Scripps Clinic pathologist and researcher Kelly Bethel, MD, has been selected as a founding editor of Convergence Science Physical Oncology, a new journal of IOP Publishing that is the first and only interdisciplinary title dedicated to bringing together all researchers in the field of cancer research from a physical sciences perspective.
From oncologists, cancer biologists, patient advocates, pharmacologists and physicists, to scientists working in biophysics, mathematics, chemistry and bioengineering, the journal will help researchers address the major questions and barriers in cancer research.
Currently, interdisciplinary papers arising from this research are published in a diverse range of subject-specific journals, but authors face multiple challenges during the peer-review process because of a lack of common language between the disciplines. Once papers are eventually published, they often do not reach their full audience.
To help address this problem, IOP has recruited four equal founding editors: an oncologist (Jorge Nieva, M.D., University of Southern California); a physicist (Peter Kuhn, Ph.D., University of Southern California); a patient advocate (Carole Baas, Ph.D., National Cancer Institute); and a diagnostic pathologist (Dr. Bethel). Together, they will help provide appropriate editorial coverage and ensure that the journal fulfills its goal of reducing the barriers between the researchers in different disciplines working on the same questions from different angles. The team of founding editors will be supported by a group of section editors and an international editorial board.
“This new journal developed by IOP Publishing will serve researchers who are attacking the problem of cancer from new and innovative angles originating in the fields of physical sciences, such as engineering, mathematics and physics,” said Dr. Bethel. “While these areas have always contributed to the foundational activities of medical care for cancer patients, such as radiological imaging and instrument development, there is an exciting new generation of cancer researchers who approach persistent and thorny biological cancer questions from a perspective that has a deeply informed understanding of the physical sciences. Their work provides hope for new progress against cancer.
“With a founding editorial group composed of experienced translational cancer researchers from different disciplines, this journal will be a home for this type of convergent science, recognizing the difficulties and potentially huge rewards of work between disciplines,” said Dr. Bethel.
To accelerate high-quality review for the authors, the board will also facilitate an informal open discussion between reviewers to address the challenge of translating research between the disciplines and enabling constructive peer review. This break from traditional peer review is expected to become a new standard for the journal.
“The different communities involved in this kind of research have been facing serious challenges when submitting to existing journals as they repeatedly face lack of understanding for parts of their paper, as it was outside of the exact scope of the journal or outside of the expertise of the referees,” said Pernille Hammesloe, Publishing Manager for IOP Publishing. “So far no journals have covered all the fields appropriately acknowledging the very different areas of expertise involved in this kind of research. The developments in this field represent a new approach and new hope for the researchers who are tirelessly working to improve our understanding and treatment of cancer. The goal of the new journal, by specifically addressing the publication problems of these researchers, will be to help them accelerate the process of discovery.”
The journal team is now actively commissioning the first content for the publication and the editorial board is inviting submissions from across the physical oncology community.
As part of the journal’s launch phase, all content in the journal will be free to read for individual users, universities and academic research institutes throughout 2015.
IOP Publishing is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Institute of Physics, a leading scientific society with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000 working together to advance physics education, research and application. IOP Publishing publishes more than 70 journals and magazines.
Scripps Health is a nationally recognized leader in cancer care, providing comprehensive care at its five hospital campuses and various Scripps Clinic locations. Scripps treats more cancer patients annually than any other provider in California for the following cancer types: breast, colon, bladder, lung (small-cell carcinoma), Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Scripps ranks in the top five statewide for the number of patients treated annually for cancers of the prostate, pancreas, kidney, lung (non-small cell carcinoma), thyroid and skin (melanoma).
Scripps Cancer Care physicians and staff work collaboratively toward cancer prevention, early detection, coordinated treatment and community support services. Scripps Cancer Care is actively involved in leading-edge clinical, translational and basic research. It is accredited as an integrated network program by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, a distinction that demonstrates consistency in providing the highest quality of patient care.
Scripps offers advance treatment technologies at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center, the Scripps Radiation Therapy Center and the San Diego Gamma Knife Center, and through its minimally invasive surgical program. Additional resources include specialized breast care centers and infusion clinics, nurse navigators, rehabilitation services, support groups and the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.
Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.