Real-time pretreatment review limits unacceptable deviations on a cooperative group radiation therapy technique trial: quality assurance results of RTOG 0933.
PURPOSE: RTOG 0933 was a phase II trial of hippocampal avoidance during whole brain radiation therapy for patients with brain metastases. The results demonstrated improvement in short-term memory decline, as compared with historical control individuals, and preservation of quality of life. Integral to the conduct of this trial were quality assurance processes inclusive of pre-enrollment credentialing and pretreatment centralized review of enrolled patients. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Before enrolling patients, all treating physicians and sites were required to successfully complete a "dry-run" credentialing test. The treating physicians were credentialed based on accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging-computed tomography image fusion and hippocampal and normal tissue contouring, and the sites were credentialed based on protocol-specified dosimetric criteria. Using the same criteria, pretreatment centralized review of enrolled patients was conducted. Physicians enrolling 3 consecutive patients without unacceptable deviations were permitted to enroll further patients without pretreatment review, although their cases were reviewed after treatment. RESULTS: In all, 113 physicians and 84 sites were credentialed. Eight physicians (6.8%) failed hippocampal contouring on the first attempt; 3 were approved on the second attempt. Eight sites (9.5%) failed intensity modulated radiation therapy planning on the first attempt; all were approved on the second attempt. One hundred thirteen patients were enrolled in RTOG 0933; 100 were analyzable. Eighty-seven cases were reviewed before treatment; 5 (5.7%) violated the eligibility criteria, and 21 (24%) had unacceptable deviations. With feedback, 18 cases were approved on the second attempt and 2 cases on the third attempt. One patient was treated off protocol. Twenty-two cases were reviewed after treatment; 1 (4.5%) violated the eligibility criteria, and 5 (23%) had unacceptable deviations. CONCLUSIONS: Although >95% of the cases passed the pre-enrollment credentialing, the pretreatment centralized review disqualified 5.7% of reviewed cases, prevented unacceptable deviations in 24% of reviewed cases, and limited the final unacceptable deviation rate to 5%. Thus, pretreatment review is deemed necessary in future hippocampal avoidance trials and is potentially useful in other similarly challenging radiation therapy technique trials.
Gondi, V; Cui, Y; Mehta, MP; Manfredi, D; Xiao, Y; Galvin, JM; Rowley, H; Tome, WA
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