Patient Care and Research

ASTRO Think Tanks

The ASTRO Think Tanks are focused forums with invited attendees designed to generate productive research conversation about an emerging topic in radiation oncology. Attendance is limited to ensure the opportunity for interactive, engaged dialogue and the development of robust recommendations that can be used to guide further research. Participants may decide to publish recommendations coming from the Think Tanks as a way to disseminate the material and gather feedback from the larger scientific community.

The Think Tanks are typically one day events (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) held at ASTRO headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia. ASTRO can accommodate up to 50 participants in our conference space, and is conveniently located adjacent to Reagan National Airport, making access easy for attendees. As the convener, ASTRO is responsible for hosting the event and provides lunch for participants.

Attendees pay for their own travel and hotel accommodations. In-person participation is encouraged. While not recommended, it is possible to provide remote attendees with a GoToMeeting link to follow presentations and participate in the conversation.

How to Propose a Topic

ASTRO welcomes proposals from its members for Think Tanks. The proposal should be submitted to the Science Council Steering Committee by at least two ASTRO members. These Think Tank leaders are responsible for identifying individuals to be invited and facilitating discussion during the meeting. The proposal should include a proposed date that is mutually convenient for the two Think Tank leaders, a brief introduction with background and significance, an agenda/outline, and a list of individuals who would be invited to participate. The proposed list of attendees may contain both ASTRO members and others, including government and industry. Proposals should be brief (no more than two pages, single spaced) and submitted 90 days before the suggested date to enable review, approval and time for participants to make travel arrangements.

Think Tank Proposal Review and Approval

The Science Council Steering Committee will consider Think Tank proposals on a monthly basis. Proposals will be reviewed to determine if the proposed topic is of sufficient interest to the radiation oncology community.

  • If yes, ASTRO staff will work with the co-leads to begin planning and extending invitations.  This planning includes finalizing the date and publicizing the event to volunteers associated with the Science Council.
  • If not, ASTRO staff will convey the shortcomings of the proposal to the co-leads.

If multiple proposals are received for the same time period, the Science Council Steering Committee will prioritize them. If multiple proposals are received for the same or largely similar topics, the Science Council Steering Committee may select one approach or encourage collaboration among the leaders to combine their proposals.

Below are examples of past Think Tanks.

ASTRO Think Tank: Genetic Determinants in Radiation Oncology How do genetic mutations impact radiation treatment? Misinformation exists - talk about what consensus.
ASTRO Think Tank: Biomarkers and Nanotechnology New advances in biomarkers to predict radiosensitivity/resistance and to determine good therapies to combine with radiation is making it possible to predict outcomes. This one-day meeting touched on these and other topics.