Internal audit of a comprehensive IMRT program for prostate cancer: a model for centers in developing countries?

Department of Radiation Oncology, The Cancer Institute, National University Hospital, Singapore.
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics (Impact Factor: 4.59). 03/2009; 74(5):1447-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.10.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT With improving regional prosperity, significant capital investments have been made to rapidly expand radiotherapy capacity across Southeast Asia. Yet little has been reported on the implementation of adequate quality assurance (QA) in patient management. The objective of this study is to perform an in-depth QA assessment of our definitive intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) program for prostate cancer since its inception.
The department's prostate IMRT program was modeled after that of the University of California San Francisco. A departmental protocol consisting of radiotherapy volume/dose and hormone sequencing/duration and a set of 18 dose objectives to the target and critical organs were developed, and all plans were presented at the weekly departmental QA rounds. All patients treated with definitive IMRT for nonmetastatic prostate cancer were retrospectively reviewed. Protocol adherence, dosimetry data, toxicities, and outcomes were evaluated.
Since 2005, 76 patients received IMRT: 54 with whole-pelvis and 22 with prostate-only treatment. Of the 1,140 recorded dosimetric end points, 39 (3.3%) did not meet the protocol criteria. At QA rounds, no plans required a revision. Only one major protocol violation was observed. Two and two cases of Grade 3-4 acute and late toxicities, respectively, were observed. Five (8.8%) patients developed proctitis, but only one required argon laser therapy.
Our comprehensive, practice-adapted QA measures appeared to ensure that we were able to consistently generate conforming IMRT plans with acceptable toxicities. These measures can be easily integrated into other clinics contemplating on developing such a program.

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