chemoradiotherapy for Oesophageal Cancer Followed by Surgery Study (CROSS) used a lower RT dose of 41.4 Gray in 23 fractions with newer chemotherapeutic agents carboplatin and paclitaxel to achieve an excellent result. Target volume of external beam radiation therapy and its coverage have been in debate for years among radiation oncologists. Pre-operative and post-operative target volumes are designed to optimize for disease control. Esophageal brachytherapy is effective in the palliation of dysphagia, but should not be given concomitantly with chemotherapy or external beam RT. The role of brachytherapy in multimodality management requires further investigation. On-going studies of multidisciplinary treatment in locally advanced cancer include: ZTOG1201 trial (a phase II trial of neoadjuvant and adjuvant CRT) and QUINTETT (a phase III trial of neoadjuvant vs adjuvant therapy with quality of life analysis). These trials hopefully will shed more light on the future management of esophageal cancer. PMID:25132924

  5. Camera-based independent couch height verification in radiation oncology.

    PubMed

    Kusters, Martijn; Louwe, Rob; Biemans-van Kastel, Liesbeth; Nieuwenkamp, Henk; Zahradnik, Rien; Claessen, Roy; van Seters, Ronald; Huizenga, Henk

    2015-01-01

    For specific radiation therapy (RT) treatments, it is advantageous to use the isocenter-to-couch distance (ICD) for initial patient setup.(1) Since sagging of the treatment couch is not properly taken into account by the electronic readout of the treatment machine, this readout cannot be used for initial patient positioning using the isocenter-to-couch distance (ICD). Therefore, initial patient positioning to the prescribed ICD has been carried out using a ruler prior to each treatment fraction in our institution. However, the ruler method is laborious and logging of data is not possible. The objective of this study is to replace the ruler-based setup of the couch height with an independent, user-friendly, optical camera-based method whereby the radiation technologists have to move only the couch to the correct couch height, which is visible on a display. A camera-based independent couch height measurement system (ICHS) was developed in cooperation with Panasonic Electric Works Western Europe. Clinical data showed that the ICHS is at least as accurate as the application of a ruler to verify the ICD. The camera-based independent couch height measurement system has been successfully implemented in seven treatment rooms, since 10 September 2012. The benefits of this system are a more streamlined workflow, reduction of human errors during initial patient setup, and logging of the actual couch height at the isocenter. Daily QA shows that the systems are stable and operate within the set 1 mm tolerance. Regular QA of the system is necessary to guarantee that the system works correctly. PMID:26699308

  6. Absorbed dose to water: Standards and traceability for radiation oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Almond, P.R.

    1995-12-31

    Although the need for appropriate quantities and units for ionizing radiation has existed since shortly after discovery of X-rays, the quantities and units in general use today were not completely formalized until about 15 years ago. The development of appropriate national and international standards have also been ongoing. For many years the quantity, exposure, measured in units of roentgen was the national standard and they were also the quantity and units in which radiotherapy was described. With the introduction of megavoltage X-ray and electron-beam equipment and the adoption of the quantity {open_quotes}absorbed-dose{close_quotes} measured in units of rad (or gray) different approaches to calibrating these beams were needed. This was especially the case since the national standard in terms of exposure at a maximum photon energy for {sup 60}Co gamma rays was only available. Since the late 1960s various machine calibration protocols have been published. These protocols have to accommodate changes in modality, energy, quantities and units between the national standard and the user. Because of this, a new definition of traceability is proposed to accommodate the present system. By recording all intercomparisons and parameters used, an auditable calibration chain can be maintained. Even with the introduction of calibration protocols based upon national absorbed dose standards, the proposed traceability definition will still be needed.

  7. Oligometastatic disease, the curative challenge in radiation oncology

    PubMed Central

    Palacios-Eito, Amalia; García-Cabezas, Sonia

    2015-01-01

    The concept of oligometastatic disease was first described by Hellman and Weichselbaum in 1995. The mere insight of this concept led to the hypothesis that this disease may be cured using local ablative weapons. Surgery has already demonstrated this hypothesis. Surgery limitations, either technical or due to refusal or associated comorbidity, have led to implement alternative ablative options such as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). SBRT evolved from (stereotactic radiosurgery) because of the need to irradiate extracranial lesions and has been shown to be safe and effective. SBRT achieves local control rates ranging from 70%-90%, but highly variable survival rates depending on the group analyzed. Series with heterogeneous metastatic sites and tumor origin have reported 20% survival rates at 2-3 years, similar to those achieved with surgery. Despite its excellent results, SBRT still faces significant clinical challenges. Its optimal integration with systemic treatment is unknown, and response assessment is very difficult. However, the greatest challenge lies in selection of patients most likely to remain oligometastatic, those who will most benefit from the technique. Biomarkers, molecular signatures, that accurately predict the biological behavior of malignancy are needed. The expression profile of specific miRNAs has been shown to have a potential in this regard. PMID:26266098

  8. Integrity of the National Resident Matching Program for Radiation Oncology: National Survey of Applicant Experiences

    SciTech Connect

    Holliday, Emma B.; Thomas, Charles R.; Kusano, Aaron S.

    2015-07-01

    Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the experiences of radiation oncology applicants and to evaluate the prevalence of behaviors that may be in conflict with established ethical standards. Methods and Materials: An anonymous survey was sent to all 2013 applicants to a single domestic radiation oncology residency program through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Questions included demographics, survey of observed behaviors, and opinions regarding the interview and matching process. Descriptive statistics were presented. Characteristics and experiences of respondents who matched were compared with those who did not match. Results: Questionnaires were returned by 87 of 171 applicants for a 51% response rate. Eighty-two questionnaires were complete and included for analysis. Seventy-eight respondents (95.1%) reported being asked at least 1 question in conflict with the NRMP code of conduct. When asked where else they were interviewing, 64% stated that this query made them uncomfortable. Forty-five respondents (54.9%) reported unsolicited post-interview contact by programs, and 31 (37.8%) felt pressured to give assurances. Fifteen respondents (18.3%) reported being told their rank position or that they were “ranked to match” prior to Match day, with 27% of those individuals indicating this information influenced how they ranked programs. Half of respondents felt applicants often made dishonest or misleading assurances, one-third reported that they believed their desired match outcome could be improved by deliberately misleading programs, and more than two-thirds felt their rank position could be improved by having faculty from their home institutions directly contact programs on their behalf. Conclusions: Radiation oncology applicants report a high prevalence of behaviors in conflict with written NRMP policies. Post-interview communication should be discouraged in order to enhance fairness and support the professional development of future

  9. Development of a residency program in radiation oncology physics: an inverse planning approach.

    PubMed

    Khan, Rao F H; Dunscombe, Peter B

    2016-01-01

    Over the last two decades, there has been a concerted effort in North America to organize medical physicists' clinical training programs along more structured and formal lines. This effort has been prompted by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP) which has now accredited about 90 residency programs. Initially the accreditation focused on standardized and higher quality clinical physics training; the development of rounded professionals who can function at a high level in a multidisciplinary environment was recognized as a priority of a radiation oncology physics residency only lately. In this report, we identify and discuss the implementation of, and the essential components of, a radiation oncology physics residency designed to produce knowledgeable and effective clinical physicists for today's safety-conscious and collaborative work environment. Our approach is that of inverse planning, by now familiar to all radiation oncology physicists, in which objectives and constraints are identified prior to the design of the program. Our inverse planning objectives not only include those associated with traditional residencies (i.e., clinical physics knowledge and critical clinical skills), but also encompass those other attributes essential for success in a modern radiation therapy clinic. These attributes include formal training in management skills and leadership, teaching and communication skills, and knowledge of error management techniques and patient safety. The constraints in our optimization exercise are associated with the limited duration of a residency and the training resources available. Without compromising the knowledge and skills needed for clinical tasks, we have successfully applied the model to the University of Calgary's two-year residency program. The program requires 3840 hours of overall commitment from the trainee, of which 7%-10% is spent in obtaining formal training in nontechnical "soft skills". PMID

  10. Development and Impact Evaluation of an E-Learning Radiation Oncology Module

    SciTech Connect

    Alfieri, Joanne; Portelance, Lorraine; Souhami, Luis; Steinert, Yvonne; McLeod, Peter; Gallant, Fleure; Artho, Giovanni

    2012-03-01

    Purpose: Radiation oncologists are faced with the challenge of irradiating tumors to a curative dose while limiting toxicity to healthy surrounding tissues. This can be achieved only with superior knowledge of radiologic anatomy and treatment planning. Educational resources designed to meet these specific needs are lacking. A web-based interactive module designed to improve residents' knowledge and application of key anatomy concepts pertinent to radiotherapy treatment planning was developed, and its effectiveness was assessed. Methods and Materials: The module, based on gynecologic malignancies, was developed in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of subject matter experts. Subsequently, a multi-centre randomized controlled study was conducted to test the module's effectiveness. Thirty-six radiation oncology residents participated in the study; 1920 were granted access to the module (intervention group), and 17 in the control group relied on traditional methods to acquire their knowledge. Pretests and posttests were administered to all participants. Statistical analysis was carried out using paired t test, analysis of variance, and post hoc tests. Results: The randomized control study revealed that the intervention group's pretest and posttest mean scores were 35% and 52%, respectively, and those of the control group were 37% and 42%, respectively. The mean improvement in test scores was 17% (p < 0.05) for the intervention group and 5% (p = not significant) for the control group. Retrospective pretest and posttest surveys showed a statistically significant change on all measured module objectives. Conclusions: The use of an interactive e-learning teaching module for radiation oncology is an effective method to improve the radiologic anatomy knowledge and treatment planning skills of radiation oncology residents.

  11. An evaluation system for electronic retrospective analyses in radiation oncology: implemented exemplarily for pancreatic cancer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessel, Kerstin A.; Jäger, Andreas; Bohn, Christian; Habermehl, Daniel; Zhang, Lanlan; Engelmann, Uwe; Bougatf, Nina; Bendl, Rolf; Debus, Jürgen; Combs, Stephanie E.

    2013-03-01

    To date, conducting retrospective clinical analyses is rather difficult and time consuming. Especially in radiation oncology, handling voluminous datasets from various information systems and different documentation styles efficiently is crucial for patient care and research. With the example of patients with pancreatic cancer treated with radio-chemotherapy, we performed a therapy evaluation by using analysis tools connected with a documentation system. A total number of 783 patients have been documented into a professional, web-based documentation system. Information about radiation therapy, diagnostic images and dose distributions have been imported. For patients with disease progression after neoadjuvant chemoradiation, we designed and established an analysis workflow. After automatic registration of the radiation plans with the follow-up images, the recurrence volumes are segmented manually. Based on these volumes the DVH (dose-volume histogram) statistic is calculated, followed by the determination of the dose applied to the region of recurrence. All results are stored in the database and included in statistical calculations. The main goal of using an automatic evaluation system is to reduce time and effort conducting clinical analyses, especially with large patient groups. We showed a first approach and use of some existing tools, however manual interaction is still necessary. Further steps need to be taken to enhance automation. Already, it has become apparent that the benefits of digital data management and analysis lie in the central storage of data and reusability of the results. Therefore, we intend to adapt the evaluation system to other types of tumors in radiation oncology.

  12. INVITED REVIEW-IMAGE REGISTRATION IN VETERINARY RADIATION ONCOLOGY: INDICATIONS, IMPLICATIONS, AND FUTURE ADVANCES.

    PubMed

    Feng, Yang; Lawrence, Jessica; Cheng, Kun; Montgomery, Dean; Forrest, Lisa; Mclaren, Duncan B; McLaughlin, Stephen; Argyle, David J; Nailon, William H

    2016-03-01

    The field of veterinary radiation therapy (RT) has gained substantial momentum in recent decades with significant advances in conformal treatment planning, image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), and intensity-modulated (IMRT) techniques. At the root of these advancements lie improvements in tumor imaging, image alignment (registration), target volume delineation, and identification of critical structures. Image registration has been widely used to combine information from multimodality images such as computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) to improve the accuracy of radiation delivery and reliably identify tumor-bearing areas. Many different techniques have been applied in image registration. This review provides an overview of medical image registration in RT and its applications in veterinary oncology. A summary of the most commonly used approaches in human and veterinary medicine is presented along with their current use in IGRT and adaptive radiation therapy (ART). It is important to realize that registration does not guarantee that target volumes, such as the gross tumor volume (GTV), are correctly identified on the image being registered, as limitations unique to registration algorithms exist. Research involving novel registration frameworks for automatic segmentation of tumor volumes is ongoing and comparative oncology programs offer a unique opportunity to test the efficacy of proposed algorithms. PMID:26777133

  13. Thoracic cancer imaging with PET/CT in radiation oncology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chi, Pai-Chun Melinda

    Significance. Respiratory motion has been shown to cause artifacts in PET/CT imaging. This breathing artifact can have a significant impact on PET quantification and it can lead to large uncertainties when using PET for radiation therapy planning. We have demonstrated a promising solution to resolve the breathing artifact by acquiring respiration-averaged CT (ACT) for PET/CT. The purpose of this work was to optimize the ACT acquisition for clinical implementation and to evaluate the impact of ACT on PET/CT quantification. The hypothesis was that ACT is an effective method in removing the breathing artifact when compared to our current clinical protocol. Methods. Phase and cine approaches for acquiring ACT were investigated and the results of these two approaches were compared to the ACT generated from clinical 4DCT data sets (abbreviated as ACT10phs ). In the phase approach, ACT was generated based on combinations of selected respiratory phases; in the cine approach, ACT was generated based on cine images acquired over a fixed cine duration. The phase combination and cine duration that best approximated the ACT10phs were determined to be the optimized scanning parameters. 216 thoracic PET/CT patients were scanned with both current clinical and the ACT protocols. The effects of ACT on PET/CT quantification were assessed by comparing clinical PET/CT and ACT PET/CT using 3 metrics: PET/CT image alignment, maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), and threshold segmented gross tumor volume (GTV). Results. ACT10phs can be best approximated to within 2% of SUV variation by phase averaging based on 4 representative phases, and to within 3% by cine image averaging based on >3s of cine duration. We implemented the cine approach on the PET/CT scanners and acquired 216 patient data sets. 68% of patients had breathing artifacts in their clinical PET/CT and the artifacts were removed/reduced in all corresponding ACT PET/CT. PET/CT quantification for lesions <50 cm3 and

  14. Modern Radiation Therapy for Extranodal Lymphomas: Field and Dose Guidelines From the International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group

    SciTech Connect

    Yahalom, Joachim; Illidge, Tim; Specht, Lena; Hoppe, Richard T.; Li, Ye-Xiong; Tsang, Richard; Wirth, Andrew

    2015-05-01

    Extranodal lymphomas (ENLs) comprise about a third of all non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL). Radiation therapy (RT) is frequently used as either primary therapy (particularly for indolent ENL), consolidation after systemic therapy, salvage treatment, or palliation. The wide range of presentations of ENL, involving any organ in the body and the spectrum of histological sub-types, poses a challenge both for routine clinical care and for the conduct of prospective and retrospective studies. This has led to uncertainty and lack of consistency in RT approaches between centers and clinicians. Thus far there is a lack of guidelines for the use of RT in the management of ENL. This report presents an effort by the International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group (ILROG) to harmonize and standardize the principles of treatment of ENL, and to address the technical challenges of simulation, volume definition and treatment planning for the most frequently involved organs. Specifically, detailed recommendations for RT volumes are provided. We have applied the same modern principles of involved site radiation therapy as previously developed and published as guidelines for Hodgkin lymphoma and nodal NHL. We have adopted RT volume definitions based on the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU), as has been widely adopted by the field of radiation oncology for solid tumors. Organ-specific recommendations take into account histological subtype, anatomy, the treatment intent, and other treatment modalities that may be have been used before RT.

  15. Japan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geiger, Rita; And Others

    The document offers practical and motivating techniques for studying Japan. Dedicated to promoting global awareness, separate sections discuss Japan's geography, history, culture, education, government, economics, energy, transportation, and communication. Each section presents a topical overview; suggested classroom activities; and easily…

  16. Radiation terrorism: what society needs from the radiobiology-radiation protection and radiation oncology communities.

    PubMed

    Coleman, C Norman; Parker, Gerald W

    2009-06-01

    Society's and individuals' concerns about the adverse effects from radiation are logically amplified many times when radiological terrorism is considered. The spectrum of events include industrial sabotage, the use of an explosive or non-explosive radiological dispersal device, the placement of a radiological exposure device in a public facility and the use of an improvised nuclear device. The consequences of an event relate to the physical and medical damage of the event itself, the financial impact, and the acute and long-term medical consequences, including fear of radiation-induced cancer. The magnitude of a state-sponsored nuclear event is so great that limited detailed response planning had been done in the past, as compared to the work now ongoing. Planning is done on the basis of scenario modelling. Medical response planning includes medical triage, distribution of victims to care by experienced physicians, developing medical countermeasures to mitigate or treat radiation injury, counselling and appropriately following exposed or potentially exposed people, and helping the local community develop confidence in their own response plan. Optimal response must be based on the best available science. This requires scientists who can define, prioritise and address the gaps in knowledge with the range of expertise from basic physics to biology to translational research to systems expertise to response planning to healthcare policy to communications. Not only are there unique needs and career opportunities, but there is also the opportunity for individuals to serve their communities and country with education regarding radiation effects and by formulating scientifically based government policy. PMID:19454803

  17. Assessing Interpersonal and Communication Skills in Radiation Oncology Residents: A Pilot Standardized Patient Program

    SciTech Connect

    Ju, Melody; Berman, Abigail T.; Hwang, Wei-Ting; LaMarra, Denise; Baffic, Cordelia; Suneja, Gita; Vapiwala, Neha

    2014-04-01

    Purpose: There is a lack of data for the structured development and evaluation of communication skills in radiation oncology residency training programs. Effective communication skills are increasingly emphasized by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and are critical for a successful clinical practice. We present the design of a novel, pilot standardized patient (SP) program and the evaluation of communication skills among radiation oncology residents. Methods and Materials: Two case scenarios were developed to challenge residents in the delivery of “bad news” to patients: one scenario regarding treatment failure and the other regarding change in treatment plan. Eleven radiation oncology residents paired with 6 faculty participated in this pilot program. Each encounter was scored by the SPs, observing faculty, and residents themselves based on the Kalamazoo guidelines. Results: Overall resident performance ratings were “good” to “excellent,” with faculty assigning statistically significant higher scores and residents assigning lower scores. We found inconsistent inter rater agreement among faculty, residents, and SPs. SP feedback was also valuable in identifying areas of improvement, including more collaborative decision making and less use of medical jargon. Conclusions: The program was well received by residents and faculty and regarded as a valuable educational experience that could be used as an annual feedback tool. Poor inter rater agreement suggests a need for residents and faculty physicians to better calibrate their evaluations to true patient perceptions. High scores from faculty members substantiate the concern that resident evaluations are generally positive and nondiscriminating. Faculty should be encouraged to provide honest and critical feedback to hone residents' interpersonal skills.

  18. TH-A-16A-01: Image Quality for the Radiation Oncology Physicist: Review of the Fundamentals and Implementation

    SciTech Connect

    Seibert, J; Imbergamo, P

    2014-06-15

    The expansion and integration of diagnostic imaging technologies such as On Board Imaging (OBI) and Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) into radiation oncology has required radiation oncology physicists to be responsible for and become familiar with assessing image quality. Unfortunately many radiation oncology physicists have had little or no training or experience in measuring and assessing image quality. Many physicists have turned to automated QA analysis software without having a fundamental understanding of image quality measures. This session will review the basic image quality measures of imaging technologies used in the radiation oncology clinic, such as low contrast resolution, high contrast resolution, uniformity, noise, and contrast scale, and how to measure and assess them in a meaningful way. Additionally a discussion of the implementation of an image quality assurance program in compliance with Task Group recommendations will be presented along with the advantages and disadvantages of automated analysis methods. Learning Objectives: Review and understanding of the fundamentals of image quality. Review and understanding of the basic image quality measures of imaging modalities used in the radiation oncology clinic. Understand how to implement an image quality assurance program and to assess basic image quality measures in a meaningful way.

  19. National Medical Care System May Impede Fostering of True Specialization of Radiation Oncologists: Study Based on Structure Survey in Japan

    SciTech Connect

    Numasaki, Hodaka; Shibuya, Hitoshi; Nishio, Masamichi; Ikeda, Hiroshi; Sekiguchi, Kenji; Kamikonya, Norihiko; Koizumi, Masahiko; Tago, Masao; Ando, Yutaka; Tsukamoto, Nobuhiro; Terahara, Atsuro; Nakamura, Katsumasa; Mitsumori, Michihide; Nishimura, Tetsuo; Hareyama, Masato; Teshima, Teruki

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To evaluate the actual work environment of radiation oncologists (ROs) in Japan in terms of working pattern, patient load, and quality of cancer care based on the relative time spent on patient care. Methods and Materials: In 2008, the Japanese Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology produced a questionnaire for a national structure survey of radiation oncology in 2007. Data for full-time ROs were crosschecked with data for part-time ROs by using their identification data. Data of 954 ROs were analyzed. The relative practice index for patients was calculated as the relative value of care time per patient on the basis of Japanese Blue Book guidelines (200 patients per RO). Results: The working patterns of RO varied widely among facility categories. ROs working mainly at university hospitals treated 189.2 patients per year on average, with those working in university hospitals and their affiliated facilities treating 249.1 and those working in university hospitals only treating 144.0 patients per year on average. The corresponding data were 256.6 for cancer centers and 176.6 for other facilities. Geographically, the mean annual number of patients per RO per quarter was significantly associated with population size, varying from 143.1 to 203.4 (p < 0.0001). There were also significant differences in the average practice index for patients by ROs working mainly in university hospitals between those in main and affiliated facilities (1.07 vs 0.71: p < 0.0001). Conclusions: ROs working in university hospitals and their affiliated facilities treated more patients than the other ROs. In terms of patient care time only, the quality of cancer care in affiliated facilities might be worse than that in university hospitals. Under the current national medical system, working patterns of ROs of academic facilities in Japan appear to be problematic for fostering true specialization of radiation oncologists.

  20. Radiation oncology career decision variables for graduating trainees seeking positions in 2003-2004

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, Lynn D. . E-mail: lynn.wilson@yale.edu; Flynn, Daniel F.; Haffty, Bruce G.

