Radiation Oncology History/Education/Social Media

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TU_42_2905 - Improving Research in Radiation Oncology through Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Tuesday, October 23
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: Innovation Hub, Exhibit Hall 3

Improving Research in Radiation Oncology through Interdisciplinary Collaboration
J. W. Burmeister1,2, M. W. Tracey3, S. E. Kacin4, M. M. Dominello1,2, and M. C. Joiner1; 1Department of Oncology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, 2Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI, 3College of Education, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 4Office of Teaching and Learning, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Purpose/Objective(s): The contribution of radiation oncology to the future of cancer research and treatment depends significantly on multidisciplinary collaboration between radiation oncologists, medical physicists, and radiobiologists. Cultivating collaborative educational and research opportunities amongst these three disciplines and further investing in the infrastructure used to train both clinicians and researchers will help us improve the future of cancer care.

Materials/Methods: A short-term educational environment to foster multidisciplinary collaboration entitled “Integration of Biology and Physics into Radiation Oncology (IBPRO)” was designed to facilitate the engagement of radiation oncologists, medical physicists, and radiobiologists in activities that enhance collaborative investigation. The course has been delivered to nearly 200 participants over the past 4 years, thus the relative success of IBPRO in fostering productive interdisciplinary collaboration and producing tangible research outcomes can be evaluated. The 140 IBPRO participants from the first 3 years were surveyed to quantify the effectiveness of the course.

Results: In total, 62 respondents reported developing 23 institutional protocols, submitting more than 25 research grants (9 of which have been funded thus far), and publishing more than 30 research manuscripts attributable to participation in IBPRO. Nearly half (45%) of respondents reported generating at least one of these research metrics that was attributable to participation in IBPRO. This represents a very substantial contribution to radiation oncology research by a relatively small number of researchers within a relatively short time. Nearly half of respondents reported ongoing collaborative working relationships generated by IBPRO. In addition, approximately half of respondents stated that specific information presented at IBPRO changed the way they practice, while over 80% of respondents practicing in a clinical setting stated that, since participation in IBPRO, they have approached clinical dilemmas more collaboratively.

Conclusion: Short-term educational interventions can have a significant impact on interdisciplinary collaborative research. Nearly half of IBPRO participants reported generating institutional protocols, research grants, and/or research manuscripts attributable to IBPRO within only 1-3 years of participation. This is in addition to effecting reported enhancements in clinical collaboration in the majority (80%) of participants.

Author Disclosure: J.W. Burmeister: Research Grant; NIH. Board Member; SDAMPP. Chair, Radiation Oncology Physics Exam Committee; American Board of Radiology. M.W. Tracey: Research Grant; NIH. S.E. Kacin: Research Grant; NIH. M.M. Dominello: None. M.C. Joiner: None.

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