Aim. Breast IRRADIATA (Italian Repository of RADIotherapy dATA) is a collaborative nationwide project supported by the Italian Society of Radiotherapy and Clinical Oncology (AIRO) and the Italian League Against Cancer (LILT). It focuses on breast cancer (BC) patients treated with radiotherapy (RT) and was developed to create a national registry and define the patterns of care in Italy. A dedicated tool for data collection was created and pilot tested. The results of this feasibility study are reported here. Methods. To validate the applicability of a user-friendly data collection tool, a feasibility study involving 17 Italian Radiation Oncology Centers was conducted from July to October 2021, generating a data repository of 335 BC patients treated between January and March 2020, with a minimum follow-up time of 6 months. A snapshot of the clinical presentation, treatment modalities and radiotherapy toxicity in these patients was obtained. A Data Entry Survey and a Satisfaction Questionnaire were also sent to all participants. Results. All institutions completed the pilot study. Regarding the Data Entry survey, all questions achieved 100% of responses and no participant reported spending more than 10 min time for either the first data entry or for the updating of follow-up. Results from the Satisfaction Questionnaire revealed that the project was described as excellent by 14 centers (82.3%) and good by 3 (17.7%). Conclusion. Current knowledge for the treatment of high-prevalence diseases, such as BC, has evolved toward patient-centered medicine, evidence-based care and real-world evidence (RWE), which means evidence obtained from real-world data (RWD). To this aim, Breast IRRADIATA was developed as a simple tool to probe the current pattern of RT care in Italy. The pilot feasibility of IRRADIATA encourages a larger application of this tool nationwide and opens the way to the assessment of the pattern of care radiotherapy directed to other cancers.
Keywords: breast cancer; clinical practice; epidemiology; national register; patterns of care; radiotherapy; real-world evidence.