The term precision medicine or personalized medicine is used a lot – from targeted chemotherapeutics to pharmacogenomics, in patient consultations and on public commercials.
But, what is precision medicine and what does it mean to clinical care?
Precision medicine in cancer treatment has primarily been defined from the medical oncology perspective as the application of molecularly targeted therapies based on the specific genetic abnormalities of the cancer. This definition, however, is limited and does not take into consideration other roles for precision medicine in cancer treatment. For example, in radiation oncology precision medicine is using alterations including genomic and epigenetic changes to improve radiological therapy. It has the potential to improve the therapeutic index by tailoring radiation therapy for individual patients based on the expected radiation sensitivity of the tumor as well as the expected radiation sensitivity of adjacent normal tissues. Such considerations can thereby maximize tumor control while minimizing radiation toxicity.
What does precision medicine mean to radiation oncologists?
Because of the individual tailored treatment plans, radiation therapy is developed for each patient. However, with the changing landscape of genomic profiling and targeted agents, there are many things for a radiation oncologist to think about with precision medicine. What gene mutations can increase or decrease radiosensitivity? How do radiation oncologists combine –omics and imaging data to provide the best radiation therapy for the patient? How can radiation therapy benefit from big data? What challenges do radiation oncologists need to overcome to advance precision radiation oncology?
Because of these differing definitions and perspectives regarding precision medicine, ASTRO together with the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is hosting the “Precision Medicine in Radiation Oncology: Personalizing Radiation Treatment” workshop. This workshop will bring together radiobiologists, physicians and physicists to discuss the current state-- and the future of--precision medicine in radiation oncology. Sessions will cover how genomics, radiogenomics, imaging and clinical outcomes data can advance precision medicine in radiation oncology.
Date – June 16 & 17, 2016
Where – NIH Natcher Auditorium on the main campus, Bethesda, Maryland
Registration Register by May 18 to receive advance registration rates.
Abstract submission (by April 20)