Newswise — Fairfax, Va., January 14, 2014 – The Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) has selected Malolan S. Rajagopalan, MD, a radiation oncology resident at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, to receive a $20,000 grant for a project to compile best practices regarding the management of radiation therapy toxicity. Dr. Rajagopalan’s project proposal includes development of a website and mobile app that will give ROI the capability to continually update this material so that it will remain current. Combined, the website and mobile app will be comprehensive tools that will improve patient quality of life and treatment outcomes.
Dr. Rajagopalan and his team will develop the website and a mobile app, for Apple iOS phones and tablets, to allow physicians, nurses and physician assistants to quickly review and implement symptom management pathways and guidelines for patients, and provide links to peer-reviewed literature and areas in need of further study. The site will provide comprehensive information, recommendations with evidence links and other published articles. Importantly, the site will be structured to be a living document that will be updated by selected experts, thus it will be both authoritative and up-to-date. The mobile app will also include a drug prescription reference tailored for oncology, as well as a number of tools and references to guide clinicians on-the-go.
Dr. Rajagopalan’s team will form a multidisciplinary panel of radiation oncology specialists and various other fields such as palliative care and pulmonology to review all materials to ensure the quality and comprehensiveness of the information and resources provided. Each panel of approximately 4-6 members will include radiation oncologists from various institutions and, to provide diversity, at least one member who is not a radiation oncologist. The first two symptoms that will be addressed are the most prevalent side effects of radiation therapy: 1) dermatitis and 2) oral mucositis.
Together, the website and mobile app will compile and categorize both acute and late radiation symptom management strategies, and prioritize them by effectiveness and the levels of evidence that support them. Dr. Rajagopalan plans to unveil both for beta review and testing at ASTRO’s 56th Annual Meeting, September 14-17, 2014, in San Francisco.
“A multidisciplinary cancer treatment plan includes thorough consideration and accounting for the individual needs of each patient, particularly when treatment side effects significantly impact patient compliance and outcomes. We are excited that Dr. Rajagopalan’s project will provide us with the best approaches to mitigating adverse treatment effects and a platform that will permit us to continue to grow this valuable resource,” said ROI President Theodore Lawrence, MD, PhD, FASTRO. “ROI is committed to supporting research that enhances and confirms the critical role of radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer particularly as it pertains to improved quality of life for our patients and improves collaborative opportunities for multidisciplinary care.”
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. 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. For more information, visit www.roinstitute.org.