Issue No. 4
Date: April 18, 2012
Lana De Souza Lawrence,M.D., has received the 2011 Breast Cancer Symposium Merit Award from The Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO ). The award, which recognizes researchers’ contributions to the fight against breast cancer, was given to De Souza Lawrence for her research titled, Triple-negative breast cancer outcomes with partial breast irradiation and concurrent chemotherapy compared with whole breast irradiation and sequential chemotherapy.
The Foundation will present De Souza Lawrence with $25,000 at the Breast Cancer Symposium, September 8-10 in San Francisco.
Studied for Effectiveness
Johns Hopkins Radiation Oncologists report that a combination of several well-known safety procedures could greatly reduce patient-harming errors in the use of radiation
to treat cancer. Currently, radiation oncologists use an existing system of more than a dozen Quality Assurance (QA) checks, but Hopkins is the first to evaluate their effectiveness. They examined 290 events in which errors occurred that—if they had not been caught in time—could have allowed serious harm to patients. For each commonly
used QA check, they determined the percentage of these potential patient-harming incidents that could have been prevented. Hopkins determined that just six of
the QA checks could have prevented over 90 percent of incidents.
The study follows an analysis conducted by Stephanie Terezakis, M.D., and former faculty member Eric Ford, Ph.D., D.A.B.R., about safety systems in radiation oncology.
The physician-scientists noted there was no national consensus about safety standards and were determined to create their own safety checklist that could be studied
and disseminated to radiation oncologists throughout the country.
The study was funded with a pilot research grant from Elekta Inc., and in collaboration with colleagues at the Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.