Radiation oncologists urge Congress to advance bills that protect patient access to cancer care during the pandemic

Radiation oncologists across the country will meet virtually with members of Congress this week to urge lawmakers to pass legislation that will safeguard access to high-quality, value-based health care for people with cancer. The doctors will meet with Congressional leaders and staff as part of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) virtual Advocacy Day, which will take place November 19-20, 2020.

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Adding image guidance to post-operative radiation therapy can reduce side effects for women with cervical cancer

A phase III trial from India shows that an advanced radiation therapy technique leads to fewer gastrointestinal side effects in women who receive radiation after undergoing hysterectomy for cervical cancer. Findings from the PARCER trial (NCT01279135) will be presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting.

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Group trial bolsters case for stereotactic radiation therapy for tumors that travel to the lungs

A new study, conducted across 13 medical centers in Australia and New Zealand, strengthens the case for radiation therapy as a treatment for cancer that has begun to spread throughout the body. Findings of the SAFRON II trial (NCT01965223) will be presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting.

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Treating spinal metastases with fewer and higher doses of radiation reduces pain more effectively

A new study shows using fewer and higher doses of high-precision radiation therapy is a more effective approach for treating painful spinal tumors than conventional radiation therapy. Findings from the Canadian phase II/III trial (NCT02512965) will be presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting.

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Radiosurgery reduces cognitive decline without compromising survival for patients with 4+ brain metastases

Results of a new randomized phase III trial suggest that stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) should replace whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) as the standard of care for patients with four or more brain metastases. Results from the clinical trial (NCT01592968) will be presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting.

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Adding advanced PET scans to radiation treatment plans for prostate cancer increases failure-free survival rates

Adding the advanced PET radiotracer fluciclovine to conventional imaging to help guide radiation treatments for recurrent prostate cancer can improve disease-free survival rates, a new study finds. Findings from the randomized phase II/III EMPIRE-1 trial (NCT01666808) will be presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting.

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Expert Alert: Accelerated breast cancer treatments at Mayo Clinic provide more options for patients during pandemic

Radiation therapy for breast cancer can be grueling and disruptive, stretching out for as long as five to seven weeks, and often requiring extended time off from work or away from home. But research over the past decade, as well as new technology and innovations at Mayo Clinic, has led to treatment alternatives that are shorter, more targeted and just as effective.

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ASTRO issues clinical guideline on radiation therapy for rectal cancer

A new clinical guideline from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) provides guidance for physicians who use radiation therapy to treat patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. Recommendations outline indications and best practices for pelvic radiation treatments, as well as the integration of radiation with chemotherapy and surgery for stage II-III disease. The guideline, which replaces ASTRO’s 2016 guidance for rectal cancer, is published in Practical Radiation Oncology.

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Radiation oncology research and clinical trial results to be featured at ASTRO’s Annual Meeting

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) announced today the press program for its 2020 Annual Meeting, which will feature studies on cancer treatment advances and discussions of topical issues including COVID-19. Researchers will present their findings via live webcasts on October 26 and 27. Register for press access at www.astro.org/annnualmeetingpress.

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Benefits manager policy disrupts patient-physician decision making for breast and prostate cancer radiation treatments

Radiation oncologists today expressed serious concerns about a new private insurance coverage policy that could undermine patient-centered care for two of the most common cancers in the United States. Leaders of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) urge eviCore, a radiation oncology benefits management company, to halt and make meaningful changes to a new policy for radiation therapy coverage. Under the new policy, EviCore mandates that most breast and prostate cancer treatments use a shorter, hypofractionated radiation therapy regimen even if it runs counter to a physician’s clinical recommendation.

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