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About ASTRO

Standards for ASTRO Leadership

Introduction:

All ASTRO volunteers are required to comply with ASTRO’s Conflict of Interest Policy and to complete the ASTRO Disclosure Form on an annual basis. Any issues involving actual or potential conflicts of interest are addressed on a case by case basis in accordance with ASTRO’s Conflict of Interest Policy.

To ensure the highest standard of integrity for the Society, the ASTRO Board has established additional standards for ASTRO Leadership, defined as ASTRO’s Chair, President, President-Elect, Immediate Past Chair, and CEO, as well as members of the ASTRO Board, the Editors-in-Chief of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology●Biology●PhysicsPractical Radiation Oncology and Advances in Radiation Oncology, the Chairs and Co-chairs of all ASTRO committees and sub committees, the Chairs and Vice-chairs of committees, task groups or panels charged with producing ASTRO papers that represent a formal position of ASTRO and are intended to be published in a public venue (e.g., guidelines, best practices papers), the ASTRO representatives to the RUC and CPT (referred to collectively as “Leaders”), and any such other positions as the Board shall determine are appropriate to include.

In addition, for certain Key Society Leaders: ASTRO’s Chair, President, President-Elect, Immediate Past Chair, CEO, and the Editors-in-Chief of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology●Biology●PhysicsPractical Radiation Oncology and Advances in Radiation Oncology there is a restriction on all direct financial relationships with Companies, as well as the ownership of stock or stock options in Companies.

Finally, for Chairs or Vice-chairs of committees, task groups or panels charged with producing ASTRO papers that represent a formal position of ASTRO and are intended to published in a public venue, there is a restriction on all direct financial relationships with, ownership of stock or stock options in, or receipt of research funding from, Companies that could be impacted by the content of their paper.

For purposes of these standards, ASTRO adopts the following definition of Company: “Any proprietary entity developing, producing, marketing, or distributing goods or services related to oncology or radiation therapy, with the exemption of nonprofit or government organizations, or entities through which physicians provide clinical services directly to patients.” Policies pertain to the ASTRO member as well as to a spouse or a dependent child. ASTRO further adopts the following definition of direct financial relationship: “a compensated relationship held by an individual that should generate an IRS Form W-2, 1099 or equivalent income report.”

Leaders may accept research funding (including in-kind support) from a Company as long as the funding is paid to the institution or practice where the research is conducted, not to the individual. Leaders may also accept reasonable compensation for serving on an independent data safety monitoring board for a Company. While generally permitted, all such relationships should be disclosed and managed in accordance with the principles of ASTRO’s Conflict of Interest policies. Additional standards apply to Leaders involved in ASTRO papers, and CME activities.

Leadership Standards:

  1. Leaders must recuse themselves from participating in any committee discussion or vote on topics where there is an actual or perceived conflict of interest. ASTRO staff will maintain records of areas of potential conflict, updated annually, and will work with committee chairs to actively monitor the need for recusal. Affected committee members will refrain from voting and participating in the discussion, and leave the room during the discussion and voting on the topic.
  2. Leaders are required to disclose all relationships with Companies, even uncompensated arrangements. Uncompensated arrangements are generally allowed, except where the arrangement would violate paragraph (e) below, but recusal and departure from the room are required where the Chair determines that there is an actual or perceived conflict of interest. Where there is no compensation, Leaders may accept reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses, although such reimbursement should be disclosed.
  3. Leaders are also required to disclose all relationships with non-Company interests related to oncology or radiation therapy. Like the uncompensated arrangements discussed above, relationships with non-Company interests are generally allowed, but recusal and departure from the room are required where there is an actual or perceived conflict of interest.
  4. Relationships which must be disclosed include research funding (or in-kind research support) from a Company, even if paid to an institution or practice if the funding is used to support the leader’s salary or research in which the leader is directly involved.
  5. Leaders may not allow their name or ASTRO leadership position(s) to be used to endorse or otherwise promote any Company or its products.
  6. Leaders may not serve on advisory boards for any Company.
  7. Information disclosed by Leaders will be made available to ASTRO members and the public in accordance with ASTRO policy.
  8. There is an exemption process under which Leaders may request a written exemption from the restrictions listed above. Exemptions will be granted only where the committee determines that it is in the best interest of the Society and that the requested exemption would not pose either an actual conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest. Such determinations shall be noted in the minutes of the meeting. The intent is that exemptions would be used rarely and only when necessary for the proper functioning of the Society.

Key Society Leaders:

  1. ASTRO’s Chair, President, President-Elect, Immediate Past Chair, CEO, and the Editors-in-Chief of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology●Biology●PhysicsPractical Radiation Oncology and Advances in Radiation Oncology may not have direct financial relationships with, or own stock or stock options in, Companies during their terms of service.

Chairs and Vice-Chairs of ASTRO Papers

  1. Chairs or Vice-chairs of committees, task groups or panels charged with producing ASTRO papers that represent a formal position of ASTRO and are intended to published in a public venue, may not have direct financial relationships with, own stock or stock options in, or receive research funding from Companies that could be impacted by the content of their paper.