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U.S. National Institutes of Health
Last Updated: 08/09/10

About RRP

The field of radiation oncology has a unique scientific breadth including radiation and stress biology, complex tumor and normal tissue systems, innovative technology, electronic data acquisition and analysis, image-guided therapy, multi-modality cancer treatment, outreach to the underserved, and medical and societal response to the threats from nuclear and radiological terrorism. With its research base in basic biology and physics and clinical care that encompasses the entire spectrum of oncology, radiation oncology has a unique role in multi-disciplinary translational science collaboration. With its strong underpinning of electronic medical records, networking and quality assurance activities, radiation oncology can be a world leader in comparative effectiveness research and international medical collaborations. Radiation therapy is used in over half of patients during the course of cancer treatment and is effective both as a curative modality and for palliation. The RRP is the sole program focused on therapeutic radiation sciences within the extramural programs of the NCI.

As part of ongoing efforts to stimulate research in radiotherapy and radiation biology, the RRP supports basic, translational, and clinical research at the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD) by:

  • Providing expertise to investigators and potential grantees who perform cutting-edge research using radiation and other forms of energy
  • Assisting and helping lead the radiotherapy research community in establishing priorities for the future direction of radiation research
  • Developing unique models and capabilities to help and mentor the medically underserved communities in the US and worldwide to access cancer clinical trials
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of radiation research being conducted by NCI grantees
  • Advising the NCI-funded clinical trials groups and Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) regarding scientific priorities and quality assurance in clinical studies with radiotherapy
  • Providing laboratory support for preclinical evaluation of systemic agents that can be used with radiation (through the Molecular Radiation Therapeutics Program on Frederick campus)
  • Serving as the NCI's liaison and advisor on mitigation of radiation normal tissue injury in programs addressing radiological/nuclear terrorism in National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR)

RRP coordinates its activities with other radiation research efforts at NCI, (in particular the Divisions of Cancer Biology, CCR -ROB and Radiation Biology Branch, DCEG), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), other federal agencies, and national and international research organizations. Additionally, RRP serves as a focal point for extramural investigators concerned with clinically related radiation oncology and biology research. The RRP research portfolio has been comprised of approximately 200 grants supported by $80,000,000 annually over the past 5 years.