News | Radiation Therapy | October 24, 2016

ASTRO Leadership Visits White House to Participate in Cancer Moonshot Event

Society continues to encourage inclusion of radiation oncology in strategic planning for the initiative and applauds collaborative efforts with industry and government

ASTRO leadership, Vice President Joe Biden, Cancer Moonshot Initiative, CMI, Cancer Moonshot Task Force Report, White House visit

October 24, 2016 — Leadership from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) recently participated in an event at the White House hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, who released a report outlining the Cancer Moonshot Initiative’s (CMI) progress to date and roadmap for its four remaining years. Former Chair of ASTRO’s Board of Directors Bruce G. Haffty, M.D., FASTRO, attended on behalf of the society following months of encouragement by ASTRO for the initiative to broaden its focus and integrate radiation oncology more fully into the moonshot effort.

“In the past year, the Vice President’s moonshot initiative has brought critical attention to the need for greater collaboration and innovation in cancer research, and we are invigorated at the prospect of radiation oncology being an instrumental component of future progress. Moving forward, we must maintain the focus on advancing both the science and practice of cancer care while aligning our efforts to move Congress to authorize the $700 million requested by the President for cancer research initiatives. Substantial, predictable financial support is essential to sustain the fight to eradicate cancer.” said Haffty.

More than half of cancer patients undergo radiation therapy at some point in their treatment, and radiation therapy has been a safe, effective and powerful method of fighting cancer for more than 100 years. Federal funding for research in radiation oncology, however, remains well below the level of funding for other therapeutic modalities. ASTRO, whose members include nearly all practicing radiation oncologists in the United States, supports the CMI goal of working toward an integrated approach to advancing cancer research. According to the society, encompassing the full range of multidisciplinary approaches to cancer care is essential to achieve the accelerated progress that hallmark of the initiative’s design.

The new Cancer Moonshot Task Force report charts the initiative’s progress and announces several promising new efforts to support CMI goals. This includes collaborative research projects to explore the biological bases of cancer and partnerships with industry to increase affordable transportation options for cancer patients undergoing treatment.

The report also maps out strategy for the initiative’s remaining years, including reforms to financial support structures that would broaden access for non-traditional research approaches and ensure equitable access to the highest-quality care across all corners of the socioeconomic spectrum.

ASTRO has encouraged leaders of the moonshot initiative to include radiation oncology in discussions and partnerships since the effort was first announced in President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address. In January and February, ASTRO pledged its support of the initiative and its inclusion in the President’s FY2017 budget. In April, ASTRO leadership met with Greg Simon, executive director of the CMI, to discuss the important role for radiation oncology in the moonshot. In May, nearly 100 ASTRO members convened on Capitol Hill to encourage members of Congress to invest in cancer research. In June, Haffty and Tim Williams, M.D., FASTRO, also a former chair of ASTRO, participated in the Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, D.C., and ASTRO concurrently held a virtual summit via Twitter to gather and discuss research ideas, many of which were submitted to the National Cancer Institute through its Cancer Research Ideas portal. In September, ASTRO leadership submitted a letter to Simon expressing its concern that only a single radiation oncologist was included in any of the Blue Ribbon Panel working groups and recommending that the panel’s final recommendations more fully discuss the role of radiation therapy in combination therapy.

For more information:

Related Content

Stronger Distribution Networks to Bolster Radiotherapy Patient Positioning Accessories
News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | July 19, 2019
A recent study projects global market revenues for radiotherapy patient positioning accessories will exceed revenues of...
CMS Proposes New Alternative Payment Model for Radiation Oncology
News | Radiation Oncology | July 17, 2019
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposal for an advanced alternative payment model (APM)...
AAPM 2019 Features More Than 40 Presentations on ViewRay's MRIdian MRI-guided Radiotherapy
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | July 16, 2019
ViewRay Inc. announced that the company's MRIdian System is the focus of more than 40 abstracts selected by the...
RaySearch Releases Version 3A of RayCare Oncology Information System
Technology | Oncology Information Management Systems (OIMS) | July 15, 2019
RaySearch has released RayCare 3A, a new version of the next-generation oncology information system (OIS). RayCare is...
IBA Launches Monte Carlo Patient QA for Varian Halcyon at AAPM 2019
Technology | Quality Assurance (QA) | July 10, 2019
IBA announced the launch of the latest functionality of the SciMoCa Monte Carlo Patient QA solution at the 61st annual...
Researchers Use Artificial Intelligence to Deliver Personalized Radiation Therapy
News | Radiation Therapy | July 09, 2019
New Cleveland Clinic-led research shows that artificial intelligence (AI) can use medical scans and health records to...
The Beamscan 3-D water phantom with the Varian Halcyon radiotherapy system

The Beamscan 3-D water phantom with the Varian Halcyon radiotherapy system. Image courtesy of PTW.

News | Quality Assurance (QA) | July 08, 2019
At this year’s American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) show, July 14-18 in San Antonio, Texas, PTW will...