Inter-observer delineation variation has been detailed for many years in almost every tumor location. Inadequate delineation can impair the chance of cure and/or increase toxicity. The aim of our original work was to prospectively improve the homogeneity of delineation among all of the senior radiation oncologists in the Nord-Pas de Calais region, irrespective of the conditions of practice.
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All 11 centers were involved. The first studied cancer was prostate cancer. Three clinical cases were studied: a low-risk prostate cancer case (case 1), a high-risk prostate cancer case (pelvic nodes, case 2) and a case of post-operative biochemical elevated PSA (case 3). All of the involved physicians delineated characteristically the clinical target volume (CTV) and organs at risk. The volumes were compared using validated indexes: the volume ratio (VR), common and additional volumes (CV and AV), volume overlap (VO) and Dice similarity coefficient (DSC). A second delineation of the same three cases was performed after discussion of the slice results and the choice of shared guidelines to evaluate homogenization. A comparative analysis of the indexes before and after discussion was conducted using the Wilcoxon test for paired samples. A p-value less than 0.05 was considered to indicate statistical significance.
The indexes were not improved in case 1, for which the inter-observer agreement was considered good after the first comparison (DSC = 0.83±0.06). In case 2, the second comparison showed homogenization of the CTV delineation with a significant improvement in CV (81.4±11.7 vs. 88.6±10.26, respectively, p = 0.048), VO (0.41±0.09 vs. 0.47±0.07, respectively; p = 0.009) and DSC (0.58±0.09 vs. 0.63±0.07, respectively; p = 0.0098). In case 3, VR and AV were significantly improved: VR: 1.71(±0.6) vs. 1.34(±0.46), respectively, p = 0.0034; AV: 46.58(±14.50) vs. 38.08(±15.10), respectively, p = 0.0024. DSC was not improved, but it was already superior to 0.6 in the first comparison.
Our prospective work showed that a collaborative discussion about clinical cases and the choice of shared guidelines within an established framework improved the homogeneity of CTV delineation among the senior radiation oncologists in our region.
PloS one. 2016 Mar 17*** epublish ***
David Pasquier, Laurence Boutaud de la Combe-Chossiere, Damien Carlier, Franck Darloy, Anne Catherine Degrendel-Courtecuisse, Chantal Dufour, Mustapha Fares, Laurent Gilbeau, Xavier Liem, Philippe Martin, Pascal Meyer, Jean François Minne, Olimpia Olszyk, Hassan Rhliouch, Marc Tokarski, Chloé Viot, Bernard Castelain, Eric Lartigau
Academic Radiation Oncology Department, Centre Oscar Lambret, Lille University, Lille, France., Institut Andrée Dutreix, Dunkerque, France., Centre Léonard de Vinci, Dechy, France., Centre Léonard de Vinci, Dechy, France., Centre Joliot Curie, Boulogne sur mer, France., Centre de Cancérologie Les Dentellières, Valenciennes, France., Centre Pierre Curie, Béthune, France., Centre Gray, Maubeuge, France., Academic Radiation Oncology Department, Centre Oscar Lambret, Lille University, Lille, France., Centre Bourgogne Clinique du Bois, Lille, France., Centre Gray, Maubeuge, France., Centre de Cancérologie Les Dentellières, Valenciennes, France., Centre Galilée, Lille, France., Centre Marie Curie, Arras, France., Centre de Cancérologie de l'Artois, Lens, France., Réseau Onco Nord Pas de Calais, Loos, France., Academic Radiation Oncology Department, Centre Oscar Lambret, Lille University, Lille, France., Academic Radiation Oncology Department, Centre Oscar Lambret, Lille University, Lille, France.