    2005-06-01

    Purpose: Radiation oncology trainees must consider an array of variables when deciding upon an academic or private practice career path. This prospective evaluation of the 2004 graduating radiation oncology trainees, evaluates such variables and provides additional descriptive data. Methods: A survey that included 15 questions (one subjective, eleven categorical, and 3 continuous variables) was mailed to the 144 graduating radiation oncology trainees in United States programs in January of 2004. Questions were designed to gather information regarding factors that may have influenced career path choices. The responses were anonymous, and no identifying information was sought. Survey data were collated and analyzed for differences in both categorical and continuous variables as they related to choice of academic or private practice career path. Results: Sixty seven (47%) of the surveys were returned. Forty-five percent of respondents indicated pursuit of an academic career. All respondents participated in research during training with 73% participating in research publication authorship. Post graduate year-3 was the median in which career path was chosen, and 20% thought that a fellowship position was 'perhaps' necessary to secure an academic position. Thirty percent of the respondents revealed that the timing of the American Board of Radiology examination influenced their career path decision. Eighteen variables were offered as possibly influencing career path choice within the survey, and the top five identified by those seeking an academic path were: (1) colleagues, (2) clinical research, (3) teaching, (4) geography, (5) and support staff. For those seeking private practice, the top choices were: (1) lifestyle, (2) practice environment, (3) patient care, (4) geography, (5) colleagues. Female gender (p = 0.064), oral meeting presentation (p = 0.053), and international meeting presentation (p 0.066) were the variables most significantly associated with pursuing an

  1. A Profile of Academic Training Program Directors and Chairs in Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, Lynn D.; Haffty, Bruce G.; Smith, Benjamin D.

    2013-04-01

    Purpose: To identify objective characteristics and benchmarks for program leadership in academic radiation oncology. Methods and Materials: A study of the 87 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education radiation oncology training program directors (PD) and their chairs was performed. Variables included age, gender, original training department, highest degree, rank, endowed chair assignment, National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, and Hirsch index (H-index). Data were gathered from online sources such as departmental websites, NIH RePORTER, and Scopus. Results: There were a total of 87 PD. The median age was 48, and 14 (16%) were MD/PhD. A total of 21 (24%) were female, and rank was relatively equally distributed above instructor. Of the 26 professors, at least 7 (27%) were female. At least 24 (28%) were working at the institution from which they had received their training. A total of 6 individuals held endowed chairs. Only 2 PD had active NIH funding in 2012. The median H-index was 12 (range, 0-51) but the index dropped to 9 (range, 0-38) when those who served as both PD and chair were removed from the group. A total of 76 chairs were identified at the time of the study. The median age was 55, and 9 (12%) were MD/PhD. A total of 7 (9%) of the chairs were female, and rank was professor for all with the exception of 1 who was listed as “Head” and was an associate professor. Of the 76 chairs, at least 10 (13%) were working at the institution from which they received their training. There were a total of 21 individuals with endowed chairs. A total of 13 (17%) had NIH funding in 2012. The median H-index was 29 (range, 3-60). Conclusions: These data provide benchmarks for individuals and departments evaluating leadership positions in the field of academic radiation oncology. Such data are useful for evaluating leadership trends over time and comparing academic radiation oncology with other specialties.

  2. SU-A-210-01: Why Should We Learn Radiation Oncology Billing?

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, H.

    2015-06-15

    The purpose of this student annual meeting is to address topics that are becoming more relevant to medical physicists, but are not frequently addressed, especially for students and trainees just entering the field. The talk is divided into two parts: medical billing and regulations. Hsinshun Wu – Why should we learn radiation oncology billing? Many medical physicists do not like to be involved with medical billing or coding during their career. They believe billing is not their responsibility and sometimes they even refuse to participate in the billing process if given the chance. This presentation will talk about a physicist’s long career and share his own experience that knowing medical billing is not only important and necessary for every young medical physicist, but that good billing knowledge could provide a valuable contribution to his/her medical physics development. Learning Objectives: The audience will learn the basic definition of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes performed in a Radiation Oncology Department. Understand the differences between hospital coding and physician-based or freestanding coding. Apply proper CPT coding for each Radiation Oncology procedure. Each procedure with its specific CPT code will be discussed in detail. The talk will focus on the process of care and use of actual workflow to understand each CPT code. Example coding of a typical Radiation Oncology procedure. Special procedure coding such as brachytherapy, proton therapy, radiosurgery, and SBRT. Maryann Abogunde – Medical physics opportunities at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) The NRC’s responsibilities include the regulation of medical uses of byproduct (radioactive) materials and oversight of medical use end-users (licensees) through a combination of regulatory requirements, licensing, safety oversight including inspection and enforcement, operational experience evaluation, and regulatory support activities. This presentation will explore the

  3. A strategy for young members within national radiation oncology societies: the Italian experience (AIRO Giovani group)

    PubMed Central

    Filippi, Andrea Riccardo; Alongi, Filippo; Ciammella, Patrizia; De Bari, Berardino; Franco, Pierfrancesco; Livi, Lorenzo

    2012-01-01

    Aim To briefly review history, structure, past events and future projects of AIRO (Associazione Italiana Radioterapia Oncologica) young group (AIRO Giovani), focusing on its specific commitment to multidisciplnary networking among junior clinical oncologists at a national and international level. Background AIRO Giovani is a part of AIRO composed by members under 40 years old. Its main activities are scientific and educational meetings dedicated to young Italian radiation oncologists and collaborative research projects. Materials and Methods AIRO Giovani structure, events organized and supported by AIRO giovani as well as scientific activities are here reported from its creation in 2007 up to current days. Results AIRO Giovani group was able to create a consolidated network between Italian junior radiation oncologists, while opening the possibility to collaborate with junior groups of other national scientific societies in the field of oncology and with ESTRO young members. Scientific projects carried out by the group have been successful and will be further implemented in next years. Conclusions AIRO Giovani is still in its infancy, but its early positive experience supports the creation and development of young groups within national radiation oncology societies. PMID:24669305

  4. Japan.

    PubMed

    1989-02-01

    Japan consists of 3900 islands and lies off the east coast of Asia. Even though Japan is one of the most densely populated nations in the world, its growth rate has stabilized at .5%. 94% of all children go to senior high school and almost 90% finish. Responsibility for the sick, aged, and infirmed is changing from the family and private sector to government. Japan was founded in 600 BC and its 1st capital was in Nara (710-1867). The Portuguese, the 1st Westerners to make contact with Japan in 1542, opened trade which lasted until the mid 17th century. US Navy Commodore Matthew Perry forced Japan to reopen in 1854. Following wars with China and Russia in the late 1800s and early 1900s respectively, Japan took part in World Wars I and II. In between these wars Japan invaded Manchuria and China. The US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Japanese surrendered in September, 1945 ending World War II (WWII). Following, WWII, the Allied Powers guided Japan's establishment as a nonthreatening nation and a democratic parliamentary government (a constitutional monarchy) with a limited defense force. Japan remains one of the most politically stable of all postwar democracies. The Liberal Democratic Party's Noboru Takeshita became prime minister in 1987. Japan has limited natural resources and only 19% of the land is arable. Japanese ingenuity and skill combine to produce one of the highest per hectare crop yields in the world. Japan is a major economic power, and its and the US economies are becoming more interdependent. Its exports, making up only 13% of the gross national product, mainly go to Canada and the US. Many in the US are concerned, however, with the trade deficit with Japan and are seeking ways to make trade more equitable. Japan wishes to maintain good relations with its Asian neighbors and other nations. The US and Japan enjoy a strong, productive relationship. PMID:12178004

  5. Adjuvant and Salvage Radiation Therapy After Prostatectomy: American Society for Radiation Oncology/American Urological Association Guidelines

    SciTech Connect

    Valicenti, Richard K.; Thompson, Ian; Albertsen, Peter; Davis, Brian J.; Goldenberg, S. Larry; Wolf, J. Stuart; Sartor, Oliver; Klein, Eric; Hahn, Carol; Michalski, Jeff; Roach, Mack; Faraday, Martha M.

    2013-08-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this guideline was to provide a clinical framework for the use of radiation therapy after radical prostatectomy as adjuvant or salvage therapy. Methods and Materials: A systematic literature review using PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane database was conducted to identify peer-reviewed publications relevant to the use of radiation therapy after prostatectomy. The review yielded 294 articles; these publications were used to create the evidence-based guideline statements. Additional guidance is provided as Clinical Principles when insufficient evidence existed. Results: Guideline statements are provided for patient counseling, use of radiation therapy in the adjuvant and salvage contexts, defining biochemical recurrence, and conducting a restaging evaluation. Conclusions: Physicians should offer adjuvant radiation therapy to patients with adverse pathologic findings at prostatectomy (ie, seminal vesicle invastion, positive surgical margins, extraprostatic extension) and salvage radiation therapy to patients with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or local recurrence after prostatectomy in whom there is no evidence of distant metastatic disease. The offer of radiation therapy should be made in the context of a thoughtful discussion of possible short- and long-term side effects of radiation therapy as well as the potential benefits of preventing recurrence. The decision to administer radiation therapy should be made by the patient and the multidisciplinary treatment team with full consideration of the patient's history, values, preferences, quality of life, and functional status. The American Society for Radiation Oncology and American Urological Association websites show this guideline in its entirety, including the full literature review.

  6. Safety Strategies in an Academic Radiation Oncology Department and Recommendations for Action

    PubMed Central

    Terezakis, Stephanie A.; Pronovost, Peter; Harris, Kendra; DeWeese, Theodore; Ford, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Background Safety initiatives in the United States continue to work on providing guidance as to how the average practitioner might make patients safer in the face of the complex process by which radiation therapy (RT), an essential treatment used in the management of many patients with cancer, is prepared and delivered. Quality control measures can uncover certain specific errors such as machine dose mis-calibration or misalignments of the patient in the radiation treatment beam. However, they are less effective at uncovering less common errors that can occur anywhere along the treatment planning and delivery process, and even when the process is functioning as intended, errors still occur. Prioritizing Risks and Implementing Risk-Reduction Strategies Activities undertaken at the radiation oncology department at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore) include Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), risk-reduction interventions, and voluntary error and near-miss reporting systems. A visual process map portrayed 269 RT steps occurring among four subprocesses—including consult, simulation, treatment planning, and treatment delivery. Two FMEAs revealed 127 and 159 possible failure modes, respectively. Risk-reduction interventions for 15 “top-ranked” failure modes were implemented. Since the error and near-miss reporting system’s implementation in the department in 2007, 253 events have been logged. However, the system may be insufficient for radiation oncology, for which a greater level of practice-specific information is required to fully understand each event. Conclusions The “basic science” of radiation treatment has received considerable support and attention in developing novel therapies to benefit patients. The time has come to apply the same focus and resources to ensuring that patients safely receive the maximal benefits possible. PMID:21819027

  7. Japan.

    PubMed

    1987-02-01

    Japan is composed of 4 main islands and more than 3900 smaller islands and has 317.7 persons/square kilometer. This makes it one of the most densely populated nations in the world. Religion is an important force in the life of the Japanese and most consider themselves Buddhists. Schooling is free through junior high but 90% of Japanese students complete high school. In fact, Japan enjoys one of the highest literacy rates in the world. There are over 178 newspapers and 3500 magazines published in Japan and the number of new book titles issued each year is greater than that in the US. Since WW1, Japan expanded its influence in Asia and its holdings in the Pacific. However, as a direct result of WW2, Japan lost all of its overseas possessions and was able to retain only its own islands. Since 1952, Japan has been ruled by conservative governments which cooperate closely with the West. Great economic growth has come since the post-treaty period. Japan as a constitutional monarchy operates within the framework of a constitution which became effective in May 1947. Executive power is vested in a cabinet which includes the prime minister and the ministers of state. Japan is one of the most politically stable of the postwar democracies and the Liberal Democratic Party is representative of Japanese moderate conservatism. The economy of Japan is strong and growing. With few resources, there is only 19% of Japanese land suitable for cultivation. Its exports earn only about 19% of the country's gross national product. More than 59 million workers comprise Japan's labor force, 40% of whom are women. Japan and the US are strongly linked trading partners and after Canada, Japan is the largest trading partner of the US. Foreign policy since 1952 has fostered close cooperation with the West and Japan is vitally interested in good relations with its neighbors. Relations with the Soviet Union are not close although Japan is attempting to improve the situation. US policy is based on

  8. Potential interoperability problems facing multi-site radiation oncology centers in The Netherlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheurleer, J.; Koken, Ph; Wessel, R.

    2014-03-01

    Aim: To identify potential interoperability problems facing multi-site Radiation Oncology (RO) departments in the Netherlands and solutions for unambiguous multi-system workflows. Specific challenges confronting the RO department of VUmc (RO-VUmc), which is soon to open a satellite department, were characterized. Methods: A nationwide questionnaire survey was conducted to identify possible interoperability problems and solutions. Further detailed information was obtained by in-depth interviews at 3 Dutch RO institutes that already operate in more than one site. Results: The survey had a 100% response rate (n=21). Altogether 95 interoperability problems were described. Most reported problems were on a strategic and semantic level. The majority were DICOM(-RT) and HL7 related (n=65), primarily between treatment planning and verification systems or between departmental and hospital systems. Seven were identified as being relevant for RO-VUmc. Departments have overcome interoperability problems with their own, or with tailor-made vendor solutions. There was little knowledge about or utilization of solutions developed by Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise Radiation Oncology (IHE-RO). Conclusions: Although interoperability problems are still common, solutions have been identified. Awareness of IHE-RO needs to be raised. No major new interoperability problems are predicted as RO-VUmc develops into a multi-site department.

  9. Advances in clinical research in gynecologic radiation oncology: an RTOG symposium.

    PubMed

    Gaffney, David; Mundt, Arno; Schwarz, Julie; Eifel, Patricia

    2012-05-01

    There have been inexorable improvements in gynecologic radiation oncology through technologically advances, 3-dimensional imaging, and clinical research. Investment in these 3 critical areas has improved, and will continue to improve, the lives of patients with gynecologic cancer. Advanced technology delivery in gynecologic radiation oncology is challenging owing to the following: (1) setup difficulties, (2) managing considerable internal organ motion, and (3) responding to tumor volume reduction during treatment. Image guidance is a potential route to solve these problems and improve delivery to tumor and sparing organs at risk. Imaging with positron emission tomography-computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are contributing significantly to improved accuracy in diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up in cancer of the cervix. Functional imaging by exploiting tumor biology may improve prognosis and treatment. Clinical trials have been the greatest mechanism to improve and establish standards of care in women with vulvar, endometrial, and cervical cancer. There have been multiple technological advances and practice changing trials within the past several decades. Many important questions remain in optimizing care for women with gynecologic malignancies. The performance of clinical trials will be advanced with the use of consistent language (ie, similar staging system and criteria), eligibility criteria that fit the research question, end points that matter, adequate statistical power, complete follow-up, and prompt publication of mature results. PMID:22398709

  10. Enhancing the role of case-oriented peer review to improve quality and safety in radiation oncology: Executive summary

    PubMed Central

    Marks, Lawrence B.; Adams, Robert D.; Pawlicki, Todd; Blumberg, Albert L.; Hoopes, David; Brundage, Michael D.; Fraass, Benedick A.

    2013-01-01

    This report is part of a series of white papers commissioned for the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Board of Directors as part of ASTRO's Target Safely Campaign, focusing on the role of peer review as an important component of a broad safety/quality assurance (QA) program. Peer review is one of the most effective means for assuring the quality of qualitative, and potentially controversial, patient-specific decisions in radiation oncology. This report summarizes many of the areas throughout radiation therapy that may benefit from the application of peer review. Each radiation oncology facility should evaluate the issues raised and develop improved ways to apply the concept of peer review to its individual process and workflow. This might consist of a daily multidisciplinary (eg, physicians, dosimetrists, physicists, therapists) meeting to review patients being considered for, or undergoing planning for, radiation therapy (eg, intention to treat and target delineation), as well as meetings to review patients already under treatment (eg, adequacy of image guidance). This report is intended to clarify and broaden the understanding of radiation oncology professionals regarding the meaning, roles, benefits, and targets for peer review as a routine quality assurance tool. It is hoped that this work will be a catalyst for further investigation, development, and study of the efficacy of peer review techniques and how these efforts can help improve the safety and quality of our treatments. PMID:24175002

  11. The Value of the Internship for Radiation Oncology Training: Results of a Survey of Current and Recent Trainees

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, Stephen R. Romero, Michelle J. M.A.; Geannette, Christian M.D.; Patel, Amish

    2009-07-15

    Purpose: Although a 12-month clinical internship is the traditional precursor to a radiation oncology residency, the continuance of this mandated training sequence has been questioned. This study was performed to evaluate the perceptions of current radiation oncology residents with respect to the value of their internship experience. Methods and Materials: A survey was sent to all US radiation oncology residents. Each was queried about whether they considered the internship to be a necessary prerequisite for a career as a radiation oncologist and as a physician. Preferences were listed on a Likert scale (1 = not at all necessary to 5 = absolutely necessary). Results: Seventy-one percent considered the internship year mostly (Likert Scale 4) or absolutely necessary (Likert Scale 5) for their development as a radiation oncologist, whereas 19.1% answered hardly or not at all (Likert Scale 2 and 1, respectively). With respect to their collective considerations about the impact of the internship year on their development as a physician, 89% had a positive response, 5.8% had a negative response, and 4.7% had no opinion. Although both deemed the preliminary year favorably, affirmative answers were more frequent among erstwhile internal medicine interns than former transitional program interns. Conclusions: A majority of radiation oncology residents positively acknowledged their internship for their development as a specialist and an even greater majority valued it for their development as a physician. This affirmative opinion was registered more frequently by those completing an internal medicine internship compared with a transitional internship.

  12. [Implementing new technology in radiation oncology: The French agency for nuclear safety (ASN) report].

    PubMed

    Lartigau, É-F; Lisbona, A; Isambert, A; Cadot, P; Derreumaux, S; Dupuis, O; Gérard, J-P; Ledu, D; Mahé, M-A; Marchesi, V; Mazurier, J; De Oliveira, A; Phare, O; Aubert, B

    2015-10-01

    In August 2013, the French nuclear safety agency (ASN) requested the permanent group of experts in radiation protection in medicine (GPMED) to propose recommendations on the implementation of new technology and techniques in radiation oncology. These recommendations were finalized in February 2015 by the GPMED. In April 2015, the ASN sent a letter to the French ministry of health (DGS/DGOS), and its national health agencies (ANSM, INCa, HAS). In these letters, ASN proposed that, from the 12 recommendations made by the GPMED, an action plan should be established, whose control could be assigned to the French national cancer institute (INCa), as a pilot of the national committee for radiotherapy and that this proposal has to be considered at the next meeting of the national committee of radiotherapy. PMID:26278991

  13. Sedation and Anesthesia Options for Pediatric Patients in the Radiation Oncology Suite

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Eric A.

    2010-01-01

    External beam radiation therapy (XRT) has become one of the cornerstones in the management of pediatric oncology cases. While the procedure itself is painless, the anxiety it causes may necessitate the provision of sedation or anesthesia for the patient. This review paper will briefly review the XRT procedure itself so that the anesthesia provider has an understanding of what is occurring during the simulation and treatment phases. We will then examine several currently used regimens for the provision of pediatric sedation in the XRT suite as well as a discussion of when and how general anesthesia should be performed if deemed necessary. Standards of care with respect to patient monitoring will be addressed. We will conclude with a survey of the developing field of radiation-based therapy administered outside of the XRT suite. PMID:20490268

  14. Japan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Savannah C.

    Materials for a secondary level, interdisciplinary social studies course on Japan are divided into introductory information, 14 classroom units, and study and evaluation materials. Introductory material includes lists of objectives and skills, an outline of Japanese history, and an explanation of Japan's name and flag. The units cover the…

  15. Japan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkins, John N.

    1986-01-01

    Analyzes the intergroup relations in Japanese society and Japan's educational system. Challenges the view that Japan is a homogeneous society by presenting the various forms of discrimination against Koreans, Ainu, and the burakumin. Suggests that despite ostracism and isolation, groups can affect public policy and achieve social advancement. (SA)

  16. Conservative surgery for low rectal carcinoma after high-dose radiation. Functional and oncologic results.

    PubMed Central

    Rouanet, P; Fabre, J M; Dubois, J B; Dravet, F; Saint Aubert, B; Pradel, J; Ychou, M; Solassol, C; Pujol, H

    1995-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Using a prospective, nonrandomized study, the authors evaluated the morbidity and functional and oncologic results of conservative surgery for cancer of the lower third of the rectum after high-dose radiation. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Colo-anal anastomosis has made sphincter conservation for low rectal carcinoma technically feasible. The limits to conservative surgery currently are oncologic rather than technical. Adjuvant radiotherapy has proven its benefit in terms of regional control, with a dose relationship. METHODS: Since June 1990, 27 patients with distal rectal adenocarcinoma were treated by preoperative radiotherapy (40 + 20 Gy delivered with three fields) and curative surgery. The mean distance from the anal verge was 47 mm (27-57 mm), and none of the tumors were fixed (15 T2, 12 T3). RESULTS: Mortality and morbidity were not increased by high-dose preoperative radiation. Twenty-one patients underwent conservative surgery (78%-17 total proctectomies and colo-anal anastomoses, 4 trans-anal resections). After colo-anal anastomosis, all patients with colonic pouch had good results; two patients had moderate results and one patient had poor results after straight colo-anal anastomosis. With a mean follow-up of 24 months, the authors noted 1 postoperative death, 2 disease-linked deaths, 1 controlled regional recurrence, 2 evolutive patients with pulmonary metastases, and 21 disease-free patients. CONCLUSIONS: These first results confirm the possibility of conservative surgery for low rectal carcinoma after high-dose radiation. A prospective, randomized trial could be induced to determine the real role of the 20 Gy boost on the sphincter-saving decision. PMID:7826163

  17. Relationship Between Mood Disturbance and Sleep Quality in Oncology Outpatients at the Initiation of Radiation Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Van Onselen, Christina; Dunn, Laura B.; Lee, Kathryn; Dodd, Marylin; Koetters, Theresa; West, Claudia; Paul, Steven M.; Aouizerat, Bradley E.; Wara, William; Swift, Patrick; Miaskowski, Christine

    2010-01-01

    Purpose of the research The purpose of this study was to describe the occurrence of significant mood disturbance and evaluate for differences in sleep quality among four mood groups (i.e., neither anxiety nor depression, only anxiety, only depression, anxiety and depression) prior to the initiation of radiation therapy (RT). Methods and sample Patients (n=179) with breast, prostate, lung, and brain cancer were evaluated prior to the initiation of RT using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, and the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory. Differences in sleep disturbance among the four mood groups were evaluated using analyses of variance. Key results While 38% of the patients reported some type of mood disturbance, 57% of the patients reported sleep disturbance. Patients with clinically significant levels of anxiety and depression reported the highest levels of sleep disturbance. Conclusions Overall, oncology patients with mood disturbances reported more sleep disturbance than those without mood disturbance. Findings suggest that oncology patients need to be assessed for mood and sleep disturbances. PMID:20080444

  18. Vision 20/20: Automation and advanced computing in clinical radiation oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, Kevin L. Moiseenko, Vitali; Kagadis, George C.; McNutt, Todd R.; Mutic, Sasa

    2014-01-15

    This Vision 20/20 paper considers what computational advances are likely to be implemented in clinical radiation oncology in the coming years and how the adoption of these changes might alter the practice of radiotherapy. Four main areas of likely advancement are explored: cloud computing, aggregate data analyses, parallel computation, and automation. As these developments promise both new opportunities and new risks to clinicians and patients alike, the potential benefits are weighed against the hazards associated with each advance, with special considerations regarding patient safety under new computational platforms and methodologies. While the concerns of patient safety are legitimate, the authors contend that progress toward next-generation clinical informatics systems will bring about extremely valuable developments in quality improvement initiatives, clinical efficiency, outcomes analyses, data sharing, and adaptive radiotherapy.

