We contacted Dr. Slavisa Tubin, Radiation Oncologist and Scientific Investigator at Institut für Strahlentherapie/Radioonkologie of the KABEG Klinikum Klagenfurt am Wörthersee in Austria.
He published the article, Radiation and hypoxia-induced non-targeted effects in normoxic and hypoxic conditions in human lung cells, and you can read it here.
Why is this article important?
This article is important because it shows for the first time that hypoxic tumor cells have different (higher) potential as an inductor for induction of the non-targeted effects: bystander and abscopal. This finding led to the recent development of my novel and unique radiotherapy technique for the intentional induction of the non-targeted effects of radiotherapy: partial tumor irradiation targeting exclusively the hypoxic tumor segment of the large-bulky tumors. This is the first time that somebody (in this case me) irradiated tumors partially. It is very exciting because is really revolutionary!
How and/or when did you get into this field of study (name specific field)?
I’ve been in this field (“the non-targeted effects of radiotherapy: the bystander and abscopal effects”) since 2010 when I moved from Rome, Italy to the USA (University of Miami, Florida) as a resident where I performed my first experimental preclinical research in this field.
Where do you see your field in the next 10 years?
This field will become one of the leading-hot topics of the research in the next few years because it shows really incredible potential and lots of benefits over the conventional radiotherapy approach.
Is there any particular article you published that launched your career?
There is an article where I described, for the first time, my novel technique for the intentional induction of the non-targeted effects of radiotherapy and my first preliminary results achieved by using it:
“Hunting for abscopal and bystander effects: clinical exploitation of non-targeted effects induced by partial high-single-dose irradiation of the hypoxic tumour segment in oligometastatic patients.” Acta Oncol. 2017 Oct;56(10):1333-1339. doi: 10.1080/0284186X.2017.1346385. Epub 2017 Jul 7.
It represents practically the translation of my preclinical findings to a clinic and their first use in humans.
Did it lead to recognition/funding/promotion etc?
After this article was published, my center sponsored the ongoing phase I prospective proof of principle trial on the use of my technique. I received 2 awards for the development of this novel approach of mine:
1.) Doctor award for research for 2017 by the region where I work (Nov. 2017, Klagenfurt, Austria),
2.) Best scientific study-winner at The Annual Irish Radiosurgery and Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy Symposium (May 2018, Dublin, Ireland).
Do you have any advice for Postdoctoral Researchers?
Yes! You should talk to your supervisor to let them know about your ideas, projects, and what you want to do; It is very important that you “appear” and that you are “available” to the public, so that the people know you because it makes the things easier, mostly because of the funding that you will need today…Fortunately and unfortunately, the research field is very competitive today and there is not enough funding so you will find lots of interested institutions that will be interested in you and they will offer you the possibility of a postdoc position with only 1 condition: if you find funding. Being closer to the people, using the social networks for example as the means of communication – publication of your projects and ideas – will increase your chance of getting both: funding and a postdoc position.