For GPs

Mapping Best Possible Radiation Oncology Care For Older Cancer Patients

04 Dec 2018

Targeting Cancer Working Advisory Group Chair Dr Lucinda Morris has outlined her groundbreaking study aimed at promoting best possible radiation oncology care for older cancer patients across the globe.

Dr Morris, radiation oncologist and cancer researcher based at the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Improving Palliative Aged and Chronic Care, appeared on ABC Newcastle’s Mornings show to discuss her new study mapping an internationally applicable learning model to help radiation oncologists provide high quality care to older cancer patients.

The study, which Dr Morris presented at the recent Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists’  (RANZCR) Annual Scientific Meeting, will eventually provide a dedicated program for radiation oncology training bodies  across the world to ensure that radiation therapy – often the least invasive and most  appropriate course of treatment for older cancer patients – is best used to improve both  quality of life and survival for older people with cancer.

“Unfortunately we know that cancer rates for older patients are rising steadily,” Dr Morris told presenter Jenny Marchant. “It’s not a numbers problem though – there are a number of different factors that can affect their prognosis and treatment.

“We have good data to show that as oncologists we over treat or under-treat the elderly.

“This study will formulate guidelines (and a framework) to educate cancer doctors, in particular radiation oncologists, to enable them to assess  and care for older patients with cancer in the best way.”


Radiation oncologist Dr Lucinda Morris is aiming to help map out best possible radiation oncology treatment for older cancer patients across the globe. 

The study’s next stage will see medical specialists treating older cancer patients in various fields invited to share their knowledge and expertise, which will be fed into a final curriculum aimed at radiation oncology and clinical oncology trainees around the world.

To listen to the interview, click here and scroll through to approximately 1hr 10 minute mark.

Thanks to ABC Newcastle for supplying a link to the show.

For more information on how radiation therapy can help treat cancer, click here.

Targeting Cancer is run by RANZCR’s Faculty of Radiation Oncology and aims to highlight the importance of radiation therapy as a treatment option for cancer patients.