Embargoed Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center ASTRO 2023 Tip Sheet


Panel Discussion

Getting it All Done – Strategies for Coping With Professional Burnout

Crystal Seldon Taswell, MD, Sylvester radiation oncologist and researcher, will co-moderate a panel discussion on physician burnout within radiation oncology and medicine. The discussion, titled “Getting It All Done — Practical Strategies at All Career Stages,” will include background on the extent of the problem, as well as the curriculum gap for residents regarding time management, balancing clinical and research work and learning boundaries for work-life balance in an always-connected world. Other speakers will explain how they navigate work-life balance, pursue career interests, build core values into daily routines, mentor residents and attendings and juggle multiple challenges among their clinical and academic careers and personal lives.

Panel 05 – ASTRO/SWRO Joint Session

Date/time/location – Monday, Oct. 2, 8-9 am, Room 2


Oral Presentations

Testosterone Recovery and Prostate Cancer Outcomes

Alan Dal Pra, MD, director of the Radiation Oncology Clinical Research Program at Sylvester, and collaborators will present a secondary analysis of the NRG/RTOG 0534 SPPORT phase 3 trial in which patients were treated with salvage radiotherapy and short-term androgen suppression for rising PSA levels after radical prostatectomy. The trial was conducted in the U.S., Canada and Israel from 2008 to 2015. It showed improved outcomes with salvage radiotherapy to the prostate bed, pelvic lymph nodes and androgen suppression as opposed to prostate bed radiotherapy alone.

Dal Pra and his team assessed the testosterone measurements of more than 1,000 patients enrolled in the SPPORT trial to investigate the impact of testosterone recovery on clinical outcomes. This study represents the largest study of testosterone dynamics in patients treated with salvage radiation and androgen suppression. Although testosterone is known to “feed” the growth of prostate cancer cells, the authors showed that a faster normalization of testosterone levels after treatment does not worsen patients’ outcomes. The results have potential clinical implications for using androgen suppression drugs that can provide a faster testosterone recovery. They may also shed light on a possible benefit of testosterone replacement therapies for some prostate cancer patients who experience significant side effects due to low testosterone levels after cancer treatment.

Abstract: 55528

Abstract title: Impact of Testosterone Recovery on Clinical Outcomes of Patients Treated With Salvage Radiotherapy and Androgen Suppression: A Secondary Analysis of the NRG/RTOG SPPORT Phase 3 Trial.

SS 28 – GU 4

Date/time: Oct. 3, 5:35-5:42 pm, Room 6B


Predicting Tumor Response During Radiation Therapy for Glioblastoma Patients 

Distinguishing between true progression and pseudoprogression of tumors after radiotherapy (RT) is critically important for treating patients with glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer. New research to be presented by Kaylie Cullison, Eric Mellon, MD, PhD, and their Sylvester colleagues identified differences in tumor growth behavior for true progression and pseudoprogression, and these volume changes during treatment may be early markers of treatment response. Next steps, the researchers say, include automating real-time tumor volume monitoring by using a deep-learning solution for volume delineation on daily treatment scans.

Title: “Pattern Analysis of Daily Lesion Volume Trajectories for Early Prediction of Glioblastoma Progression During MR-Linac Radiotherapy”

Date/time/location: Oct. 3, 1:05-1:12 pm, Room 29


Is It True Progression or Pseudoprogression of Tumor Growth?

Cullison, Mellon and Sylvester colleagues also will present results from another study looking at the predictive value of weekly delta-radiomic features extracted from MRI-guided linear accelerator radiation therapy for determining true progression or pseudoprogression of tumors in glioblastoma patients. They concluded that these features may help distinguish between real and pseudoprogression, thereby allowing physicians to adapt or intensify treatment in real time.

Title: “Prognostic Value of Weekly Delta-Radiomics During MR-Linac Radiotherapy of Glioblastoma”

Date/time/location: Oct. 3, 5:35-5:40 pm, Room 7


Poster Presentations

AI Model for Beam Angle Selection Similar to Human Choices in Proton Therapy

Beam angles can have a major impact on treatment of brain cancers with proton therapy, but manual beam selection can be a time-consuming, cumbersome task. Robert Kaderka, PhD, Sylvester researcher and assistant professor of radiation oncology with UM’s Miller School of Medicine, and collaborators will lead a poster session showing that an AI model for beam selection was comparable to human choices for a small group of patients receiving proton therapy. Kaderka says the results serve as “proof-of-concept” for an expanded study currently underway that will add the prediction of couch angles into the AI model.      

Title: “AI Beam Angle Prediction in Proton Therapy for Brain Patients”

PQA 07

Date/time/location: Tuesday, Oct. 3, 4-5 pm, Hall B2

Spectroscopic MRI May Better Detect Glioblastoma Invasion

Conventional MRI may not fully capture the extent of disease in patients undergoing chemoradiation for primary glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive brain cancer. New research led by Jonathan Bell, MD, PhD, senior resident, Department of Radiation Oncology at Sylvester and others suggests that whole-brain spectroscopic MRI (sMRI) provides better visualization of invasive tumor cells and the potential to improve target delineation compared with conventional MRI.

Title: Spectroscopic MRI Detects Occult Glioblastoma Radiation During Chemoradiation

PQA 02

Date/time/location: Monday, Oct. 2, 10:45 am-Noon, Hall B2

Novel Nipple-Preservation Approach for Breast Cancer Patients

Sylvester physician-scientist Crystal Seldon Taswell, MD, and collaborating researchers will present long-term results from a phase I study of a new approach to nipple-preserving therapy for patients with early-stage breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ who are not candidates for nipple-sparing mastectomy. The approach, which uses delayed radiotherapy after breast surgery, resulted in 100% nipple preservation without compromise of local control, as well as excellent patient-reported satisfaction with the treatment. Seldon Taswell believes study results support further exploration of this nipple preservation technique with broader patient-inclusion criteria.

Title: Delayed Nipple-Areola Complex Radiotherapy After Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy and Immediate Reconstruction for Invasive Breast Cancer or DCIS: Long-Term Results of a Phase I Study


Date/time/location: Monday, Oct. 2, 3-4 pm, Hall B2


Preventing Kidney Disease, Cholesterol Dysfunction from Cancer Treatment

Radiation therapy alone or combined with chemotherapy reduces cholesterol metabolism, or efflux, and causes chronic kidney disease, often leading to dialysis or kidney transplantation. Researchers from Sylvester and UM’s Miller School of Medicine, led by Anis Ahmad, PhD, will present results from their laboratory study showing that LXR agonist treatment not only prevents cholesterol dysregulation, but also protects vital kidney cells and prevents chemotherapy- or radiotherapy-induced kidney injury.   

Title: Role of ATP Binding Cassette Subfamily A Member 1 (ABCA1) in Chemoradiotherapy-Induced Renal Injury

PQA 04

Date/time/location: Monday, Oct. 2, 5-6 pm, Hall B2



Sylvester Physician to Moderate Scientific Session on Patient Safety

Laura Freedman, MD, director of radiation oncology at Sylvester’s Deerfield Beach location, will co-moderate a scientific session addressing patient safety. The session will cover various safety issues in radiation oncology, including terminating treatment during radiation therapy, minimizing patient delays via insurance preauthorization, optimizing workup pathways to reduce radiotherapy wait times and improving quality of care provided to cervical cancer patients.

SS 33 – Patient Safety 2

Date/time/location: Wednesday, Oct. 4, 10:30-11:45 am, Room 2

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