by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | July 09, 2021
The American Society for Radiation Oncology is set to host its annual meeting in-person this year in Chicago.
The event will take place from October 24 to 27 at McCormick Place West. It will be the first major medical conference to be held in Chicago since the start of the pandemic, say ASTRO coordinators.
"Recognizing that safety is at the core of radiation oncology and that attendees will return to care for people with cancer after the meeting, we are working closely with the city of Chicago and McCormick Place planners to ensure that COVID-19 safety protocols are in place to foster a healthy, safe and engaging learning experience for attendees,” said ASTRO president Laura Dawson, M.D., FASTRO.
The meeting will feature more than 1,500 presentations on advances in oncology care, as well as expert panels related to this year’s theme, “Embracing Change, Advancing Person-Centered Care.” Also included will be keynote presentations and special sessions on cancer breakthroughs, and a panel on the science of hope. An added feature will be DigitalXP, a virtual experience with more than 30 hours of curated original content and interactive networking opportunities. A curated digital program will also be available for remote attendees.
For safety measures, the coordinators have modified layouts to allow space in session rooms, clean and sanitize rooms between sessions, use touch free technology, and set up hand sanitizing stations throughout the convention center. The event will also be in a reconfigured exhibit hall that has wider aisleways, and McCormick Place will have structural enhancements to improve air quality.
Plans for ASTRO’s meeting last year, like many others, shifted as a result of the pandemic. Initially scheduled as an in-person event in Miami, the format was changed
to host the conference online.
The conference is expected to attract thousands of oncologists, clinicians, researchers and other healthcare professionals, and over 140 cancer technology exhibitors.