Radiation Cancer Treatment Specialists Rank High in Nation for Research
Beaumont Hospitals (Royal Oak, Mich.) radiation oncologists are ranked among the top 20 in the nation for their research and its impact, according to a recently published study. When considering academic productivity among individual physicians and its impact, Beaumont ranks No. 1.
"One of the reasons I came to Beaumont from (the) Mayo (Clinic) was the promise of support for my research," says Alvaro Martinez, M.D., chairman, Radiation Oncology, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. "But research doesn't exist in a vacuum. At Beaumont, it translates into better, more advanced care for patients."
The article's authors used the Hirsch index, a measure of achievement that is based on a scientist's research publications and their impact on other scientists. The measure's inventor says it is transparent, unbiased and very hard to rig.
"It measures the broad effect of an individual's work against others in the same field," say the article's authors.
The study included 826 radiation oncologists at 78 U.S. institutions with radiation oncology residency (doctors-in-training) programs. Their research included publications from 1996-2007.
The rankings and an accompanying article appear in the February edition of the Journal of the American College of Radiology. A similar article is published online on the Web site of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics.
Some highlights of the research by Beaumont radiation oncologists:
Dr. Martinez led pioneering work in brachytherapy, the use of internal radiation to treat cancer, for breast, gynecologic and prostate malignancies. He is also one of the pioneers in using heat for the treatment of recurrent cancer. His team pioneered Omnibeam, a high-tech "marriage" of a CT scanner and medical linear accelerator that gets cancer-killing radiation to its target with pinpoint accuracy.
Frank Vicini, M.D., chief of Oncology Services, is leading a large national trial that compares radiation of the entire breast with treatment only to the area where a lump was removed. The benefit of partial breast irradiation is that the radiation dose can be increased and treatment time can be decreased, enabling busy women with families and professions to resume their normal lives as quickly as possible.
Larry Kestin, M.D., has focused his research on adapting delivery of radiation so it accounts for patient and tumor movement during therapy. He has performed substantial research in lung cancer and other chest tumors, as well as in prostate and breast cancer.
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