LOS ANGELES--The American Society for Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology (ASTRO) honored two of its members at its 38th annual meeting, and welcomed two renowned physicians into the society as honorary members.
Receiving the ASTRO Gold Medal, the Society's highest honor, were Zvi Y. Fuks, MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and Robert J. Shalek, PhD, professor emeritus, M.D. Anderson.
Dr. Fuks was honored for his work as chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. In the 1980s, he assembled a talented team and equipped the department with the technological capability to perform sophisticated treatment programs, realized first in the development of conformal therapy for prostate cancer.
Dr. Shalek was awarded the Gold Medal for his key role in some of the early developments in radiation oncology, including the application of computer calculations for brachytherapy. He was also hailed as an educator, in particular, for his 27 years teaching Introduction to Radiotherapy Physics at M.D. Anderson.
Honorary ASTRO membership was conferred on William C. Wood, MD, Joseph Brown Whitehead Professor of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Wood, one of the first US surgeons to offer breast-conserving surgery, was a panel member on the NIH consensus conference on adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer in 1985 and chaired the 1990 NIH consensus development conference on early breast cancer.
In his acceptance, Dr. Wood said that surgeons and radiation oncologists "share a common understanding of solid tumors," namely, that unless local control is achieved, "it is exquisitely unlikely that the patient will be cured." This goal, he said, is best obtained by "combining the strengths and avoiding the weaknesses of our two modalities."
David Bragg, MD, of the University of Utah, the second recipient of an honorary membership, was introduced as an "imager par excellence." He has served on the National Cancer Advisory Board, and in 1995 became the first RSNA Roentgen Centennial Fellow. He is also acting director for the NCI's Diagnostic Radiology Research Program.