Does quality of radiation therapy predict outcomes of multicenter cooperative group trials? A literature review
Department of Radiation Oncology
Medical Subject Headings
Breast Neoplasms; Clinical Trials as Topic; Disease-Free Survival; Female; Head and Neck Neoplasms; Hematologic Neoplasms; Humans; Lung Neoplasms; Male; Multicenter Studies as Topic; Neoplasms; *Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Pancreatic Neoplasms; Psychometrics; Quality Assurance, Health Care; Radiotherapy
Neoplasms | Oncology
Central review of radiation therapy (RT) delivery within multicenter clinical trials was initiated in the early 1970s in the United States. Early quality assurance publications often focused on metrics related to process, logistics, and timing. Our objective was to review the available evidence supporting correlation of RT quality with clinical outcomes within cooperative group trials. A MEDLINE search was performed to identify multicenter studies that described central subjective assessment of RT protocol compliance (quality). Data abstracted included method of central review, definition of deviations, and clinical outcomes. Seventeen multicenter studies (1980-2012) were identified, plus one Patterns of Care Study. Disease sites were hematologic, head and neck, lung, breast, and pancreas. Between 0 and 97% of treatment plans received an overall grade of acceptable. In 7 trials, failure rates were significantly higher after inadequate versus adequate RT. Five of 9 and 2 of 5 trials reported significantly worse overall and progression-free survival after poor-quality RT, respectively. One reported a significant correlation, and 2 reported nonsignificant trends toward increased toxicity with noncompliant RT. Although more data are required, protocol-compliant RT may decrease failure rates and increase overall survival and likely contributes to the ability of collected data to answer the central trial question.
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Citation: Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Oct 1;87(2):246-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.03.036. Epub 2013 May 15. Link to article on publisher's site