Making the case for more moonshots in Radiation Oncology

Another passage that merits more attention.

After the linear accelerator was pressed into clinical use, what has been the innovation in delivery? We have only made incremental changes. The jury is still out whether complex deliveries such as volumetric arc therapies really achieve their goal.

We need more moonshots. They can only come from our understanding in biological interaction with radiation.

The airplane industry suffers from a lack of innovation. The basic design of airplanes hasn’t changed in more than 70 years. When innovation disappears, companies are incentivized to engage in exactly the kind of behavior that led to the 737 Max crash. As Sorscher wrote:

“The last great innovation capable of driving major growth in aviation was the jet engine back in the 1950s, and every technological advance since has been incremental. And so the emphasis of the business is going to switch away from engineering and toward supply-chain management. Because every mature company has to isolate which parts of its business add value and delegate the more commodity-like things to the supply chain. The more you look to the market for pricing signals, the more the role of the engineer will shrink.”

via Why Did The Boeing 737 Max Crash? — David Perell