Professor Philippe Maingon, the new Chair of the EORTC Radiation Oncology Group (ROG), sees the role of the group becoming more and more transversal, in direct connection with the disease oriented groups, and feels that this role will be reinforced in the future. New developments in the field of oncology, with the introduction of targeted therapy that should be tested in the preclinical setting, will be tested and favored in the future by the group.
The overall strategy of the ROG will remain oriented around Quality Assurance in Radiotherapy (QART) planned in close relationship with EORTC Headquarters. This QART platform enables validation of the quality of treatment delivered by radiation therapy in clinical trial. The role of this structure, aiming to maintain homogeneity of the treatment delivered and the consistency of the statistical objectives of clinical trials, is mandatory to prove the impact of radiation therapy. These principles will continue to be applied for both radiation therapy as well as combined treatment modalities. They are of major importance since sophisticated treatment modalities such as stereotactic radiation therapy are implemented in clinical trials.
Concerning the transversal role of the ROG, the biobanking and biological network available through the EORTC Network of Core Institutions (NOCI) will help to demonstrate the potential relationship between genetic profiles, specific cellular pathways, and interaction of radiation therapy and new components to improve the selection of targets and treatment strategies.
Professor Maingon served previously as Treasurer of the ROG and worked closely with Prof. Vincent Gregoire, the group’s past-Chair. He is currently Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Burgundy. Interestingly, Professor Maingon succeeded Jean-Claude Horiot as Head of the Radiotherapy Department in Dijon in 1999. Professor Horiot, a former EORTC President (1997 – 2000), was among the founders of the EORTC Radiotherapy Group, and his notable achievements include pivotal trials on accelerated and hyperfractionated radiotherapy in head and neck cancers as well as the pioneering of methodologies and protocols for QART.
For his part, Philippe has actively participated in the implementation of new technologies in the field of radiation therapy such as intensity modulated radiation therapy, prostate brachytherapy, extracranial stereotactic approaches, and arctherapy with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). His main fields of interest in are head and neck cancer and gastrointestinal tract tumors. He has participated as an Investigator in many EORTC randomized trials, was co-Chair of the EORTC Genito-Urinary Working Party from 2003 until 2006, and Chair of the GI tract working party from 2006 until 2008. He also organized the scientific steering committee of the Centre Georges-François Leclerc.
Professor Maingon points out, “A new generation of oncologists and radiation oncologists is coming. They must find within the EORTC ROG the appropriate field to promote new ideas between high-tech radiotherapy and genetics while keeping the patient at the heart of their concerns. My ambition is to facilitate the emergence of this new inspiration within the ROG.”