Assessing radiation oncology research needs in India: Results of a physician survey

Rohini Bhatia, Supriya Sastri Chopra, Vijay Palkonda, G. Giri, Surendranath Senapati, Ramesh Bilimagga, Manjeet Chadha, Akila Viswanathan, Surbhi Grover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In India, where the annual incidence of cancer is projected to reach 1.7 million by 2020, the need for clinical research to establish the most effective, resource-guided, and evidence-based care is paramount. In this study, we sought to better understand the research training needs of radiation oncologists in India. Methods: A 12 item questionnaire was developed to assess research training needs and was distributed at the research methods course jointly organized by Indian College of Radiation Oncology, the American Brachytherapy Society, and Education Committee of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology during the Indian Cancer Congress, 2017. Results: Of 100 participants who received the questionnaire, 63% responded. Ninety percent (56/63) were Radiation Oncologists. Forty-two percent (26/63) of respondents had previously conducted research. A longer length of practice (>10 years) was significantly associated with conducting research (odds ratio (OR) 6.99, P = 0.031) and having formal research training trended toward significance (OR 3.03, P = 0.058). The most common reason for not conducting research was 'lack of training' (41%, 14/34). The most common types of research conducted were Audits and Retrospective studies (62%, 16/26), followed by a Phase I/II/III Trial (46%, 10/26). Having formal research training was a significant factor associated with writing a protocol (OR 5.53, P = 0.016). Limited training in research methods (54%, 13/24) and lack of mentorship (42%, 10/24) were cited as reasons for not developing a protocol. Ninety-seven percent (57/59) of respondents were interested in a didactic session on research, specifically focusing on biostatistics. Conclusions: With research training and mentorship, there is a greater likelihood that concepts and written protocols will translate into successfully completed studies in radiation therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • India
  • mentorship
  • radiation oncology education
  • research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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