‘Explosive growth’ of interventional oncology prompts formation of new society

The board of directors for World Conference on Interventional Oncology, a nonprofit association that supports and promotes the field, has established a society to further its mission.

The Society of Interventional Oncology will be the only membership-based organization dedicated entirely to interventional oncology, a subspecialty field of interventional radiology.

Jeff Geschwind

Interventional oncology focuses on the treatment of cancer through minimally invasive procedures performed under image guidance, such as X-ray, MRI, PET scan, CT scan or ultrasound.

The society will offer four membership categories: active, affiliate, resident/fellow and student. Benefits — such as discounted conference rates, research grant opportunities and access to Interventional Oncology University, an online on-demand education resource — will differ based on membership level.

The society will continue to hold an annual symposium, retaining the World Conference on Interventional Oncology (WCIO) name.

Jeff Geschwind, MD — chairman of the department of radiology and biomedical imaging, as well as professor of radiology and oncology at Yale School of Medicine — will serve as the society’s first president.

HemOnc Today spoke with Geschwind about the need for the society and the benefits he hopes it will offer to its members.

Question: Can you describe the need for this society?

Answer : Since the WCIO meeting was launched more than 10 years ago, the interest for interventional oncology has grown exponentially. This interest has been felt worldwide, not just in the United States and Europe. The enthusiastic support from our industry partners, the creation of Interventional Oncology University and an interventional oncology curriculum by WCIO, combined with the explosive growth of interventional oncology, prompted the WCIO board to establish the society. We realized there was a real and urgent need to create a society dedicated to interventional oncology.

Q: Who will the society serve?

A : The society will serve interventional radiologists who specialize in oncology, PhD-level scientists, and other related medical professionals, such as nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. It also will serve research assistants, health specialists who support interventional oncology, fellows, residents and students.

Q: What is the projected membership?

A: This is difficult to predict, but our annual meeting, WCIO, has more than 700 attendees each year and it is continuing to grow. We hope that most of the attendees will see the value of the society and join.

Q: What are the benefits of creating this society ?

A: The Society of Interventional Oncology will represent interventional oncology as a whole. It will serve as the only membership-based organization dedicated entirely to the emerging field of interventional oncology, working to further promote the mission originally put forth by WCIO — to establish, nurture and support interventional oncology as the fourth pillar of cancer therapy alongside medical, surgical and radiation oncology worldwide.

Q: How is interventional oncology evolving?

A: The field began as a limited concept of a minimally invasive image-guided cancer therapy. It evolved into a comprehensive and creative new specialty driven by enormous and almost limitless technological innovations. The growth of interventional oncology has been tremendous, and this is true worldwide. Patient care and procedures related to interventional oncology represent the vast majority of activities performed by interventional radiologists. The perception of interventional oncology by our clinical colleagues in oncology has also evolved in a tremendously positive way. Experts in the field clearly see interventional oncology as a credible discipline that is fully accepted by all and fully integrated into the care of patients with cancer. Oncologists now demand our help and seek our expertise. This level of clinical collaboration has reverberated on our research activities. The influence of our oncology colleagues cannot be underestimated and has led to high-quality research based on prospectively collected clinical evidence rather than case series. Interventional oncologists are no longer satisfied with retrospective data; rather, they now are pursuing the highest levels of evidence.

Q: What is next for the field?

A: Interventional oncology is growing at such a fast pace that it is difficult to know how far it will go. Remarkable progress has been achieved over the last decade. The growth in clinical activities mirroring that in research should conclusively and definitively establish interventional oncology as the fourth pillar of oncology.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to mention ?

A: The next WCIO meeting — scheduled for June 8-11 in Boston — will be the first one officially organized by the newly formed society. I hope that meeting will attract as many oncologists as possible. One of the key benefits of attending the conference is to learn how locoregional therapies can enhance the more traditional therapies used in oncology. We have a unique opportunity to teach an entire community of oncologists the merits of interventional oncology. Only through meaningful interactions at such conferences will we be able to change therapeutic paradigms and improve patient outcomes. This is the collective wish of the Society of Interventional Oncology. Let us not forget that, ultimately, it is our patients who will benefit. – by Jennifer Southall

For more information:

Jeff Geschwind, MD, can be reached at Yale School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St., New Haven, CT 06520; email: jeff.geschwind@yale.edu.

