Processes for quality improvements in radiation oncology clinical trials

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008;71(1 Suppl):S76-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2007.07.2387.


Quality assurance in radiotherapy (RT) has been an integral aspect of cooperative group clinical trials since 1970. In early clinical trials, data acquisition was nonuniform and inconsistent and computational models for radiation dose calculation varied significantly. Process improvements developed for data acquisition, credentialing, and data management have provided the necessary infrastructure for uniform data. With continued improvement in the technology and delivery of RT, evaluation processes for target definition, RT planning, and execution undergo constant review. As we move to multimodality image-based definitions of target volumes for protocols, future clinical trials will require near real-time image analysis and feedback to field investigators. The ability of quality assurance centers to meet these real-time challenges with robust electronic interaction platforms for imaging acquisition, review, archiving, and quantitative review of volumetric RT plans will be the primary challenge for future successful clinical trials.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking / standards
  • Cancer Care Facilities / standards
  • Combined Modality Therapy / standards
  • Credentialing / standards
  • Forecasting
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Hodgkin Disease / drug therapy
  • Hodgkin Disease / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic / standards*
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic / trends
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Radiation Oncology / standards*
  • Radiation Oncology / trends
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / standards