Downloads and Upgrades: Digital Health in Cancer Management

From phone apps and virtual assistants to self-driving cars and blockchain technology, digital developments hold the promise of fast-tracking efficiency, convenience, and payoff in practically all areas of life. While not as pervasive as Siri or alluring as cryptocurrency, such advances in cancer care are summoning their own following of eager learners and early adopters. Our June issue explores this trend with two review articles examining digital health care’s growth and potential impact.

In The Emerging Role of Digital Therapeutics in Medical, Surgical and Radiation Oncology, the authors detail how the emergence of digital therapeutics (DTx) in the cancer care continuum is poised to improve medication adherence, chemotherapy tolerance, overall survival and, potentially, financial toxicity. This informative article, which offers free SA-CME credit, describes the regulatory process for digital therapeutics, applications to watch, practice incorporation, access to DTx, digital literacy, digital equity, and more.

The second review, Digital Health in Radiation Oncology: Imagining the Future of Patient Management, is a timely article discussing the roles of patient-facing mHealth, wearables, clinical trials and drug development, and personalized medicine. It further explores health equity implications and roadblocks to adoption, while positing that health care is the “next great frontier where the intersection of user-friendly technology and medical knowledge can create meaningful improvements in quality and equity of care.”

Complementing the digital theme is an online Technology Trends article, Beyond Measure: Remote Patient Monitoring With Wearables, in which various experts highlight how such technologies can help patient care become less fragmented and more data-driven in radiation oncology.

In addition to digital health, our June issue features two thought-provoking editorials on the challenges, interventions, and opportunities in global health, as well as a research article offering a retrospective validation for the use of a frameless intracranial stereotactic radiosurgery immobilization device. We also feature two interesting case reports involving head and neck cancer, one discussing routine screening for arterial changes in postradiation therapy cancer survivors, and the other showcasing a novel interactive decision tree for postoperative reirradiation.

New DEI Editor and Student Committees

In other news, we are thrilled to introduce our new DEI editor, Myrsini Ioakeim-Ioannidou, MD, a postdoctoral research fellow in radiation oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ioakeim-Ioannidou will help steer the journal’s DEI efforts to promote involvement, innovation, and expanded access to opportunities across identity groups and professional levels. Her roles also include providing DEI-related content and representing the growing number of international graduates interested in radiation oncology. We are grateful for her service and look forward to working with her in this important capacity.

Finally, we are delighted to announce the development of several medical student committees designed to expand knowledge and interest in radiation oncology as a medical specialty and develop skills related to scholarly publishing. We look forward to working with 20+ impressive students from the US and abroad in committees dedicated to social medial, editorial content/writing, podcasts/webinars, and peer review. Special thanks to board member Sarah Hoffe, MD, for helping to launch these exciting plans and serve as the faculty advisor. Stay tuned for additional details and results!

We hope you enjoy our latest issue and new offerings, and wish you a safe, bright summer filled with meaningful connections.