  19. Radiation Therapy Oncology Group clinical trials for carcinoma of the cervix.

    PubMed

    Grigsby, P. W.

    1999-11-01

    Grigsby PW. Radiation Therapy Oncology Group clinical trials for carcinoma of the cervix. The purpose of this paper is to review the primary data of the clinical trials performed by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) for patients with carcinoma of the uterine cervix. The trials, their strengths, limitations, and the implications of the results are discussed. During the past 25 years there have been several clinical trials performed by the RTOG to test various hypotheses for improving local control and survival for patients with carcinoma of the uterine cervix. The major research themes that have been appraised are the use of hyperbaric oxygen, altered fractionation radiotherapy, hypoxic cell sensitization, chemo-sensitization, prophylactic paraaortic irradiation, and neutron radiotherapy. There are two general research themes. The initial RTOG trials for cervical cancer attempted to address the issues of tumor volume and hypoxic cells while the latter studies addressed these issues and the issue of micrometastatic disease. The phase III clinical trials performed by the RTOG have not demonstrated a local control or survival advantage in the experimental arm with the use of hyperbaric oxygen, split-course radiotherapy, hypoxic cell sensitization, or neutron radiotherapy. Acceptable toxicity and efficacy results were shown in phase II studies evaluating twice-daily irradiation and chemo-sensitization. The positive phase III trials were RTOG 79-20 which evaluated prophylactic paraaortic irradiation in patients with bulky stages IB, IIA, and IIB disease, and RTOG 90-01 which evaluated concurrent chemotherapy. Results of more recent clinical trials are pending their completion. PMID:11240808

  20. Initial application of digital tomosynthesis with on-board imaging in radiation oncology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baydush, Alan H.; Godfrey, Devon J.; Oldham, Mark; Dobbins, James T., III

    2005-04-01

    We present preliminary investigations that examine the feasibility of incorporating digital tomosynthesis into radiation oncology practice with the use of kilovoltage on-board imagers (OBI). Modern radiation oncology linear accelerators now include hardware options for the addition of OBI for on-line patient setup verification. These systems include an x-ray tube and detector mounted directly on the accelerator gantry that rotate with the same isocenter. Applications include cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), fluoroscopy, and radiographs to examine daily patient positioning to determine if the patient is in the same location as the treatment plan. While CBCT provides the greatest anatomical detail, this approach is limited by long acquisition and reconstruction times and higher patient dose. We propose to examine the use of tomosynthesis reconstructed volumetric data from limited angle projection images for short imaging time and reduced patient dose. Initial data uses 61 projection images acquired over an isocentric arc of twenty degrees with the detector approximately fifty-four centimeters from isocenter. A modified filtered back projection technique, which included a mathematical correction for isocentric motion, was used to reconstruct volume images. These images will be visually and mathematically compared to volumetric computed tomography images to determine efficacy of this system for daily patient positioning verification. Initial images using the tomosynthesis reconstruction technique show much promise and bode well for effective daily patient positioning verification with reduced patient dose and imaging time. Additionally, the fast image acquisition may allow for a single breath hold imaging sequence, which will have no breath motion.

  1. Central Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Facility Project-(II)

    SciTech Connect

    Yamamoto, N.; Takashima, Y.; Hosaka, M.; Takami, K.; Morimoto, H.; Ito, T.; Sakurai, I.; Hara, H.; Okamoto, W.; Watanabe, N.; Takeda, Y.; Katoh, M.; Hori, Y.; Sasaki, S.

    2010-06-23

    A synchrotron radiation facility that is used not only for basic research, but also for engineering and industrial research and development has been proposed to be constructed in the Central area of Japan. The key equipment of this facility is a compact electron storage ring that is able to supply hard X-rays. The circumference of the storage ring is 72 m with the energy of 1.2 GeV, the beam current of 300 mA, and the natural emittance of about 53 nm-rad. The configuration of the storage ring is based on four triple bend cells, and four of the twelve bending magnets are 5 T superconducting ones. The bending angle and critical energy are 12 degree and 4.8 keV, respectively. For the top-up operation, the electron beam will be injected from a booster synchrotron with the full energy. Currently, six beamlines are planned for the first phase starting from 2012.

  2. Education and training for radiation scientists: radiation research program and American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology Workshop, Bethesda, Maryland, May 12-14, 2003.

    PubMed

    Coleman, C Norman; Stone, Helen B; Alexander, George A; Barcellos-Hoff, Mary Helen; Bedford, Joel S; Bristow, Robert G; Dynlacht, Joseph R; Fuks, Zvi; Gorelic, Lester S; Hill, Richard P; Joiner, Michael C; Liu, Fei-Fei; McBride, William H; McKenna, W Gillies; Powell, Simon N; Robbins, Michael E C; Rockwell, Sara; Schiff, Peter B; Shaw, Edward G; Siemann, Dietmar W; Travis, Elizabeth L; Wallner, Paul E; Wong, Rosemary S L; Zeman, Elaine M

    2003-12-01

    Current and potential shortfalls in the number of radiation scientists stand in sharp contrast to the emerging scientific opportunities and the need for new knowledge to address issues of cancer survivorship and radiological and nuclear terrorism. In response to these challenges, workshops organized by the Radiation Research Program (RRP), National Cancer Institute (NCI) (Radiat. Res. 157, 204-223, 2002; Radiat. Res. 159, 812-834, 2003), and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) (Nature, 421, 787, 2003) have engaged experts from a range of federal agencies, academia and industry. This workshop, Education and Training for Radiation Scientists, addressed the need to establish a sustainable pool of expertise and talent for a wide range of activities and careers related to radiation biology, oncology and epidemiology. Although fundamental radiation chemistry and physics are also critical to radiation sciences, this workshop did not address workforce needs in these areas. The recommendations include: (1) Establish a National Council of Radiation Sciences to develop a strategy for increasing the number of radiation scientists. The strategy includes NIH training grants, interagency cooperation, interinstitutional collaboration among universities, and active involvement of all stakeholders. (2) Create new and expanded training programs with sustained funding. These may take the form of regional Centers of Excellence for Radiation Sciences. (3) Continue and broaden educational efforts of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), and the Radiation Research Society (RRS). (4) Foster education and training in the radiation sciences for the range of career opportunities including radiation oncology, radiation biology, radiation epidemiology, radiation safety, health/government policy, and industrial research. (5) Educate other

  3. Professor Hassan K. Awwad; The Father of Radiation Oncology and Radiobiology in Egypt and the Arab World, His Good Deeds Last Forever and Inspire us for the Future.

    PubMed

    Zaghloul, Mohamed S; El-Badawi, Samy A; Abd Elbaky, Hoda

    2007-03-01

    , Libya, Palastine, Iraq, Uganda, Nigeria and other countries. He himself had many teaching missions in different Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and others) for the sake of groups of his students that could not come to Egypt. He served as the head of the Department of Radiation Oncology for more than 15 years (1970-1985), full time Professor in Radiation Oncology and Radiobiology (1985-2007), Professor of Radiotherapy, Alexandria University (1954-1970), Chief of the Department of Nuclear Medicine, Medical Research Institute, University of Alexandria (1963-1964), Chief of the Radiotherapy Unit in the Heliopolis Hospital, Ministry of Public Health, 1985-2007. He was co-founder of the Egyptian Society of Cancer and acted as vice present and head of the scientific committee of the society. He shared the activities of many Egyptian, Arab and international scientific societies. His activities in these societies were great. Prof. Awwad had direct contact with his students that never ended, even after some of them left to work in other places in USA, Canada, Europe or Arab Countries. His students' specialty varied between radiobiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, tumor biology, radiation oncology, medical oncology and surgical oncology. Prof. Awwad had more than 100 published articles on hypoxia and hypoxic cell radiosensitizers, biology of growth of human tumors, biology and clinical models of the time factor in external beam radiotherapy, biology and mathematical models of time factor in brachytherapy, radioactive dynamic cancer studies of plasma protein metabolism, radioactive dynamic factor studies of blood disorders and lymphoma, radiation damage of DNA and normal tissues,head and neck cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer and development and optimization of clinical radiotherapy. He had continuous cooperation and collaboration with many of the great scientists and clinicians in Holland, France, United Kingdom, USA and Japan. He continued to exchange

  4. Delayed Workforce Entry and High Emigration Rates for Recent Canadian Radiation Oncology Graduates

    SciTech Connect

    Loewen, Shaun K.; Halperin, Ross; Lefresne, Shilo; Trotter, Theresa; Stuckless, Teri; Brundage, Michael

    2015-10-01

    Purpose: To determine the employment status and location of recent Canadian radiation oncology (RO) graduates and to identify current workforce entry trends. Methods and Materials: A fill-in-the-blank spreadsheet was distributed to all RO program directors in December 2013 and June 2014, requesting the employment status and location of their graduates over the last 3 years. Visa trainee graduates were excluded. Results: Response rate from program directors was 100% for both survey administrations. Of 101 graduates identified, 99 (98%) had known employment status and location. In the December survey, 5 2013 graduates (16%), 17 2012 graduates (59%), and 18 2011 graduates (75%) had permanent staff employment. Six months later, 5 2014 graduates (29%), 15 2013 graduates (48%), 24 2012 graduates (83%), and 21 2011 graduates (88%) had secured staff positions. Fellowships and temporary locums were common for those without staff employment. The proportion of graduates with staff positions abroad increased from 22% to 26% 6 months later. Conclusions: Workforce entry for most RO graduates was delayed but showed steady improvement with longer time after graduation. High emigration rates for jobs abroad signify domestic employment challenges for newly certified, Canadian-trained radiation oncologists. Coordination on a national level is required to address and regulate radiation oncologist supply and demand disequilibrium in Canada.

  5. Evidence-based recommendations of postoperative radiotherapy in lung cancer from Oncologic Group for the Study of Lung Cancer (Spanish Radiation Oncology Society).

    PubMed

    Gómez, A; González, J A; Couñago, F; Vallejo, C; Casas, F; de Dios, N Rodríguez

    2016-04-01

    Locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a diversified illness in which postoperative radiation therapy (PORT) for complete resection with positive hiliar (pN1) and/or mediastinal (pN2) lymph nodes is controversial. Although several studies have shown that PORT has beneficial effects, randomized trials are needed to demonstrate its impact on overall survival. In this review, the Spanish Radiation Oncology Group for Lung Cancer describes the most relevant literature on PORT in NSCLC patients stage pN1-2. In addition, we have outlined the current recommendations of different national and international clinical guidelines and have also specified practical issues regarding treatment volume definition, doses and fractionation. PMID:26280402

  6. SU-E-J-185: A Systematic Review of Breathing Guidance in Radiation Oncology and Radiology

    SciTech Connect

    Pollock, S; Keall, P; Keall, R

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: The advent of image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) has led to dramatic improvements in the accuracy of treatment delivery in radiotherapy. Such advancements have highlighted the deleterious impact tumor motion can have on both image quality and radiation treatment delivery. One approach to reducing tumor motion is the use of breathing guidance systems during imaging and treatment. A review of such research had not yet been performed, it was therefore our aim to perform a systematic review of breathing guidance interventions within the fields of radiation oncology and radiology. Methods: Results of online database searches were filtered in accordance to a set of eligibility criteria. The search, filtration, and analysis of articles were conducted in accordance with the PRISMAStatement reporting standard (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) utilizing the PICOS approach (Participants, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome, Study design). Participants: Cancer patients, healthy volunteers. Intervention: Biofeedback breathing guidance systems. Comparison: No breathing guidance of the same breathing type. Outcome: Regularity of breathing signal and anatomic/tumor motion, medical image quality, radiation treatment margins and coverage, medical imaging and radiation treatment times. Study design: Quantitative and controlled prospective or retrospective trials. Results: The systematic search yielded a total of 479 articles, which were filtered down to 27 relevant articles in accordance to the eligibility criteria. The vast majority of investigated outcomes were significantly positively impacted by the use of breathing guidance; however, this was dependent upon the nature of the breathing guidance system and study design. In 25/27 studies significant improvements from the use of breathing guidance were observed. Conclusion: The results found here indicate that further clinical studies are warranted which quantify more comprehensively the

  7. Patient-Physician Communication About Complementary and Alternative Medicine in a Radiation Oncology Setting

    SciTech Connect

    Ge Jin; Fishman, Jessica; Vapiwala, Neha; Li, Susan Q.; Desai, Krupali; Xie, Sharon X.; Mao, Jun J.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Despite the extensive use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among cancer patients, patient-physician communication regarding CAM therapies remains limited. This study quantified the extent of patient-physician communication about CAM and identified factors associated with its discussion in radiation therapy (RT) settings. Methods and Materials: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 305 RT patients at an urban academic cancer center. Patients with different cancer types were recruited in their last week of RT. Participants self-reported their demographic characteristics, health status, CAM use, patient-physician communication regarding CAM, and rationale for/against discussing CAM therapies with physicians. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify relationships between demographic/clinical variables and patients' discussion of CAM with radiation oncologists. Results: Among the 305 participants, 133 (43.6%) reported using CAM, and only 37 (12.1%) reported discussing CAM therapies with their radiation oncologists. In multivariate analyses, female patients (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.21-0.98) and patients with full-time employment (AOR 0.32, 95% CI 0.12-0.81) were less likely to discuss CAM with their radiation oncologists. CAM users (AOR 4.28, 95% CI 1.93-9.53) were more likely to discuss CAM with their radiation oncologists than were non-CAM users. Conclusions: Despite the common use of CAM among oncology patients, discussions regarding these treatments occur rarely in the RT setting, particularly among female and full-time employed patients. Clinicians and patients should incorporate discussions of CAM to guide its appropriate use and to maximize possible benefit while minimizing potential harm.

  8. Validation and Simplification of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Recursive Partitioning Analysis Classification for Glioblastoma

    SciTech Connect

    Li Jing; Wang Meihua; Won, Minhee; Shaw, Edward G.; Coughlin, Christopher; Curran, Walter J.; Mehta, Minesh P.

    2011-11-01

    Purpose: Previous recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) of patients with malignant glioma (glioblastoma multiforme [GBM] and anaplastic astrocytoma [AA]) produced six prognostic groups (I-VI) classified by six factors. We sought here to determine whether the classification for GBM could be improved by using an updated Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) GBM database excluding AA and by considering additional baseline variables. Methods and Materials: The new analysis considered 42 baseline variables and 1,672 GBM patients from the expanded RTOG glioma database. Patients receiving radiation only were excluded such that all patients received radiation+carmustine. 'Radiation dose received' was replaced with 'radiation dose assigned.' The new RPA models were compared with the original model by applying them to a test dataset comprising 488 patients from six other RTOG trials. Fitness of the original and new models was evaluated using explained variation. Results: The original RPA model explained more variations in survival in the test dataset than did the new models (20% vs. 15%) and was therefore chosen for further analysis. It was reduced by combining Classes V and VI to produce three prognostic classes (Classes III, IV, and V+VI), as Classes V and VI had indistinguishable survival in the test dataset. The simplified model did not further improve performance (explained variation 18% vs. 20%) but is easier to apply because it involves only four variables: age, performance status, extent of resection, and neurologic function. Applying this simplified model to the updated GBM database resulted in three distinct classes with median survival times of 17.1, 11.2, and 7.5 months for Classes III, IV, and V+VI, respectively. Conclusions: The final model, the simplified original RPA model combining Classes V and VI, resulted in three distinct prognostic groups defined by age, performance status, extent of resection, and neurologic function. This classification will be used

  9. American Board of Radiology Maintenance of Certification-Part IV: Practice Quality Improvement for Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Kun, Larry E.; Haffty, Bruce G.; Bosma, Jennifer; Strife, Janet L.; Hattery, Robert R. . E-mail: information@theabr.org

    2007-05-01

    Maintenance of Certification is a physician-based response to public concerns about the quality of medical care and physician competency in a rapidly evolving, technically demanding specialty. American Board of Radiology (ABR) has previously described the first three components of the Maintenance of Certification. The ABR is currently developing a program in practice performance, completing Part IV of the competencies. The Practice Quality Improvement (PQI) program is meant to critically evaluate meaningful aspects of a physician's practice in a simple manner, using identifiable metrics and self-assessment to include an action plan for quality improvement. Each diplomate will be expected to complete three PQI projects during a full 10-year Maintenance of Certification cycle. Current diplomates with time-limited certificates will find prorated requirements determined by their year of certification on the ABR Website. Diplomates will have the option of completing zero to two Type I PQI projects (assessing factors relevant to clinical practice by peer review and self-reporting) and one to three Type II projects (i.e., at least one Type II projects of the three required, assessing parameters of practice by comparison with evidence-based guidelines, consensus statements, or peer comparisons; Type II projects are initiated and managed by professional societies). Several examples of Type I projects that might be offered by societies or directly through the ABR are provided, as well as highlights of the two Type II projects that have sought ABR qualification: American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's Performance Assessment for the Advancement of Radiation Oncology Treatment program and American College of Radiology's RO-PEER program. An additional objective of the PQI is to develop national databases for future reference using aggregate data from the PQI projects.

  10. Diversity Based on Race, Ethnicity, and Sex, of the US Radiation Oncology Physician Workforce

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, Christina H.; Hwang, Wei-Ting; Deville, Curtiland

    2013-03-15

    Purpose: To assess the current diversity of the US radiation oncology (RO) physician workforce by race, ethnicity, and sex. Methods and Materials: Publicly available American Medical Association, American Association of Medical Colleges, and US census registries were used to assess differences by race, ethnicity, and sex for 2010 among RO practicing physicians, academic faculty, residents, and residency applicants. RO resident diversity was compared to medical school graduates and medical oncology (MO) fellows. Significant differences in diversity of RO residents by race, ethnicity, and sex were evaluated between 2003 and 2010 academic years. Results: Females and traditionally underrepresented minorities in medicine (URM), blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders are underrepresented as RO residents (33.3% and 6.9%, respectively), faculty (23.8%, 8.1%), and practicing physicians (25.5%, 7.2%) levels compared with the US population (50.8%, 30.0%; P<.01). Although females and URMs remain underrepresented at the resident trainee level compared with their proportions as medical school graduates (48.3%, 15.6%) and MO fellows (45.0%, 10.8%; P<.01), females are significantly increased in proportion as RO residents compared with RO practicing physicians (P<.01), whereas representation of individual URM groups as RO residents is no different than current practicing physicians. There is no trend toward increased diversification for female or URM trainees over 8 years, suggesting underrepresentation is not diminishing. Conclusions: Females and URM are underrepresented in the RO physician workforce. Given existing cancer disparities, further research and efforts are needed to ensure that the field is equipped to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse society.

  11. Who Enrolls Onto Clinical Oncology Trials? A Radiation Patterns of Care Study Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Movsas, Benjamin . E-mail: bmovsas1@hfhs.org; Moughan, Jennifer; Owen, Jean; Coia, Lawrence R.; Zelefsky, Michael J.; Hanks, Gerald; Wilson, J. Frank

    2007-07-15

    Purpose: To identify factors significantly influencing accrual to clinical protocols by analyzing radiation Patterns of Care Study (PCS) surveys of 3,047 randomly selected radiotherapy (RT) patients. Methods and Materials: Patterns of Care Study surveys from disease sites studied for the periods 1992-1994 and 1996-1999 (breast cancer, n = 1,080; prostate cancer, n = 1,149; esophageal cancer, n = 818) were analyzed. The PCS is a National Cancer Institute-funded national survey of randomly selected RT institutions in the United States. Patients with nonmetastatic disease who received RT as definitive or adjuvant therapy were randomly selected from eligible patients at each institution. To determine national estimates, individual patient records were weighted by the relative contribution of each institution and patients within each institution. Data regarding participation in clinical trials were recorded. The factors age, gender, race, type of insurance, and practice type of treating institution (academic or not) were studied by univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: Overall, only 2.7% of all patients were accrued to clinical protocols. Of these, 57% were enrolled on institutional review board-approved institutional trials, and 43% on National Cancer Institute collaborative group studies. On multivariate analysis, patients treated at academic facilities (p = 0.0001) and white patients (vs. African Americans, p = 0.0002) were significantly more likely to participate in clinical oncology trials. Age, gender, type of cancer, and type of insurance were not predictive. Conclusions: Practice type and race significantly influence enrollment onto clinical oncology trials. This suggests that increased communication and education regarding protocols, particularly focusing on physicians in nonacademic settings and minority patients, will be essential to enhance accrual.

  12. Estimation of Citation-Based Scholarly Activity Among Radiation Oncology Faculty at Domestic Residency-Training Institutions: 1996-2007

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, Mehee; Fuller, Clifton D.; Thomas, Charles R.

    2009-05-01

    Purpose: Advancement in academic radiation oncology is largely contingent on research productivity and the perceived external influence of an individual's scholarly work. The purpose of this study was to use the Hirsch index (h-index) to estimate the research productivity of current radiation oncology faculty at U.S. academic institutions between 1996 and 2007. Methods and Materials: We performed bibliometric citation database searches for available radiation oncology faculty at domestic residency-training institutions (n = 826). The outcomes analyzed included the total number of manuscripts, total number of citations, and the h-index between 1996 and 2007. Analysis of overall h-index rankings with stratification by academic ranking, junior vs. senior faculty status, and gender was performed. Results: Of the 826 radiation oncologists, the mean h-index was 8.5. Of the individuals in the top 10% by the h-index, 34% were chairpersons, 88% were senior faculty, and 13% were women. A greater h-index was associated with a higher academic ranking and senior faculty status. Recursive partitioning analysis revealed an h-index threshold of 15 (p <0.0001) as an identified breakpoint between the senior and junior faculty. Overall, women had lower h-indexes compared with men (mean, 6.4 vs. 9.4); however, when stratified by academic ranking, the gender differential all but disappeared. Conclusion: Using the h-index as a partial surrogate for research productivity, it appears that radiation oncologists in academia today comprise a prolific group, however, with a highly skewed distribution. According to the present analysis, the h-index correlated with academic ranking. Thus, it potentially has utility in the process of promotion decisions. Overall, women in radiation oncology were less academically productive than men; the possible reasons for the gender differential are discussed.

  13. Japan Society of Gynecologic Oncology guidelines 2015 for the treatment of ovarian cancer including primary peritoneal cancer and fallopian tube cancer.

