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Targeting Cancer Care

Research Initiatives


In order to achieve its mission of advancing the practice of radiation oncology, ASTRO is involved in a variety of initiatives designed to support young researchers, improve education in radiation physics and cancer and radiation biology, and gather data to help understand changes in the radiation oncology workforce and how ASTRO can better serve its membership.

Investigator Projects

ASTRO’s Junior Faculty and Resident/Fellow Seed Grants support promising young researchers working on projects related to radiation oncology. This page spotlights some of the recent winners and their research.


ASTRO conducts surveys in order to serve our members more effectively, produce insight into the evolution of the field of radiation oncology, and identify areas of concern and opportunity for the future.

  • ASTRO Radiation Oncology Workforce Survey: In 2012, ASTRO conducted a comprehensive survey of the radiation oncology workforce (i.e., radiation oncologists, medical physicists, biologists, radiation oncology nurses, dosimetrists, radiation therapists, radiation oncology physician assistants and radiation oncology practice administrators). The goal of the study is to advance our understanding of the characteristics and concerns of the current radiation oncology community. Read more.

Other Research Initiatives

Cancer Biology/Radiation Biology Task Force

During its June 2011 meeting, the ASTRO Board of Directors appointed a task force on cancer biology and radiation biology research. This task force has been charged with developing a snapshot of the current state of research in cancer and radiation biology from the perspective of relevance to modern clinical radiation oncology, education of our trainees and attending physicians, and where we need to be in the future to maintain the scientific underpinnings and vibrancy of radiation oncology as an independent medical specialty. View the task force report.

Radiation/Cancer Biology Practice Examination and Study Guide

The practice exam was developed by a subcommittee appointed by the ASTRO Radiation and Cancer Biology Committee in order to help radiation oncologists further their studies of radiation and cancer biology. It is based on the topics listed by the American Board of Radiology for the cognitive exam in radiation and cancer biology and reflects the critical need to develop new ways to promote education in the biologic basis of radiotherapy. View the exam and study guide.

Radiation Physics Committee Core Physics Curriculum for Radiation Oncology Residents

First published in 2004, ASTRO’s physics education curriculum is created by a committee composed of physicists and physicians from various residency program teaching institutions and is updated biennially to reflect new treatment techniques and modalities and add new relevant topics. Members of this committee have associations with ASTRO, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology, the American Board of Radiology (ABR), and the American College of Radiology. View the current version of the curriculum.

Content last updated 10/21/2015
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