The Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) is proud to announce the winners of its inaugural publication awards, which recognize excellent research on the value of radiation therapy for improving cancer outcomes. The winning articles will be published in Advances in Radiation Oncology, ASTRO’s open-access journal.
K. Ranh Voong, MD, MPH, a radiation oncologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Kimmel Cancer Center, received the Outstanding Article award for her work, “Long-term economic value of hypofractionated prostate radiation: Secondary analysis of a randomized trial.” Dr. Voong and colleagues compared the long-term value of using moderately hypofractionated intensity modulated therapy (HIMRT) with conventional intensity modulated radiation therapy (CIMRT) for the treatment of prostate cancer. Using 2014 national payment rates for hospital-based outpatient care for prostate cancer patients, researchers analyzed the costs of radiation treatment and planning, as well as costs of managing the toxicities of radiation therapy, including drugs, and clinic and emergency room visits.
Dr. Voong's team found that HIMRT was more cost efficient than CIMRT for treating prostate cancer, even when costs related to late radiation toxicities were considered—the payment rates for HIMRT was $22,597, while the rates for CIMRT was $30,241, a savings of over $7,000.
Dr. Voong’s interest in health economics began while working on her master’s degree of public health degree as a radiation oncology resident at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Advances in the field of radiation oncology, which rely on cutting-edge technology, can come at great cost. Given the cost barriers, the latest technologies can take a long time to be adopted, resulting in patients, insurers and health care providers missing out on the potential benefits.
“We are such a technology-driven field with a high cost associated with it. If we don’t show the value of advances in our field, then who will?” says Dr. Voong. “I hope my manuscript is a model for how we can show that hypofractionated radiation, if delivered appropriately with low toxicity, can provide a long-term cost savings benefit, even when accounting for management of late treatment side effects.”
In honor of her outstanding manuscript on the cost savings benefit of HIMRT, ROI will award Dr. Voong a $5,000 grant to continue her research on the value of radiation therapy, as well as pay for the open-access publication fee of $2,000 to make the research available to everyone, regardless of membership or subscription status.
Melissa Vyfhuis, MD, PhD, a resident in radiation oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, received the Excellence Award for “Oncological outcomes from trimodality therapy receiving definitive doses of neoadjuvant chemoradiation (≥60 Gy) and factors influencing consideration for surgery in stage III non-small cell lung cancer.” The work of Dr. Vyfhuis and colleagues demonstrated a significant overall survival and free-from-recurrence advantage for patients who had surgery in addition to chemoradiation when compared with patients who received only chemoradiation in a carefully selected population of patients with locally advanced non–small cell lung cancer. The ROI will pay the $2,000 open-access publication fee for her paper, as well.
In addition, a special “ROI Outreach Award” of $500 will be awarded to the paper that garners the highest PlumX Metrics score after September 2017. Readers are encouraged to share and discuss their favorite ROI Value in RT article on social media using the “Share this page” links on the respective article pages.
The Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) is an affiliated nonprofit foundation created in 2006 by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Board of Directors to support research and education efforts around the world that heighten the role of radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer. ROI strategically funds research on new and existing radiation therapy treatments to identify links between best practices and improved outcomes, to evaluate the efficacy and cost-benefit of radiation therapy and to foster multi-institutional research in radiation oncology. For more information, visit www.roinstitute.org.
Advances in Radiation Oncology is a wide-ranging open access journal that publishes full-length articles and brief reports. As the sister publication to the International Journal of Radiation Oncology·Biology·Physics and Practical Radiation Oncology, Advances aims to complement the research in these two journals. To learn more about Advances and to submit your best research for consideration, please visit http://www.advancesradonc.org/.