Fairfax, Va., March 17, 2009 - The newly formed Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) has so far raised $7 million as part of its initial campaign goal and is on target to achieve its $10 million campaign goal. This includes a recent pledge of $1 million from Elekta, a provider of advanced clinical solutions for high precision radiation therapy treatments for cancer and other diseases.
Following an initial commitment of $5 million from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) – $3 million of which is a challenge grant to ASTRO members, individual radiation oncologists have done their part by pledging more than $1 million in commitments to date. With critical mass pledged by the physicians and radiation therapy treatment team members, industry partners were invited to join the campaign as well. Other radiation therapy vendors have been approached. Varian has pledged $2 million to the effort.
“We have the highest aspirations for the ROI. It has the potential to do great things that benefit the specialty, which is why we, Elekta, have pledged $1 million to the campaign effort,” Joe Jachinowski, CEO of Elekta North America, said. “Much has been written about ‘outcomes research’, but unless the ROI provides the support, we will never be able to prove the effectiveness of our new therapies as they are developed.”
“It is gratifying that so many of my colleagues believe in the vision of ROI to develop open, objective research that will demonstrate the value that radiation oncology brings to cancer care throughout the world,” said Campaign Co-chair Theodore S. Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D., FASTRO, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“We plan for ROI to conduct objective research on the specialty to document the value, safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness of radiation therapy with the ultimate goal of raising the profile of radiation therapy within the medical community to ensure that cancer patients have access to the treatments that are best for them,” said Campaign Co-chair Colleen A. Lawton, M.D., FASTRO, from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. “It is humbling to see my colleagues as well as Elekta commit to this exciting initiative.”
The Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) foundation created in 2006 by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Board of Directors to support research and education efforts around the world that enhance and confirm the critical role of radiation therapy in improving cancer treatment. ROI strategically funds research on new and existing radiation therapy treatments to identify links between best practices and improved outcomes, to evaluate the efficacy and cost-benefit of radiation therapy and to foster multi-institutional research in radiation oncology. The ROI recently launched the National Radiation Oncology Registry (NROR) pilot program to collect standardized information about patient care to help inform quality improvement initiatives and provide meaningful benchmarks for the radiation oncology field.