The Help Ukraine Group (HUG): publications, presentations & activities supporting the RT Task Force

One of Global Coalition for Radiotherapy’s Task Force members, Nataliya Kovalchuk, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor, Stanford is an active member of the Help Ukraine Group (HUG). HUG is composed of a group of oncology practitioners organized to connect with cancer providers in Ukraine and establish a feedback loop of determining need and providing support. Members of the HUG group include:

  • Nataliya Kovalchuk - Radiation Therapy Physicist, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

  • Nelya Melnitchouk - Surgeon, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA, founder of Global Medical Knowledge Alliance (GMKA)

  • Andriy Beznosenko - President of the Ukrainian Society of Medical Oncology, Medical Chief Officer at National Cancer Institute, Kyiv, Ukraine

  • Ruslan Zelinskyi - President of Ukrainian Association of Medical Physicists, Chief Physicist at Spizhenko Clinic, Kyiv, Ukraine

  • Viktor Lakovenko - Radiation Therapy Physicist, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA

  • Natalka Suchowerska – Radiation Therapy Physicist, Director of Vector Lab, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

  • Oleksandr Sakharenko - Counsel of Aretera Public Affairs

  • Roman Kowalchuk - Radiation Oncology Resident, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

  • Oleh Duda – Deputy Head of Surgery, Lviv Regional Cancer Center, Lviv, Ukraine

  • Yuliia Severyn – Radiation Oncologist, National Specialized Children’s Hospital OKHMATDYT, Kyiv, Ukraine

  • Andriy Hanych – Radiation Oncologist, Mariupol Cancer Dispensary, Mariupol, Ukraine

  • Serhii Brovchuk – Radiation Therapy Physicist, Kyiv Regional Cancer Center, Kyiv, Ukraine

Inasmuch as the work of HUG intersects with the Radiotherapy Task Force, we would like to highlight HUG’s recent activities as a resource for other members of the Radiotherapy Task Force.


Publications and Presentations

"Fighting on Two Fronts: War and Cancer in Ukraine," IPEM SCOPE, Autumn 2022

A group of 12 Ukrainian radiation oncology practitioners describe the devastation wrought by Russian forces on the country, its people and its cancer centers.

SCOPE_Fighting on Two Fronts
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Download PDF • 18.79MB

"Three weeks in Mariupol; How Dr. Hanych kept his cancer patients alive amid Russia’s attack"; and "How you can help Ukrainian oncology practitioners fight two evils: cancer and war," The Cancer Letter, 5 August 2022

Two articles: a heroic account of Dr. Andrii Hanych, Chief of the Radiation Oncology Department at the Mariupol Municipal Interdistrict Regional Oncologic Dispensary after a March 8 direct bombing attack, and guest editorial by HUG team members.

The Cancer Letter_Mariupo and Fighting Two Evils
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Download PDF • 5.75MB

"Ukraine: Status for Healthcare, Oncology and Medical Physics", presentation at 64th Annual American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), July 2022, Washington D.C.

The presentation highlights include Radiotherapy in Ukraine During War, the Supporting Action For Emergency Responses (SAFER) in Ukraine Initiative for Pediatric Patients, and International-Ukraine Collaborative efforts.

How to Support Ukraine
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Download PDF • 2.03MB

"A Call to Support Ukrainian Radiation Oncology Practitioners in Fight against Two Evils: Cancer and War", ASTRO Blog, August 2022

Based on the July 2022 article "Radiation Therapy Under Falling Bombs," a condensed assessment of the war-time situation with radiotherapy in Ukraine and suggestions for practical ways to help.


"Radiation Therapy Under the Falling Bombs: A Tale of Two Ukrainian Cancer Centers", ASTRO’s publication Advances in Radiation Oncology, July 2022

The article illustrates the war-time situation with radiotherapy in Ukraine and suggests practical ways to help.


"Help Ukraine", ASTRO Advances in Radiation Oncology, April 2022

A call to action from Nataliya Kovalchuk to the radiation oncology community.


"While Ukrainian Soldiers Are Fearlessly Defending Their Country, Ukrainian Oncologists Are Bravely Battling Cancer", ASTRO Advances in Radiation Oncology, April 2022

Assessment and implications on the 11 million displaced Ukrainians by the end of March 2022 and the disruption of the 139 thousand people in Ukraine who were living with newly diagnosed cancer, and between 1000 and 1200 children who were receiving active cancer treatment.


"Resilience and perseverance under siege: providing cancer care during the invasion of Ukraine", The Lancet Oncology, 25 March 2022

As Ukraine battles to preserve its independence as a European democracy, pitted against Russia's formidable military assets, Ukrainian oncologists have acted selflessly and resiliently to safeguard their patients, maintain continuity of life-saving care, and connect migrating patients to cancer care in nearby countries. Ukrainian refugees are receiving coordinated high-quality cancer care through a global support network involving a coalition of more than 30 cancer societies and specialty oncology centers.


Additional HUG Member Activities
  • Telehealth4ukraine App: The Telehealth4Ukraine Coalition is working to bring together telehealth providers to support virtual humanitarian healthcare efforts in Ukraine and the surrounding region. The goal of the Coalition is to produce a dynamic database of healthcare providers that humanitarian organizations can utilize for virtual care support.

  • GoFundMe: Collection of funding for medical supplies and training opportunities for physicians and medical physicists in the U.S. and Canada.


Contact

To contribute to the efforts of HUG, contact Radiotherapy Task Force and HUG member Nataliya Kovalchuk at natkoval@stanford.edu.


Submit your work

We would like to signpost the work members of the Emergency Radiotherapy Task Force are doing on the GCR Ukraine page. This may include articles published, interviews, slide presentations, additional intel, list of needs or a short description of your on-the-ground efforts. If you have something to contribute, please click the button below and complete the form.