Strategic planning for the Radiation Therapy Committee of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) is comprehensively evaluated every six years in an effort to maintain a current and relevant scientific focus, and to provide a standard platform for future development of protocol concepts. Participants in the 2008 Strategic Planning Workshop included clinical trial experts from multiple specialties, industry representatives from both pharmaceuticals and equipment manufacturers, and basic scientists. High-priority research areas such as image-guided radiation therapy for control of limited metastatic disease, analysis of biomarkers for treatment response and late toxicity, assessment of novel agents in combination with radiation, standardization of radiation target delineation, and the assessment of new imaging techniques to individualize cancer therapy, were discussed. Research priorities included clinical study designs featuring translational end points that identify patients most likely to benefit from combined modality therapy; intervention including combination radiation with standard chemotherapy; radiation with radiosensitizing molecular-targeted therapies; and stereotactic radiation for treatment of patients with regard to asymptomatic metastasis and radiation-induced tumor autoimmunity. The Committee concluded that the future research opportunities are among the most exciting to have developed in the last decade, and work is in progress to embark on these plans.