    PubMed

    Komiyama, Shinichi; Katabuchi, Hidetaka; Mikami, Mikio; Nagase, Satoru; Okamoto, Aikou; Ito, Kiyoshi; Morishige, Kenichiro; Suzuki, Nao; Kaneuchi, Masanori; Yaegashi, Nobuo; Udagawa, Yasuhiro; Yoshikawa, Hiroyuki

    2016-06-01

    The fourth edition of the Japan Society of Gynecologic Oncology guidelines for the treatment of ovarian cancer including primary peritoneal cancer and fallopian tube cancer was published in 2015. The guidelines contain seven chapters and six flow charts. The major changes in this new edition are as follows-(1) the format has been changed from reviews to clinical questions (CQ), and the guidelines for optimal clinical practice in Japan are now shown as 41 CQs and answers; (2) the 'flow charts' have been improved and placed near the beginning of the guidelines; (3) the 'basic points', including tumor staging, histological classification, surgical procedures, chemotherapy, and palliative care, are described before the chapter; (4) the FIGO surgical staging of ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, and primary peritoneal cancer was revised in 2014 and the guideline has been revised accordingly to take the updated version of this classification into account; (5) the procedures for examination and management of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer are described; (6) information on molecular targeting therapy has been added; (7) guidelines for the treatment of recurrent cancer based on tumor markers alone are described, as well as guidelines for providing hormone replacement therapy after treatment. PMID:27142770

  14. Evaluation of Safety in a Radiation Oncology Setting Using Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Ford, Eric C. Gaudette, Ray; Myers, Lee; Vanderver, Bruce; Engineer, Lilly; Zellars, Richard; Song, Danny Y.; Wong, John; DeWeese, Theodore L.

    2009-07-01

    Purpose: Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is a widely used tool for prospectively evaluating safety and reliability. We report our experiences in applying FMEA in the setting of radiation oncology. Methods and Materials: We performed an FMEA analysis for our external beam radiation therapy service, which consisted of the following tasks: (1) create a visual map of the process, (2) identify possible failure modes; assign risk probability numbers (RPN) to each failure mode based on tabulated scores for the severity, frequency of occurrence, and detectability, each on a scale of 1 to 10; and (3) identify improvements that are both feasible and effective. The RPN scores can span a range of 1 to 1000, with higher scores indicating the relative importance of a given failure mode. Results: Our process map consisted of 269 different nodes. We identified 127 possible failure modes with RPN scores ranging from 2 to 160. Fifteen of the top-ranked failure modes were considered for process improvements, representing RPN scores of 75 and more. These specific improvement suggestions were incorporated into our practice with a review and implementation by each department team responsible for the process. Conclusions: The FMEA technique provides a systematic method for finding vulnerabilities in a process before they result in an error. The FMEA framework can naturally incorporate further quantification and monitoring. A general-use system for incident and near miss reporting would be useful in this regard.

  15. Emergence of Integrated Urology-Radiation Oncology Practices in the State of Texas

    SciTech Connect

    Jhaveri, Pavan M.; Sun Zhuyi; Ballas, Leslie; Followill, David S.; Hoffman, Karen E.; Jiang Jing; Smith, Benjamin D.

    2012-09-01

    Purpose: Integrated urology-radiation oncology (RO) practices have been advocated as a means to improve community-based prostate cancer care by joining urologic and radiation care in a single-practice environment. However, little is known regarding the scope and actual physical integration of such practices. We sought to characterize the emergence of such practices in Texas, their extent of physical integration, and their potential effect on patient travel times for radiation therapy. Methods and Materials: A telephone survey identified integrated urology-RO practices, defined as practices owned by urologists that offer RO services. Geographic information software was used to determine the proximity of integrated urology-RO clinic sites with respect to the state's population. We calculated patient travel time and distance from each integrated urology-RO clinic offering urologic services to the RO treatment facility owned by the integrated practice and to the nearest nonintegrated (independent) RO facility. We compared these times and distances using the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test. Results: Of 229 urology practices identified, 12 (5%) offered integrated RO services, and 182 (28%) of 640 Texas urologists worked in such practices. Approximately 53% of the state population resides within 10 miles of an integrated urology-RO clinic site. Patients with a diagnosis of prostate cancer at an integrated urology-RO clinic site travel a mean of 19.7 miles (26.1 min) from the clinic to reach the RO facility owned by the integrated urology-RO practice vs 5.9 miles (9.2 min) to reach the nearest nonintegrated RO facility (P<.001). Conclusions: Integrated urology-RO practices are common in Texas and are generally clustered in urban areas. In most integrated practices, the urology clinics and the integrated RO facilities are not at the same location, and driving times and distances from the clinic to the integrated RO facility exceed those from the clinic to the nearest

  16. Clinical Predictors of Survival for Patients with Stage IV Cancer Referred to Radiation Oncology

    PubMed Central

    Kao, Johnny; Gold, Kenneth D.; Zarrili, Gina; Copel, Emily; Silverman, Andrew J.; Ramsaran, Shanata S.; Yens, David; Ryu, Samuel

    2015-01-01

    Background There is an urgent need for a robust, clinically useful predictive model for survival in a heterogeneous group of patients with metastatic cancer referred to radiation oncology. Methods From May 2012 to August 2013, 143 consecutive patients with stage IV cancer were prospectively evaluated by a single radiation oncologist. We retrospectively analyzed the effect of 29 patient, laboratory and tumor-related prognostic factors on overall survival using univariate analysis. Variables that were statistically significant on univariate analysis were entered into a multivariable Cox regression to identify independent predictors of overall survival. Results The median overall survival was 5.5 months. Four prognostic factors significantly predicted survival on multivariable analysis including ECOG performance status (0–1 vs. 2 vs. 3–4), number of active tumors (1 to 5 vs. ≥6), albumin levels (≥3.4 vs. 2.4 to 3.3 vs. <2.4 and primary tumor site (Breast, Kidney or Prostate vs. Other). Risk group stratification was performed by assigning points for adverse prognostic factors resulting in very low, low, intermediate and high risk groups. The median survival was >31.4 months for very low risk patients compared to 14.5 months for low risk, 4.1 months for intermediate risk and 1.2 months for high risk (p<0.001). Conclusions These data suggest that a model that considers performance status, extent of disease, primary tumor site and serum albumin represents a simple model to accurately predict survival for patients with stage IV cancer who are potential candidates for radiation therapy. PMID:25894552

  17. Do Case Rates Affect Physicians' Clinical Practice in Radiation Oncology?: An Observational Study.

    PubMed

    Loy, Bryan A; Shkedy, Clive I; Powell, Adam C; Happe, Laura E; Royalty, Julie A; Miao, Michael T; Smith, Gary L; Long, James W; Gupta, Amit K

    2016-01-01

    Case rate payments combined with utilization monitoring may have the potential to improve the quality of care by reducing over and under-treatment. Thus, a national managed care organization introduced case rate payments at one multi-site radiation oncology provider while maintaining only fee-for-service payments at others. This study examined whether the introduction of the payment method had an effect on radiation fractions administered when compared to clinical guidelines. The number of fractions of radiation therapy delivered to patients with bone metastases, breast, lung, prostate, and skin cancer was assessed for concordance with clinical guidelines. The proportion of guideline-based care ascertained from the payer's claims database was compared before (2011) and after (2013) the payment method introduction using relative risks (RR). After the introduction of case rates, there were no significant changes in guideline-based care in breast, lung, and skin cancer; however, patients with bone metastases and prostate cancer were significantly more likely to have received guideline-based care (RR = 2.0 and 1.1, respectively, p<0.05). For the aggregate of all cancers, the under-treatment rate significantly declined (p = 0.008) from 4% to 0% after the introduction of case rate payments, while the over-treatment rate remained steady at 9%, with no significant change (p = 0.20). These findings suggest that the introduction of case rate payments did not adversely affect the rate of guideline-based care at the provider examined. Additional research is needed to isolate the effect of the payment model and assess implications in other populations. PMID:26870963

  18. Do Case Rates Affect Physicians' Clinical Practice in Radiation Oncology?: An Observational Study

    PubMed Central

    Loy, Bryan A.; Shkedy, Clive I.; Powell, Adam C.; Happe, Laura E.; Royalty, Julie A.; Miao, Michael T.; Smith, Gary L.; Long, James W.; Gupta, Amit K.

    2016-01-01

    Case rate payments combined with utilization monitoring may have the potential to improve the quality of care by reducing over and under-treatment. Thus, a national managed care organization introduced case rate payments at one multi-site radiation oncology provider while maintaining only fee-for-service payments at others. This study examined whether the introduction of the payment method had an effect on radiation fractions administered when compared to clinical guidelines. The number of fractions of radiation therapy delivered to patients with bone metastases, breast, lung, prostate, and skin cancer was assessed for concordance with clinical guidelines. The proportion of guideline-based care ascertained from the payer's claims database was compared before (2011) and after (2013) the payment method introduction using relative risks (RR). After the introduction of case rates, there were no significant changes in guideline-based care in breast, lung, and skin cancer; however, patients with bone metastases and prostate cancer were significantly more likely to have received guideline-based care (RR = 2.0 and 1.1, respectively, p<0.05). For the aggregate of all cancers, the under-treatment rate significantly declined (p = 0.008) from 4% to 0% after the introduction of case rate payments, while the over-treatment rate remained steady at 9%, with no significant change (p = 0.20). These findings suggest that the introduction of case rate payments did not adversely affect the rate of guideline-based care at the provider examined. Additional research is needed to isolate the effect of the payment model and assess implications in other populations. PMID:26870963

  19. Using Baldrige Performance Excellence Program Approaches in the Pursuit of Radiation Oncology Quality Care, Patient Satisfaction, and Workforce Commitment

    PubMed Central

    Sternick, Edward S.

    2011-01-01

    The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act was signed into law in 1987 to advance US business competitiveness and economic growth. Administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Act created the Baldrige National Quality Program, recently renamed the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The comprehensive analytical approaches referred to as the Baldrige Healthcare Criteria, are very well-suited for the evaluation and sustainable improvement of radiation oncology management and operations. A multidisciplinary self-assessment approach is used for radiotherapy program evaluation and development in order to generate a fact-based, knowledge-driven system for improving quality of care, increasing patient satisfaction, enhancing leadership effectiveness, building employee engagement, and boosting organizational innovation. This methodology also provides a valuable framework for benchmarking an individual radiation oncology practice's operations and results against guidelines defined by accreditation and professional organizations and regulatory agencies. PMID:22655229

  20. Modern Radiation Therapy for Hodgkin Lymphoma: Field and Dose Guidelines From the International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group (ILROG)

    SciTech Connect

    Specht, Lena; Yahalom, Joachim; Illidge, Tim; Berthelsen, Anne Kiil; Constine, Louis S.; Eich, Hans Theodor; Girinsky, Theodore; Hoppe, Richard T.; Mauch, Peter; Mikhaeel, N. George; Ng, Andrea

    2014-07-15

    use of ISRT has not yet been validated in a formal study, it is more conservative than INRT, accounting for suboptimal information and appropriately designed for safe local disease control. The goal of modern smaller field radiation therapy is to reduce both treatment volume and treatment dose while maintaining efficacy and minimizing acute and late sequelae. This review is a consensus of the International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group (ILROG) Steering Committee regarding the modern approach to RT in the treatment of HL, outlining a new concept of ISRT in which reduced treatment volumes are planned for the effective control of involved sites of HL. Nodal and extranodal non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) are covered separately by ILROG guidelines.

  1. Comprehensive MRI simulation methodology using a dedicated MRI scanner in radiation oncology for external beam radiation treatment planning

    SciTech Connect

    Paulson, Eric S.; Erickson, Beth; Schultz, Chris; Allen Li, X.

    2015-01-15

    Purpose: The use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in radiation oncology is expanding rapidly, and more clinics are integrating MRI into their radiation therapy workflows. However, radiation therapy presents a new set of challenges and places additional constraints on MRI compared to diagnostic radiology that, if not properly addressed, can undermine the advantages MRI offers for radiation treatment planning (RTP). The authors introduce here strategies to manage several challenges of using MRI for virtual simulation in external beam RTP. Methods: A total of 810 clinical MRI simulation exams were performed using a dedicated MRI scanner for external beam RTP of brain, breast, cervix, head and neck, liver, pancreas, prostate, and sarcoma cancers. Patients were imaged in treatment position using MRI-optimal immobilization devices. Radiofrequency (RF) coil configurations and scan protocols were optimized based on RTP constraints. Off-resonance and gradient nonlinearity-induced geometric distortions were minimized or corrected prior to using images for RTP. A multidisciplinary MRI simulation guide, along with window width and level presets, was created to standardize use of MR images during RTP. A quality assurance program was implemented to maintain accuracy and repeatability of MRI simulation exams. Results: The combination of a large bore scanner, high field strength, and circumferentially wrapped, flexible phased array RF receive coils permitted acquisition of thin slice images with high contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and image intensity uniformity, while simultaneously accommodating patient setup and immobilization devices. Postprocessing corrections and alternative acquisition methods were required to reduce or correct off-resonance and gradient nonlinearity induced geometric distortions. Conclusions: The methodology described herein contains practical strategies the authors have implemented through lessons learned performing clinical MRI simulation exams. In

  2. [IAEA Training Course Series TCS-37 Clinical Training of Medical Physicists Specializing in Radiation Oncology].

    PubMed

    Imamura, Kiyonari

    2015-01-01

    Training program IAEA TCS-37 (Training course series No.37) "Clinical Training of Medical Physicists Specializing in Radiation Oncology (2009)" was fixed to practical training syllabus at faculty and graduate course of medical physics of a university. TCS-47 for diagnostic radiology (2010) and TCS-50 for nuclear medicine (2011) were also involved in the syllabus. These training courses had been developed by IAEA RCA RAS6038 project since 2002. In this paper, first, comparison with other training programs in the world was made in terms of (1) Degree of extent of subject or field, (2) Concreteness or specificity, (3) Degree of completion, (4) Method of certification and (5) Practicability. IAEA TCS series got the most points among ten programs such as EMERALD/EMIT, AAPM rpt.No.90 and CAMPEP accredited programs. Second, TCS-37, TCS47 and TCS50 were broken down to 6, 5 and 6 subjects of training course respectively. Third, each subject was further broken down to 15 times of training schedule where every time was composed by 3 hours of training. Totally 45 hours of a subject were assigned to one semester for getting one unit of credit. Seventeen units should be credited up to three years in graduate course to finish the whole program. PMID:26882699

  3. Patterns of Care for Lung Cancer in Radiation Oncology Departments of Turkey

    SciTech Connect

    Demiral, Ayse Nur Alicikus, Zuemre Arican; Isil Ugur, Vahide; Karadogan, Ilker; Yoeney, Adnan; Andrieu, Meltem Nalca; Yalman, Deniz; Pak, Yuecel; Aksu, Gamze; Ozyigit, Goekhan; Ozkan, Luetfi; Kilciksiz, Sevil; Koca, Sedat; Caloglu, Murat; Yavuz, Ali Aydin; Basak Caglar, Hale; Beyzadeoglu, Murat; Igdem, Sefik

    2008-12-01

    Purpose: To determine the patterns of care for lung cancer in Turkish radiation oncology centers. Methods and Materials: Questionnaire forms from 21 of 24 (87.5%) centers that responded were evaluated. Results: The most frequent histology was non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (81%). The most common postoperative radiotherapy (RT) indications were close/(+) surgical margins (95%) and presence of pN2 disease (91%). The most common indications for postoperative chemotherapy (CHT) were '{>=} IB' disease (19%) and the presence of pN2 disease (19%). In Stage IIIA potentially resectable NSCLC, the most frequent treatment approach was neoadjuvant concomitant chemoradiotherapy (CHRT) (57%). In Stage IIIA unresectable and Stage IIIB disease, the most frequent approach was definitive concomitant CHRT (91%). In limited SCLC, the most common treatment approach was concomitant CHRT with cisplatin+etoposide for cycles 1-3, completion of CHT to cycles 4-6, and finally prophylactic cranial irradiation in patients with complete response (71%). Six cycles of cisplatin + etoposide CHT and palliative thoracic RT, when required, was the most commonly used treatment (81%) in extensive SCLC. Sixty-two percent of centers did not have endobronchial brachytherapy (EBB) facilities. Conclusion: There is great variation in diagnostic testing, treatment strategies, indications for postoperative RT and CHT, RT features, and EBB availability for LC cases. To establish standards, national guidelines should be prepared using a multidisciplinary approach.

  4. An Evaluation of Departmental Radiation Oncology Incident Reports: Anticipating a National Reporting System

    SciTech Connect

    Terezakis, Stephanie A.; Harris, Kendra M.; Ford, Eric; Michalski, Jeff; DeWeese, Theodore; Santanam, Lakshmi; Mutic, Sasa; Gay, Hiram

    2013-03-15

    Purpose: Systems to ensure patient safety are of critical importance. The electronic incident reporting systems (IRS) of 2 large academic radiation oncology departments were evaluated for events that may be suitable for submission to a national reporting system (NRS). Methods and Materials: All events recorded in the combined IRS were evaluated from 2007 through 2010. Incidents were graded for potential severity using the validated French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) 5-point scale. These incidents were categorized into 7 groups: (1) human error, (2) software error, (3) hardware error, (4) error in communication between 2 humans, (5) error at the human-software interface, (6) error at the software-hardware interface, and (7) error at the human-hardware interface. Results: Between the 2 systems, 4407 incidents were reported. Of these events, 1507 (34%) were considered to have the potential for clinical consequences. Of these 1507 events, 149 (10%) were rated as having a potential severity of ≥2. Of these 149 events, the committee determined that 79 (53%) of these events would be submittable to a NRS of which the majority was related to human error or to the human-software interface. Conclusions: A significant number of incidents were identified in this analysis. The majority of events in this study were related to human error and to the human-software interface, further supporting the need for a NRS to facilitate field-wide learning and system improvement.

  5. Improving Diversity, Inclusion, and Representation in Radiology and Radiation Oncology Part 1: Why These Matter

    PubMed Central

    Lightfoote, Johnson B.; Fielding, Julia R.; Deville, Curtiland; Gunderman, Richard B.; Morgan, Gail N.; Pandharipande, Pari V.; Duerinckx, Andre J.; Wynn, Raymond B.; Macura, Katarzyna J.

    2015-01-01

    The ACR Commission for Women and General Diversity is committed to identifying barriers to a diverse physician workforce in radiology and radiation oncology (RRO), and to offering policy recommendations to overcome these barriers. In Part 1 of a 2-part position article from the commission, diversity as a concept and its dimensions of personality, character, ethnicity, biology, biography, and organization are introduced. Terms commonly used to describe diverse individuals and groups are reviewed. The history of diversity and inclusion in US society and health care are addressed. The post–Civil Rights Era evolution of diversity in medicine is delineated: Diversity 1.0, with basic awareness, nondiscrimination, and recruitment; Diversity 2.0, with appreciation of the value of diversity but inclusion as peripheral or in opposition to other goals; and Diversity 3.0, which integrates diversity and inclusion into core missions of organizations and their leadership, and leverages its potential for innovation and contribution. The current states of diversity and inclusion in RRO are reviewed in regard to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The lack of representation and unchanged demographics in these fields relative to other medical specialties are explored. The business case for diversity is discussed, with examples of successful models and potential application to the health care industry in general and to RRO. The moral, ethical, and public health imperative for diversity is also highlighted. PMID:24993534

  6. Improving diversity, inclusion, and representation in radiology and radiation oncology part 1: why these matter.

    PubMed

    Lightfoote, Johnson B; Fielding, Julia R; Deville, Curtiland; Gunderman, Richard B; Morgan, Gail N; Pandharipande, Pari V; Duerinckx, Andre J; Wynn, Raymond B; Macura, Katarzyna J

    2014-07-01

    The ACR Commission for Women and General Diversity is committed to identifying barriers to a diverse physician workforce in radiology and radiation oncology (RRO), and to offering policy recommendations to overcome these barriers. In Part 1 of a 2-part position article from the commission, diversity as a concept and its dimensions of personality, character, ethnicity, biology, biography, and organization are introduced. Terms commonly used to describe diverse individuals and groups are reviewed. The history of diversity and inclusion in US society and health care are addressed. The post-Civil Rights Era evolution of diversity in medicine is delineated: Diversity 1.0, with basic awareness, nondiscrimination, and recruitment; Diversity 2.0, with appreciation of the value of diversity but inclusion as peripheral or in opposition to other goals; and Diversity 3.0, which integrates diversity and inclusion into core missions of organizations and their leadership, and leverages its potential for innovation and contribution. The current states of diversity and inclusion in RRO are reviewed in regard to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The lack of representation and unchanged demographics in these fields relative to other medical specialties are explored. The business case for diversity is discussed, with examples of successful models and potential application to the health care industry in general and to RRO. The moral, ethical, and public health imperative for diversity is also highlighted. PMID:24993534

  7. Reporting of Uncertainty at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, W. Robert

    2014-05-01

    Purpose: The annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is designed to disseminate new scientific findings and technical advances to professionals. Best practices of scientific dissemination require that some level of uncertainty (or imprecision) is provided. Methods and Materials: A total of 279 scientific abstracts were selected for oral presentation in a clinical session at the 2013 ASTRO Annual Meeting. A random sample of these abstracts was reviewed to determine whether a 95% confidence interval (95% CI) or analogous measure of precision was provided for time-to-event analyses. Results: A sample of 140 abstracts was reviewed. Of the 65 abstracts with Kaplan-Meier or cumulative incidence analyses, 6 included some measure of precision (6 of 65 = 9%; 95% CI, 2-16). Of the 43 abstracts reporting ratios for time-to-event analyses (eg, hazard ratio, risk ratio), 22 included some measure of precision (22 of 43 = 51%; 95% CI, 36-66). Conclusions: Measures of precision are not provided in a significant percentage of abstracts selected for oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of ASTRO.

  8. Advanced laser particle accelerator development at LANL: from fast ignition to radiation oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Flippo, Kirk A; Gaillard, Sandrine A; Offermann, D T; Cobble, J A; Schmitt, M J; Gautier, D C; Kwan, T J T; Montgomery, D S; Kluge, Thomas; Bussmann, Micheal; Bartal, T; Beg, F N; Gall, B; Geissel, M; Korgan, G; Kovaleski, S; Lockard, T; Malekos, S; Schollmeier, M; Sentoku, Y; Cowan, T E

    2010-01-01

    Laser-plasma accelerated ion and electron beam sources are an emerging field with vast prospects, and promise many superior applications in a variety of fields such as hadron cancer therapy, compact radioisotope generation, table-top nuclear physics, laboratory astrophysics, nuclear forensics, waste transmutation, SN M detection, and inertial fusion energy. LANL is engaged in several projects seeking to develop compact high current and high energy ion and electron sources. We are especially interested in two specific applications: ion fast ignition/capsule perturbation and radiation oncology in conjunction with our partners at the ForschungsZentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (FZD). Laser-to-beam conversion efficiencies of over 10% are needed for practical applications, and we have already shown inherent etliciencies of >5% from flat foils, on Trident using only a 5th of the intensity and energy of the Nova Petawatt. With clever target designs, like structured curved cone targets, we have also been able to achieve major ion energy gains, leading to the highest energy laser-accelerated proton beams in the world. These new target designs promise to help usher in the next generation of particle sources realizing the potential of laser-accelerated beams.

  9. Improving diversity, inclusion, and representation in radiology and radiation oncology part 2: challenges and recommendations.