Disclosure: Geschwind reports no relevant financial disclosures.

The board of directors for World Conference on Interventional Oncology, a nonprofit association that supports and promotes the field, has established a society to further its mission.

The Society of Interventional Oncology will be the only membership-based organization dedicated entirely to interventional oncology, a subspecialty field of interventional radiology.

Jeff Geschwind

Interventional oncology focuses on the treatment of cancer through minimally invasive procedures performed under image guidance, such as X-ray, MRI, PET scan, CT scan or ultrasound.

The society will offer four membership categories: active, affiliate, resident/fellow and student. Benefits — such as discounted conference rates, research grant opportunities and access to Interventional Oncology University, an online on-demand education resource — will differ based on membership level.

The society will continue to hold an annual symposium, retaining the World Conference on Interventional Oncology (WCIO) name.

Jeff Geschwind, MD — chairman of the department of radiology and biomedical imaging, as well as professor of radiology and oncology at Yale School of Medicine — will serve as the society’s first president.

HemOnc Today spoke with Geschwind about the need for the society and the benefits he hopes it will offer to its members.

Question: Can you describe the need for this society?

Answer : Since the WCIO meeting was launched more than 10 years ago, the interest for interventional oncology has grown exponentially. This interest has been felt worldwide, not just in the United States and Europe. The enthusiastic support from our industry partners, the creation of Interventional Oncology University and an interventional oncology curriculum by WCIO, combined with the explosive growth of interventional oncology, prompted the WCIO board to establish the society. We realized there was a real and urgent need to create a society dedicated to interventional oncology.

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Q: Who will the society serve?

A : The society will serve interventional radiologists who specialize in oncology, PhD-level scientists, and other related medical professionals, such as nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. It also will serve research assistants, health specialists who support interventional oncology, fellows, residents and students.

Q: What is the projected membership?

A: This is difficult to predict, but our annual meeting, WCIO, has more than 700 attendees each year and it is continuing to grow. We hope that most of the attendees will see the value of the society and join.

Q: What are the benefits of creating this society ?

A: The Society of Interventional Oncology will represent interventional oncology as a whole. It will serve as the only membership-based organization dedicated entirely to the emerging field of interventional oncology, working to further promote the mission originally put forth by WCIO — to establish, nurture and support interventional oncology as the fourth pillar of cancer therapy alongside medical, surgical and radiation oncology worldwide.

Q: How is interventional oncology evolving?

A: The field began as a limited concept of a minimally invasive image-guided cancer therapy. It evolved into a comprehensive and creative new specialty driven by enormous and almost limitless technological innovations. The growth of interventional oncology has been tremendous, and this is true worldwide. Patient care and procedures related to interventional oncology represent the vast majority of activities performed by interventional radiologists. The perception of interventional oncology by our clinical colleagues in oncology has also evolved in a tremendously positive way. Experts in the field clearly see interventional oncology as a credible discipline that is fully accepted by all and fully integrated into the care of patients with cancer. Oncologists now demand our help and seek our expertise. This level of clinical collaboration has reverberated on our research activities. The influence of our oncology colleagues cannot be underestimated and has led to high-quality research based on prospectively collected clinical evidence rather than case series. Interventional oncologists are no longer satisfied with retrospective data; rather, they now are pursuing the highest levels of evidence.

Q: What is next for the field?

A: Interventional oncology is growing at such a fast pace that it is difficult to know how far it will go. Remarkable progress has been achieved over the last decade. The growth in clinical activities mirroring that in research should conclusively and definitively establish interventional oncology as the fourth pillar of oncology.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to mention ?

A: The next WCIO meeting — scheduled for June 8-11 in Boston — will be the first one officially organized by the newly formed society. I hope that meeting will attract as many oncologists as possible. One of the key benefits of attending the conference is to learn how locoregional therapies can enhance the more traditional therapies used in oncology. We have a unique opportunity to teach an entire community of oncologists the merits of interventional oncology. Only through meaningful interactions at such conferences will we be able to change therapeutic paradigms and improve patient outcomes. This is the collective wish of the Society of Interventional Oncology. Let us not forget that, ultimately, it is our patients who will benefit. – by Jennifer Southall

For more information:

Jeff Geschwind, MD, can be reached at Yale School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St., New Haven, CT 06520; email: jeff.geschwind@yale.edu.

Disclosure: Geschwind reports no relevant financial disclosures.