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Wayne State receives $1.57 million grant to develop enhanced radiation therapy training

DETROIT -- The number of patients receiving radiation therapy in the United States for cancer treatment is expected to increase by more than 20 percent over the next decade to almost 600,000 per year. But radiation research over the past decade has decreased substantially, making it more difficult to provide oncologists with the best training in the latest techniques, particularly the integration of medical physics, which is now a required aspect in the clinical practice of radiotherapy.

With the help of a five-year, $1.57 million grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, researchers at Wayne State University aim to develop an innovative and advanced education program integrating radiobiology with radiation physics for all oncologists.

The project, "Integrated Course in Biology and Physics of Radiation Oncology," led by Michael Joiner, Ph.D., professor of radiation oncology in Wayne State's School of Medicine, and Monica Tracey, Ph.D., associate professor of instructional technology in Wayne State's College of Education, will provide state-of-the-art training in modern, high-quality, image-guided radiotherapy, ultimately increasing productive research in the field and assuring the future availability of highly qualified teachers. The end result will be improved cancer patient care and cure in the United States.

"The program will offer participants a great opportunity to increase their knowledge on the planning and delivery of radiation therapy, ultimately improving cancer treatment for patients across the United States," said Tracey. "Researchers and clinicians from any discipline wishing to undertake research in radiation oncology, new researchers wishing to enter the field, and existing professionals and researchers wishing to refresh and advance their knowledge of state-of-the-art advances will receive significant benefits from this program."

In addition to a six-day workshop, lecture and exercise-based course, the program will train three individuals each year to gain additional knowledge and learn to build their own training programs for their respective institutions.

"This new grant from NCI will enable many exciting and new collaborations across Wayne State's campus between the School of Medicine and the College of Education," said Joiner. "This program will take many to new heights of knowledge and, most importantly, cancer patients will benefit the most with improved treatment plans."


Contact: Julie O'Connor
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research

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