open access

Vol 17, No 5 (2012)
Special Issue Papers
Published online: 2012-09-01
Submitted: 2012-02-03
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The future of Radiation Oncology: Considerations of Young Medical Doctor

Bartosz Urbański
DOI: 10.1016/j.rpor.2012.09.002
·
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2012;17(5):288-293.

open access

Vol 17, No 5 (2012)
Special Issue Papers
Published online: 2012-09-01
Submitted: 2012-02-03

Abstract

Radiation therapy plays an increasingly important role in the management of cancer. Currently, more than 50% of all cancer patients can expect to receive radiotherapy during the course of their disease, either in a primary management (radical or adjuvant radiotherapy) or for symptom control (palliative radiotherapy).

Radiation oncology is a very unique branch of medicine connected with clinical knowledge and also with medical physics. In recent years, this approach has become increasingly absorbed with technological advances. This increasing emphasis on technology, together with other important changes in the health-care economic environment, now place the specialty of radiation oncology in a precarious position. New treatment technologies are evolving at a rate unprecedented in radiation therapy, paralleled by improvements in computer hardware and software. These techniques allow assessment of changes in the tumour volume and its location during the course of therapy (interfraction motion) so that re-planning can adjust for such changes in an adaptive radiotherapy process.

If radiation oncologists become simply the guardians of a single therapeutic modality they may find that time marches by and, while the techniques will live on, the specialty may not. This article discusses these threats to the field and examines strategies by which we may evolve, diversify, and thrive.

Abstract

Radiation therapy plays an increasingly important role in the management of cancer. Currently, more than 50% of all cancer patients can expect to receive radiotherapy during the course of their disease, either in a primary management (radical or adjuvant radiotherapy) or for symptom control (palliative radiotherapy).

Radiation oncology is a very unique branch of medicine connected with clinical knowledge and also with medical physics. In recent years, this approach has become increasingly absorbed with technological advances. This increasing emphasis on technology, together with other important changes in the health-care economic environment, now place the specialty of radiation oncology in a precarious position. New treatment technologies are evolving at a rate unprecedented in radiation therapy, paralleled by improvements in computer hardware and software. These techniques allow assessment of changes in the tumour volume and its location during the course of therapy (interfraction motion) so that re-planning can adjust for such changes in an adaptive radiotherapy process.

If radiation oncologists become simply the guardians of a single therapeutic modality they may find that time marches by and, while the techniques will live on, the specialty may not. This article discusses these threats to the field and examines strategies by which we may evolve, diversify, and thrive.

Get Citation

Keywords

Radiation oncology; Perspectives; Challenges

About this article
Title

The future of Radiation Oncology: Considerations of Young Medical Doctor

Journal

Reports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy

Issue

Vol 17, No 5 (2012)

Pages

288-293

Published online

2012-09-01

DOI

10.1016/j.rpor.2012.09.002

Bibliographic record

Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2012;17(5):288-293.

Keywords

Radiation oncology
Perspectives
Challenges

Authors

Bartosz Urbański

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