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      Does a central review platform improve the quality of radiotherapy for rectal cancer? Results of a national quality assurance project.

      Radiotherapy and Oncology
      Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Belgium, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Quality Assurance, Health Care, Radiation Oncology, organization & administration, standards, Radiotherapy, Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted, methods, Rectal Neoplasms, radiotherapy, Young Adult

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          Quality assurance (QA) for radiation treatment has become a priority since poorly delivered radiotherapy can negatively influence patient outcome. Within a national project we evaluated the feasibility of a central review platform and its role in improving uniformity of clinical target volume (CTV) delineation in daily practice. All Belgian radiotherapy departments were invited to participate and were asked to upload CTVs for rectal cancer treatment onto a secured server. These were centrally reviewed and feedback was given per e-mail. For each five consecutive patients per centre, the overlap parameter dice coefficient (DC) and the volumetric parameters volumetric ratio (RV) and commonly contoured volume (VCC) were calculated. Twenty departments submitted 1224 eligible cases of which 909 were modified (74.3%). There was a significant increase in RV and VCC between the first ten patients per centre and the others. This was not seen for DC. Statistical analysis did not show a further significant improvement in delineation over the entire review period. Central review was feasible and increased the uniformity in CTV delineation in the first ten rectal cancer patients per centre. The observations in this study can be used to optimize future QA initiatives. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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