    PubMed

    Lightfoote, Johnson B; Fielding, Julia R; Deville, Curtiland; Gunderman, Richard B; Morgan, Gail N; Pandharipande, Pari V; Duerinckx, Andre J; Wynn, Raymond B; Macura, Katarzyna J

    2014-08-01

    The ACR Commission for Women and General Diversity is committed to identifying barriers to a diverse physician workforce in radiology and radiation oncology (RRO), and to offering policy recommendations to overcome these barriers. Part 2 of a 2-part position article from the commission addresses issues regarding diversity and inclusion in the context of career choices and professional advancement. Barriers to improving diversity and representation in RRO are reviewed. Discussion focuses on the development and implementation of concrete strategies designed to eliminate the current subspecialty disparity and highlights the need for the ACR to introduce programs and incentives with targeted and achievable goals with measurable outcomes. Recommendations are made aimed at fostering an environment of inclusion and diversity, so as to secure a successful future for all members of the RRO workforce. The future of radiology will be enhanced by increasing diversity and representation in the professional workforce, which will allow us to better address the varied needs of increasingly diverse patient populations, and to mitigate disparities in healthcare access, delivery, and outcomes. By leveraging diverse backgrounds, experiences, and skills of those in RRO, we will create new, effective ways to not only educate our trainees, medical colleagues, and patients but also improve delivery of health care and our service to society. PMID:25087987

  10. A 10-Year Analysis of American Society for Radiation Oncology Junior Faculty Career Development Awards

    SciTech Connect

    Kimple, Randall J.; Kao, Gary D.

    2013-03-15

    Purpose: Between 2000 and 2010, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) awarded 22 Junior Faculty Career Development Awards (JFA) totaling $4.4 million. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of these awards on the grantees' career development, including current position, publications, and subsequent independent grant funding. Methods: Each awardee was requested via email and telephone to provide an updated curriculum vitae, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) biosketch, and information regarding current position of employment. Twenty-one of the 22 JFA recipients complied. Reported grant funding was extracted from each candidate's CV, and the amounts of NIH grants obtained were confirmed via NIH REPORTER. Reported publications were confirmed via PubMed. Results: All survey respondents (21 of 21) have remained in academic positions. Subsequent aggregate grant funding totaled more than $25 million (range, $0-$4.1 million), 5.9 times the initial investment. NIH grant funding totaled almost $15 million, 3 times the initial investment. Awardees have published an average of 34.6 publications (range, 0-123) for an overall rate of 4.5 papers/year (range, 1-11). Conclusions: ASTRO JFAs over the past decade have been strongly associated with grantees remaining in academic positions, success in attracting private and NIH grants, and publication productivity. In an era of dwindling federal research funding, the support provided by the ASTRO JFA may be especially helpful to support the research careers of promising junior faculty members.

  11. Survey of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy in Japan by the Japan 3-D Conformal External Beam Radiotherapy Group

    SciTech Connect

    Nagata, Yasushi Hiraoka, Masahiro; Mizowaki, Takashi; Narita, Yuichiro; Matsuo, Yukinori; Norihisa, Yoshiki; Onishi, Hiroshi; Shirato, Hiroki

    2009-10-01

    Purpose: To recognize the current status of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) in Japan, using a nationwide survey conducted by the Japan 3-D Conformal External Beam Radiotherapy Group. Methods and Materials: The questionnaire was sent by mail to 117 institutions. Ninety-four institutions (80%) responded by the end of November 2005. Fifty-three institutions indicated that they have already started SBRT, and 38 institutions had been reimbursed by insurance. Results: A total of 1111 patients with histologically confirmed lung cancer were treated. Among these patients, 637 had T1N0M0 and 272 had T2N0M0 lung cancer. Metastatic lung cancer was found in 702 and histologically unconfirmed lung tumor in 291 patients. Primary liver cancer was found in 207 and metastatic liver cancer in 76 patients. The most frequent schedule used for primary lung cancer was 48Gy in 4 fractions at 22 institutions (52%), followed by 50Gy in 5 fractions at 11 institutions (26%) and 60Gy in 8 fractions at 4 institutions (10%). The tendency was the same for metastatic lung cancer. The average number of personnel involved in SBRT was 1.8 radiation oncologists, including 1.1 certified radiation oncologists, 2.8 technologists, 0.7 nurses, and 0.6 certified quality assurance personnel and 0.3 physicists. The most frequent amount of time for treatment planning was 61-120min, for quality assurance was 50-60min, and for treatment was 30min. There were 14 (0.6% of all cases) reported Grade 5 complications: 11 cases of radiation pneumonitis, 2 cases of hemoptysis, and 1 case of radiation esophagitis. Conclusion: The current status of SBRT in Japan was surveyed.

  12. Feasibility of Economic Analysis of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 91-11 Using Medicare Data

    SciTech Connect

    Konski, Andre; Bhargavan, Mythreyi; Owen, Jean; Paulus, Rebecca; Cooper, Jay; Forastiere, Arlene; Ang, K. Kian; Watkins-Bruner, Deborah

    2011-02-01

    Purpose: The specific aim of this analysis was to evaluate the feasibility of performing a cost-effectiveness analysis using Medicare data from patients treated on a randomized Phase III clinical trial. Methods and Materials: Cost data included Medicare Part A and Part B costs from all providers-inpatient, outpatient, skilled nursing facility, home health, hospice, and physicians-and were obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for patients eligible for Medicare, treated on Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 9111 between 1992 and 1996. The 47-month expected discounted (annual discount rate of 3%) cost for each arm of the trial was calculated in 1996 dollars, with Kaplan-Meier sampling average estimates of survival probabilities for each month and mean monthly costs. Overall and disease-free survival was also discounted 3%/year. The analysis was performed from a payer's perspective. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated comparing the chemotherapy arms to the radiation alone arm. Results: Of the 547 patients entered, Medicare cost data and clinical outcomes were available for 66 patients. Reasons for exclusion included no RTOG follow-up, Medicare HMO enrollment, no Medicare claims since trial entry, and trial entry after 1996. Differences existed between groups in tumor characteristics, toxicity, and survival, all which could affect resource utilization. Conclusions: Although we were able to test the methodology of economic analysis alongside a clinical trial using Medicare data, the results may be difficult to translate to the entire trial population because of non-random missing data. Methods to improve Medicare data capture and matching to clinical trial samples are required.

  13. Implementation of Remote 3-Dimensional Image Guided Radiation Therapy Quality Assurance for Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Clinical Trials

    SciTech Connect

    Cui Yunfeng; Galvin, James M.; Parker, William; Breen, Stephen; Yin Fangfang; Cai Jing; Papiez, Lech S.; Li, X. Allen; Bednarz, Greg; Chen Wenzhou; Xiao Ying

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To report the process and initial experience of remote credentialing of three-dimensional (3D) image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) as part of the quality assurance (QA) of submitted data for Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) clinical trials; and to identify major issues resulting from this process and analyze the review results on patient positioning shifts. Methods and Materials: Image guided radiation therapy datasets including in-room positioning CT scans and daily shifts applied were submitted through the Image Guided Therapy QA Center from institutions for the IGRT credentialing process, as required by various RTOG trials. A centralized virtual environment is established at the RTOG Core Laboratory, containing analysis tools and database infrastructure for remote review by the Physics Principal Investigators of each protocol. The appropriateness of IGRT technique and volumetric image registration accuracy were evaluated. Registration accuracy was verified by repeat registration with a third-party registration software system. With the accumulated review results, registration differences between those obtained by the Physics Principal Investigators and from the institutions were analyzed for different imaging sites, shift directions, and imaging modalities. Results: The remote review process was successfully carried out for 87 3D cases (out of 137 total cases, including 2-dimensional and 3D) during 2010. Frequent errors in submitted IGRT data and challenges in the review of image registration for some special cases were identified. Workarounds for these issues were developed. The average differences of registration results between reviewers and institutions ranged between 2 mm and 3 mm. Large discrepancies in the superior-inferior direction were found for megavoltage CT cases, owing to low spatial resolution in this direction for most megavoltage CT cases. Conclusion: This first experience indicated that remote review for 3D IGRT as part of QA

  14. The use of failure mode and effect analysis in a radiation oncology setting: the Cancer Treatment Centers of America experience.

    PubMed

    Denny, Diane S; Allen, Debra K; Worthington, Nicole; Gupta, Digant

    2014-01-01

    Delivering radiation therapy in an oncology setting is a high-risk process where system failures are more likely to occur because of increasing utilization, complexity, and sophistication of the equipment and related processes. Healthcare failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) is a method used to proactively detect risks to the patient in a particular healthcare process and correct potential errors before adverse events occur. FMEA is a systematic, multidisciplinary team-based approach to error prevention and enhancing patient safety. We describe our experience of using FMEA as a prospective risk-management technique in radiation oncology at a national network of oncology hospitals in the United States, capitalizing not only on the use of a team-based tool but also creating momentum across a network of collaborative facilities seeking to learn from and share best practices with each other. The major steps of our analysis across 4 sites and collectively were: choosing the process and subprocesses to be studied, assembling a multidisciplinary team at each site responsible for conducting the hazard analysis, and developing and implementing actions related to our findings. We identified 5 areas of performance improvement for which risk-reducing actions were successfully implemented across our enterprise. PMID:22364244

  15. A survey of radiation treatment planning peer-review activities in a provincial radiation oncology programme: current practice and future directions

    PubMed Central

    Brundage, Michael; Foxcroft, Sophie; McGowan, Tom; Gutierrez, Eric; Sharpe, Michael; Warde, Padraig

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To describe current patterns of practice of radiation oncology peer review within a provincial cancer system, identifying barriers and facilitators to its use with the ultimate aim of process improvement. Design A survey of radiation oncology programmes at provincial cancer centres. Setting All cancer centres within the province of Ontario, Canada (n=14). These are community-based outpatient facilities overseen by Cancer Care Ontario, the provincial cancer agency. Participants A delegate from each radiation oncology programme filled out a single survey based on input from their multidisciplinary team. Outcome measures Rated importance of peer review; current utilisation; format of the peer-review process; organisation and timing; case attributes; outcomes of the peer-review process and perceived barriers and facilitators to expanding peer-review processes. Results 14 (100%) centres responded. All rated the importance of peer review as at least 8/10 (10=extremely important). Detection of medical error and improvement of planning processes were the highest rated perceived benefits of peer review (each median 9/10). Six centres (43%) reviewed at least 50% of curative cases; four of these centres (29%) conducted peer review in more than 80% of cases treated with curative intent. Fewer than 20% of cases treated with palliative intent were reviewed in most centres. Five centres (36%) reported usually conducting peer review prior to the initiation of treatment. Five centres (36%) recorded the outcomes of peer review on the medical record. Thirteen centres (93%) planned to expand peer-review activities; a critical mass of radiation oncologists was the most important limiting factor (median 6/10). Conclusions Radiation oncology peer-review practices can vary even within a cancer system with provincial oversight. The application of guidelines and standards for peer-review processes, and monitoring of implementation and outcomes, will require effective knowledge

  16. Quality Research in Radiation Oncology Analysis of Clinical Performance Measures in the Management of Gastric Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Goodman, Karyn A.; Khalid, Najma; Kachnic, Lisa A.; Minsky, Bruce D.; Crozier, Cheryl; Owen, Jean B.; Devlin, Phillip M.

    2013-02-01

    -based planning with use of DVH to evaluate normal tissue doses. Most patients completed adjuvant RT in the prescribed time frame. IMRT and IGRT were not routinely incorporated into clinical practice during the 2005-2007 period. These data will be a benchmark for future Quality Research in Radiation Oncology GC surveys.

  17. Radiation Therapy Planning for Early-Stage Hodgkin Lymphoma: Experience of the International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group

    SciTech Connect

    Maraldo, Maja V.; Dabaja, Bouthaina S.; Filippi, Andrea R.; Illidge, Tim; Tsang, Richard; Ricardi, Umberto; Petersen, Peter M.; Schut, Deborah A.; Garcia, John; Headley, Jayne; Parent, Amy; Guibord, Benoit; Ragona, Riccardo; Specht, Lena

    2015-05-01

    Purpose: Early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a rare disease, and the location of lymphoma varies considerably between patients. Here, we evaluate the variability of radiation therapy (RT) plans among 5 International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group (ILROG) centers with regard to beam arrangements, planning parameters, and estimated doses to the critical organs at risk (OARs). Methods: Ten patients with stage I-II classic HL with masses of different sizes and locations were selected. On the basis of the clinical information, 5 ILROG centers were asked to create RT plans to a prescribed dose of 30.6 Gy. A postchemotherapy computed tomography scan with precontoured clinical target volume (CTV) and OARs was provided for each patient. The treatment technique and planning methods were chosen according to each center's best practice in 2013. Results: Seven patients had mediastinal disease, 2 had axillary disease, and 1 had disease in the neck only. The median age at diagnosis was 34 years (range, 21-74 years), and 5 patients were male. Of the resulting 50 treatment plans, 15 were planned with volumetric modulated arc therapy (1-4 arcs), 16 with intensity modulated RT (3-9 fields), and 19 with 3-dimensional conformal RT (2-4 fields). The variations in CTV-to-planning target volume margins (5-15 mm), maximum tolerated dose (31.4-40 Gy), and plan conformity (conformity index 0-3.6) were significant. However, estimated doses to OARs were comparable between centers for each patient. Conclusions: RT planning for HL is challenging because of the heterogeneity in size and location of disease and, additionally, to the variation in choice of treatment techniques and field arrangements. Adopting ILROG guidelines and implementing universal dose objectives could further standardize treatment techniques and contribute to lowering the dose to the surrounding OARs.

  18. Workflow Enhancement (WE) Improves Safety in Radiation Oncology: Putting the WE and Team Together

    SciTech Connect

    Chao, Samuel T.; Meier, Tim; Hugebeck, Brian; Reddy, Chandana A.; Godley, Andrew; Kolar, Matt; Suh, John H.

    2014-07-15

    Purpose: To review the impact of a workflow enhancement (WE) team in reducing treatment errors that reach patients within radiation oncology. Methods and Materials: It was determined that flaws in our workflow and processes resulted in errors reaching the patient. The process improvement team (PIT) was developed in 2010 to reduce errors and was later modified in 2012 into the current WE team. Workflow issues and solutions were discussed in PIT and WE team meetings. Due to tensions within PIT that resulted in employee dissatisfaction, there was a 6-month hiatus between the end of PIT and initiation of the renamed/redesigned WE team. In addition to the PIT/WE team forms, the department had separate incident forms to document treatment errors reaching the patient. These incident forms are rapidly reviewed and monitored by our departmental and institutional quality and safety groups, reflecting how seriously these forms are treated. The number of these incident forms was compared before and after instituting the WE team. Results: When PIT was disbanded, a number of errors seemed to occur in succession, requiring reinstitution and redesign of this team, rebranded the WE team. Interestingly, the number of incident forms per patient visits did not change when comparing 6 months during the PIT, 6 months during the hiatus, and the first 6 months after instituting the WE team (P=.85). However, 6 to 12 months after instituting the WE team, the number of incident forms per patient visits decreased (P=.028). After the WE team, employee satisfaction and commitment to quality increased as demonstrated by Gallup surveys, suggesting a correlation to the WE team. Conclusions: A team focused on addressing workflow and improving processes can reduce the number of errors reaching the patient. Time is necessary before a reduction in errors reaching patients will be seen.

  19. Invited review: study design considerations for clinical research in veterinary radiology and radiation oncology.

    PubMed

    Scrivani, Peter V; Erb, Hollis N

    2013-01-01

    High quality clinical research is essential for advancing knowledge in the areas of veterinary radiology and radiation oncology. Types of clinical research studies may include experimental studies, method-comparison studies, and patient-based studies. Experimental studies explore issues relative to pathophysiology, patient safety, and treatment efficacy. Method-comparison studies evaluate agreement between techniques or between observers. Patient-based studies investigate naturally acquired disease and focus on questions asked in clinical practice that relate to individuals or populations (e.g., risk, accuracy, or prognosis). Careful preplanning and study design are essential in order to achieve valid results. A key point to planning studies is ensuring that the design is tailored to the study objectives. Good design includes a comprehensive literature review, asking suitable questions, selecting the proper sample population, collecting the appropriate data, performing the correct statistical analyses, and drawing conclusions supported by the available evidence. Most study designs are classified by whether they are experimental or observational, longitudinal or cross-sectional, and prospective or retrospective. Additional features (e.g., controlled, randomized, or blinded) may be described that address bias. Two related challenging aspects of study design are defining an important research question and selecting an appropriate sample population. The sample population should represent the target population as much as possible. Furthermore, when comparing groups, it is important that the groups are as alike to each other as possible except for the variables of interest. Medical images are well suited for clinical research because imaging signs are categorical or numerical variables that might be predictors or outcomes of diseases or treatments. PMID:23578318

  20. Multicenter, Phase 3 Trial Comparing Selenium Supplementation With Observation in Gynecologic Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Muecke, Ralph; Schomburg, Lutz; Glatzel, Michael; Berndt-Skorka, Regina; Baaske, Dieter; Reichl, Berthold; Buentzel, Jens; Kundt, Guenter; Prott, Franz J.; Vries, Alexander de; Stoll, Guenther; Kisters, Klaus; Bruns, Frank; Schaefer, Ulrich; Willich, Norman; Micke, Oliver

    2010-11-01

    Purpose: We assessed whether adjuvant supplementation with selenium improves the selenium status and reduces side effects of patients treated by radiotherapy (RT) for cervical and uterine cancer. Methods and Materials: Whole-blood selenium concentrations were measured in patients with cervical cancer (n = 11) and uterine cancer (n = 70) after surgical treatment, during RT, at the end of RT, and 6 weeks after RT. Patients with initial selenium concentrations of less than 84{mu}g/L were randomized before RT either to receive 500 {mu}g of selenium (in the form of sodium selenite [selenase (registered) , biosyn Arzneimittel GmbH, Fellbach, Germany]) by mouth on the days of RT and 300 {mu}g of selenium on the days without RT or to receive no supplement during RT. The primary endpoint of this multicenter Phase 3 study was to assess the efficiency of selenium supplementation during RT; the secondary endpoint was to decrease radiation-induced diarrhea and other RT-dependent side effects. Results: A total of 81 patients were randomized. We enrolled 39 in the selenium group (SG) and 42 in the control group (CG). Selenium levels did not differ between the SG and CG upon study initiation but were significantly higher in the SG at the end of RT. The actuarial incidence of diarrhea of Grade 2 or higher according to Common Toxicity Criteria (version 2) in the SG was 20.5% compared with 44.5% in the CG (p = 0.04). Other blood parameters, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, and self-reported quality of life were not different between the groups. Conclusions: Selenium supplementation during RT is effective in improving blood selenium status in selenium-deficient cervical and uterine cancer patients and reduces the number of episodes and severity of RT-induced diarrhea.

  1. MO-E-BRF-01: Research Opportunities in Technology for Innovation in Radiation Oncology (Highlight of ASTRO NCI 2013 Workshop)

    SciTech Connect

    Hahn, S; Jaffray, D; Chetty, I; Benedict, S

    2014-06-15

    Radiotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for solid tumors, in large part due to significant technological advances associated with, for instance, the ability to target tumors to very high levels of accuracy (within millimeters). Technological advances have played a central role in the success of radiation therapy as an oncologic treatment option for patients. ASTRO, AAPM and NCI sponsored a workshop “Technology for Innovation in Radiation Oncology” at the NCI campus in Bethesda, MD on June 13–14, 2013. The purpose of this workshop was to bring together expert clinicians and scientists to discuss the role of disruptive technologies in radiation oncology, in particular with regard to how they are being developed and translated to clinical practice in the face of current and future challenges and opportunities. The technologies discussed encompassed imaging and delivery aspects, along with methods to enable/facilitate application of them in the clinic. Measures for assessment of the performance of these technologies, such as techniques to validate quantitative imaging, were reviewed. Novel delivery technologies, incorporating efficient and safe delivery mechanisms enabled by development of tools for process automation and the associated field of oncology informatics formed one of the central themes of the workshop. The discussion on disruptive technologies was grounded in the need for evidence of efficacy. Scientists in the areas of technology assessment and bioinformatics provided expert views on different approaches toward evaluation of technology efficacy. Clinicians well versed in clinical trials incorporating disruptive technologies (e.g. SBRT for early stage lung cancer) discussed the important role of these technologies in significantly improving local tumor control and survival for these cohorts of patients. Recommendations summary focused on the opportunities associated with translating the technologies into the clinic and assessing their

  2. RECQ1 A159C Polymorphism Is Associated With Overall Survival of Patients With Resected Pancreatic Cancer: A Replication Study in NRG Oncology Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 9704

    PubMed Central

    Li, Donghui; Moughan, Jennifer; Crane, Christopher; Hoffman, John P.; Regine, William F.; Abrams, Ross A.; Safran, Howard; Liu, Chang; Chang, Ping; Freedman, Gary M.; Winter, Kathryn A.; Guha, Chandan; Abbruzzese, James L.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To confirm whether a previously observed association between RECQ1 A159C variant and clinical outcome of resectable pancreatic cancer patients treated with preoperative chemoradiation is reproducible in another patient population prospectively treated with postoperative chemoradiation. Methods and Materials Patients were selected, according to tissue availability, from eligible patients with resected pancreatic cancer who were enrolled on the NRG Oncology Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 9704 trial of 5-fluorouacil (5-FU)-based chemoradiation preceded and followed by 5-FU or gemcitabine. Deoxyribonucleic acid was extracted from paraffin-embedded tissue sections, and genotype was determined using the Taqman method. The correlation between genotype and overall survival was analyzed using a Kaplan-Meier plot, log-rank test, and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models. Results In the 154 of the study’s 451 eligible patients with evaluable tissue, genotype distribution followed Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (ie, 37% had genotype AA, 43% AC, and 20% CC). The RECQ1 variant AC/CC genotype carriers were associated with being node positive compared with the AA carrier (P = .03). The median survival times (95% confidence interval [CI]) for AA, AC, and CC carriers were 20.6 (16.3–26.1), 18.8 (14.2–21.6), and 14.2 (10.3–21.0) months, respectively. On multivariate analysis, patients with the AC/CC genotypes were associated with worse survival than patients with the AA genotype (hazard ratio [HR] 1.54, 95% CI 1.07–2.23, P =.022). This result seemed slightly stronger for patients on the 5-FU arm (n = 82) (HR 1.64, 95% CI 0.99–2.70, P =.055) than for patients on the gemcitabine arm (n = 72, HR 1.46, 95% CI 0.81–2.63, P =.21). Conclusions Results of this study suggest that the RECQ1 A159C genotype may be a prognostic or predictive factor for resectable pancreatic cancer patients who are treated with adjuvant 5-FU before and after 5-FU-based chemoradiation

  3. Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Translational Research Program Stem Cell Symposium: Incorporating Stem Cell Hypotheses into Clinical Trials

    SciTech Connect

    Woodward, Wendy A. Bristow, Robert G.; Clarke, Michael F.; Coppes, Robert P.; Cristofanilli, Massimo; Duda, Dan G.; Fike, John R.; Hambardzumyan, Dolores; Hill, Richard P.; Jordan, Craig T.; Milas, Luka; Pajonk, Frank; Curran, Walter J.; Dicker, Adam P.; Chen Yuhchyau

    2009-08-01

    At a meeting of the Translation Research Program of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group held in early 2008, attendees focused on updating the current state of knowledge in cancer stem cell research and discussing ways in which this knowledge can be translated into clinical use across all disease sites. This report summarizes the major topics discussed and the future directions that research should take. Major conclusions of the symposium were that the flow cytometry of multiple markers in fresh tissue would remain the standard technique of evaluating cancer-initiating cells and that surrogates need to be developed for both experimental and clinical use.

