This is the second revision of a proposal to establish an R25T cancer education and career development program, Cancer Nanotechnology in Imaging and Radiotherapy. Radiology and radiation oncology are clinical specialties that are heavily used for cancer diagnosis and treatment and that are likely to be revolutionized by advances in nanotechnology. For the fruits of nanotechnology research to benefit patients who are receiving radiology or radiation oncology services, there must be close collaboration between physical scientists, tumor biologists, and clinicians. The most important role of the clinician is to design and conduct clinical trials that assess the safety and efficacy of a newly developed nanomaterial. Fulfillment of this role requires not only clinical trials expertise, but also familiarity with the physical and chemical characteristics of the nanomaterial being tested and with the results of preclinical studies. Clinician input can also be critical in the conception of a nanotechnology study, in obtaining funding for such a study, in preclinical studies, especially those that involve animal imaging, and in dealing with regulatory agencies. To participate fully in the entire bench ? bedside process, radiologists and radiation oncologists must have a basic understanding of nanotechnology concepts and methodologies, a familiarity with nanotechology safety and regulatory issues, and an excellent grasp of the principles and practices of tumor biology. Furthermore, they need to be well-versed in the design and conduct of clinical trials, be familiar with small animal imaging, and be able to write research grants, IND applications, and manuscripts. There are presently no formal mechanisms by which clinicians in these specialties can acquire these skills and knowledge. To address these needs, Northwestern University, in conjunction with the University of Chicago, is proposing this education and career development program. The program will consist of formal coursework, supplementary educational experiences, participation in a laboratory-based cancer nanotechnology project, and participation in a cancer-related radiology or radiation oncology clinical study. Trainees will have the option of completing the requirements for a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI). Program management will consist of the program director, Dr. Gayle Woloschak, four additional faculty members who will oversee various trainee activities, an advisory committee, and a program administrator. While the program is targeted to MDs who have just completed a residency in radiology or radiation oncology, it will also be open to practicing clinicians in these specialties. The program will operate under the auspices of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, with strong support from the Depts. of Radiology and of Radiation Oncology at Northwestern University and from the Depts. of Radiology and of Radiation &Cellular Oncology at the University of Chicago. The program will have strong links to Northwestern's Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence.
Program Narrative Northwestern University, in collaboration with the University of Chicago, proposes to establish an R25T cancer educational and career development program Cancer Nanotechnology in Imaging and Radiotherapy. The purpose of this program is to provide clinicians who have just completed residencies in either Radiology or Radiation Oncology with the skills and knowledge to participate in the process by which advances in nanotechnology will become incorporated into the practice of tumor imaging and radiotherapy. Nanotechnology is developing at a very rapid pace and is generating a multitude of extremely small new materials, agents and devices with novel and medically useful properties. Nanotechnology promises to revolutionize the disciplines of radiology and radiation oncology, allowing tumors to be detected when they are much smaller and to be treated much more effectively. However, for these advances to take place, clinicians must be part of the teams that first develop nanotechnology-based materials and devices for imaging and therapy in the laboratory and then test them. Clinicians will, of course, play a pivotal role in designing and conducting clinical trials to test these new materials and devices in humans. To be able to fully participate in the bench-to-bedside process, clinicians will require specialized training. Nanotechnology is very complex and is heavily based in physics, chemistry, and engineering. Standard medical training provides little, if any, exposure to the concepts, language, and methodologies of nanotechnology. The proposed 2-3 year program will consist of formal coursework, supplementary educational experiences, participation in a laboratory-based cancer nanotechnology project, and participation in a cancer-related radiology or radiation oncology clinical study. Trainees will have the option of earning a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation while enrolled in the program. The program will operate under the auspices of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, with strong support from the Depts. of Radiology and of Radiation Oncology at Northwestern University and from the Depts. of Radiology and of Radiation and Cellular Oncology at the University of Chicago. The program will have strong links to Northwestern's Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence.
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