Prof. Vincenzo Valentini, MD: An Overview of EMCC 2011 in Stockholm from the President of ESTRO

 

Prof. Vincenzo Valentini, MD discusses the EMCC 2011 meeting from the European Soceity of Radiotherapy and Oncology perspective.  He talks about some of the conference highlights as well as his goals as the current president of ESTRO.

The Group Room at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference was made possible, in part, by:

 

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Selma Schimmel, Founder & CEO, Vital Options International:

This is Selma Schimmel at the Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress 2011 in Stockholm. Welcome Professor Doctor Vincenzo Valentini to a little discussion here because you are the president of ESTRO, and this a collaborative effort, this Multidisciplinary meeting with ESTRO, with ECCO, and with ESMO. Tell us something about ESTRO.

Prof. Vincenzo Valentini, MD, Current President, ESTRO:

ESTRO is a European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology, and is a very well-established society that we share. This moment there’s more than 5,000 members across Europe and this is a society that would like to provide the best evidence to use radiation therapy to cure the patient, to offer them organ preservation, and at the same time to exploit treatment modality within the multidisciplinary setting. So the reason why we are here in ECCO meeting is just to provide multidisciplinarity. The contribution of hypersize very reliable locker treatment inside the scenario of combining treatments.

Selma Schimmel:

I would imagine, Europe, being the big place that it is that while the technology is available that access to treatment may be based on where patients live.

Prof. Vincenzo Valentini:

I have to say to you that in the present time in Europe, the availability of technology that is really important radiotherapy is quite spread out. So it’s possible to find very good opportunity to be treated at the best lab in many, many centers. Unfortunately the access to this opportunity is not uniform across Europe. We have some area that where the waiting list we are still unacceptable, or that the distance between the different small towns and the centers is too far.

Selma Schimmel:

What does the European patient viewing this video need to know and understand about radiation therapy?

Prof. Vincenzo Valentini:

Radiation therapy is a treatment addressed to cure the tumor that is localized, and that can offer the high possibility to cure them with a low impact to their quality of life. Is a really relief to but to be used inside a frame of multidisciplinary crutch because only in this way the patient can exploit huge opportunity of new technology, and offer radiotherapy at the best.

Selma Schimmel:

And is radiotherapy also used in the palliative care setting or if someone has, let’s say, a spread disease to their bones and pain control?

Prof. Vincenzo Valentini:

Absolutely, absolutely. The possibility to cure small volume could be easily applied when fortunately the tumor produce pain and produce impairment of some dysfunctionality of some organs. And for such reason this is very effective, with a few shot, few treatment, few days you can reach it. Beautiful advantage for your quality of life.

Selma Schimmel:

And one great areas of advancement in the delivery of radiation therapy is the fact that you can spare the skin and the tissues that are higher up and really direct a beam and to attend to the area that needs to be treated rather than scattering it around the areas that don’t need to be treated.

Prof. Vincenzo Valentini:

Absolutely true. One of the major advantages or opportunity that high tech radiotherapy offer is the integration of the imaging world. Now we know much better where the tumor is and we can control our x-rays to go only there, sparing the surrounding organs, it’s true.

Selma Schimmel:

Now as the president of ESTRO, the European Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology what are your goals, what do you hope to achieve for the organization?

Prof. Vincenzo Valentini:

Yes, for sure two goals or strategy plan or what we would like to implement. One is to increase communication because we have a huge amount of knowledge and expertise that has to be used inside the society and outside the society in the best way we can. And the second is to…a real priority is to out manage the glue to society. So what this means? To accrue, to offer to our young members the opportunity to see in the society – a great opportunity for growth, to validate and to bring new idea in.

Selma Schimmel:

And I think what is so important for patients to understand is that radiation therapy has become as you call the multidisciplinary in oncology you have chemotherapy, you have surgery, you have radiation therapy in these modalities, and of course targeted therapies. But that these modalities all are working together on behalf of the patient, and now radiation therapy’s used in the surgical setting too.

Prof. Vincenzo Valentini:

Yes, when I mentioned before that one of the priorities is communication, means that we want to be from the point of view of the patients. So to meet the expectation that the patient have is describing to our discipline and to answer to the needs of our patients we need to be able to collaborate with other specialty to offer them the best.

Selma Schimmel:

I think that patients sometimes are very frightened. They don’t understand what is radiation therapy and the machines are very big can be very scary and intimidating. How do we help patients be less afraid, what message can you share with patients to help them become less frightened of the idea of radiation therapy?

Prof. Vincenzo Valentini:

Yes, first of all reliability, or what we are doing is really, really high right now. And the second what the major effort is for us for the patient is that we want really to see the quality of life in the patients. So the treatment, even if that happens big machine that could sometimes seems like spiders you are fooled around you. But be sure that the technology allow us to control — our action is very, very, very small, and we are so very well skilled at targeting the tumor – and only the tumor – that they have to trust them with us. But furthermore, be careful. Radiation oncologist is trained to speak with the patient to look to their highest, and so they are not to be concerned about the possibility to be left alone. We are always close with them.

Selma Schimmel:

And the side effects of most treatments as it relates to radiation therapy?

Prof. Vincenzo Valentini:

Yes, any treatment has their own side effect. But fortunately as I mentioned, for one side the technology allow us to reduce them, and also in the knowledge that we accumulated along the time. Also offer us the possibility to predict when this kind of side effect happens to be – as I mentioned before –close to our patient.

Selma Schimmel:

Before I say goodbye to you is there one particular study or any data that was presented at this meeting that excites you?

Prof. Vincenzo Valentini:

Oh yes, we had some evidence further that radiation therapy could be very well used to be a reliable partner in tailoring the treatment. So it means that it’s very flexible, to deescalate this intensification the treatment when the tumor is very sensible or to being how to be implemented, incrementally efficacy giving higher dose only for patient who need to receive that. So the key message is tailoring treatment is really possible in this new year of high tech and high multidisciplinary approach.

Selma Schimmel:

Thank you Professor Doctor Valentini, and congratulations as you now assume leadership of ESTRO. I wish you great success at achieving your goals.

Prof. Vincenzo Valentini:

Thank you so much.

END OF VIDEO

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