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Spring 2017 ROI Research Update

what_614x608.jpgROI’s investigators are producing results that are being published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at high-caliber scientific meetings. ROI’s support is also helping to lay the foundation for these promising researchers to secure additional funding for their important work.

With ROI funding, Christopher Slatore, MD, MS, of the VA Portland Health Care System conducted the first study to compare patient-centered outcomes for two different treatment modalities, surgical resection and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It is a mixed-methods prospective longitudinal study addressing patient-centered outcomes such as quality of life, utility, knowledge and decisional conflict in the two treatment modalities. Historically, patients with stage I NSCLC have been treated with surgery whenever they are healthy enough for an operation. The novelty of Dr. Slatore’s study lies in that it attempts to capture what patients perceive as the best treatment approach for them, regardless of their surgical operability.

In the past year, Dr. Slatore and his team have published results from this study in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society and Patient Education and Counseling, and the latter article was covered by Clinical Oncology News. Findings were also presented at ASTRO 2016 as well as two other conferences. Dr. Slatore is now a co-investigator on a $700,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute to conduct a prospective observational study that was patterned on his ROI-funded study. Feedback and preliminary findings from the ROI-funded work also informed a component of the Veterans Affairs Lung Cancer Surgery or Stereotactic Radiotherapy (VALOR) randomized controlled trial comparing surgical resection and SBRT for patients with operable stage I NSCLC. Dr. Slatore provided his insights from the ROI study to help the VALOR investigators measure similar patient-centered outcomes like quality of life.

ROI researcher Peter Greer, PhD, is continuing his work to develop the WatchDog system that uses images captured by the electronic portal imaging device (EPID) to determine treatment delivery accuracy for radiation therapy patients in real-time and can prevent mistreatment. Outcomes from the testing of the system that ROI supported through a grant awarded in 2013 were presented at ESTRO 35 and the 2016 AAPM meeting and published in Radiation Oncology. The National Health and Medical Research Council (Australian Government) recently awarded Dr. Greer $593,742 (AUD, approximately $450,000 USD) over three years for continued testing of the WatchDog system. Development of a new version that will be able to be used clinically is underway.

See profiles of Dr. Slatore and Dr. Greer as well ROI’s other investigators for more information about the research they are conducting, including links to publications and presentation abstracts.

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