FAIRFAX, Va., January 14, 2016 - The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) applauds President Obama and Vice President Biden for affirming their commitment to improving cancer patients' lives through the "moonshot" effort in cancer research announced in the President's State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
ASTRO pledges its support of the initiative to bolster resources and foster collaboration among the oncology research community, as well as Vice President Biden's call in October 2015 to "end cancer as we know it today."
Despite a two-decade span of decline in cancer death rates, the disease remains a leading source of morbidity and mortality for Americans. The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 1.7 million Americans will receive cancer diagnoses in 2016, including one in three women and one in two men.
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiation therapy at some point in their treatment, either alone or in conjunction with other treatment options. Existing research demonstrates the effectiveness of radiation therapy as well as its potential in combination with other treatments. ASTRO supports the President's request to bolster research initiatives that encompass the full range of multidisciplinary therapies in the quest to eradicate cancer.
As the largest society of radiation oncologists and radiation oncology team members in the world, ASTRO supports research, education and professional training to improve care and outcomes for cancer patients. In 2015 alone, the society provided scientists nearly one million dollars through grants and awards supporting radiation oncology research. ASTRO also publishes three medical journals and hosts a variety of scientific meetings in an effort to advance cancer science and help the field avoid the "silos" cautioned in Vice President Biden's statement, ultimately with the goal of improving patient lives.
ASTRO 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 three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology * Biology * Physics, Practical Radiation Oncology and Advances in Radiation Oncology; developed and maintains an extensive patient website, http://www.