Radiation Oncology Digital Community
Report: Radiation therapy market regains stability
July 17, 2013 -- Radiation therapy providers in the U.S. are again buying new equipment and upgrades after surviving the effects of the Great Recession, which caused utilization to fall 22% from 2007 through 2008, according to a new report from market research firm IMV Medical Information Division.
2014 MPFS, HOPPS proposals are a mixed bag
July 10, 2013 -- Proposed new Medicare payment rates for 2014 were released on July 8 by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and they're a mixed bag for providers of imaging services. The agency has continued to cut reimbursement for most imaging procedures, but at a lower rate than in the past.
JAMA: Use of advanced radiation therapy grows
June 28, 2013 -- The use of advanced radiation therapy technologies grew rapidly between 2004 and 2009 for treating men with prostate cancer, particularly among those who might not be at risk of dying from the disease, according to an article published in the June 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Novel research at SNMMI shows molecular imaging's breadth
June 12, 2013 -- VANCOUVER - Radiopharmaceuticals unlocking secrets of the brain, the potential of PET and MRI in breast imaging, and determining the appropriate radiation dose for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients are the focus of influential papers at this week's Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) meeting.
Health Affairs: Cancer patients face higher bankruptcy risk
May 15, 2013 -- Individuals diagnosed with cancer are at least 2.5 times more likely to declare bankruptcy than those without cancer, according to a study of patients in Washington state published online May 15 in Health Affairs.
Patient access to radiation therapy still a major concern in Africa
April 30, 2013 -- There is an acute shortage of radiotherapy equipment of any type in Africa, and the scarcity of resources is becoming even more severe and pronounced with the increase in cancer incidence in the continent, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency report published in Lancet Oncology.
SAVI breast brachytherapy produces good 4-year outcomes
April 26, 2013 -- Patients who received breast brachytherapy delivered with a strut-based applicator had low recurrence rates and minimal toxicities four years after treatment, according to a presentation at last week's American Brachytherapy Society meeting.
RF ablation for elderly NSCLC patients offers cost benefits
April 5, 2013 -- Radiofrequency (RF) ablation is a practical treatment for elderly patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who are poor candidates for surgery, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.
Massive Gamma Knife payment cut starts April 1
April 1, 2013 -- It may seem like an April Fools' Day joke, but it's a painful reality for users of the Gamma Knife radiation therapy system from Elekta. Starting April 1, they will be paid 58% less for procedures performed with the system.
AACR predicts 31% more cancer survivors in U.S. by 2022
March 27, 2013 -- The number of cancer survivors in the U.S. is projected to rise from 13.7 million as of January 2012 to 18 million by 2022. This 31% increase will represent a significant challenge to the healthcare system, according to a report released on Wednesday by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
ASTRO report: Peer review is challenging but necessary
March 27, 2013 -- Peer review is one of the most effective means for ensuring that radiation therapy decisions are tailored to specific patients, especially with respect to potentially controversial protocols. A new report in Practical Radiation Oncology defines peer review and discusses how it can be used in routine clinical practice.
IMRT produces excellent results for endometrial cancer
March 26, 2013 -- The use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for gynecologic cancers is increasing, but outcomes data are still lacking. An article published in the March issue of Gynecologic Oncology about the outcomes of high-risk endometrial cancer patients adds to the literature and brings positive news.
NEJM: RT boosts heart disease risk in breast cancer patients
March 14, 2013 -- Radiation therapy (RT) has played a key role in reducing breast cancer mortality rates, but even at low doses it can increase a woman's risk of heart disease, according to new research published on March 14 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
CMS reconsiders oncology PET tracer coverage limitations
March 8, 2013 -- As it had proposed in December, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has removed a national noncoverage determination for radiopharmaceuticals with oncology PET imaging. However, CMS was not swayed by lobbying efforts to also include cardiac and neurological applications in the decision.
Surgery plus RT works best for metastatic gastric cancer
March 4, 2013 -- Patients with metastatic gastric cancer face a grim prognosis, but those who undergo surgery followed by radiation therapy (RT) may have the best chance of longer survival, according to a study published online January 29 in Cancer.
Experts discuss proton therapy's potential for breast cancer
February 27, 2013 -- Proton therapy is currently used to treat brain, spine, and prostate cancers, as well as many pediatric tumors. Earlier this month, experts from some of the leading U.S. cancer centers gathered to discuss the emerging role of proton therapy in breast cancer.
Long-term prostate outcomes track PSA scores
February 27, 2013 -- A long-term analysis of the outcomes of prostate cancer patients who received radiation therapy showed recurrence was rare if the patient had a low prostate-specific antigen (PSA) score 15 years after treatment. The findings were published in the March issue of the Journal of Urology.

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