Newswise — Fairfax, Va., April 9, 2014 — Practical Radiation Oncology (PRO), the official clinical practice journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), has been accepted for indexing in MEDLINE®, the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) premier online bibliographic database.

MEDLINE® provides international access to the world’s biomedical journal literature and contains more than 20 million references to journal articles from approximately 5,600 scholarly journals worldwide dating back to 1946. As the primary component of PubMed®, MEDLINE® utilizes the NLM-controlled vocabulary Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to index citations. PubMed® is the NLM’s National Center for Biotechnology Information’s (NCBI) online library of more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature including MEDLINE®, journals/manuscripts deposited in PubMed® Central and the NCBI Bookshelf.

Journal selection for MEDLINE® indexing is made by the Director of the NLM based on the recommendation of the Literature Selection Technical Review Committee (LSTRC), a National Institutes of Health-chartered advisory committee of external experts. The LSTRC assesses the journal’s content based on several critical elements including scope and coverage, quality of content, quality of editorial work, production quality and audience.

PRO is fully indexed in MEDLINE® beginning with the January-February 2014 issue. Issues published prior to 2014, dating back to the first volume in January 2011, will be available through PubMed®. “PRO fulfills the need for practical articles on issues of quality, safety and ethics in radiation oncology, and includes ASTRO's official practice guidelines and white papers. PRO has become a must-read and -reference journal for many cancer care professionals,” said W. Robert Lee, MD, MS, MEd, editor-in-chief of PRO, and a professor of radiation oncology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. “PRO’s inclusion in MEDLINE®’s library is a testament to its value to physicians and researchers around the world.”

First published in January 2011 as a quarterly journal, PRO’s mission is to improve the quality of radiation oncology practice by documenting the current practice, providing background for those in training and continuing education for practitioners through the discussion and illustration of new techniques, evaluating current practices and publishing case reports. The journal includes articles on practical topics in radiation oncology treatment, including imaging, contouring, target delineation, simulation, treatment planning, immobilization and organ motion, as well as practice quality improvement, maintenance of certification and biomedical ethics. PRO also publishes ASTRO practice guidelines, white papers and consensus statements. In 2014, the journal was expanded to six issues per year and has a 35 percent acceptance rate.

PRO’s acceptance in MEDLINE® confirms the journal’s high quality papers and the importance of research focused on practical issues in the radiation oncology field,” said Colleen A.F. Lawton, MD, FASTRO, chair of ASTRO’s Board of Directors. “PRO’s worldwide availability through MEDLINE® ensures access to the latest research and guidelines for the many oncology professionals who care for more than 60 percent of all cancer patients who receive radiation therapy.”

For more information about PRO, visit

ABOUT ASTROASTRO is the premier radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals that specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes two medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics ( and Practical Radiation Oncology (; developed and maintains an extensive patient website,; and created the Radiation Oncology Institute (, a non-profit foundation to support research and education efforts around the world that enhance and confirm the critical role of radiation therapy in improving cancer treatment. To learn more about ASTRO, visit