Julian Hong, M.D., M.S.: Steward of Cancer Care Delivery Research and Innovation

December 12 2022

Cancer Care Delivery Research (CCDR) is a multidisciplinary science that seeks to improve clinical outcomes and patient well-being by intervening on the patient, provider, and organizational factors that influence care delivery. Many CCDR investigators develop and implement tools informed by experimental and/or clinical data, as well as computer modeling (i.e., “in silico”). The latter may particularly inform personalized medical tools and approaches optimizing care delivery. Responsive to CCDR innovation, NRG Oncology’s CCDR committee recruited Dr. Julian Hong to inform and expand the CCDR Committee’s research agenda. Dr. Hong is an Assistant Professor and Medical Director of Radiation Oncology Informatics in the Department of Radiation Oncology and the Baker Computational Health Sciences Institute at the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Hong’s research program focuses on the development and implementation of computational tools in the clinic to personalize cancer care delivery. His group combines clinical domain knowledge with data science expertise to generate insights from real world data, develop actionable artificial intelligence-based tools, and evaluate the benefit of these advances in patient care. Dr. Hong and colleagues recently presented multiple studies at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) annual meeting. Presentations detailed computational approaches across the continuum of the cancer care patient experience. These most timely presentations explored: social media to understand dialogue and patient decision making breast cancer treatment options (Spiegel et al.), use of natural language processing to characterize pre-treatment patient symptoms prior to palliation (J Chen et al.), predicting hospitalization during therapy via treatment monitoring with machine learning per wearable activity monitoring (Friesner et al.), and survivorship with imaging-based prediction of future cardiac events (W Chen et al.).

Owing to Dr. Hong’s expertise, ASTRO designated Dr. Hong as a 2022 Presidential Symposium session moderator. The Symposium highlighted innovations in patient care in a “wireless world”. Sessions highlighted scientific advances in artificial intelligence and radiation oncology. Dr. Hong’s session considered how artificial intelligence can help solve issues of equity, access, and value in radiation oncology. In addition to moderating the session, Dr. Hong presented on the pathway to artificial intelligence clinical trial execution and implementation.

Dr. Hong’s national renown continues to pay dividends for NRG Oncology members. Dr. Hong and his colleagues moderated a recent NRG-Oncology-sponsored webinar on Artificial Intelligence. The webinar well positions NRG Oncology at the vanguard of artificial intelligence integration in cancer care delivery. We eagerly anticipate Dr. Hong’s additional contributions. The committee is convinced Dr. Hong and colleagues’ work will inspire cancer care delivery research innovation optimizing patient-centered outcomes.


Spiegel D, et al. Social Media Sentiments and Treatment Choices for Breast Cancer.

Chen JJ, et al. Natural Language Processing of Symptoms Preceding Diagnosis and Palliative Radiotherapy for Bone Metastases.

Friesner I, et al. Machine Learning-Based Prediction of Hospitalization Using Daily Step Counts for Patients Undergoing Chemoradiation

Chen W, et al. Abdominal Aorto-Iliac Clarification Burden Assessment Using Deep Convolution Neural Networks for Prediction of Cardiovascular Risk Among Prostate Cancer Patients Undergoing Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT). 

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