ASTRO announces Varian support for radiation oncology safety and quality initiative

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ARLINGTON, Va., December 15, 2016 -- The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) announced today that Varian Medical Systems has provided significant financial support to RO-ILS: Radiation Oncology Incident Learning System®, a national patient safety initiative launched in 2014 by ASTRO and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). RO-ILS® facilitates safer and higher quality care in radiation oncology by providing a mechanism for shared learning in a secure and non-punitive environment. It is the only medical specialty society-sponsored radiation oncology incident learning system within a federally listed Patient Safety Organization (PSO).

Varian Medical Systems is a leading manufacturer of imaging and treatment devices and software for radiation therapy, including radiosurgery, proton therapy and brachytherapy. Varian was one of ASTRO’s first corporate ambassadors and has supported the Society since 2000.

RO-ILS® is an online portal for radiation oncology centers to record non-patient-specific data about safety incidents and near-misses related to radiation therapy that occur at their facilities. To date, a total of 244 radiation therapy facilities from 37 different states have submitted more than 2,500 events to the PSO. Clarity PSO and the Radiation Oncology Healthcare Advisory Council (RO-HAC), a panel of experts in radiation oncology, work together to aggregate, analyze and interpret the data submitted into RO-ILS® and publish quarterly reports to educate the radiation oncology community about how to improve safety and patient care. There are no fees for centers to participate in RO-ILS®, an aspect of the program that the gift from Varian will help preserve.

“Varian’s generous support will help ensure that this unique initiative remains accessible for clinics that provide radiation therapy for cancer patients,” said David C. Beyer, MD, FASTRO, Chair of ASTRO’s Board of Directors. “The gift, moreover, will allow for additional, in-depth analysis of nationwide safety and quality data by the Radiation Oncology Healthcare Advisory Council.”

For more information, contact Liz Gardner, Media Relations Manager, at 703-286-1600 or, or Leah Kerkman Fogarty, Communications Manager, at 703-839-7336 or


ASTRO is the premier radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals that specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (, Practical Radiation Oncology ( and Advances in Radiation Oncology (; developed and maintains an extensive patient website, RT Answers (; and created the Radiation Oncology Institute (, a nonprofit foundation to support research and education efforts around the world that enhance and confirm the critical role of radiation therapy in improving cancer treatment. To learn more about ASTRO, visit