In 2012, the Yale Department of Therapeutic Radiology was at the very top of all medical school based radiation oncology programs in the United States for NIH funding. The department has a large number of competitive research grants from the NIH and other funding agencies. Basic research in radiobiology, discovery of underlying mechanisms of radiation response, and DNA repair are high priorities for the department of therapeutic radiology at Yale.
Physicians in the department of Therapeutic Radiology at Yale are constantly striving to improve upon the modalities that are available to treat cancer patients. Research investigations have been integral to the mission of the department since its origin.
All research that is conducted in the department of Therapeutic Radiology is carefully supervised by several distinct administrative committees at the medical center. Any research that is done must be approved by these committees, and if there is any risk to a patient, the patient must be made aware of this possibility and give their approval for participation in that research.
Yale’s status as a National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center has meant that a group called the Protocol Review Committee must review all cancer-related research that is being conducted with patients at the medical center. Recommendations are made by this group to improve research and ensure that appropriate experimental designs for studies are used that will in turn permit important questions to be answered.
Another committee, the Human Investigation Committee, reviews all research on patients at the medical center. This committee reviews the studies at a number of levels, and makes sure that patients are made aware of all the options that exist for treatment if they are being asked to participate in research. This committee also makes sure that all the risks that may be associated with participating in research are communicated in writing to the patient.
Currently, the department of Therapeutic Radiology has a number of research protocols (or research studies) that are open for a number of different types of cancer. Not all types of cancer have research studies open at Yale. Some of these studies are sponsored by Yale investigators, and others are sponsored by groups like the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) that are chartered by the National Cancer Institute to perform clinical research on cancer. Still other studies are sponsored by outside organizations that are working with Yale doctors to develop better treatments for cancer.
All the doctors in the department of Therapeutic Radiology would be willing to talk to you about research studies that you may be eligible to participate in, and if appropriate, will provide you with an opportunity to participate in research studies that are being done here at Yale.