The journal is 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.

To help address this problem, IOP has recruited four equal Founding Editors: an oncologist, a physicist, a pathologist and a patient advocate – to provide appropriate editorial coverage and ensure that the journal fulfils its goal of reducing the barriers between the researchers in different disciplines working on the same questions from different angles.

The Founding Editors are Peter Kuhn (University of Southern California, Los Angeles), Kelly Bethel (Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, CA), Jorge Nieva (University of Southern California, Los Angeles) and Carole Baas (National Cancer Institute, Irving, TX). The team of Founding Editors will be supported by a group of section editors, and an international editorial board.

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.

"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," said Kuhn. "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."

The journal team is now actively commissioning the first content for the journal and the editorial board are 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. The journal will also offer open-access publishing options.

Related stories
Horizons 2013: connecting physicists in medicine
We should strive to apply physics to the biology itself