Room: AAPM ePoster Library
Purpose: The global cancer burden has risen to 18.1 million cases and 9.7 million deaths in 2018. The disease burden is the greatest in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where 75% of cancer deaths occur and the number of cancer cases is rising most rapidly. The purpose of this survey was to determine the current level of involvement and engagement of Canadian radiation oncology professionals in global oncology initiatives in LMICs.
Methods: A CARO subcommittee, in partnership with medical physicists across Canada, initiated a national survey, which was distributed via CARO and COMP mailing lists in March 2019. The survey included questions to assess the participant’s awareness of ongoing global oncology initiatives in the domains of a project’s region, objectives, and multi-disciplinary involvement. Regional representatives were assigned in each province to ensure multidisciplinary response from radiation oncologists (ROs) and medical physicists (MPs).
Results: A response was received from 86 professionals (44 ROs and 42 MPs), across 37 cancer centres in Canada. From 25 cancer centres a feedback was received from both RO and MP. Respondents reported that 20% are currently involved in projects and 21% were involved in the past. Project regions currently span 20 countries. Typically RO professionals’ involvement was in quality improvement (19%:MPs(7%) vs ROs(12%)), capacity building (14%:MPs(6%) vs ROs(8%)), clinical care (12%:MPs(2%) vs ROs(10%)) and research (11%:MPs(5%) vs ROs(6%)). Fraction of interested professionals with no experience (32%) in global oncology initiatives was significant (MPs(23%) vs ROs(9%)), suggesting a potential resource to increase Canadian impact in moving forward projects in LMICs.
Conclusion: A positive response was received from the radiation oncology community regarding the survey initiative. The results of the survey have provided aggregated data on the current involvement and will help coordinate the efforts of Canadian RO professionals in LMICs in the future.