Department Celebrates 50 Years of Residency Education and Research

The 50th Seminar attracted 150 attendees from around the countryThe 50th UF Radiation Oncology Research Seminar took place February 21-22, 2020, at the Best Western Gateway Grand Hotel & Conference Center, Gainesville, FL.

Organized by the department’s Research and Editorial Office, the event marked the 50th seminar as well as the 50th anniversary of the UF Radiation Oncology Residency Program. The weekend included a special celebration at the University of Florida’s Harn Museum of Art for some 100 alumni and friends of the department.

“We were proud to commemorate 50 years of reporting data-driven research that has served as a foundation for innovation within our department and improved outcomes for radiotherapy patients worldwide,” said William M. Mendenhall, MD, Professor of Radiation Oncology and Seminar Coordinator. “The field of radiotherapy has evolved dramatically over the last five decades and this venue allows us to help lead radiation oncologists into the next decade of cancer research and treatment.”

Nearly 150 physicians, nurses, and radiation therapists attended three concurrent seminar programs: The Radiation Therapists’ Seminar, the Oncology Nursing Seminar, and the Radiation Oncology Research Seminar. The 2020 Research Seminar Keynote Speaker and distinguished visiting professor was Paul M. Harari, MD, FASTRO. Dr. Harari served on the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Board of Directors from 2012-2016 and currently serves in the Presidential Track 2016-2020, including the role of ASTRO President in 2017-2018 and Chairman of the ASTRO Board of Directors 2018-2019.

Dr. Harari’s clinical and laboratory research focuses primarily on treatment advances for head and neck cancer patients with emphasis on the interaction of molecular growth inhibitors combined with radiation. His presentations were entitled, “Radiation Oncology at A Crossroads: Which Directions Forward?” and “Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Care: 2020 and Beyond.”

A panel presentation on management controversies in oropharynx cancer and various topics on the treatment of breast cancer – including insurance coverage for adjuvant proton therapy; proton therapy techniques in breast cancer treatment; reevaluating recurrence, radiation, and neoadjuvant therapy in breast cancer; and outcomes in young and adolescent breast cancer patients – were among the topics discussed during the physicians’ program.

Next year’s 51st Radiation Oncology Research Seminar will take place February 26-27, 2021, in Gainesville, FL. The event will welcome radiation oncology therapists, nurses, faculty, and residents from several educational institutions as well as professionals in private practice.

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