Radiation oncology's popularity as a career in Canada has surged in the past 5 years. Consequently, resident numbers in Canadian radiation oncology residencies are at all-time highs. This study aimed to survey Canadian radiation oncology residents about their opinions of their specialty and training experiences.
Residents of Canadian radiation oncology residencies that enroll trainees through the Canadian Resident Matching Service were identified from a national database. Residents were mailed an anonymous survey.
Eight of 101 (7.9%) potential respondents were foreign funded. Fifty-two of 101 (51.5%) residents responded. A strong record of graduating its residents was the most important factor residents considered when choosing programs. Satisfaction with their program was expressed by 92.3% of respondents, and 94.3% expressed satisfaction with their specialty. Respondents planning to practice in Canada totaled 80.8%, and 76.9% plan to have academic careers. Respondents identified job availability and receiving adequate teaching from preceptors during residency as their most important concerns.
Though most respondents are satisfied with their programs and specialty, job availability and adequate teaching are concerns. In the future, limited time and resources and the continued popularity of radiation oncology as a career will magnify the challenge of training competent radiation oncologists in Canada.
Division of Radiation Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address: Nawaid.Usmani@albertahealthservices.ca.
To identify clinical, dosimetric, and genetic factors that are associated with late urinary toxicity after a (125)I prostate brachytherapy implant.
Genomic DNA from 296 men treated with (125)I prostate brachytherapy monotherapy was extracted from saliva samples for this study. A retrospective database was compiled including clinical, dosimetric, and toxicity data for this cohort of patients. Fourteen candidate single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) from 13 genes (TP53, ERCC2, GSTP1, NOS, TGFß1, MSH6, RAD51, ATM, LIG4, XRCC1, XRCC3, GSTA1, and SOD2) were tested in this cohort for correlations with toxicity.
This study identified 217 men with at least 2 years of followup. Of these, 39 patients developed Grade =2 late urinary complications with a transurethral resection of prostate, urethral stricture, gross hematuria, or a sustained increase in their International Prostate Symptom Score. The only clinical or dosimetric factor that was associated with late urinary toxicity was age (p = 0.02). None of the 14 SNPs tested in this study were associated with late urinary toxicity in the univariate analysis.
This study identified age as the only variable being associated with late urinary toxicity. However, the small sample size and the candidate gene approach used in this study mean that further investigations are essential. Genome-wide association studies are emerging as the preferred approach for future radiogenomic studies to overcome the limitations from a candidate gene approach.
We analyzed treatment outcomes for nasopharyngeal carcinoma in a single institute.
From 1992 to 2002, 82 patients with nasopharyngeal cancer were treated. Kaplan-Meier estimates of overall and disease-free survival were calculated. The log-rank test was used to determine significant prognostic determinants of overall and disease-free survival.
Patients received one of three regimens: radiotherapy alone (n = 19), radiotherapy with concurrent carboplatin (n = 46), or radiotherapy with concurrent cisplatin (n = 17). Fifty-seven percent of patients had their radiotherapy planned using fluoroscopy-based methods. Overall, 93.9% of patients received all prescribed radiotherapy. Response rate to treatment was 98.7%. Three-year disease-free survival and overall survival rates for all patients were 69.0% and 65%, respectively. Five patients had late grade 3-4 toxicities. There were no treatment-related deaths. Twenty-four percent of patients were hospitalized during treatment, and 72.6% lost