  4. Review of current best practice and priorities for research in radiation oncology for elderly patients with cancer: the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) task force.

    PubMed

    Kunkler, I H; Audisio, R; Belkacemi, Y; Betz, M; Gore, E; Hoffe, S; Kirova, Y; Koper, P; Lagrange, J-L; Markouizou, A; Pfeffer, R; Villa, S

    2014-11-01

    Radiotherapy (RT) is a key component of the management of older cancer patients. Level I evidence in older patients is limited. The International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) established a task force to make recommendations for curative RT in older patients and to identify future research priorities. Evidence-based guidelines are provided for breast, lung, endometrial, prostate, rectal, pancreatic, oesophageal, head and neck, central nervous system malignancies and lymphomas. Patient selection should include comorbidity and geriatric evaluation. Advances in radiation planning and delivery improve target coverage, reduce toxicity and widen eligibility for treatment. Shorter courses of hypofractionated whole breast RT are safe and effective. Conformal RT and involved-field techniques without elective nodal irradiation have improved outcomes in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) without increasing toxicity. Where comorbidities preclude surgery, stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is an option for early-stage NSCLC and pancreatic cancer. Modern involved-field RT for lymphoma based on pre-treatment positron emission tomography data has reduced toxicity. Significant comorbidity is a relative contraindication to aggressive treatment in low-risk prostate cancer (PC). For intermediate-risk disease, 4-6 months of hormones are combined with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). For high-risk PC, combined modality therapy (CMT) is advised. For high-intermediate risk, endometrial cancer vaginal brachytherapy is recommended. Short-course EBRT is an alternative to CMT in older patients with rectal cancer without significant comorbidities. Endorectal RT may be an option for early disease. For primary brain tumours, shorter courses of postoperative RT following maximal debulking provide equivalent survival to longer schedules. MGMT methylation status may help select older patients for temozolomide alone. Stereotactic RT provides an alternative to whole-brain RT in patients

  5. Undergraduate cancer education in Spain: The debate, the opportunities and the initiatives of the University Forum of the Spanish Society of Radiation Oncology (SEOR)

    PubMed Central

    Lara, Pedro; Calvo, Felipe A.; Guedea, Ferran; Bilbao, Pedro; Biete, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Most medical schools in Spain (80%) offer undergraduate training in oncology. This education is highly variable in terms of content (theory and practical training), number of credits, and the medical specialty and departmental affiliation of the professors. Much of this variability is due to university traditions in the configuration of credits and programmes, and also to the structure of the hospital-based practical training. Undergraduate medical students deserve a more coherent and modern approach to education with a strong emphasis on clinical practice. Oncology is an interdisciplinary science that requires the input of professors from multiple specialties to provide the primary body of knowledge and skills needed to obtain both a theoretical and clinical understanding of cancer. Clinical skills should be a key focus due to their importance in the current model of integrated medical management and care. Clinical radiation oncology is a traditional and comprehensive hospital-based platform for undergraduate education in oncology. In Spain, a significant number (n = 80) of radiation oncology specialists have a contractual relationship to teach university courses. Most Spanish universities (80%) have a radiation oncologist on staff, some of whom are department chairs and many others are full professors who have been hired and promoted under competitive conditions of evaluation as established by the National Agency for Quality Evaluation. The Spanish Society of Radiation Oncology (SEOR) has identified new opportunities to improve undergraduate education in oncology. In this article, we discuss proposals related to theoretical (20 items) and practical clinical training (9 items). We also describe the SEOR University Forum, which is an initiative to develop a strategic plan to implement and organize cancer education at the undergraduate level in an interdisciplinary teaching spirit and with a strong contribution from radiation oncologists. PMID:24416587

  6. SU-F-18C-06: Prospective Patient Evaluation of Iterative Reconstruction in Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Price, R; Vance, S; Cattaneo, R; Schultz, L; Elshaikh, M; Chetty, I; Glide-Hurst, C

    2014-06-15

    Purpose: This work incorporates iterative reconstruction (IR) into a dose reduction study to characterize image quality metrics, delineation, and dosimetric assessment, with the goal of reducing imaging dose in Radiation Oncology. Methods: Three-dimensional noise power spectrum (NPS) analysis characterized noise magnitude/texture (120 kVp, 50–200 mAs, IR levels 1–6 yielding noise reduction of 0.89–0.55 compared to filtered backprojection (FBP)). Task-specific Modulation Transfer Functions (MTFtask) were characterized across varied subject contrasts. A prospective dose reduction study (500 to 150 mAs) was conducted for 12 patients (43 inter-fraction CTs) for high-dose rate brachytherapy. Three physicians performed qualitative image assessment between full-dose FBP (FD-FBP, 500 mAs), low-dose FBP (LD-FBP, 150–250 mAs), and low-dose IRL5-6 (LD-IR) scans for image noise, cuff/bladder interface detectability, spatial resolution, texture, and segmentation confidence. Comparisons between LD-FBP and LD-IR were conducted for the following metrics: delineation (bladder and rectum evaluated via overlap indices (OI) and Dice similarity coefficients (DSC)), noise, boundary changes, dose calculation, and digitally reconstructed radiographs (DRRs). Results: NPS showed ∼50% reduction in noise magnitude and ∼0.1 1/mm spatial frequency shift with IRL6. The largest MTFtask decrease between FBP and IR was 0.08 A.U. Qualitative patient image evaluation revealed LD-IR was equivalent or slightly worse than FD-FBP, and superior to LD-FBP for all metrics except low contrast interface and texture. The largest CT number discrepancy from FBP occurred at a bone/tissue interface using IRL6 (−1.2 ± 4.9 HU (range: −17.6 – 12.5 HU)). No significant contour differences (OIs and DSCs = 0.85 – 0.95) and dose calculation discrepancy (<0.02%) were observed. DRRs preserved anatomical detail and demonstrated <2% difference in intensity between LD-FBP and LD-IRL6. Conclusion: While

  7. Head-and-Neck Target Delineation Among Radiation Oncology Residents After a Teaching Intervention: A Prospective, Blinded Pilot Study

    SciTech Connect

    Bekelman, Justin E. Wolden, Suzanne; Lee, Nancy

    2009-02-01

    Purpose: We conducted this study to determine the feasibility of incorporating a teaching intervention on target delineation into the educational curriculum of a radiation oncology residency program and to assess the short-term effects on resident skills. Methods and Materials: The study schema consisted of a baseline evaluation, the teaching intervention, and a follow-up evaluation. At the baseline evaluation, the participants contoured three clinical tumor volumes (CTVs) (70 Gy, 59.4 Gy, and 54 Gy) on six contrast-enhanced axial computed tomography images of a de-identified patient with Stage T2N2bM0 squamous cell carcinoma of the right base of the tongue. The participants attended a series of head-and-neck oncology and anatomy seminars. The teaching intervention consisted of a didactic lecture and an interactive hands-on practical session designed to improve the knowledge and skills for target delineation in the head and neck. At the follow-up evaluation, the residents again contoured the CTVs. Results: Of the 14 eligible residents, 11 (79%) actually participated in the study. For all participants, but especially for those who had not had previous experience with head-and-neck target delineation, the teaching intervention was associated with improvement in the delineation of the node-negative neck (CTV 54 Gy contour). Regardless of clinical experience, participants had difficulty determining what should be included in the CTV 59.4 Gy contour to ensure adequate coverage of potential microscopic disease. Conclusion: Incorporating a teaching intervention into the education curriculum of a radiation oncology residency program is feasible and was associated with short-term improvements in target delineation skills. Subsequent interventions will require content refinement, additional validation, longer term follow-up, and multi-institutional collaboration.

  8. Organ motion due to respiration: the state of the art and applications in interventional radiology and radiation oncology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleary, Kevin R.; Mulcahy, Maureen; Piyasena, Rohan; Zhou, Tong; Dieterich, Sonja; Xu, Sheng; Banovac, Filip; Wong, Kenneth H.

    2005-04-01

    Tracking organ motion due to respiration is important for precision treatments in interventional radiology and radiation oncology, among other areas. In interventional radiology, the ability to track and compensate for organ motion could lead to more precise biopsies for applications such as lung cancer screening. In radiation oncology, image-guided treatment of tumors is becoming technically possible, and the management of organ motion then becomes a major issue. This paper will review the state-of-the-art in respiratory motion and present two related clinical applications. Respiratory motion is an important topic for future work in image-guided surgery and medical robotics. Issues include how organs move due to respiration, how much they move, how the motion can be compensated for, and what clinical applications can benefit from respiratory motion compensation. Technology that can be applied for this purpose is now becoming available, and as that technology evolves, the subject will become an increasingly interesting and clinically valuable topic of research.

  9. Occupational radiation monitoring at a large medical center in Japan.

    PubMed

    ALMasri, Hussein Y; Kakinohana, Yasumasa; Yogi, Tadashi

    2014-07-01

    Occupational radiation dose monitoring is a method of ensuring that radiation levels are within the regulatory limits. Our objective in this study was to evaluate the radiation doses experienced by personnel at a radiology facility between 2001 and 2010. Overall, 2418 annual dose records for workers who were categorized into four occupational groups were analyzed. The groups included: (1) radiologists, (2) radiologic technologists, (3) nurses, and (4) other workers, who belong to other hospital departments, but who participate partially in some radiologic procedures. The dose distribution was found to be skewed, with 76 % of personnel having received no measurable doses and almost 2 % having received doses of more than 2 mSv. The weighted-average annual doses ranged from 0.13 to 0.57, 0.9 to 2.12, 0.01 to 0.19, and 0.01 to 0.09 mSv for the radiologists, radiologic technologists, nurses, and the other workers, respectively. The radiologic technologists received the highest radiation exposure among the four groups. It was found that the average annual doses were decreasing over time for the radiologists, radiologic technologists, and others, whereas they were increasing for the nurses. Nurses play an important role in assisting radiologists and patients during various radiologic procedures, which might have increased their average annual dose. During the 10-year period of this study, there was no incidence of a dose exceeding the annual dose limit of 20 mSv. Furthermore, there was no detectable neutron exposure. PMID:24570292

  10. [Radiation emergency medical preparedness in Japan--lessons learned from the Fukushima accident].

    PubMed

    Akashi, Makoto; Tominaga, Takako; Takabatake, Takashi; Michikawa, Yuichi; Hachiya, Misao

    2012-03-01

    Although radiation exposure accidents fortunately occur only rarely, potential sources for exposure accidents can be found anywhere. When persons are accidentally exposed to radiation, physicians may be involved in their assessment and care; of course, their early diagnosis and dose assessment are crucial. After the criticality accident at Tokaimura in 1999, the system of radiation emergency medical preparedness has been further strengthened for nuclear facilities in Japan. In the revised system, hospitals involved were classified into three levels, depending on their locations and capabilities. The Great East Japan Earthquake attacked the Pacific coast area of eastern Japan on 11 March 2011. This earthquake and tsunami caused serious damage to the nuclear power plants of Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) in Fukushima Prefecture; a large amount of radionuclides such as iodine and cesium were released into the environment. Since the revised system was focused on treatment of heavily exposed patients and knowledge on radiation was not enough for medical staff, many problems were raised at hospitals and fire departments in this disaster. PMID:22514928

  11. Internet-Based Survey Evaluating Use of Pain Medications and Attitudes of Radiation Oncology Patients Toward Pain Intervention

    SciTech Connect

    Simone, Charles B. Vapiwala, Neha; Hampshire, Margaret K.; Metz, James M.

    2008-09-01

    Purpose: Pain is a common symptom among cancer patients, yet many patients do not receive adequate pain management. Few data exist quantifying analgesic use by radiation oncology patients. This study evaluated the causes of pain in cancer patients and investigated the reasons patients fail to receive optimal analgesic therapy. Methods and Materials: An institutional review board-approved, Internet-based questionnaire assessing analgesic use and pain control was posted on the OncoLink (available at (www.oncolink.org)) Website. Between November 2005 and April 2006, 243 patients responded. They were predominantly women (73%), white (71%), and educated beyond high school (67%) and had breast (38%), lung (6%), or ovarian (6%) cancer. This analysis evaluated the 106 patients (44%) who underwent radiotherapy. Results: Of the 106 patients, 58% reported pain from their cancer treatment, and 46% reported pain directly from their cancer. The pain was chronic in 51% and intermittent in 33%. Most (80%) did not use medication to manage their pain. Analgesic use was significantly less in patients with greater education levels (11% vs. 36%, p = 0.002), with a trend toward lower use by whites (16% vs. 32%, p 0.082) and women (17% vs. 29%, p = 0.178). The reasons for not taking analgesics included healthcare provider not recommending medication (87%), fear of addiction or dependence (79%), and inability to pay (79%). Participants experiencing pain, but not taking analgesics, pursued alternative therapies for relief. Conclusions: Many radiation oncology patients experience pain from their disease and cancer treatment. Most study participants did not use analgesics because of concerns of addiction, cost, or failure of the radiation oncologist to recommend medication. Healthcare providers should have open discussions with their patients regarding pain symptoms and treatment.

  12. Concern over radiation exposure and psychological distress among rescue workers following the Great East Japan Earthquake

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that followed caused severe damage along Japans northeastern coastline and to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. To date, there are few reports specifically examining psychological distress in rescue workers in Japan. Moreover, it is unclear to what extent concern over radiation exposure has caused psychological distress to such workers deployed in the disaster area. Methods One month after the disaster, 424 of 1816 (24%) disaster medical assistance team workers deployed to the disaster area were assessed. Concern over radiation exposure was evaluated by a single self-reported question. General psychological distress was assessed with the Kessler 6 scale (K6), depressive symptoms with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), fear and sense of helplessness with the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory (PDI), and posttraumatic stress symptoms with the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Results Radiation exposure was a concern for 39 (9.2%) respondents. Concern over radiation exposure was significantly associated with higher scores on the K6, CES-D, PDI, and IES-R. After controlling for age, occupation, disaster operation experience, duration of time spent watching earthquake news, and past history of psychiatric illness, these associations remained significant in men, but did not remain significant in women for the CES-D and PDI scores. Conclusion The findings suggest that concern over radiation exposure was strongly associated with psychological distress. Reliable, accurate information on radiation exposure might reduce deployment-related distress in disaster rescue workers. PMID:22455604

  13. Comparison of a Commonwealth-initiated regional radiation oncology facility in Toowoomba with a Queensland Health facility.

    PubMed

    Poulsen, M; Middleton, M; McQuitty, S; Ramsay, J; Gogna, K; Martin, J; Khoo, E; Wong, W; Fairweather, R; Walpole, E

    2010-08-01

    The aim was to compare a private Commonwealth-initiated regional radiation oncology facility in Toowoomba with a Queensland Health facility (QHF) in Brisbane. The comparison concentrated on staffing, case mix and operational budgets, but was not able to look at changes in access to services. Data were collected from the two facilities from January 2008 to June 2008 inclusive. A number of factors were compared, including case mix, staffing levels, delay times for treatment, research, training and treatment costs. The case mix between the two areas was similar with curative treatments making up just over half the work load in both centres and two-thirds the work being made up of cancers of breast and prostate. Staffing levels were leaner in Toowoomba, especially in the areas of nursing, administration and trial coordinators. Research activity was slightly higher in Toowoomba. The average medicare cost per treatment course was similar in both centres ($5000 per course). Total costs of an average treatment including patient, State and Commonwealth costs, showed a 30% difference in costing favouring Toowoomba. This regional radiation oncology centre has provided state-of-the-art cancer care that is close to home for patients living in the Darling Downs region. Both public and private patients have been treated with modest costs to the patient and significant savings to QH. The case mix is similar to the QHF, and there has been significant activity in clinical research. A paperless working environment is one factor that has allowed staffing levels to be reduced. Ongoing support from Governments are required if private facilities are to participate in important ongoing staff training. PMID:20718918

  14. Assessment of personal occupational radiation exposures received by nuclear medicine and oncology staff in Punjab (2003-2012).

    PubMed

    Zafar, T; Masood, K; Zafar, J

    2015-09-01

    The impact of occupational radiation exposures on oncology staff working in the disciplines of Nuclear Medicine (NM), Radiotherapy (RT), and Diagnostic Radiology (DR) is of significance to ensure a health risk free environment. In this study, occupationally received radiation doses amongst Pakistani oncology staff in NM, RT and DR during the period (2003-2012) were assessed. The Film Badge Dosimetry (FBD) technique has been utilized to process over 81,000 films (13,237 workers) concerning the occupationally exposed workers data (2003-2012) at a national scale. The annual effective doses were found to range between 0.30-0.97 mSv for NM, 0.44-1.02 mSv for RT and 0.31-1.09 mSv for DR. The annual effective doses averaged over a period of 10 years were assessed to be 0.63, 0.70 and 0.68 mSv for NM, RT and DR respectively. The exposure data were categorized into three exposure levels (≤0.99, 1-4.99 and 5-9.99 mSv) to establish the staff distribution in these categories. It was found that 89.8-96% in NM, 82-94.5% in RT and 76-96.8% staff workers in DR have received doses within the range from the Minimum Detectable Limit (MDL)--0.99 mSv. The annual effective doses, in all categories, were measured to be less than the recommended annual limit of 20 mSv. PMID:26260188

  15. The impacts of land use, radiative forcing, and biological changes on regional climate in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dairaku, K.; Pielke, R. A., Sr.

    2013-12-01

    Because regional responses of surface hydrological and biogeochemical changes are particularly complex, it is necessary to develop assessment tools for regional scale adaptation to climate. We developed a dynamical downscaling method using the regional climate model (NIED-RAMS) over Japan. The NIED-RAMS model includes a plant model that considers biological processes, the General Energy and Mass Transfer Model (GEMTM) which adds spatial resolution to accurately assess critical interactions within the regional climate system for vulnerability assessments to climate change. We digitalized a potential vegetation map that formerly existed only on paper into Geographic Information System data. It quantified information on the reduction of green spaces and the expansion of urban and agricultural areas in Japan. We conducted regional climate sensitivity experiments of land use and land cover (LULC) change, radiative forcing, and biological effects by using the NIED-RAMS with horizontal grid spacing of 20 km. We investigated regional climate responses in Japan for three experimental scenarios: 1. land use and land cover is changed from current to potential vegetation; 2. radiative forcing is changed from 1 x CO2 to 2 x CO2; and 3. biological CO2 partial pressures in plants are doubled. The experiments show good accuracy in reproducing the surface air temperature and precipitation. The experiments indicate the distinct change of hydrological cycles in various aspects due to anthropogenic LULC change, radiative forcing, and biological effects. The relative impacts of those changes are discussed and compared. Acknowledgments This study was conducted as part of the research subject "Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Water Hazard Assessed Using Regional Climate Scenarios in the Tokyo Region' (National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention; PI: Koji Dairaku) of Research Program on Climate Change Adaptation (RECCA), and was supported by the

  16. Recent Studies of Space Radiation Environment in Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koshiishi, Hideki

    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has measured the space radiation environment and its effects on spacecraft and astronaut since 1987. We had developed and operated charged-particle monitors, neutron monitors, magnetometers, dosimeters, single-event monitors, electric-potential monitors, and atomic-oxygen monitors onboard eight spacecrafts, and at present, have operated some of them onboard three GEO satellites and three LEO satellites. The obtained space radiation environment data has been gathered into the Space Environment and Effects System database (SEES, http://sees.tksc.jaxa.jp/), and utilized for short-term forecasts for safety operation of spacecraft and manned space mission, for understandings and evaluations of spacecraft anomalies and astronaut dose, and for long-term static and dynamic space radiation environment modelings for reliable design of future plannings. In this presentation, recent studies of space radiation environment in JAXA will be reported.

  17. Effect of ultraviolet radiation on marine phytoplankton community in Akkeshi Bay, Japan

    SciTech Connect

    Taguchi, S.; Saito, H.; Kasai, H. )

    1992-01-01

    Effect of ultraviolet radiation on marine phytoplankton community was determined during a spring and fall bloom in a boreal embayment, Akkeshi Bay, Japan, which was located at 43[degrees]N, 144[degrees]50[prime]E. A time-series of observation was made every 6 h for 24 hours. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation always caused a depression of photosynthetic activity was observed at the end of day light period in both blooms. During a nigh period a degree of depression was decreased by 50% at least. The results of the present study may suggest that the effect of ultraviolet radiation on photosynthesis of marine phytoplankton is significantly large even in the boreal sea region and marine phytoplankton community has a capability to recover more than 40% from a damage by ultraviolet radiation during a night period.

  18. [What should the radiation education in Japan in the future be like?].

    PubMed

    Inoue, Hiroyoshi

    2014-01-01

    In respect to policy and involvement in social cognition of Advanced Science and Technology, people desire to recognize the scientific understanding and social understanding hierarchically and simultaneously. However, the understandings of some sciences and technologies are dependent on the amount of information given and how easy it is to understand it. Nuclear power and radiation are a typical example of such sciences and technologies because their advantages and disadvantages are clear. On the other hand, the Fukushima Nuclear Plant Accident that occurred in March 2011 caused the myth about the safety and security of nuclear power to collapse. Concerns about nuclear power and radiation increased abruptly after the accident. Also the scientific understanding of 'nuclear power' and radiation increased. The content and level of radiation education was highly significant than before the accident. However, it is essential to propose a more detailed explanation for people that are concerned about radioactive contamination of food and also for people living in areas that still have relatively high dose of radioactive material. Although some technical problems such as the influences on the human body by low-dose exposure remain unresolved, not only specialists on nuclear power and radiation, but also the persons that have studied the radiation are desired to explain radiation for familiar people. As a result, in Japan, the learning of individuals spread to society because the Japanese are highly interested in nuclear power and radiation and the understanding of historical background. PMID:24492217

  19. Quality Control Quantification (QCQ): A Tool to Measure the Value of Quality Control Checks in Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Ford, Eric C.; Terezakis, Stephanie; Souranis, Annette; Harris, Kendra; Gay, Hiram; Mutic, Sasa

    2012-11-01

    Purpose: To quantify the error-detection effectiveness of commonly used quality control (QC) measures. Methods: We analyzed incidents from 2007-2010 logged into a voluntary in-house, electronic incident learning systems at 2 academic radiation oncology clinics. None of the incidents resulted in patient harm. Each incident was graded for potential severity using the French Nuclear Safety Authority scoring scale; high potential severity incidents (score >3) were considered, along with a subset of 30 randomly chosen low severity incidents. Each report was evaluated to identify which of 15 common QC checks could have detected it. The effectiveness was calculated, defined as the percentage of incidents that each QC measure could detect, both for individual QC checks and for combinations of checks. Results: In total, 4407 incidents were reported, 292 of which had high-potential severity. High- and low-severity incidents were detectable by 4.0 {+-} 2.3 (mean {+-} SD) and 2.6 {+-} 1.4 QC checks, respectively (P<.001). All individual checks were less than 50% sensitive with the exception of pretreatment plan review by a physicist (63%). An effectiveness of 97% was achieved with 7 checks used in combination and was not further improved with more checks. The combination of checks with the highest effectiveness includes physics plan review, physician plan review, Electronic Portal Imaging Device-based in vivo portal dosimetry, radiation therapist timeout, weekly physics chart check, the use of checklists, port films, and source-to-skin distance checks. Some commonly used QC checks such as pretreatment intensity modulated radiation therapy QA do not substantially add to the ability to detect errors in these data. Conclusions: The effectiveness of QC measures in radiation oncology depends sensitively on which checks are used and in which combinations. A small percentage of errors cannot be detected by any of the standard formal QC checks currently in broad use, suggesting that

  20. Evaluating the Impact of a Canadian National Anatomy and Radiology Contouring Boot Camp for Radiation Oncology Residents

    SciTech Connect

    Jaswal, Jasbir; D'Souza, Leah; Johnson, Marjorie; Tay, KengYeow; Fung, Kevin; Nichols, Anthony; Landis, Mark; Leung, Eric; Kassam, Zahra; Willmore, Katherine; D'Souza, David; Sexton, Tracy; Palma, David A.

