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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 457-462

Assessing radiation oncology research needs in India: Results of a physician survey

1 University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, USA
2 Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India
3 Apollo Cancer Hospital, Navi Mumbai, India
4 Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
5 Acharya Harihara Regional Cancer Centre, Odisha, India
6 Healthcare Global Enterprises Ltd., Bangalore, India
7 Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA
8 Johns Hopkins Hospital, Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Baltimore, MD, USA
9 Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Surbhi Grover
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_518_19

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Background: In India, where the annual incidence of cancer is projected to reach 1.7 million by 2020, the need for clinical research to establish the most effective, resource-guided, and evidence-based care is paramount. In this study, we sought to better understand the research training needs of radiation oncologists in India. Methods: A 12 item questionnaire was developed to assess research training needs and was distributed at the research methods course jointly organized by Indian College of Radiation Oncology, the American Brachytherapy Society, and Education Committee of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology during the Indian Cancer Congress, 2017. Results: Of 100 participants who received the questionnaire, 63% responded. Ninety percent (56/63) were Radiation Oncologists. Forty-two percent (26/63) of respondents had previously conducted research. A longer length of practice (>10 years) was significantly associated with conducting research (odds ratio (OR) 6.99, P = 0.031) and having formal research training trended toward significance (OR 3.03, P = 0.058). The most common reason for not conducting research was “lack of training” (41%, 14/34). The most common types of research conducted were Audits and Retrospective studies (62%, 16/26), followed by a Phase I/II/III Trial (46%, 10/26). Having formal research training was a significant factor associated with writing a protocol (OR 5.53, P = 0.016). Limited training in research methods (54%, 13/24) and lack of mentorship (42%, 10/24) were cited as reasons for not developing a protocol. Ninety-seven percent (57/59) of respondents were interested in a didactic session on research, specifically focusing on biostatistics. Conclusions: With research training and mentorship, there is a greater likelihood that concepts and written protocols will translate into successfully completed studies in radiation therapy.


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