Daily Practice

Letter from ASTRO President on COVID-19


Many of you have reached out to ASTRO for guidance regarding management of your radiotherapy patients in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our initial response has been to direct traffic to our RTAnswers website, the wide-ranging conversations on the ROhub and the CDC website, all of which are, and continue to be, excellent resources. It has, however, become clear that more specific recommendations are desired. Accordingly, the ASTRO leadership team has convened a dedicated workgroup to survey our flagship academic cancer programs and several community programs, to collect their institutional recommendations and disseminate that information to the membership for guidance in these uncertain times. It is, however, important to understand that one size does not fit all. Our intent is to guide, not to dictate; to counsel broadly; and to aid our colleagues across all practice environments, from academic to free-standing facilities.

The idea is for this to become a “living document,” amenable to regular updates and corrections as we become more familiar with the nuances of COVID-19 as well as learning from and teaching each other: what works and what doesn’t. Similar to our colleagues at ASCO, we have adopted an FAQ format, posing the questions most often seen online or heard in the clinic with answers that are intended to be applicable to your practice. You can access ASTRO COVID-19 FAQs, a summary of the recommendations and a listing of helpful websites.

Likewise, none of the suggestions presented here are intended to obviate guidelines already in place. If your practice or institution has a process that is working smoothly, keep up the good work and, perhaps, share your processes with us. If, however, you are among those who have reached out to ASTRO, I hope that we have, in some small way, met your needs. Don’t hesitate to tell us what we can do better. Submit a question or comment that will be posted in the ROhub below:

On behalf of ASTRO leadership, thank you for providing the highest quality of care for our patients. I am deeply appreciative of your commitment to excellence. We’ll get through this.

Thomas J. Eichler MD, FASTRO
President, ASTRO