The annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology was held virtually this year from Oct. 24 to 28 and attracted participants from around the world, including physicians, oncology nurses, radiation therapists, biologists, physicists, and other cancer researchers. The conference featured educational courses focusing on radiation, surgical, and medical oncology.
In one study, Ashesh Jani, M.D., of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues found that integration of fluciclovine-positron emission tomography (PET) in the post-prostatectomy radiotherapy setting to finalize treatment decisions and radiotherapy targets results in an improvement in failure-free survival.
The authors compared fluciclovine-PET scan plus conventional imaging to conventional imaging alone when making radiotherapy decisions and planning radiation treatment. The researchers enrolled 165 patients and found an approximately 12 percent difference in failure-free survival at three years (63 percent in the group receiving conventional imaging alone versus 75 percent in the group receiving fluciclovine-PET scan plus conventional imaging).
“These findings reinforce current practice of obtaining a fluciclovine-PET in the recurrent prostate cancer setting for diagnostic purposes,” Jani said. “It also demonstrates that finalizing treatment decisions and radiotherapy target volumes improves outcomes.”
In another study, Sean Maroongroge, M.D., of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues found that almost 5 percent of the population still lives in counties with limited geographic access to radiation therapy, despite a significant growth in the number of radiation therapy facilities during the past 15 years.
The authors compiled data from state regulatory databases and national quality assurance bodies to study the distribution of radiation facilities in the United States. The researchers observed a 17 percent growth in the number of facilities during the past 15 years, about the same rate as the number of treated cases. Population access has increased most for patients already located closest to facilities.
“The study reinforces our understanding that some patients have limited access to care, which suggests practicing clinicians should take the time to learn about local resources available to help patients with travel or lodging,” Maroongroge said. “There may be a role for providers to assist established patients with their travel costs. Finally, they should continue to consider the logistical burden of recommended treatments and to advocate for policies to improve access.”
Shankar Siva, Ph.D., of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues evaluated two schedules of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for patients with one to three oligometastases to the lung from any nonhematologic malignancy in a phase II trial.