2017 Research Wrap-Up
Your contributions to the ROI are being invested in practical research to yield better outcomes for cancer patients. In 2017, the returns on your investment continued to grow as you gained access to new clinical resources and ROI investigators shared results from their research.
This year saw the release of the RadOnc Toolbox app into the AppStore. Originally developed by ROI grantee Malolan S. Rajagopalan, MD, MBA, this new resource compiles and categorizes both acute and late radiation symptom management strategies and includes other clinical tools, such as a dose conversion calculator and toxicity scales. We are pleased that hundreds of you have downloaded and are using this new tool. The ROI also launched our inaugural Publication Awards, which were given to K. Ranh Voong, MD, MPH, and Melissa Vyfhuis, MD, PhD, for their excellent manuscripts on the value of radiation therapy.
David J. Sher, MD, MPH, presented findings from his ROI-funded research in the Health Services Highlights session at ASTRO 2017. During his talk titled, “Comparative Effectiveness of Primary Radiation Therapy Versus Surgery in Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in a Private Payer: A Healthcore Analysis,” Dr. Sher shared that while primary RT and surgery were associated with similar survival and toxicity outcomes—except for an increased risk of a temporary gastrostomy tube with radiation—there were no significant differences in treatment costs. Practitioners can use these results to inform the conversations they are having with their patients during the shared decision-making process.
Todd McNutt, PhD, and his team, who are using big data and machine learning approaches to develop better predictive models for toxicities associated with head and neck cancer, also presented preliminary results at ASTRO 2017. Pranav Lakshminarayanan was the lead author of their poster: “A Shape-Based Dose Model for the Prediction of High Grade Radiation Induced Xerostomia for Head and Neck Cancer Patients.”
Your generous support has made this progress possible, is sustaining our other active grants and is helping the ROI to make new awards in 2018. We are grateful for your backing of this research that is a vital investment in the future of radiation oncology and look forward to sharing more results in the year ahead!