Riportiamo di seguito un estratto dell'articolo a cura di Marc Beishon apparso come cover story nel numero Gennaio-Febbraio 2013 della rivista internazionale Cancer World sulla visione integrata della medicina "knowledge based".
Patients are being let down by a failure to integrate the knowledge we have to get the best possible results for each individual patient and for cancer patients as a whole.
Vincenzo Valentini, the ESTRO president with a talent for maths, believes we must do better.
The paradigm of personalised medicine has ushered in a potentially endless stream of new variables that can predict outcomes and response to treatments – far more than any doctor could hope to manage on their own.
While high quality multidisciplinary working among specialists is essential, it is not enough. New tools and approaches are needed that help oncologists integrate all the relevant knowledge and information to guide their decisions.
A European leader who is on top of this agenda is Vincenzo Valentini, current president of the European Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (ESTRO), and chair of radiotherapy at Gemelli hospital in Rome, which sees more cancer patients than any hospital in Italy and is part of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.
Not only has he been designing educational computer tools formany years, he is now at the forefront of a movement to introduce decision-support systems that address the daunting complexity facing oncologists. As ESTRO president, he is also driving the society’s ambitious vision introduced in 2012 –with education and multidisciplinarity at its heart – and is reaching out to other parts of the cancer community in an effort to get amore coherent voice for oncology in Europe.
At the centre of hismessage is what Valentini calls ‘knowledge-based oncology’, which, as he explains, is not the same as evidence-based medicine. “Evidence-based oncology takes into account prospective studies on defined populations of patients, and doctors try to apply them to individual Patients are being let down by a failure to integrate the knowledge we have to get the best possible results for each individual patient and for cancer patients as a whole. Vincenzo Valentini, the ESTRO president with a talent for maths, believes we must do better.