Public Release:  ROI grants $200,000 to evaluate the value of RT and patient outcomes among lung cancer patients

To Christopher Slatore, M.D., of Portland VA Medical Center

American Society for Radiation Oncology

Fairfax, Va., January 21, 2014 - The Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) has selected Christopher G. Slatore, MD, an assistant professor in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the Portland VA Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, and a leader in patient-centered lung cancer research, to receive a $200,000 award, distributed over two years, for a project to examine the comparative value of radiation therapy and patient outcomes among lung cancer patients.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, and the number of patients diagnosed with lung cancer is expected to increase as lung cancer screening efforts are more widely implemented. Treatment options for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) include surgical resection, stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and treatment deferral, however, there are few studies that directly compare the various modalities on a patient-centered metric. Dr. Slatore will conduct a prospective, longitudinal, quantitative and qualitative study among early-stage NSCLC patients undergoing routine care to better understand patient-centered outcomes associated with the differing treatments. In addition, he will evaluate patient-clinician communication to determine its influence on outcomes and decision-making.

Dr. Slatore's three core areas of focus will be: 1) to compare patient-centered outcomes (quality of life, utility, respiratory symptoms) of SBRT compared to surgical resection and compared to EBRT; 2) to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate the association of patient-clinician communication with patient-centered outcomes; and 3) among clinicians who care for early-stage NSCLC patients, qualitatively evaluate strategies to improve patient-centered outcomes that stem from treatment decisions.

"We are proud to confer this important award to Dr. Slatore; he is an exemplary leader in research focused on patient-centered care for NSCLC, and we look forward to the results of this impressive and meaningful study," said ROI President Theodore Lawrence, MD, PhD, FASTRO. "ROI is committed to supporting research that examines the comparative value of radiation therapy because it can improve cancer care and has the potential to generate the evidence needed to improve cancer outcomes, while slowing the growth of health care spending."

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The Portland VA Medical Center (PVAMC) is a teaching hospital in Portland, Oregon that provides a full range of patient care services to veterans in Oregon, Southeastern Washington, Idaho and Alaska, and is within the VA Northwest Health Network and affiliated with Oregon Health Sciences University, a community hospital. Dr. Slatore is a pulmonologist who has devoted 75 percent of his career to research focused on improving patient outcomes and innovative approaches to treatment for patients with tobacco-related lung diseases, chiefly lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Dr. Slatore devotes the remaining 25 percent of his time to clinical care of patients with pulmonary diseases in the pulmonary/lung cancer clinic and as the attending physician in the PVAMC Intensive Care Unit. He is also the medical director of the Unsuspected Radiologic Findings System, which is designed to ensure patients with pulmonary nodules and other suspicious findings for lung cancer receive high quality care.

ABOUT ROI

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 http://www.roinstitute.org.

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