News and Publications

ABR exams update, public comment closing soon, #ASTRO20 Abstract award winners

June 24, 2020

ASTRO 2020 Elections open through July 10
ASTRO's 2020 official elections will remain open until 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, July 10. To view the nominees and access the ballot, visit www.astro.org/Vote and log in with your email address and password. The ballot and instructions will appear once you log in. If you need assistance with your login information, please send an email to membership@astro.org. Voting is conducted through a secure, online system that ensures the authenticity and secrecy of your ballot.

ABR Board examinations update
On Monday, June 22, the ABR announced that all currently unscheduled and future oral and computer-based exams will be administered through a virtual platform in 2021. The radiation biology and physics and clinical exams will still take place December 7-8, 2020, at the Pearson VUE centers; however, in 2021 all qualifying exams will be given virtually. All oral certifying exams will be virtual starting in the first half of 2021. Visit the ABR website for further details and updates as they become available.

Abstract submission deadline extended for Multidisciplinary Thoracic Cancers Symposium
In consideration of the current delay in research, the deadline for submitting abstracts has been extended until August 17 for the 2020 Multidisciplinary Thoracic Cancers Symposium. The meeting is scheduled to take place December 3-5 at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia in Scottsdale, Arizona. We are continuing to follow the guidance of the CDC in monitoring the developments related to COVID-19 as we plan for this meeting. Regardless of whether we meet in person or virtually, we are committed to offering the full program of scientific and educational sessions. We encourage you to submit your research — including trials in progress — for this practical and interactive meeting focused on the latest best practices and new treatments for all aspects of thoracic cancer care.

Final days to submit public comment on molecular targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy
ASTRO and the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) request public comment on a joint recommendation. The consensus focuses on the appropriate care pathway for patients receiving molecular targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy (MTRT) and comes from the Theranostics Work Group composed of members from ASTRO and SNMMI. This guidance and the format of this document draw from aspects of the Patient-centered Oncology Practice Standards of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the National Academy of Medicine, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine, workshop on patient-centered cancer treatment planning. Public comment is open through next Wednesday, July 1.

What’s new in ASTRO’s Accreditation Program for Excellence

In the latest ASTRO Blog post, read about recent changes to ASTRO's APEx - Accreditation Program for Excellence®, including extensions to accreditation expiration dates during COVID-19 and the new partial payment option that permits facilities to pay half the accreditation fee upon application submission with the balance due prior to scheduling the facility visit. Learn about these and other changes in the latest post.

Read more.

ASTRO calls for legislation to block E/M cuts
ASTRO has joined 52 physician representing organizations in signing a letter to congressional leadership urging Congress to prevent further financial cuts to the physician community. By waiving the budget neutrality requirements associated with the finalized 2021 evaluation and management (E/M) code proposal, Congress would stop unnecessary cuts and ensure patient access to care. For more information, see What's Happening in Washington.

Tell Congress to expand clinical trial coverage
Reps. Ben Ray Luj├ín (D-N.M.) and Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.) are sponsors of the bipartisan H.R. 913, the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act, which would require Medicaid programs to cover routine patient costs connected with qualifying clinical trials. Currently, only 11 states require coverage for routine costs associated with clinical trials, leaving more than 40 million Americans without access to potentially life-saving treatments. Expanding Medicaid clinical trial coverage also provides treatment access to often neglected communities that face disparities in the health care system. For more information, see What’s Happening in Washington. To encourage your representative to co-sponsor this bill, visit astro.org/advocate.

Congratulations to the 2020 Annual Meeting Abstract Award winners
Each year, ASTRO bestows achievement awards on investigators who submitted an abstract to the Annual Meeting. Winners are chosen based on their peer-reviewed scores and final abstract review by the Annual Meeting Steering Committee. There were more than 3,300 abstract submissions this year, and 35 authors received an award. ASTRO encourages research in radiation oncology through the support of students, residents and early- to mature-career professionals. Congratulations to these individuals!

ROI Publication Award nominations due July 2
Just over one week remains to submit your nomination for the 2020 ROI Publication Award. Help the Radiation Oncology Institute recognize an exceptional early career researcher who is the lead author of the best manuscript published in the past year that focuses on communication, safety and quality, toxicity management, comparative effectiveness or value in radiation oncology. The award winner will receive a $5,000 grant to build upon the published research and will be honored during the ASTRO Annual Meeting. Nominations are due Thursday, July 2, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on ProposalCentral. Self-nominations are accepted. Don’t miss this opportunity and submit your nomination today!