The VA, Washington University, and the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) have joined to initiate a new Radiation Oncology Practice Assessment (ROPA) program. For the first time, radiation oncologists will be provided continuous feedback on the headway made in cancer therapy through new and innovative information technology techniques.
There are three major treatments for cancer: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Approximately 60 percent of patients undergo radiation. This program plans to use the information gathered to improve cancer treatment for our Veterans who comprise a large portion of cancer victims. The first year will concentrate on the review of treatments for prostate and lung cancers, including mesothelioma.
Bruce D. Minsky, MD, FASTRO, chair of the ASTRO Board of Directors, stated, “ASTRO is deeply committed to improving the quality of cancer care for our Veterans and all Americans. Our cancer experts are enthusiastic about this new opportunity to better measure and enhance radiation delivery with the goal of producing high quality patient outcomes.”
With this assessment, a more complete determination of a patient’s therapy and their response to it can be provided to the oncologist. The goal is the ability to more closely pinpoint therapies that succeed in the fight against cancer.