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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2014 Jan 1;88(1):11-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.09.040. Epub 2013 Nov 15.

Current status and recommendations for the future of research, teaching, and testing in the biological sciences of radiation oncology: report of the American Society for Radiation Oncology Cancer Biology/Radiation Biology Task Force, executive summary.

Author information

  • 121st Century Oncology, LLC, and the American Board of Radiology, Bethesda, Maryland. Electronic address:
  • 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.
  • 3Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.
  • 4Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, Wisconsin.
  • 5Departments of Radiation Oncology and Medical Biophysics, Princess Margaret Cancer Center/University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • 6Department of Radiation Oncology, Norton Cancer Center, Louisville, Kentucky.
  • 7Department of Radiation Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 8Department of Radiation Oncology, New York University, New York, New York.
  • 9Departments of Radiation Oncology and Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
  • 10Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania.
  • 11Center for Radiation Research, Columbia University, New York, New York.
  • 12Department of Radiation Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 13Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
  • 14Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin.
  • 15Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan.
  • 16Department of Radiation Oncology, Oakland University, Oakland, California.
  • 17Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.
  • 18Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
  • 19Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
  • 20Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.


In early 2011, a dialogue was initiated within the Board of Directors (BOD) of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) regarding the future of the basic sciences of the specialty, primarily focused on the current state and potential future direction of basic research within radiation oncology. After consideration of the complexity of the issues involved and the precise nature of the undertaking, in August 2011, the BOD empanelled a Cancer Biology/Radiation Biology Task Force (TF). The TF was charged with developing an accurate snapshot of the current state of basic (preclinical) research in radiation oncology from the perspective of relevance to the modern clinical practice of radiation oncology as well as the education of our trainees and attending physicians in the biological sciences. The TF was further charged with making suggestions as to critical areas of biological basic research investigation that might be most likely to maintain and build further the scientific foundation and vitality of radiation oncology as an independent and vibrant medical specialty. It was not within the scope of service of the TF to consider the quality of ongoing research efforts within the broader radiation oncology space, to presume to consider their future potential, or to discourage in any way the investigators committed to areas of interest other than those targeted. The TF charge specifically precluded consideration of research issues related to technology, physics, or clinical investigations. This document represents an Executive Summary of the Task Force report.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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