3rd Annual Dept. of Radiation Oncology Research Retreat


Version: February 29, 2008


Recent advances in technology have allowed unprecedented precision in the delivery of radiation therapy. We can now deliver higher dose of radiation to more precise areas of the body. These advances therefore emphasize the importance of distinguishing not only between Tumor and Normal Tissue, but also whether the target represents viable cancer --which may merit a higher dose or the addition of chemo- or other biologic therapy -- versus scar or nonviable tumor. Furthermore, the higher doses of radiation being delivered may dictate that movement during treatment or between fractions be accounted for. There has also been increased awareness that the way we follow patients after treatment, may require judiciously choosing specific diagnostic modalities. Achieving all these goals should enable us to increase efficacy and/or reduce the toxicities of the treatment we give to our patients.

  1. We can define and target Cancer cells in the clinic with unprecedented precision.
  2. We can define with accuracy whether the treatment we deliver is effective or needs modification.

To build a clinical and conceptual infrastructure that will let us test these Hypotheses. This infrastructure and its implementation will require the dedicated efforts of a collaborative team or teams, spanning across Departments.

Initiatives/ Plan of Action
  • Seed money to assist in the implementation and completion of projects that show exceptional promise, relevance, and achievability.
  • Rigorous implementation of milestones.
  • Energetic, focused, and mutually-supportive collaborations.
  • Collaborative problem-solving.
  • Number of faculty in both Departments that are collaboratively involved in “Hypothesis testing”, i.e. clinical or translational research.
  • Links between faculty and research resources (e.g. Pathology databank).
  • Thriving and well-publicized “Working Groups” or “Centers of Excellence”
  • Development of new devices, programs for enhancing patient care and/or quality of treatment, or for improving patient follow-up and quality of life.
  • Publications describing the fruits of research.
  • Grant submissions
  • Successfully funded grants
  • FTE’s supported by extramurally funded grants
  • Increased resources and facilities available for this research (e.g. CAM, NRB)