The integration between clinic, genomics and artificial intelligence revolutionizes radiotherapy treatments in oncology. With the possibility of ‘cutting out’ the best possible radiotherapy treatment on the individual patient and his neoplasm, which through the analysis of the genetic profile, radiomics and the processing of clinical data with highly sophisticated software and algorithms, is leading to an innovative approach in the treatment of tumors. This is the scenario that will be discussed starting from this afternoon until Sunday 17 October at XXXI National Congress of the Italian Association of Radiotherapy and Clinical Oncology (Airo), hosted – in contingent presence, but with over 600 expected attendances – at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Bologna. The whole morning was dedicated to Airo Giovani, with a pre-congress event on radiotherapy and Covid-19, quality of life and artificial intelligence (AI).
“Radiation therapy has totally changed – he explains Vittorio Donato, Head of the Department of Oncology and Specialized Medicine, Director of the Radiotherapy Division, San Camillo Forlanini Hospital in Rome, and President of Airo – both as characteristics of the discipline and as its inclusion in the oncology field for the treatment of tumors. Previously it was regarded as a palliative treatment and was looked upon only as a complication; today it is one of the three pillars of oncological and onco-haematological treatments, and updated along with drug therapies. Today it is a completely different reality, just as the scientific society that I have the privilege of presiding has also changed radically “.
The main themes for this edition of the National Congress, continues the president Airo, “are genomics, radiomics and artificial intelligence, factors that we will have to take into account in order to correctly set up the radiotherapy treatment. are writing the future history of medicine and radiotherapy in particular. The congress event, in attendance after the long emergency break, will be as always a moment of open discussion between Italian radiotherapists on how ready we are to incorporate the technological innovations in this disciplinea, and a way to strengthen the role of the radiotherapist within the multidisciplinary team in patient management “.
“The direction we are going towards is to understand even better what is the most appropriate treatment in the single patient and in the single tumor“, he claims Barbara Jereczek, director of the Radiotherapy Division of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, professor of Radiotherapy at the University of Milan and coordinator of the Airo Scientific Committee. “For many years, radiotherapy has been based on clinical data – he remembers – today it is increasingly based on biological data understood as genomics, imaging understood as radiomics and artificial intelligence which helps us to integrate these data in the choice of treatment. Through these state-of-the-art technologies, changes in the patient’s body and tumor can be monitored and treatment adapted. If we can understand more from the images, arriving where the eye fails, we can better characterize the neoplasm and choose to intensify or de-intensify the treatment “.
But technological innovation, however precious, cannot ignore the human component. The training of its members and the information of citizens and patients are central points of the Airo mission. The Association “is engaged for some time in various communication activities through the site www.radioterapiaitalia.it, with technical-scientific information for specialists and information and news dedicated to patients and citizens – points out Roberto Pacelli, Head of the Radiotherapy Section of Uoc Diagnostic Imaging and Radiotherapy, Federico II hospital in Naples, member of the Airo Board of Directors – For example, there is a section dedicated to the so-called Faq, the most frequently asked questions, to which experts answer; a space dedicated to information material on radiation, on its effects on the type of tumor, on the benefits of treatment, on possible side effects, on how to mitigate adverse events or mitigate the likelihood of collateral damage “.
“We have also included – emphasizes Pacelli – a document on the anti-Covid vaccine and on the most fragile patients for whom vaccination is recommended. Furthermore, Airo organizes ECM courses, encourages research in the regional Airo groups and in the Airo study groups. goal of our organization is give continuity of care to patients discharged from the hospital in the area, through professional figures who can follow at home or in a nearby facility the patient to solve potential side effects and avoiding hospitalization. “During the working days of the Congress, hosted in four rooms, several sessions will be dedicated to the state of the art and radiotherapy advances in various types of neoplasms (head, neck, breast , lung, skin, urological and gynecological, gastro-enteric, haematological and rare). Many interventions on interventional and palliative radiotherapy, in addition to radiotherapy of oligometastases.