The basic working relationship between scientists and clinicians that has evolved in the Department of Radiation Oncology has become the translational research model of the Wilmot Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The interactions between these investigators have led to the clinical investigation of laboratory-derived ideas. Such concepts are tested in small, high quality controlled pilot studies to determine if they should be mounted in larger clinical trials of the national cooperative groups.
It can be said that the development and conduct of pilot studies at the institutional level is the backbone of national cooperative group trials. Throughout the past several years, we have developed the resources, facilities, and support personnel to conduct Phase I and II feasibility studies while searching for efficient and effective treatment schedules and combinations. The important feature of our work has been the establishment of a mechanism for developing studies that we believe represent the leading edge in radiation oncology research.
The research programs constitute the major investigative activities of the Department of Radiation Oncology and rely heavily on the laboratory to model and simulate clinical and pathophysiological effects of radiation on human malignant disease and normal tissues. All research programs are discussed at weekly conferences allowing for a continuing exchange of ideas for protocol development.