Radiation Oncology Research in Asia: Current Status and a Peep Into the Future From the Federation of Asian Organizations for Radiation Oncology

JCO Glob Oncol. 2023 Jun:9:e2300002. doi: 10.1200/GO.23.00002.


Purpose: This survey was conducted to assess the current research practices among the 14 members of the Federation of Asian Organizations for Radiation Oncology (FARO) committee, to inform measures for research capacity building in these nations.

Materials and methods: A 19-item electronic survey was sent to two research committee members from the 14 representative national radiation oncology organizations (N = 28) that are a part of FARO.

Results: Thirteen of the 14 member organizations (93%) and 20 of 28 members (71.5%) responded to the questionnaire. Only 50% of the members stated that an active research environment existed in their country. Retrospective audits (80%) and observational studies (75%) were the most common type of research conducted in these centers. Lack of time (80%), lack of funding (75%), and limited training in research methodology (40%) were cited as the most common hindrances in conducting research. To promote research initiatives in the collaborative setting, 95% of the members agreed to the creation of site-specific groups, with head and neck (45%) and gynecological cancers (25%) being the most preferred disease sites. Projects focused on advanced external beam radiotherapy implementation (40%), and cost-effectiveness studies (35%) were cited as some of the potential areas for future collaboration. On the basis of the survey results, after result discussion and the FARO officers meeting, an action plan for the research committee has been created.

Conclusion: The results from the survey and the initial policy structure may allow facilitation of radiation oncology research in the collaborative setting. Centralization of research activities, funding support, and research-directed training are underway to help foster a successful research environment in the FARO region.

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Capacity Building
  • Humans
  • Radiation Oncology*
  • Research
  • Retrospective Studies