By James Yu, MD, Yale University Cancer Center
Oligometastatic disease is of increasing academic and community interest, and it has been identified by ASTRO membership as a top research priority. There are emerging imaging and diagnostic technologies that are more readily defining and detecting oligometastatic disease – making contemporary discussion of oligometastatic disease especially relevant. Radiosurgery and radiation in general are thought to be ideal non-invasive therapy for the treatment of oligometastatic disease. Improved imaging techniques are emerging to better characterize metastatic cancer and treatment response. Lastly, innovations in targeted therapy and immune therapy are arguably increasing the numbers of patients with oligometastatic disease, and they have the potential to reverse widely disseminating disease into a clinically curable, but still metastatic state. For these reasons and more, world renowned speakers will discuss the clinical and basic science research of the definition, diagnosis and treatment of oligometastatic disease during the 2019 ASTRO Research Workshop, co-sponsored with the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
What is Oligometastatic Disease?
Oligometastatic disease is the theorized intermediate state between localized and disseminated cancer. There is increasing interest in oligometastatic disease in both the academic and the wider cancer community, partly because of the long-term survival that can be achieved through multimodality treatment strategies for patients with oligometastatic cancer.
How can Radiation Oncology be used to improve outcomes for patients with Oligometastatic Disease?
Data are emerging that local ablative therapies (such as surgery, radiofrequency ablation and radiation therapy) can play an important role in the treatment of oligometastatic cancer, particularly in delaying disease progression and increasing survival times. Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) has rapidly emerged as an effective and less toxic tool for the treatment of lung, liver, adrenal, brain and bone metastases. The ability of modern radiotherapy techniques to deliver potentially ablative doses to numerous organ sites throughout the body has allowed for the aggressive treatment of unresectable metastases.
The clinical implications of improved treatment of oligometastatic disease are enormous and immediate. Radiation oncology should be at the forefront of the treatment of oligometastatic disease, and radiation oncology researchers should lead the charge in defining, detecting and optimally combining treatment. Focused effort is required so that we can translate current efforts of large numbers of studies with few patients to larger studies of larger impact.
The workshop will be held on June 13 and 14, 2019, at the FHI 360 Conference Center in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. For more information and to register, visit the meeting website