Quality indicators for prostate radiotherapy: Are patients disadvantaged by receiving treatment in a 'generalist' centre? - Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this retrospective review was to evaluate concordance with evidence-based quality indicator guidelines for prostate cancer patients treated radically in a 'generalist' (as distinct from 'sub-specialist') centre.

We were concerned that the quality of treatment may be lower in a generalist centre. If so, the findings could have relevance for many radiotherapy departments that treat prostate cancer.

METHODS: Two hundred fifteen consecutive patients received external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and/or brachytherapy between 1.10.11 and 30.9.12. Treatment was deemed to be in line with evidence-based guidelines if the dose was: (i) 73.8-81 Gy at 1.8-2.0 Gy/fraction for EBRT alone (eviQ guidelines); (ii) 40-50 Gy (EBRT) for EBRT plus high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy boost (National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines); and (iii) 145 Gy for low dose rate (LDR) I-125 monotherapy (NCCN). Additionally, EBRT beam energy should be ≥6 MV using three-dimensional conformal RT (3D-CRT) or intensity-modulated RT (IMRT), and high-risk patients should receive neo-adjuvant androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) (eviQ/NCCN). Treatment of pelvic nodes was also assessed.

RESULTS: One hundred four high-risk, 84 intermediate-risk and 27 low-risk patients (NCCN criteria) were managed by eight of nine radiation oncologists. Concordance with guideline doses was confirmed in: (i) 125 of 136 patients (92%) treated with EBRT alone; (ii) 32 of 34 patients (94%) treated with EBRT + HDR BRT boost; and (iii) 45 of 45 patients (100%) treated with LDR BRT alone. All EBRT patients were treated with ≥6 MV beams using 3D-CRT (78%) or IMRT (22%). 84%, 21% and 0% of high-risk, intermediate-risk and low-risk patients received ADT, respectively. Overall treatment modality choice (including ADT use and duration where assessable) was concordant with guidelines for 176/207 (85%) of patients.

CONCLUSION: The vast majority of patients were treated concordant with evidence-based guidelines suggesting that, within the limits of the selected criteria, prostate cancer patients are unlikely to be disadvantaged by receiving radiotherapy in this 'generalist' centre.

Written by:
Freeman AR, Roos DE, Kim L.   Are you the author?
Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Reference: J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2014 Oct 27. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1111/1754-9485.12252

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25345594

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