Dr. Jeff Cao Awarded Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO-ACRO) and Elekta 2011 Research Fellowship

OTTAWA, April 11 /CNW/ - Jeffrey Q. Cao, HBSc, MD, MBA, resident physician in radiation oncology at London Ontario's Regional Cancer Program, is awarded the $75,000 2011 CARO-Elekta Research Fellowship for his study on 'Optimization of High Precision Radiotherapy Utilization and Resource Allocation using Operations Research Methodologies'.

Essentially, Dr. Cao's research will result in clinical implementation protocols for the most effective, efficient and fiscally responsible use of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) in the treatment of cancer patients who previously had no other options.

The CARO-ACRO fellowship committee, chaired by Dr. Christina Parsons of the BC Cancer Agency, selected Dr. Cao's proposal. According to Dr. Parsons, "Cognizant of our fiscal responsibilities working in a publicly funded healthcare system, this project seeks to determine the most efficient method to implement a province wide state-of-the-art program: stereotactic body radiation therapy with its inherent significant capital costs. This research will provide a template for implementation of new provincially funded clinical programs and as such has Canada-wide applicability."

Dr. Cao will be moving to Vancouver, following the completion of his residency in London, to begin his research work at the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA) on August 1, 2011. He will be  collaborating with a number of BCCA radiologists including Dr. Scott Tyldesley, Dr. Rob Olson and the CIHR Team in Operations Research for Improved Cancer Care.

"The CIHR Team is a collaborative effort between the BC Cancer Agency and the Sauder School of Business at UBC," explains Dr. Cao. "This research team combines the clinical expertise of oncologists and managers from the Provincial Radiation Therapy Program at the BCCA, with the Operations Research expertise of OR analysts, scientists and computer programmers from the Centre for Health Care Management at the Sauder. The goal is to implement modern and evidence-based management practices to increase the efficiency of the cancer system and enhance patient outcomes."

"SBRT (stereotactic body radiation therapy)," continues Dr. Cao, "is an emerging technology that is offering hope to some lung cancer patients who previously had no other options for treatment. However, state-of-the-art technologies have significant costs and can be very resource-intensive. Implementation, adoption and distribution of new technologies efficiently and effectively within a provincial radiotherapy program is complex and success requires sophisticated planning, particularly in a public healthcare system with limited budgetary and resource constraints."

"SBRT capabilities are currently being explored at the BCCA, although a definitive care model has not yet been established on how to implement the high precision radiation treatments. We hope to use Operations Research to develop a model that will best allocate resources for optimal effectiveness and efficiency, that ultimately translates into improved patient access and clinical outcomes."

"The Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology is very proud of our partnership with Elekta for the CARO-Elekta Fellowship," states Dr. Matthew Parliament, president, CARO-ACRO. "This investment in further specialized training for a promising young Canadian researcher means that new focused radiation treatment technologies will be tested, ultimately benefiting Canadian patients with cancer."

"As Elekta continues to advance the technological frontiers of cancer management, we always keep in mind that we're a human care company, and that patients and their families and caregivers drive our innovation in radiation oncology," says Gerry Hogue, Vice President & General Manager, Canada. "Supporting research in this field also is consistent with Elekta's human care mission. Therefore, we are proud to continue funding CARO's radiation oncology research fellowship and to reinforce Canada's long tradition of research excellence in the cause and treatment of cancer."

For more detailed information about the CIHR team: http://www.orincancercare.org/cihrteam/

About the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology

Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO) - Association canadienne de radio-oncologie (ACRO) is a not-for-profit association with the mandate to represent and support its membership nationally and internationally, through the promotion of high standards of patient care in the practice of radiation oncology, support of excellence in professional standards, and promotion of radiation oncology research and education.

CARO is a partner with other disciplines in seeking to improve outcomes for cancer patients, and provides a consultative authority to oncology related agencies, academic institutions, and to the public in all matters pertaining to radiotherapy and oncology in Canada. For further information: www.caro-acro.ca  Elekta Award: http://www.caro-acro.ca/Committees_and_Programs/Programs/CARO-_Elekta_Research_Fellowship_Program.htm

About Elekta

Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops advanced tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy and radiosurgery, and workflow enhancing software systems across the cancer care spectrum. http://www.elekta.com

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology

For further information:

To interview Dr. Cao, please contact: Judy McLarty, APR, jamcla@telus.net or 604.740.5839  Dr. Cao's Biosketch and Photo is available at: www.caro-acro.ca

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Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology

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