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Oncology Homepage

Computerized tissue imaging may predict who will benefit from chemotherapy NCI-funded trial to investigate this technology

New MR imaging technique doesn't require use of contrast agents Detects 98 percent of malignant breast lesions

Ultrasound with 'cheap' blood test improves early-stage liver cancer detection by 40 percent May become standard practice

FDA clears the Arterys Oncology AI suite Designed for liver MR and CT and lung CT

Tomo associated with fewer false positives than digital mammo, study finds To be presented at ARRS annual meeting

Congress freezes radiation treatment payment rates for free-standing clinics through 2019 ASTRO applauds

For this cancer, proton therapy is no better than IMRT For treating NSCLC, the cutting edge option may not yield better outcomes

Study finds PSMA PET/CT can identify early prostate cancer recurrence Already a standard in Europe

RaySearch to supply RayStation to first proton therapy center in India Set to begin treating patients in September 2018

New paper brings attention to heart disease risk associated with breast cancer treatment Especially affects those over 65

Dr. David Beyer

Q&A with ASTRO's Dr. David Beyer

by Sean Ruck , Contributing Editor
HealthCare Business News recently reached out to ASTRO chair, Dr. David Beyer to discuss his views on radiation oncology and its future.

HCB News: How is multidisciplinary cancer care changing?
Dr. David Beyer: Professionals are experimenting with new models for multidisciplinary care every day. We have a long history of tumor boards to discuss challenging cases with members of other specialties. Today, we are seeing more integrated clinics where care is shared among several different specialists. We are seeing new therapies, such as radiation treatments being combined with drugs to trigger the immune system. And we are seeing, more and more, the integration of other disciplines to improve patients’ quality of life. As an example, in the small community hospital where I practice, social workers, counselors, physical therapists and palliative care physicians and nurses are now routinely attending our multidisciplinary conferences. This helps us prepare a comprehensive survivorship plan from the first day of treatment.
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HCB News: With the patient experience growing in importance, how is it being addressed by the radiation oncology field?
DB: Quality of life has long been embedded in the fabric of radiation oncology. Along with like-minded surgeons and other oncologists, we helped pioneer organ-preserving therapy in cancers of the breast, larynx and extremity sarcoma, to name a few. Now, research in the field is advancing to the next level, both for extending life and for preserving quality of life, such as the work on stereotactic radiation (SBRT) as a possible curative therapy for inoperable lung cancers.

At the same time, radiation oncology departments, which have been designed over the years to efficiently and safely deliver radiation, are now listening to patients and rethinking how we can improve their satisfaction during treatments that may span several weeks of care.

HCB News: What is the role of radiation oncology in modern cancer care?
DB: Radiation remains a core piece of the triumvirate of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy that has been central to cancer treatment for many years. Some patients are best served by a single modality, while others require combinations or sequences of these therapies. The radiation oncologist is and needs to be involved in this decision-making and remain a resource, even for those patients where radiation treatment is not primarily recommended.

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