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The American Society for Radiation Oncology, Sept. 24-27

Last Updated: September 28, 2017.

The 59th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology

The annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology was held from September 24 to 27 in San Diego and attracted approximately 11,000 participants from around the world, including physicians, oncology nurses, radiation therapists, biologists, physicists, and other cancer researchers. The conference featured educational courses focused on radiation, surgical, and medical oncology.

In a randomized controlled trial, Justin Anderson, medical student, of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, and colleagues found that patients who reported severe levels of distress at the time of their initial consult were more likely to miss treatment appointments, which could decrease the efficacy and overall quality of their treatment.

"They were also more likely to be admitted to the hospital, which can increase the cost of their cancer care, possibly disrupt their treatment, and indicates they may have required earlier interventions to prevent such an admission," said Anderson. "We recommend health care providers and especially radiation oncologists use a distress thermometer to measure their patients' distress and psychosocial well-being. Patients with severe distress should be monitored closely and may require extra resources and earlier interventions from the multidisciplinary oncology team."

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Marcus Randall, M.D., of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and colleagues found that pelvic radiation therapy remains an appropriate and probably preferable treatment for high-risk, early-stage endometrial carcinoma.

"This large randomized, phase III study did not demonstrate better overall survival or relapse-free survival with vaginal cuff brachytherapy and chemotherapy compared to pelvic radiation therapy in a cohort of patients with high-risk, early-stage endometrial carcinoma. This conclusion applies to all subgroups analyzed, including patients with serous and clear cell histology. Pelvic radiation therapy provided a substantially lower nodal failure rate and lower acute toxicities. Vaginal cuff and distant failure rates were identical between the two arms," said Randall. "At this stage, the role of systemic chemotherapy in stage I-II endometrial cancer has not been demonstrated.Clinicians should weigh the lack of apparent benefit and the increase in toxicity before recommending systemic chemotherapy in this patient group.Pelvic RT remains the standard treatment against which other treatment options should be tested."

News Release/Abstract

Jason Domogauer, Ph.D., of Rutgers University New Jersey Medical School in Newark, and colleagues found that depression remains largely underdiagnosed and untreated in cancer patients.

"The prevalence of depression in cancer patients has been reported to be in the range of 15 to 25 percent, which is upwards of four times higher than the general U.S. population. We identified an increased prevalence of depressive symptoms in our urban cancer center patient cohort," said Domogauer.

The investigators found depressive symptoms in 40 percent of patients, 75 percent of whom had not been previously diagnosed or treated for their symptoms. Specifically, the investigators found that female and disabled patients had an increased prevalence of depressive symptoms.

"We believe that it is important for oncology providers to actively engage patients in conversations concerning mental health, including depressive symptoms," Domogauer said.

News Release/Abstract

ASTRO: Aggressive Reduction of Radiation Beneficial in OPSCC

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with human papilloma virus (HPV)-related oropharynx squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC), an aggressive reduction of radiation therapy can maintain excellent cure rates while reducing post-treatment side effects, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), held from Sept. 24 to 27 in San Diego.

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ASTRO: SBRT Prolongs Survival in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), consolidative stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) before maintenance chemotherapy is associated with significant improvement in progression-free survival, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), held from Sept. 24 to 27 in San Diego.

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ASTRO: Patient Experience of Radiation Better Than Expected

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients with breast cancer treated with radiation therapy (RT) report that their experience was less scary than they expected, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), held from Sept. 24 to 27 in San Diego.

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ASTRO: High-Dose Brachytherapy Effective With Four 7 Gy Fractions

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with locally advanced cervical cancer, four fractions of 7 Gy high-dose-rate brachytherapy (HDRBT) is associated with better tumor control than two fractions of 9 Gy HDBRT, with or without chemotherapy (CT), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), held from Sept. 24 to 27 in San Diego.

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ASTRO: Standard-Dose CRT Beats Higher Dose in Stage III NSCLC

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with stage III non-small-cell lung cancer, standard-dose (SD) chemoradiation therapy is better than high-dose (HD) treatment, with higher five-year overall survival rates, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), held from Sept. 24 to 27 in San Diego.

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