Position statement on ethics, equipoise and research on charged particle radiation therapy

Mark Sheehan, Claire Timlin, Ken Peach, Ariella Binik, Wilson Puthenparampil, Mark Lodge, Sean Kehoe, Michael Brada, Neil Burnet, Steve Clarke, Adrian Crellin, Michael Dunn, Piero Fossati, Steve Harris, Michael Hocken, Tony Hope, Jonathan Ives, Tadashi Kamada, Alex John London, Robert MillerMichael Parker, Madelon Pijls-Johannesma, Julian Savulescu, Susan Short, Loane Skene, Hirohiko Tsujii, Jeffrey Tuan, Charles Weijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The use of charged-particle radiation therapy (CPRT) is an increasingly important development in the treatment of cancer. One of the most pressing controversies about the use of this technology is whether randomised controlled trials are required before this form of treatment can be considered to be the treatment of choice for a wide range of indications. Equipoise is the key ethical concept in determining which research studies are justied. However, there is a good deal of disagreement about how this concept is best understood and applied in the specic case of CPRT. This report is a position statement on these controversies that arises out of a workshop held at Wolfson College, Oxford in August 2011. The workshop brought together international leaders in the relevant elds (radiation oncology, medical physics, radiobiology, research ethics and methodology), including proponents on both sides of the debate, in order to make signicant progress on the ethical issues associated with CPRT research. This position statement provides an ethical platform for future research and should enable further work to be done in developing international coordinated programmes of research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-575
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medical Ethics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


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