News and Publications

ASTRO's weekly newsletter for week of June 20 - 2022 Gold Medal Award recipients named, ASTRO ROCKS, MedPAC report

June 22, 2022

ASTRO names the 2022 Gold Medal Award recipients
ASTRO is pleased to announce the 2022 recipients of the distinguished Gold Medal Award: Timothy R, Williams, MD, FASTRO, and Wendell R. Lutz, PhD. Dr. Williams is the Medical Director at South Florida Proton Therapy Institute, and a former ASTRO president and chair. Dr. Lutz is a medical physicist who is known for his pioneering effort in the development of a linac-based stereotactic radiosurgery system, as well as other devices which have been adopted worldwide for quality assurance in radiation therapy. The recipients will be presented with the Gold Medal in October at the 2022 ASTRO Annual Meeting in San Antonio. Congratulations Dr. Williams and Dr. Lutz!

Reminder to cast your vote in ASTRO’s 2022 Elections
ASTRO's 2022 official elections are open! Voting began on June 8, and remains open until 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, July 8. View the nominees and access the ballot at www.astro.org/Vote. The ballot and instructions will appear once you log in. If you need assistance with your login information, please email Membership. Voting is conducted through a secure online system that ensures the authenticity and secrecy of your ballot.

Register for the ASTRO “ROCKS” web session: “Transitioning from Residency to K-Funded Physician-Scientist: Pathways to Success”
This Research-Oriented Career Knowledge and Support (ROCKS) web session will be held on July 13 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. During the session, pathways to obtaining a coveted K award and ultimately a physician-scientist position will be discussed by three physician-scientists who each took a different path culminating in a K award and independent research position. Terence Williams, MD, PhD, physician-scientist, and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at City of Hope will also discuss what he looks for in a physician-scientist candidate. The targeted audience includes medical students, residents, fellows and junior faculty interested in physician-scientist (or clinician-scientist) careers in radiation oncology. View more details and register for free via the ASTRO Academy. Send questions about the session or pre-submit questions for the panelists.

MedPAC releases June Report
On June 15, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its report to Congress. MedPAC advises Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. This report includes a recommendation to realign payment for 57 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) Ambulatory Payment Classifications (APCs) to freestanding setting payments for the same services, including seven APCs related to radiation oncology. The report also includes recommendations for streamlining Medicare’s alternative payment models, reducing Part B drug expenditures, and improving access to care for vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries. The contents of the MedPAC report are only recommendations, but they do carry weight with members of Congress and provide insight on the future direction of payment reform. Read What's Happening in Washington for more details.  

What’s in store for you during the ASTRO 2022 Presidential Symposium?
On Sunday, October 23 from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Central time, the Presidential Symposium will focus on the Annual Meeting theme of AI and EI: Caring for the Patient in a Wireless World. Sessions will highlight scientific advances in artificial intelligence, biology and emotional intelligence. We’ll hear more about the following topics: Cutting Edge AI in Radiation Oncology; Prevention and Mitigation of Radiation Toxicity; “Meta” Vision ― How can AI Help Solve Issues of Equity/Access/Value in Radiation Oncology; and Human Doctors, Human Patients. Watch the ASTROgram for more exciting updates about ASTRO 2022. Register now and reserve your hotel for ASTRO’s 64th Annual Meeting!

APEx one-on-one interest meetings are happening through June
Has your practice considered ASTRO’s APEx – Accreditation Program for Excellence®? Would you like to learn more? Sign up now for a personalized, one-on-one meeting to discover how APEx can benefit your practice. It’s the first step toward joining the APEx accredited practices, who have demonstrated they have policies and procedures that promote effective communication, coordinated treatment and willingness to engage patients and their families as partners in care.

Remember RTAnswers and patient stories as a resource for your patients
“Patient Stories” on RTAnswers.org is a special resource that can be extremely beneficial to patients and others, providing support for those who are fighting different types of cancer, helping envision positive outcomes and learning from others’ personal experiences of the treatment process. Our latest story is about a young woman who was diagnosed with mesothelioma. In Tamron Little’s own words: “Imagine being told you had a fibroid tumor, that later turned out to be cancer. That was me 15 years ago, a 21-year-old pregnant college student.” Read more of her journey and direct your patients to this meaningful resource.

Participate in IAEA Survey
ASTRO is participating in the Lancet Oncology Commission on radiotherapy and theranostics. The radiotherapy component of this project will explore issues and barriers impacting its clinical practice globally. To inform this work, the IAEA is conducting a survey to evaluate the availability of facilities and staff, as well as procedures. By completing this survey, you will help the IAEA and global radiation therapy community better support the establishment and strengthening of radiation therapy applications and to provide a guide to countries wishing to further expand the radiation therapy services they offer. The deadline to complete the survey is June 30.