What will radiation oncology look like in 2050? A look at a changing professional landscape in Europe and beyond

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  • Michael Baumann, German Cancer Research Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Ruprecht-Karls University
  • ,
  • Nadja Ebert, German Cancer Research Center, Technische Universität Dresden
  • ,
  • Ina Kurth, German Cancer Research Center
  • ,
  • Carol Bacchus, German Cancer Research Center
  • ,
  • Jens Overgaard

The number of newly diagnosed cancers per year is predicted to almost double in the next two decades worldwide, and it remains unclear if and when this alarming trend will level off or even reverse. As such, cancer is very likely to continue to pose a major threat to human health. Radiation oncology is an indispensable pillar of cancer treatment and a well-developed discipline. Nevertheless, key trends in cancer research and care, including improved primary prevention, early detection, integrated multidisciplinary approaches, personalized strategies at all levels of care, value-based assessments of healthcare systems, and global health perspectives, will all shape the future of radiation oncology. Broader scientific advances, such as rapid progress in digitization, automation, and in our biological understanding of cancer, as well as the wider societal view of healthcare systems will also influence radiation oncology and how it is practiced. To stimulate a proactive discussion on how to adapt and reshape our discipline, this review provides some predictions on what the role and practice of radiation oncology might look like in 30 years’ time.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Oncology
Pages (from-to)1577-1585
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

    Research areas

  • anticancer strategies, early detection, health care, multidisciplinary treatment, personalized oncology, radiation oncology

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