Top Line: It’s catchy, right?
The Ideas: We are loving this Australian commentary on the future of brachytherapy, chock full of simple innovative ideas for bringing this treatment modality into 2022. First up, training. As compared to the current paradigm of exposing each resident to the same number of weeks, and recognizing only a tiny minority actually perform brachytherapy in practice, “perhaps the aim during training should be rather to select those trainees who have an interest in brachytherapy, are comfortable with surgical procedures, and can tolerate the hours and stresses intrinsic to any procedural speciality” (aka rad onc unicorns). Second, economics. While it’s great for patients to travel less, when it comes to shoring up both professional expertise and technological resources, having a few well-oiled brachy centers just makes sense, particularly remembering virtually all treatment courses are completed in less than a week. Or in lawyer speak, “<1% of decays are [typically] billable, but all cost money.” Third, let’s not reinvent the wheel. While preserving the key role of the radiation oncologist, collaboration with highly skilled colleagues across disciplines—not only urology, gyn onc, and other surgeons but how about interventional radiology?—could not only increase referrals but also open the floodgates to new applications. Finally, let’s talk re-branding. We can choose to refer to this evolving branch of radiation oncology as something other than an “old-fashioned and difficult-to-spell name.”
TBL: Negative takes often become self-fulfilling prophecies so let’s energize the future of the one-of-a-kind life-saving treatment modality of brachytherapy…ehh…we mean interventional radiotherapy.
- Jackson, J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol 2022