Over the last several years, the Department of Radiation Medicine has significantly expanded its clinical trials program, and participates in the NCI-Sponsored Cooperative groups: RTOG, GOG, COG, Wake Forest and NSABP. In addition, attending physician investigators have opened their own investigator initiated trials, focusing on head and neck as well as prostate cancer. Recently, the first pharmaceutical trial opened in the department. There is a full-time Research Nurse Coordinator on staff, who is supported by data management and regulatory staff. Research opportunities also exist with the research branch of the NS-LIJ Health System, the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.
In support of research, staffing and clinical additions have been made in the past three years. The department opened three investigator initiated trials. This center is focused on the multidisciplinary care needed for patients with head and neck cancer. A clinic was started in 2010 in which patients are seen by all required discliplines. Radiation Medicine, Head and Neck Surgery, Medical Oncology, Research and Speech Pathology can formulate a plan of care immediately instead of the patient having to wait for separate appointments. This not only expedites care, but it decreased stress for the patient. Clinics are in the planning process for both prostate and breast cancers. Dr. Jonathan Knisely also joined the department as the Co-Director of the North Shore-LIJ center for Radiosurgery. He will expand the radiosurgery program by utilizing his expertise in clinical care and research.
All staff physicians participate in a monthly journal club and continue to look for opportunities for continuing education. Two department sponsored symposiums were held in 2011: The First Annual Meeting of the NSLIJ Center for Radiosurgery: Update on Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, and the Quality of Life for the Cancer Patient: Pain Management, Palliation and End of Life Care
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