    2015-03-15

    Background: Radiation therapy treatment planning has advanced over the past 2 decades, with increased emphasis on 3-dimensional imaging for target and organ-at-risk (OAR) delineation. Recent studies suggest a need for improved resident instruction in this area. We developed and evaluated an intensive national educational course (“boot camp”) designed to provide dedicated instruction in site-specific anatomy, radiology, and contouring using a multidisciplinary (MDT) approach. Methods: The anatomy and radiology contouring (ARC) boot camp was modeled after prior single-institution pilot studies and a needs-assessment survey. The boot camp incorporated joint lectures from radiation oncologists, anatomists, radiologists, and surgeons, with hands-on contouring instruction and small group interactive seminars using cadaveric prosections and correlative axial radiographs. Outcomes were evaluated using pretesting and posttesting, including anatomy/radiology multiple-choice questions (MCQ), timed contouring sessions (evaluated relative to a gold standard using Dice similarity metrics), and qualitative questions on satisfaction and perceived effectiveness. Analyses of pretest versus posttest scores were performed using nonparametric paired testing. Results: Twenty-nine radiation oncology residents from 10 Canadian universities participated. As part of their current training, 29%, 75%, and 21% receive anatomy, radiology, and contouring instruction, respectively. On posttest scores, the MCQ knowledge scores improved significantly (pretest mean 60% vs posttest mean 80%, P<.001). Across all contoured structures, there was a 0.20 median improvement in students' average Dice score (P<.001). For individual structures, significant Dice improvements occurred in 10 structures. Residents self-reported an improved ability to contour OARs and interpret radiographs in all anatomic sites, 92% of students found the MDT format effective for their learning, and 93% found the boot camp more

  1. Terrestrial gamma radiation dose rate in Ryukyu Islands, subtropical region of Japan.

    PubMed

    Furukawa, M; Kina, S; Shiroma, M; Shiroma, Y; Masuda, N; Motomura, D; Hiraoka, H; Fujioka, S; Kawakami, T; Yasuda, Y; Arakawa, K; Fukahori, K; Jyunicho, M; Ishikawa, S; Ohomoto, T; Shingaki, R; Akata, N; Zhuo, W; Tokonami, S

    2015-11-01

    In order to explain the distribution of natural radiation level in the Asia, in situ measurements of dose rate in air due to terrestrial gamma radiation have been conducted in a total of 21 islands that belong to Ryukyu Islands (Ryukyu Archipelago), subtropical rejoin of southwest Japan. Car-borne surveys have also been carried out in Okinawa-jima, the biggest island of the archipelago. Based on the results for these measurements, arithmetic mean, the maximum and the minimum of the dose rates at 1 m in height from the unpaved soil ground in the archipelago were estimated to be 47, 165 and 8 nGy h(-1), respectively. A comparative study of car-borne data obtained prior to and subsequent to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, as for Okinawa-jima, indicated that the nuclear accident has no impact on the environmental radiation at the present time. PMID:26065703

  2. Neuro-oncology update: radiation safety and nursing care during interstitial brachytherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Randall, T.M.; Drake, D.K.; Sewchand, W.

    1987-12-01

    Radiation control and safety are major considerations for nursing personnel during the care of patients receiving brachytherapy. Since the theory and practice of radiation applications are not part of the routine curriculum of nursing programs, the education of nurses and other health care professionals in radiation safety procedures is important. Regulatory agencies recommend that an annual safety course be given to all persons frequenting, using, or associated with patients containing radioactive materials. This article presents pertinent aspects of the principles and procedures of radiation safety, the role of personnel dose-monitoring devices, and the value of additional radiation control features, such as a lead cubicle, during interstitial brain implants. One institution's protocol and procedures for the care of high-intensity iridium-192 brain implants are discussed. Preoperative teaching guidelines and nursing interventions included in the protocol focus on radiation control principles.

  3. Do Oncologists Engage in Bereavement Practices? A Survey of the Israeli Society of Clinical Oncology and Radiation Therapy (ISCORT)

    PubMed Central

    Shabtai, Esther; Merimsky, Ofer; Inbar, Moshe; Rosenbaum, Eli; Meirovitz, Amichay; Wexler, Isaiah D.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose. We sought to determine the level of involvement of oncologists in bereavement rituals after a patient dies. Subjects and Methods. Members of the Israeli Society for Clinical Oncology and Radiation Therapy (ISCORT) were surveyed. The survey instrument consisted of questions regarding participation in bereavement rituals for patients in general and those with whom the oncologist had a special bond. Oncologists were queried as to the reasons for nonparticipation in bereavement rituals. Results. Nearly 70% of the ISCORT membership (126 of 182) completed the survey tool. Respondents included radiation, surgical, and medical oncologists. In general, oncologists rarely participated in bereavement rituals that involved direct contact with families such as funerals and visitations. Twenty-eight percent of physicians at least occasionally participated in rituals involving direct contact whereas 45% had indirect contact (e.g., letter of condolence) with the family on an occasional basis. There was significantly greater involvement in bereavement rituals when oncologists developed a special bond with the patient. In a stepwise linear regression model, the only factor significantly associated with greater participation in bereavement rituals was self-perceived spirituality in those claiming not to be religious. The major reasons offered for nonparticipation were time constraints, need to maintain appropriate boundaries between physicians and patients, and fear of burnout. Conclusion. Although many oncologists participate at least occasionally in some sort of bereavement ritual, a significant proportion of oncologists are not involved in these practices at all. PMID:20228130

  4. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Results From the Radiation Oncology Academic Development and Mentorship Assessment Project (ROADMAP)

    SciTech Connect

    Holliday, Emma B.; Jagsi, Reshma; Thomas, Charles R.; Wilson, Lynn D.; Fuller, Clifton D.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To analyze survey information regarding mentorship practices and cross-correlate the results with objective metrics of academic productivity among academic radiation oncologists at US Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited residency training programs. Methods and Materials: An institutional review board-approved survey for the Radiation Oncology Academic Development and Mentorship Assessment Project (ROADMAP) was sent to 1031 radiation oncologists employed at an ACGME-accredited residency training program and administered using an international secure web application designed exclusively to support data capture for research studies. Data collected included demographics, presence of mentorship, and the nature of specific mentoring activities. Productivity metrics, including number of publications, number of citations, h-index, and date of first publication, were collected for each survey respondent from a commercially available online database, and m-index was calculated. Results: A total of 158 academic radiation oncologists completed the survey, 96 of whom reported having an academic/scientific mentor. Faculty with a mentor had higher numbers of publications, citations, and h- and m-indices. Differences in gender and race/ethnicity were not associated with significant differences in mentorship rates, but those with a mentor were more likely to have a PhD degree and were more likely to have more time protected for research. Bivariate fit regression modeling showed a positive correlation between a mentor's h-index and their mentee's h-index (R{sup 2} = 0.16; P<.001). Linear regression also showed significant correlates of higher h-index, in addition to having a mentor (P=.001), included a longer career duration (P<.001) and fewer patients in treatment (P=.02). Conclusions: Mentorship is widely believed to be important to career development and academic productivity. These results emphasize the importance of identifying and

  5. Phase II Radiation Therapy Oncology Group trial of conventional radiation therapy followed by treatment with recombinant interferon-{beta} for supratentorial glioblastoma: Results of RTOG 9710

    SciTech Connect

    Colman, Howard . E-mail: hcolman@mdanderson.org; Berkey, Brian A.; Maor, Moshe H.; Groves, Morris D.; Schultz, Christopher J.; Vermeulen, Sandra; Mehta, Minesh P.; Yung, W.K. Alfred

    2006-11-01

    Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine whether recombinant human interferon {beta}-1a (rhIFN-{beta}), when given after radiation therapy, improves survival in glioblastoma. Methods and Materials: After surgery, 109 patients with newly diagnosed supratentorial glioblastoma were enrolled and treated with radiation therapy (60 Gy). A total of 55 patients remained stable after radiation and were treated with rhIFN-{beta} (6 MU/day i.m., 3 times/week). Outcomes were compared with Radiation Therapy Oncology Group glioma historical database. Results: RhIFN-{beta} was well tolerated, with 1 Grade 4 toxicity and 8 other patients experiencing Grade 3 toxicity. Median survival time (MST) of the 55 rhIFN-{beta}-treated patients was 13.4 months. MST for the 34 rhIFN-{beta}-treated in RPA Classes III and IV was 16.9 vs. 12.4 months for historical controls (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.89-1.81). There was also a trend toward improved survival across all RPA Classes comparing the 55 rhIFN-{beta} treated patients and 1,658 historical controls (HR = 1.24, 95% CI = 0.94-1.63). The high rate of early failures (54/109) after radiation and before initiation of rhIFN-{beta} was likely caused by stricter interpretation of early radiographic changes in the current study. Matched-pair and intent-to-treat analyses performed to try to address this bias showed no difference in survival between study patients and controls. Conclusion: RhIFN-{beta} given after conventional radiation therapy was well tolerated, with a trend toward survival benefit in patients who remained stable after radiation therapy. These data suggest that rhIFN-{beta} warrants further evaluation in additional studies, possibly in combination with current temozolomide-based regimens.

  6. Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on background radiation doses measured by control dosimeters in Japan.

    PubMed

    Romanyukha, Alexander; King, David L; Kennemur, Lisa K

    2012-05-01

    After the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent massive tsunami on 11 March 2011 in Japan, several reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant suffered severe damage. There was immediate participation of U.S. Navy vessels and other United States Department of Defense (DoD) teams that were already in the area at the time of the disaster or arrived shortly thereafter. The correct determination of occupational dose equivalent requires estimation of the background dose component measured by control dosimeters, which is subsequently subtracted from the total dose equivalent measured by personal dosimeters. The purpose of the control dosimeters is to determine the amount of radiation dose equivalent that has accumulated on the dosimeter from background or other non-occupational sources while they are in transit or being stored. Given the release of radioactive material and potential exposure to radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and the process by which the U.S. Navy calculates occupational exposure to ionizing radiation, analysis of pre- and post-event control dosimeters is warranted. Several hundred historical dose records from the Naval Dosimetry Center (NDC) database were analyzed and compared with the post-accident dose equivalent data of control dosimeters. As result, it was shown that the dose contribution of the radiation and released radiological materials from the Fukushima nuclear accident to background radiation doses is less than 0.375 μSv d for shallow and deep photon dose equivalent. There is no measurable effect on neutron background exposure. The latter has at least two important conclusions. First, the NDC can use doses measured by control dosimeters at issuing sites in Japan for determination of personnel dose equivalents; second, the dose data from control dosimeters prior to and after the Fukushima accident may be used to assist in dose reconstruction of non-radiological (non-badged) personnel at these locations

  7. A DICOM-RT radiation oncology ePR with decision support utilizing a quantified knowledge base from historical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Documet, Jorge R.; Liu, Brent; Le, Anh; Law, Maria

    2008-03-01

    During the last 2 years we have been working on developing a DICOM-RT (Radiation Therapy) ePR (Electronic Patient Record) with decision support that will allow physicists and radiation oncologists during their decision-making process. This ePR allows offline treatment dose calculations and plan evaluation, while at the same time it compares and quantifies treatment planning algorithms using DICOM-RT objects. The ePR framework permits the addition of visualization, processing, and analysis tools, which combined with the core functionality of reporting, importing and exporting of medical studies, creates a very powerful application that can improve the efficiency while planning cancer treatments. Usually a Radiation Oncology department will have disparate and complex data generated by the RT modalities as well as data scattered in RT Information/Management systems, Record & Verify systems, and Treatment Planning Systems (TPS) which can compromise the efficiency of the clinical workflow since the data crucial for a clinical decision may be time-consuming to retrieve, temporarily missing, or even lost. To address these shortcomings, the ACR-NEMA Standards Committee extended its DICOM (Digital Imaging & Communications in Medicine) standard from Radiology to RT by ratifying seven DICOM RT objects starting in 1997 [1,2]. However, they are not broadly used yet by the RT community in daily clinical operations. In the past, the research focus of an RT department has primarily been developing new protocols and devices to improve treatment process and outcomes of cancer patients with minimal effort dedicated to integration of imaging and information systems. Our attempt is to show a proof-of-concept that a DICOM-RT ePR system can be developed as a foundation to perform medical imaging informatics research in developing decision-support tools and knowledge base for future data mining applications.

  8. Standing on the shoulders of giants: Results from the Radiation Oncology Academic Development and Mentorship Assessment Project (ROADMAP)

    PubMed Central

    Holliday, Emma B.; Jagsi, Reshma; Thomas, Charles R.; Wilson, Lynn D.; Fuller, Clifton D.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To analyze survey information regarding mentorship practices and cross-correlate the results with objective metrics of academic productivity among academic radiation oncologists at U.S. ACGME-accredited residency training programs. Methods and Materials An IRB-approved survey for the Radiation Oncology Academic Development and Mentorship Assessment Project (ROADMAP) was sent to 1031 radiation oncologists employed at an ACGME-accredited residency training program and administered using Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap). Data collected included demographics, presence of mentorship as well as the nature of specific mentoring activities. Productivity metrics, including number of publications, number of citations, h-index, and date of first publication were collected for each survey respondent from a commercially available online database (Web of Science, Thompson Reuters- v5.9), and m-index was calculated. Results 158 academic RO completed the survey, 96 of whom reported having an academic/scientific mentor. Faculty with a mentor had higher numbers of publications, citations, h- and m-indices. Differences in gender and race/ethnicity were not associated with significant differences in mentorship rates, but those with a mentor were more likely to have a Ph.D. and were more likely to have more time protected for research. Bivariate fit regression modeling showed a positive correlation between a mentor’s h-index and their mentee’s h-index (R2=0.16; p<0.001). Linear regression also showed significant correlates of higher h-index, in addition to having a mentor (p=0.001), included a longer career duration (p<0.001), and having fewer patients on treatment (p=0.02). Conclusions Mentorship is widely believed to be important to career development and academic productivity. These results emphasize the importance of identifying and striving to overcome potential barriers to effective mentorship. PMID:24210670

  9. Gender Differences in Publication Productivity, Academic Position, Career Duration and Funding Among U.S. Academic Radiation Oncology Faculty

    PubMed Central

    Holliday, Emma B.; Jagsi, Reshma; Wilson, Lynn D.; Choi, Mehee; Thomas, Charles R.; Fuller, Clifton. D.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose There has been much recent interest in promoting gender equality in academic medicine. This study aims to analyze gender differences in rank, career duration, publication productivity and research funding among radiation oncologists at U.S. academic institutions. Methods For 82 domestic academic radiation oncology departments, the authors identified current faculty and recorded their academic rank, degree and gender. The authors recorded bibliographic metrics for physician faculty from a commercially available database (SCOPUS, Elsevier BV, Amsterdam, NL), including numbers of publications and h-indices. The authors then concatenated this data with National Institute of Health funding for each individual per Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (REPORTer). The authors performed descriptive and correlative analyses, stratifying by gender and rank. Results Of 1031 faculty, 293 (28%) women and 738 (72%) men, men had a higher median h-index (8 (0-59) versus 5 (0-39); P<.05) and publication number (26 (0-591) versus 13 (0-306); P<.05) overall, and were more likely to be senior faculty and receive NIH funding. However, after stratifying for rank, these differences were largely non-significant. On multivariate analysis, there were significant correlations between gender, career duration and academic position, and h-index (P<.01). Conclusions The determinants of a successful career in academic medicine are certainly multi-factorial, particularly in traditionally male-dominated fields. However, data from radiation oncologists show a systematic gender association withfewer women achieving senior faculty rank. However, women who achieve senior status have productivity metrics comparable to their male counterparts. This suggests early career development and mentorship of female faculty may narrow productivity disparities. PMID:24667510

  10. Vagus nerve stimulator stability and interference on radiation oncology x-ray beams.

    PubMed

    Gossman, Michael S; Ketkar, Amruta; Liu, Arthur K; Olin, Bryan

    2012-10-21

    Five different models of Cyberonics, Inc. vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy pulse generators were investigated for their stability under radiation and their ability to change the absorbed dose from incident radiation. X-ray beams of 6 MV and 18 MV were used to quantify these results up to clinical doses of 68-78 Gy delivered in a single fraction. In the first part, the effect on electronic stimulation signaling of each pulse generator was monitored during and immediately afterwards with computer interrogation. In the second part, the effects of having the pulse generators scatter or attenuate the x-ray beam was also characterized from dose calculations on a treatment planning system as well as from actual radiation measurements. Some device models were found to be susceptible to radiation interference when placed directly in the beam of high energy therapeutic x-ray radiation. While some models exhibited no effect at all, others showed an apparent loss of stimulation output immediately after radiation was experienced. Still, other models were observed to have a cumulative dose effect with a reduced output signal, followed by battery depletion above 49 Gy. Absorbed dose changes on computer underestimated attenuation by nearly half for both energies amongst all pulse generators, although the computer did depict the proper shape of the changed distribution of dose around the device. Measured attenuation ranged from 7.0% to 11.0% at 6 MV and 4.2% to 5.2% at 18 MV for x-rays. Processes of back-scatter and side-scatter were deemed negligible although recorded. Identical results from 6 MV and 18 MV x-ray beams conclude no neutron effect was induced for the 18 MV beam. As there were documented effects identified in this research regarding pulse generation, it emphasizes the importance of caution when considering radiation therapy on patients with implanted VNS devices with observed malfunctions consequential. PMID:23032351

  11. Vagus nerve stimulator stability and interference on radiation oncology x-ray beams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gossman, Michael S.; Ketkar, Amruta; Liu, Arthur K.; Olin, Bryan

    2012-10-01

    Five different models of Cyberonics, Inc. vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy pulse generators were investigated for their stability under radiation and their ability to change the absorbed dose from incident radiation. X-ray beams of 6 MV and 18 MV were used to quantify these results up to clinical doses of 68-78 Gy delivered in a single fraction. In the first part, the effect on electronic stimulation signaling of each pulse generator was monitored during and immediately afterwards with computer interrogation. In the second part, the effects of having the pulse generators scatter or attenuate the x-ray beam was also characterized from dose calculations on a treatment planning system as well as from actual radiation measurements. Some device models were found to be susceptible to radiation interference when placed directly in the beam of high energy therapeutic x-ray radiation. While some models exhibited no effect at all, others showed an apparent loss of stimulation output immediately after radiation was experienced. Still, other models were observed to have a cumulative dose effect with a reduced output signal, followed by battery depletion above 49 Gy. Absorbed dose changes on computer underestimated attenuation by nearly half for both energies amongst all pulse generators, although the computer did depict the proper shape of the changed distribution of dose around the device. Measured attenuation ranged from 7.0% to 11.0% at 6 MV and 4.2% to 5.2% at 18 MV for x-rays. Processes of back-scatter and side-scatter were deemed negligible although recorded. Identical results from 6 MV and 18 MV x-ray beams conclude no neutron effect was induced for the 18 MV beam. As there were documented effects identified in this research regarding pulse generation, it emphasizes the importance of caution when considering radiation therapy on patients with implanted VNS devices with observed malfunctions consequential.

  12. Results of the 2012-2013 Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) Job Search and Career Planning Survey of Graduating Residents in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Mattes, Malcolm D.; Kharofa, Jordan; Zeidan, Youssef H.; Tung, Kaity; Gondi, Vinai; Golden, Daniel W.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose/Objective(s): To determine the timeline used by postgraduate year (PGY)-5 radiation oncology residents during the job application process and the factors most important to them when deciding on a first job. Methods and Materials: In 2012 and 2013, the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology conducted a nationwide electronic survey of PGY-5 radiation oncology residents in the United States during the final 2 months of their training. Descriptive statistics are reported. In addition, subgroup analysis was performed. Results: Surveys were completed by 180 of 314 residents contacted. The median time to start networking for the purpose of employment was January PGY-4; to start contacting practices, complete and upload a curriculum vitae to a job search website, and use the American Society of Radiation Oncology Career Center was June PGY-4; to obtain letters of recommendation was July PGY-5; to start interviewing was August PGY-5; to finish interviewing was December PGY-5; and to accept a contract was January PGY-5. Those applying for a community position began interviewing at an earlier average time than did those applying for an academic position (P=.04). The most important factors to residents when they evaluated job offers included (in order from most to least important) a collegial environment, geographic location, emphasis on best patient care, quality of support staff and facility, and multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Factors that were rated significantly different between subgroups based on the type of position applied for included adequate mentoring, dedicated research time, access to clinical trials, amount of time it takes to become a partner, geographic location, size of group, starting salary, and amount of vacation and days off. Conclusions: The residents' perspective on the job application process over 2 years is documented to provide a resource for current and future residents and employers to use.

  13. A web based Radiation Oncology Dose Manager with a rich User Interface developed using AJAX, ruby, dynamic XHTML and the new Yahoo/EXT User Interface Library.

    PubMed

    Vali, Faisal; Hong, Robert

    2007-01-01

    With the evolution of AJAX, ruby on rails, advanced dynamic XHTML technologies and the advent of powerful user interface libraries for javascript (EXT, Yahoo User Interface Library), developers now have the ability to provide truly rich interfaces within web browsers, with reasonable effort and without third-party plugins. We designed and developed an example of such a solution. The User Interface allows radiation oncology practices to intuitively manage different dose fractionation schemes by helping estimate total dose to irradiated organs. PMID:18694240

  14. Elective Clinical Target Volumes for Conformal Therapy in Anorectal Cancer: A Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Consensus Panel Contouring Atlas

    SciTech Connect

    Myerson, Robert J. Garofalo, Michael C.; El Naqa, Issam; Abrams, Ross A.; Apte, Aditya; Bosch, Walter R.; Das, Prajnan; Gunderson, Leonard L.; Hong, Theodore S.; Kim, J.J. John; Willett, Christopher G.; Kachnic, Lisa A.

