由 Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor | September 14, 2014
From the September 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
The 56th annual ASTRO meeting will take place September 14-17
at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. DOTmed HealthCare Business News caught up with incoming president Dr. Bruce Haffty in advance of the show to learn a little about him, get his take on what to see at this year’s event as well as updates on goings-on at the association.
HCBN: Can you share a little of your health care background?
In terms of health care, I was a biomedical engineer. And then from that, I applied and went to medical school. Being a biomed engineer, I have a strong interest in technology. When I saw what radiation oncologists did – I saw they were involved with not only the technologic aspect of care, but also lots of direct hands-on patient care and face-to-face contact. Both aspects were important to me in choosing the field of radiation oncology.
HCBN: How did you get involved with ASTRO?
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ASTRO is our major society. Really, it’s the preeminent organization for radiation oncology for everything from showcasing advances at the annual meeting, to quality education and advocacy. I initially got involved because I was in academic healthcare — presenting studies at the meeting. Over the years, I became more involved on various committees and worked my way up.
HCBN: What’s your favorite part about the show?
The theme of the meeting is, “Targeting Cancer: Technology & Biology.” There’s been an explosion of new ideas and approaches to delivery of cancer therapy the technology, but also on the biological front. We are working to decrease toxicity of treatment, improve outcomes and improve the quality of life for patients.
From my perspective, the most important thing about the meeting is attending those scientific sessions which present the latest information in the fields we’re interested in. My personal interest is in the field of breast cancer. Certainly, the plenary and the clinical trials are also always interesting to me as ways to see the latest coming out in the field.
I think the second part of that is being able to network and talk face-to-face with colleagues about their research and their interpretation of various studies.
The presidential symposium is also exciting. That symposium usually has worldleading experts talking about their particular area of expertise. Of course, this year I’m particularly excited because I got to pick the topic which is on breast cancer, titled “Changing paradigm in the local regional management of breast cancer.” This year, we have about 12 experts talking about how local-regional treatment of breast cancer has really changed in the last few years.