Message from the President
Deborah A. Kuban, MD, FASTRO
Radiation therapy saves and improves the lives of millions of cancer patients each year, but not all who could benefit from this less invasive treatment actually receive it. The Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) is working to heighten the critical role of radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer through research and education to change the status quo and ensure more patients’ lives can be enhanced by this life-saving technology.
With the support of our generous donors, the ROI has funded $3 million in research to help radiation oncology be a leader in the movement toward more patient-centered, quality health care. Together, we are awarding grants to some of the best and brightest researchers who are seeking to improve outcomes for patients by providing solutions for radiation oncology’s most pressing and practical needs.
For example, each of our 2018 Innovative Projects in Radiation Oncology awards focuses on a topic that was identified from responses by attendees of the 2017 ASTRO Annual Meeting to the question: “How do we improve our ability to get radiation to the patients who need it?” Financial toxicity, access, awareness, and SBRT emerged as critical issues to take on, and the ROI funded more than $200,000 in new research grants to address them. Other ROI researchers are using big data to lessen treatment effects through better predictive modeling and leveraging the power of activity trackers to improve outcomes for patients with a simple walking program. Research establishing the value of radiation therapy is of the utmost importance in the changing health care landscape, and we have funded several studies showing its comparative and cost effectiveness. We are so pleased that our RadOnc Toolbox app, which provides practitioners with evidence-based recommendations on how to manage the side-effects and complications of radiation as well as a host of other clinical tools, has been downloaded by thousands of radiation oncology professionals worldwide.
The Radiation Oncology Institute might also be associated with a more common definition for the acronym ROI, “return on investment.” In a relatively short amount of time, the Radiation Oncology Institute has grown from an idea, to a successful campaign to establish an endowment, and now to a thriving foundation, which provides our supporters with a demonstrable return on their investment. Our investigators have secured more than $1 million in follow-on funding for research directly related to their ROI-funded work, and this total will surely grow in the years to come.
We are grateful to all of the individuals, corporations, private practice groups and academic institutions whose generous donations have made this progress possible. Your continued investment is essential to ensuring the success and growth of our practice-changing research and educational programs.
Please explore our website to learn more about how the ROI is forging a path for the future of radiation oncology and how you can support this endeavor.