Convergent Science Physical Oncology

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IOP Publishing has launched Convergent Science Physical Oncology.

The journal is said to be the first and only interdisciplinary title dedicated to bringing together all researchers in the field of the physics of cancer – from oncologists, cancer biologists, patient advocates, pharmacologists and physicists, to scientists working in biophysics, mathematics, chemistry and bioengineering – to help 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.

IOP has recruited four founding editors: an oncologist, a physicist, a pathologist and a patient advocate: Professor Peter Kuhn, PhD (University of Southern California, USA), Dr Kelly Bethel, MD (Scripps Clinic, USA), Dr Jorge Nieva, MD (University of Southern California, USA) and Dr Carole Baas, PhD (National Cancer Institute, USA). The team of Founding Editors will be supported by a group of section editors, and an international editorial board.

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.   

Kuhn said: 'To help with advancing our understanding and treatment of cancer, we need to enable the convergence of sciences from the disciplines of physics, biology engineering and medicine.

'Discoveries published in Convergent Science Physical Oncology will help make effective connections between researchers in the different disciplines working in this field and help them talk to each other in a common language. All of which supports our common goal of accelerating the progress of cancer research towards benefitting patient care.'

Pernille Hammesloe, publishing manager for IOP Publishing, said: '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.

'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.'