    2009-07-01

    Purpose: To develop a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) atlas of the elective clinical target volume (CTV) definitions to be used for planning pelvic intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for anal and rectal cancers. Methods and Materials: The Gastrointestinal Committee of the RTOG established a task group (the nine physician co-authors) to develop this atlas. They responded to a questionnaire concerning three elective CTVs (CTVA: internal iliac, presacral, and perirectal nodal regions for both anal and rectal case planning; CTVB: external iliac nodal region for anal case planning and for selected rectal cases; CTVC: inguinal nodal region for anal case planning and for select rectal cases), and to outline these areas on individual computed tomographic images. The imaging files were shared via the Advanced Technology Consortium. A program developed by one of the co-authors (I.E.N.) used binomial maximum-likelihood estimates to generate a 95% group consensus contour. The computer-estimated consensus contours were then reviewed by the group and modified to provide a final contouring consensus atlas. Results: The panel achieved consensus CTV definitions to be used as guidelines for the adjuvant therapy of rectal cancer and definitive therapy for anal cancer. The most important difference from similar atlases for gynecologic or genitourinary cancer is mesorectal coverage. Detailed target volume contouring guidelines and images are discussed. Conclusion: This report serves as a template for the definition of the elective CTVs to be used in IMRT planning for anal and rectal cancers, as part of prospective RTOG trials.

  15. Big Data and Comparative Effectiveness Research in Radiation Oncology: Synergy and Accelerated Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Trifiletti, Daniel M.; Showalter, Timothy N.

    2015-01-01

    Several advances in large data set collection and processing have the potential to provide a wave of new insights and improvements in the use of radiation therapy for cancer treatment. The era of electronic health records, genomics, and improving information technology resources creates the opportunity to leverage these developments to create a learning healthcare system that can rapidly deliver informative clinical evidence. By merging concepts from comparative effectiveness research with the tools and analytic approaches of “big data,” it is hoped that this union will accelerate discovery, improve evidence for decision making, and increase the availability of highly relevant, personalized information. This combination offers the potential to provide data and analysis that can be leveraged for ultra-personalized medicine and high-quality, cutting-edge radiation therapy. PMID:26697409

  16. MRI and FDG-PET/CT imaging in gynecological malignancies: the radiation oncology perspective.

    PubMed

    Fennell, Jamina; Scholber, Jutta; Grosu, Anca L; Volegova-Neher, Natalja; Henne, Karl; Langer, Mathias; Meyer, Philipp T; Gitsch, Gerald; Bartl, Nico

    2016-06-01

    MRI and FDG-PET imaging plays an important role in diagnosis, monitoring and follow-up of gynecological cancer. The goal of this paper was to summarize data of the literature about sensitivity and specificity of MRI and FDG-PET/CT for detection of primary tumor, lymph nodes invasion and metastases in cervix and endometrial cancer and to discuss their implication for radiation treatment planning and monitoring. PMID:26957003

  17. Advances in nuclear data and all-particle transport for radiation oncology

    SciTech Connect

    White, R.M.; Chadwick, M.B.; Chandler, W.P.; Hartmann Siantar, C.L.; Westbrook, C.K.

    1994-05-01

    Fast neutrons have been used to treat over 15,000 cancer patients worldwide and proton therapy is rapidly emerging as a treatment of choice for tumors around critical anatomical structures. Neutron therapy requires evaluated data to {approximately}70 MeV while proton therapy requires data to {approximately}250 MeV. Collaboration between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the medical physics community has revealed limitations in nuclear cross section evaluations and radiation transport capabilities that have prevented neutron and proton radiation therapy centers from using Monte Carlo calculations to accurately predict dose in patients. These evaluations require energy- and angle-dependent cross sections for secondary neutrons, charged-particles and recoil nuclei. We are expanding the LLNL nuclear databases to higher energies for biologically important elements and have developed a three-dimensional, all-particle Monte Carlo radiation transport code that uses computer-assisted-tomography (CT) images as the input mesh. This code, called PEREGRINE calculates dose distributions in the human body and can be used as a tool to determine the dependence of dose on details of the evaluated nuclear data. In this paper, we will review the status of the nuclear data required for neutron and proton therapy, describe the capabilities of the PEREGRINE package, and show the effects of tissue inhomogeneities on dose distribution.

  18. SU-E-E-03: Developing Solutions to Critical Radiation Oncology Challenges in Tanzania

    SciTech Connect

    Kenton, O; Dachi, J; Metz, J; Avery, S

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: Develop solutions to critical medical physics challenges in Tanzania. Methods: In September of 2013 we began working with Jumaa Bin Dachi, a Therapy Physicist at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We developed a bi-lateral learning partnership over the course of eight qualitative Skype meetings with Jumaa. From these meetings we have ascertained that there is a gap between the installation of new equipment and treating patients. This gap has often been overlooked by international partners attempting to improve radiation therapy access. Relationships with academic institutions abroad can fill these gaps, and lead to sustained care of patients needing radiation. Results: Our efforts are best given in a supporting role to help develop solutions and new technology that can reduce the burden on the Medical Physicist. Solutions may include: training material, support for radiation therapy classes, development of appropriate local protocols, and peer-review on documents being produced. New technology needs to focus around simple and easy field shaping, improved patient imaging systems, and systems for patient set-up. We believe our work can help alleviate some of the burdens faced by this institute. Conclusion: While we are just in the beginning stage of this partnership, we believe there is great potential for success between both parties. We hope that the Ocean Road Cancer Institute will benefit from potential funding and resources by partnering with a High Income Country to develop affordable solutions to clinical problems in Tanzania.

  19. Implementation of contemporary radiation therapy planning concepts for pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma: Guidelines from the International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, David C; Dieckmann, Karin; Terezakis, Stephanie; Constine, Louis

    2015-01-01

    The optimal management of children with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) should limit the risk of treatment-related toxicity without compromising disease control. Consequently, increasing effort is being directed to retaining the demonstrated efficacy of radiation therapy (RT) in maximizing the cure of HL while reducing the radiation exposure of normal tissues. Historically, guidelines for RT volume definition used in pediatric HL trials have referenced 2-dimensional imaging and bony landmarks to define classical involved field RT. With recognition of the efficacy of chemotherapy, the data on the adverse late effects of radiation, and the evolution of advanced imaging techniques that reveal the location of both tumor and normal tissues, it is necessary that radiation techniques for children and adolescents be refined. The concepts described by the International Commission on Radiation Units provide a common approach for field definition using 3-dimensional computed tomographic--based RT planning and volumetric image guidance. Here we describe the application of these concepts in the planning of RT for pediatric HL. This will be increasingly important as current and upcoming pediatric HL trials will employ these concepts to deliver RT. PMID:25413415

  20. Modern Radiation Therapy for Nodal Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma—Target Definition and Dose Guidelines From the International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group

    SciTech Connect

    Illidge, Tim; Specht, Lena; Yahalom, Joachim; Aleman, Berthe; Berthelsen, Anne Kiil; Constine, Louis; Dabaja, Bouthaina; Dharmarajan, Kavita; Ng, Andrea; Ricardi, Umberto; Wirth, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    Radiation therapy (RT) is the most effective single modality for local control of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and is an important component of therapy for many patients. Many of the historic concepts of dose and volume have recently been challenged by the advent of modern imaging and RT planning tools. The International Lymphoma Radiation Oncology Group (ILROG) has developed these guidelines after multinational meetings and analysis of available evidence. The guidelines represent an agreed consensus view of the ILROG steering committee on the use of RT in NHL in the modern era. The roles of reduced volume and reduced doses are addressed, integrating modern imaging with 3-dimensional planning and advanced techniques of RT delivery. In the modern era, in which combined-modality treatment with systemic therapy is appropriate, the previously applied extended-field and involved-field RT techniques that targeted nodal regions have now been replaced by limiting the RT to smaller volumes based solely on detectable nodal involvement at presentation. A new concept, involved-site RT, defines the clinical target volume. For indolent NHL, often treated with RT alone, larger fields should be considered. Newer treatment techniques, including intensity modulated RT, breath holding, image guided RT, and 4-dimensional imaging, should be implemented, and their use is expected to decrease significantly the risk for normal tissue damage while still achieving the primary goal of local tumor control.

  1. The development and role of megavoltage cone beam computerized tomography in radiation oncology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morin, Olivier

    External beam radiation therapy has now the ability to deliver doses that conform tightly to a tumor volume. The steep dose gradients planned in these treatments make it increasingly important to reproduce the patient position and anatomy at each treatment fraction. For this reason, considerable research now focuses on in-room three-dimensional imaging. This thesis describes the first clinical megavoltage cone beam computed tomography (MVCBCT) system, which utilizes a conventional linear accelerator equipped with an amorphous silicon flat panel detector. The document covers the system development and investigation of its clinical applications over the last 4-5 years. The physical performance of the system was evaluated and optimized for soft-tissue contrast resolution leading to recommendations of imaging protocols to use for specific clinical applications and body sites. MVCBCT images can resolve differences of 5% in electron density for a mean dose of 9 cGy. Hence, the image quality of this system is sufficient to differentiate some soft-tissue structures. The absolute positioning accuracy with MVCBCT is better than 1 mm. The accuracy of isodose lines calculated using MVCBCT images of head and neck patients is within 3% and 3 mm. The system shows excellent stability in image quality, CT# calibration, radiation exposure and absolute positioning over a period of 8 months. A procedure for MVCBCT quality assurance was developed. In our clinic, MVCBCT has been used to detect non rigid spinal cord distortions, to position a patient with a paraspinous tumor close to metallic hardware, to position prostate cancer patients using gold markers or soft-tissue landmarks, to monitor head and neck anatomical changes and their dosimetric consequences, and to complement the convention CT for treatment planning in presence of metallic implants. MVCBCT imaging is changing the clinical practice of our department by increasingly revealing patient-specific errors. New verification

  2. Multidisciplinary lung cancer meetings: improving the practice of radiation oncology and facing future challenges.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Belinda A; Ball, David; Mornex, Françoise

    2015-02-01

    Clinical guidelines widely recognize the importance of multidisciplinary meetings (MDM) in the optimal care of lung cancer patients. The published literature suggest that dedicated Lung Cancer MDM lead to increased treatment utilization rates and improved survival outcomes for patients with lung cancer. For radiation oncologists, Lung Cancer MDM have been proven to support evidence-based practice and improve the utilization of radiotherapy. Lung Cancer MDM also allow for education and promotion of specialty radiotherapy services. The fast pace of modern medicine is also presenting new challenges for the multidisciplinary lung cancer team, and technological advances are likely to lead to new changes in the structure of traditional Lung Cancer MDM. PMID:25581058

  3. [Oncology PET imaging].

    PubMed

    Inubushi, Masayuki

    2014-01-01

    At the beginning of this article, likening medical images to "Where is Waldo?" I indicate the concept of diagnostic process of PET/CT imaging, so that medical physics specialists could understand the role of each imaging modality and infer our distress for image diagnosis. Then, I state the present situation of PET imaging and the basics (e.g. health insurance coverage, clinical significance, principle, protocol, and pitfall) of oncology FDG-PET imaging which accounts for more than 99% of all clinical PET examinations in Japan. Finally, I would like to give a wishful prospect of oncology PET that will expand to be more cancer-specific in order to assess therapeutic effects of emerging molecular targeted drugs targeting the "hallmarks of cancer". PMID:25199271

  4. Trend of radiation sterilization business in Japan and how to develop new applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, T.

    2004-09-01

    There are thick and high barriers against promotion of radiation processing, especially in Japan. These are regulation, material, cost and consumer's emotion. Release of validation guidelines for sterilization from the Japanese government in 1997 based on ISO11137 and ISO9001 made it easy for us to use irradiation. Most remarkable regulation impacting on a switch to irradiation from ethylene oxide (EtO) was pollutant release and transfer registers (PRTR) proclaimed in 2001 and enforced in 2002. EtO gas is included in the list of poisonous materials. In addition, the government published brochures and distributed them to all manufacturers to improve the employee's health and to keep work area clean. These governmental movements are pushing EtO users to decide if they will continue or give up EtO. To enhance irradiation business, both regulation and de-regulation are important factors.

  5. Impact of Ultrahigh Baseline PSA Levels on Biochemical and Clinical Outcomes in Two Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Prostate Clinical Trials

    SciTech Connect

    Rodrigues, George; Bae, Kyounghwa; Roach, Mack; Lawton, Colleen; Donnelly, Bryan; Grignon, David; Hanks, Gerald; Porter, Arthur; Lepor, Herbert; Sandler, Howard

    2011-06-01

    Purpose: To assess ultrahigh (UH; prostate-specific antigen [PSA]levels {>=}50 ng/ml) patient outcomes by comparison to other high-risk patient outcomes and to identify outcome predictors. Methods and Materials: Prostate cancer patients (PCP) from two Phase III Radiation Therapy Oncology Group clinical trials (studies 9202 and 9413) were divided into two groups: high-risk patients with and without UH baseline PSA levels. Predictive variables included age, Gleason score, clinical T stage, Karnofsky performance score, and treatment arm. Outcomes included overall survival (OS), distant metastasis (DM), and biochemical failure (BF). Unadjusted and adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated using either the Cox or Fine and Gray's regression model with associated 95% confidence intervals (CI) and p values. Results: There were 401 patients in the UH PSA group and 1,792 patients in the non-UH PSA PCP group of a total of 2,193 high-risk PCP. PCP with UH PSA were found to have inferior OS (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.02-1.39, p = 0.02), DM (HR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.19-1.92; p = 0.0006), and BF (HR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.29-1.73; p < 0.0001) compared to other high-risk PCP. In the UH cohort, PSA level was found to be a significant factor for the risk of DM (HR, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.001-1.02) but not OS and BF. Gleason grades of 8 to 10 were found to consistently predict for poor OS, DM, and BF outcomes (with HR estimates ranging from 1.41-2.36) in both the high-risk cohort and the UH cohort multivariable analyses. Conclusions: UH PSA levels at diagnosis are related to detrimental changes in OS, DM, and BF. All three outcomes can be modeled by various combinations of all predictive variables tested.

  6. The Impact of New Technologies on Radiation Oncology Events and Trends in the Past Decade: An Institutional Experience

    SciTech Connect

    Hunt, Margie A.; Pastrana, Gerri; Amols, Howard I.; Killen, Aileen; Alektiar, Kaled

    2012-11-15

    Purpose: To review the type and frequency of patient events from external-beam radiotherapy over a time period sufficiently long to encompass significant technology changes. Methods and Materials: Ten years of quality assurance records from January 2001 through December 2010 were retrospectively reviewed to determine the frequency of events affecting patient treatment from four radiation oncology process steps: simulation, treatment planning, data entry/transfer, and treatment delivery. Patient events were obtained from manual records and, from May 2007 onward, from an institution-wide database and reporting system. Events were classified according to process step of origination and segregated according to the most frequently observed event types. Events from the institution-wide database were evaluated to determine time trends. Results: The overall event rate was 0.93% per course of treatment, with a downward trend over time led by a decrease in treatment delivery events. The frequency of certain event types, particularly in planning and treatment delivery, changed significantly over the course of the study, reflecting technologic and process changes. Treatments involving some form of manual intervention carried an event risk four times higher than those relying heavily on computer-aided design and delivery. Conclusions: Although the overall event rate was low, areas for improvement were identified, including manual calculations and data entry, late-day treatments, and staff overreliance on computer systems. Reducing the incidence of pretreatment events is of particular importance because these were more likely to occur several times before detection and were associated with larger dosimetric impact. Further improvements in quality assurance systems and reporting are imperative, given the advent of electronic charting, increasing reliance on computer systems, and the potentially severe consequences that can arise from mistakes involving complex intensity

  7. SU-E-P-26: Oncospace: A Shared Radiation Oncology Database System Designed for Personalized Medicine, Decision Support, and Research

    SciTech Connect

    Bowers, M; Robertson, S; Moore, J; Wong, J; DeWeese, T; McNutt, T; Phillips, M; Hendrickson, K; Song, W; Kwok, P

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: Advancement in Radiation Oncology (RO) practice develops through evidence based medicine and clinical trial. Knowledge usable for treatment planning, decision support and research is contained in our clinical data, stored in an Oncospace database. This data store and the tools for populating and analyzing it are compatible with standard RO practice and are shared with collaborating institutions. The question is - what protocol for system development and data sharing within an Oncospace Consortium? We focus our example on the technology and data meaning necessary to share across the Consortium. Methods: Oncospace consists of a database schema, planning and outcome data import and web based analysis tools.1) Database: The Consortium implements a federated data store; each member collects and maintains its own data within an Oncospace schema. For privacy, PHI is contained within a single table, accessible to the database owner.2) Import: Spatial dose data from treatment plans (Pinnacle or DICOM) is imported via Oncolink. Treatment outcomes are imported from an OIS (MOSAIQ).3) Analysis: JHU has built a number of webpages to answer analysis questions. Oncospace data can also be analyzed via MATLAB or SAS queries.These materials are available to Consortium members, who contribute enhancements and improvements. Results: 1) The Oncospace Consortium now consists of RO centers at JHU, UVA, UW and the University of Toronto. These members have successfully installed and populated Oncospace databases with over 1000 patients collectively.2) Members contributing code and getting updates via SVN repository. Errors are reported and tracked via Redmine. Teleconferences include strategizing design and code reviews.3) Successfully remotely queried federated databases to combine multiple institutions’ DVH data for dose-toxicity analysis (see below – data combined from JHU and UW Oncospace). Conclusion: RO data sharing can and has been effected according to the Oncospace

  8. Pretreatment Quality of Life Predicts for Locoregional Control in Head and Neck Cancer Patients: A Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Siddiqui, Farzan; Pajak, Thomas F.; Watkins-Bruner, Deborah; Konski, Andre A.; Coyne, James C.; Gwede, Clement K.; Garden, Adam S.; Spencer, Sharon A.; Jones, Christopher; Movsas, Benjamin

    2008-02-01

    Purpose: To analyze the prospectively collected health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) data from patients enrolled in two Radiation Therapy Oncology Group randomized Phase III head and neck cancer trials (90-03 and 91-11) to assess their value as an independent prognostic factor for locoregional control (LRC) and/or overall survival (OS). Methods and Materials: HRQOL questionnaires, using a validated instrument, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Head and Neck (FACT-H and N), version 2, were completed by patients before the start of treatment. OS and LRC were the outcome measures analyzed using a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model. Results: Baseline FACT-H and N data were available for 1,093 patients and missing for 417 patients. No significant difference in outcome was found between the patients with and without baseline FACT-H and N data (p = 0.58). The median follow-up time was 27.2 months for all patients and 49 months for surviving patients. Multivariate analyses were performed for both OS and LRC. Beyond tumor and nodal stage, Karnofsky performance status, primary site, cigarette use, use of concurrent chemotherapy, and altered fractionation schedules, the FACT-H and N score was independently predictive of LRC (but not OS), with p = 0.0038. The functional well-being component of the FACT-H and N predicted most significantly for LRC (p = 0.0004). Conclusions: This study represents, to our knowledge, the largest analysis of HRQOL as a prognostic factor in locally advanced head and neck cancer patients. The results of this study have demonstrated the importance of baseline HRQOL as a significant and independent predictor of LRC in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer.

  9. Patterns of Care in Elderly Head-and-Neck Cancer Radiation Oncology Patients: A Single-Center Cohort Study

    SciTech Connect

    Huang Shaohui; O'Sullivan, Brian; Waldron, John; Lockwood, Gina; Bayley, Andrew; Kim, John; Cummings, Bernard; Dawson, Laura A.; Hope, Andrew; Cho, John; Witterick, Ian; Chen, Eric X.; Ringash, Jolie

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: To compare the patterns of care for elderly head-and-neck cancer patients with those of younger patients. Methods and Materials: A retrospective review was conducted of all new mucosal head-and-neck cancer referrals to radiation oncology between July 1, 2003 and December 31, 2007 at our institution. The clinical characteristics, treatment pattern, tolerance, and outcomes were compared between the elderly (aged {>=}75 years) and younger (aged <75 years) cohorts. Results: A total of 2,312 patients, including 452 (20%) elderly and 1,860 (80%) younger patients, were studied. The elderly patients were more likely to be women (36% vs. 27%, p <.01) and to have other malignancies (23% vs. 13%, p <.01), Stage I or II disease (38% vs. 32%, p <.01), and N0 status (56% vs. 42%, p <.01). Treatment was less often curative in intent (79% vs. 93%, p <.01). For the 1,487 patients who received definitive radiotherapy (RT), no differences were found between the elderly (n = 238) and younger (n = 1,249) patients in treatment interruption, completion, or treatment-related death. Within the subset of 760 patients who received intensified treatment (concurrent chemoradiotherapy or hyperfractionated accelerated RT), no difference was seen between the elderly (n = 46) and younger (n = 714) patients in treatment interruption, completion, or treatment-related death. After a median follow-up of 2.5 years, the 2-year cause-specific survival rate after definitive RT was 72% (range, 65-78%) for the elderly vs. 86% (range, 84-88%) for the younger patients (p <.01). Conclusion: Elderly head-and-neck cancer patients exhibited different clinical characteristics and experienced different patterns of care from younger patients. Although age itself was an adverse predictor of cause-specific survival, its effect was modest. Elderly patients selected for definitive RT or intensified RT showed no evidence of impaired treatment tolerance.

  10. Observations of radiation bursts from winter thunderclouds and lighting over the Japan sea coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umemoto, D.; Tsuchiya, H.; Enoto, T.; Yamada, S.; Yuasa, T.; Kawaharada, M.; Kitaguchi, T.; Nakazawa, K.; Kokubun, M.; Iwata, K.; Kato, H.; Okano, M.; Tamagawa, T.; Makishima, K.

    2013-12-01

    Radiation bursts associated with lightning and thunderstorms are reported by an increasing number of experiments, either ground-based or space-borne. These bursts are thought to be produced via Bremsstrahlung by energetic electrons, which are accelerated in the electrical fields within thunderclouds. GROWTH (Gamma-Ray Observation of Winther THunderclouds) experiment has been operating over 7 seasons since 2006, in Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant located in Niigata prefecture, Japan, facing the Japan sea (Tsuchiya et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 165002, 2007). It aims to detect radiation from winter thunderclouds in this region, which are known to have very low cloud-base altitudes and to involve huge lightning energies. With GROWTH, we have so far detected 20 radiation bursts, which can be classified distinctly into 12 long-duration events (Tsuchiya et al., JGR 116, D09113, 2011) and 8 short-lived ones. The former ones have durations up to several minutes without correlation with lightning, and are likely to be associated with thunderclouds themselves. The latter ones are coincident with lightning discharges, and last for less than 1 second. In both types of events, gamma-ray energy spectra extend typically up 10 MeV. As described below, the present study covers both types of events. In a long burst which occurred on 2010 December 30, the gamma-ray intensity gradually increased and the spectrum continuously hardened over a few minutes, and then the emission abruptly ceased (Tsuchiya et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 015001, 2013). This sudden termination preceded (by 800 ms or less) a lightning flash that occurred 5 km away form the GROWTH site. We are also analyzing two short bursts detected on 2012 January 13, and another on 2012 December 9, all of which lasted no longer than 300 ms. In the spectrum of one of them, we found evidence of excess emission around 511 keV. The line emission increased in coincidence with the continuum radiation, but lasted for more than