Article: article from journal or magazin.
Profile of European radiotherapy departments contributing to the EORTC Radiation Oncology Group (ROG) in the 21st century.
Radiotherapy and Oncology
PURPOSE: Since 1982, the Radiation Oncology Group of the EORTC (EORTC ROG) has pursued an extensive Quality Assurance (QA) program involving all centres actively participating in its clinical research. The first step is the evaluation of the structure and of the human, technical and organisational resources of the centres, to assess their ability to comply with the current requirements for high-tech radiotherapy (RT). MATERIALS AND METHODS: A facility questionnaire (FQ) was developed in 1989 and adapted over the years to match the evolution of RT techniques. We report on the contents of the current FQ that was completed online by 98 active EORTC ROG member institutions from 19 countries, between December 2005 and October 2007. RESULTS: Similar to the data collected previously, large variations in equipment, staffing and workload between centres remain. Currently only 15 centres still use a Cobalt unit. All centres perform 3D Conformal RT, 79% of them can perform IMRT and 54% are able to deliver stereotactic RT. An external reference dosimetry audit (ERDA) was performed in 88% of the centres for photons and in 73% for electrons, but it was recent (<2 years) in only 74% and 60%, respectively. CONCLUSION: The use of the FQ helps maintain the minimum quality requirements within the EORTC ROG network: recommendations are made on the basis of the analysis of its results. The present analysis shows that modern RT techniques are widely implemented in the clinic but also that ERDA should be performed more frequently. Repeated assessment using the FQ is warranted to document the future evolution of the EORTC ROG institutions.
Cancer Care Facilities/manpower, Cancer Care Facilities/standards, Clinical Trials as Topic, Europe, Humans, Neoplasms/radiotherapy, Quality Assurance, Health Care, Questionnaires, Radiation Oncology/standards, Radiotherapy/standards, Workload
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