Clinical Committee

Activities and areas of work/discussion

  • The identification of potential new Teaching Courses that reflect the rapidly evolving needs of the Society’s clinical membership. In this area ESTRO has an unrivalled tradition and expertise and there is huge potential for the development of new courses within the recently formed ESTRO School of Radiotherapy and Oncology.
  • Assistance in the forward planning, organisation and selection of themes for the clinical sessions at future ESTRO Annual Scientific Meetings. This will be a recurring and important task for the Committee.
  • The group will work closely with other Standing Committees. For example, in conjunction with the Physics Committee, we have commenced an assessment of ‘Quality Systems’ in radiation oncology and new technical approaches for the delivery of radiotherapy. The need for consensus approaches to such systems is unequivocally clear particularly as IMRT, IGRT and particle therapies become more widely available to both clinicians and patients.
  • The potential to increase the success of collaborative groups of radiation oncologists and other ESTRO members in winning major EU grant awards, including those potentially available within the European Union Framework Programme. This remains an exceptionally competitive area for funding and to date the success of the Society has been modest. The challenge to improve this will be considerable and complex.
  • The opportunity to increase participation of ESTRO clinicians in the expanding international portfolio of clinical trials. This important activity faces new challenges and opportunities particularly in the era of rapid development of new ‘molecularly targeted’ agents. The need for a strong partnership with the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and emerging bioinformatics industries, in conjunction with the traditional linkages with equipment manufacturers will be a new challenge for the ESTRO community. In early discussions the Committee has recognised the expertise of the EORTC in many of these areas and we hope to pursue this preliminary dialogue with members of the EORTC Radiation Oncology Group.
  • The development of support systems that will enable clinicians and ESTRO members to become more aware of the major changes in the organisation of radiation oncology services both within Europe and at an International level. There is a huge opportunity to learn from the recent experience of regions and countries that are actively developing strategic plans for the advancement of radiation oncology services. To date there has been no mechanism to collate and harness this extensive body of work and where possible the Committee will attempt to make this information more broadly available to a wider clinical audience within the Society. The Committee also envisages that this approach may enable a more transparent opportunity for countries at different stages of healthcare development to avail themselves of the expertise within the Society’s membership either through direct contact with key individuals or via access to appropriate documentation and publications.
  • A preliminary discussion of the potential future development of the clinical discipline, particularly as ESTRO and the global radiation oncology community move to a new era of exciting new imaging modalities, medical informatics and the potential utilisation of molecular oncology technologies and predictive therapies. Perhaps more than ever, the discipline may be at an inflection point in its history with a potentially unique opportunity to shape the future clinical practice of the next generation of radiation oncologists in Europe.
  • Finally, the Committee also submits a regular ‘Clinical Corner’ to the ESTRO Newsletter. The Corner is hopefully informative, entertaining and occasionally provocative.  We equally hope that the Corner stimulates debate and discussion. We look forward to your ideas, feedback, support, suggestions, insight, and of course your critical comments.