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Volume 17, Number 5, 2012

The next generation of radiation oncologists: Challenges and perspectives

Arturo Navarro, J. Cacicedo


The field of oncology has undergone many changes in the last few years and due to the ever-growing complexity of the discipline it is imperative that specialists receive extensive training, and for this reason training programs in radiation oncology are among the most comprehensive of all specialities. Oncologists require wide-ranging training in basic science as well as in clinical medicine. These specialists need to know how to manage the side-effects of systemic treatments and radiotherapy, and even surgery. All specialists working in oncology must also be prepared to use a therapeutic approach to patient care that involves collaborative efforts, working together with other specialists through multidisciplinary tumor boards.1

In the speciality of radiation oncology, rigorous preparation is becoming even more important due to the emergence of new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. In recent years, new technologies have revolutionized the field: intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT), image-guided RT (IGRT), and stereotactic body RT (SBRT). [2] and [3] Importantly, some of these techniques are even capable of achieving results comparable to those traditionally obtained only through surgery. [4], [5] and [6]

As a result, it is essential that we encourage young radiation oncologists to constantly make efforts to develop their knowledge and skills in the three fundamental areas of the field: basic research, clinical knowledge, and technical understanding.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2012; 17(5) : 243-245

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