Don’t define a treatment program that includes radiation therapy without the involvement of the radiation oncologist from the beginning (that is, immediately after diagnosis of the disease) in the definition of the program.

Type of practice

Other treatments

Topic Area

Radiotherapy

The modern oncology employes surgery, radiotherapy and sistemic therapies (hormon therapies, chemotherapies, target therapies, immunotherapies, and so on). The radiation oncologist is a specialist in the use of radiation therapy, alone or in combination with sistemic therapies, and he is the only person authorized to prescribe radiation therapy. Most treatment programs today involves the use of multiple therapeutic modalities, variously integrated with each other, and radiation therapy is used to treat 70% of tumors. It follows that the lack of involvement of radiation oncologist from the very beginning (that is, immediately after the diagnosis of the disease) in the definition of the therapeutic program, may result in errors in the indication of radiotherapy, in the evaluation of possible side effects and/or in the choice of treatments’ sequence. Many of these errors can’t be compensated at a later time.

Sources

1. Valentini V, Bourhis J, Hollywood D, ESTRO 2012 Strategy Meeting: Vision for Radiation Oncology. Radiotherapy and Oncology 103 (2012) 99–102.
2. NCCN guidelines at http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp
3. Kozower BD, Larner JM, Detterbeck FC, et al. Special treatment issues in non-small cell lung cancer: Diagnosis and management of lung cancer, 3rd ed: American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest 2013 May; 143(5 Suppl): e369S-99S.
4. van de Velde CJ, Aristei C, Boelens PG et al. EURECCA colorectal: Multidisciplinary Mission statement on better care for patients with colon and rectal cancer in Europe. Eur J Cancer. 2013 Sep; 49(13): 2784-90.

Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.