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Cedars-Sinai’s Howard Sandler, MD, Elected President of ASTRO

Nationally Recognized Radiation Oncologist to Focus His Time in Office On Five Priority Areas

Howard Sandler, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Cancer, has been named president-elect of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). Sandler will begin his term as president-elect in October, followed by single-year terms as president, chair and then immediate past chair of the ASTRO Board.

“Leading the American Society for Radiation Oncology is an honor and an opportunity to help shape the agenda for our specialty over theHoward Sandler, MD next several years,” said Sandler, the Ronald H. Bloom Family Chair in Cancer Therapeutics at Cedars-Sinai. “My focus will be on five priority areas, all of which align with the work being done at Cedars-Sinai Cancer and the broader field of radiation oncology.”

Sandler’s five priority areas include:

·      Increasing the role of radiation oncologists in the delivery of highly precise, novel radiation approaches like magnetic resonance imaging-guided treatments

·      Expanding the role of radiation oncologists in the delivery and supervision of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals

·      Working with the radiation oncology community to recruit a diverse and talented group of medical students into radiation oncology training programs

·      Collaborating with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to develop a value-based payment model for radiation oncology services

·      Helping ASTRO work collaboratively with other oncology organizations

“Howard is a nationally recognized radiation oncologist and expert in genitourinary cancer, a combination ideal for serving in this prestigious position,” said Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer, the PHASE ONE Foundation Distinguished Chair and professor of Surgery and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. “Being elected by his peers speaks to his contributions, leadership and impact on patient care.”

A prolific researcher, Sandler had a practice-changing study published recently in The Lancet. The study showed that a combination of androgen deprivation therapy—a commonly used hormone injection—plus pelvic lymph node radiation, kept nearly 90% of clinical trial patients’ prostate cancer at bay for five years. Sandler’s research interests also include evaluating the quality of life of prostate cancer patients following surgery and radiation therapy.

Sandler also has an extensive record of service to ASTRO and the oncology field. He currently serves on the Board of Directors as chair of ASTRO’s Government Relations Council and is a long-term member of ASTRO’s Prostate/GU Resource Panel. He has been instrumental in leading the development of clinical guidelines and multidisciplinary scientific meetings focused on prostate cancer, and he recently served as faculty advisor to the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology.

Read more from the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Reprograming Prostate Cancer Tumor Cells