The development of new research guidelines for interventional oncology that standardize treatment outcomes and the reporting of data represents a major step forward for an increasingly important medical subspecialty, according to a report in Radiology.

Getty Images


September 21, 2021 — The development of new research guidelines for interventional oncology that standardize treatment outcomes and the reporting of data represents a major step forward for an increasingly important medical subspecialty, according to a report in Radiology.

Interventional oncology is a fast-growing offshoot of interventional radiology in which treatment is applied directly to the tumor through a catheter. Compared with conventional treatments like surgery and chemotherapy, these minimally invasive image-guided procedures have lower complication rates, superior toxicity profiles and often comparable or superior outcomes—so much so that international guidelines have already adopted thermal ablation, or the destruction of tumors through heat, as a first-line treatment option for certain smaller-sized malignant tumors.

Treatment effectiveness is measured through a variety of means such as disease-free and progression-free survival. A lack of consensus regarding these parameters in oncology-related studies and how to uniformly share these outcomes amongst investigators worldwide has created a host of problems. Issues like different complication-related outcomes reported for the same treatment modality and inconsistencies in the reporting of overall survival data means that study results cannot always be reliably compared.

“Study results are being collected, analyzed and reported in many different ways, and we tend not to speak the same language within the field of clinical oncology,” said study lead author Robbert S. Puijk, M.D., a radiology resident and researcher at the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis Hospital and Amsterdam University Medical Centers in Amsterdam.

To address these shortcomings, an international panel of 62 experts recently convened and developed important recommendations on how to uniformly collect, analyze and report outcomes for patients treated with image-guided tumor ablation.

Among key recommendations, the panel determined that, to compare different treatment techniques, outcomes should be analyzed and reported per patient and per tumor. This is because multiple index tumors within one unique patient, such as multiple liver metastases from colorectal cancer, are often treated simultaneously and cannot be regarded as independent.

The panel agreed that parameters like overall survival and disease-free survival should be analyzed per patient and not on a per tumor or per procedure basis. Parameters that address both procedure-related side-effects and direct costs such as short-term complications and anesthesia techniques should be addressed per procedure, the panelists concluded.

The panelists reached several other important agreements, including ones regarding the definitions for recurrence-free, disease-free and progression-free survival.

The new guidelines will boost interventional oncology in a variety of ways, according to Puijk.

“The given definitions in these current guidelines will provide the necessary foundation for scientific reproducibility between interventional oncology studies as they will ensure an objective and reliable interpretation of study outcomes, allow for accurate comparisons of results and avoid misinterpretations,” he said.

Puijk called the participation of a large number of international experts on the panel a key motivating factor to putting the guidelines on paper.

“Together with the help of independent biostatisticians and epidemiologists, it strengthens our methodology and indicates the importance of this project,” he said. “Widespread adoption of these guidelines is another step forward in the professionalization of our field, interventional oncology.” 

The researchers hope to extend these guidelines to regional and systemic cancer treatments and ultimately attract the participation of other medical societies.

“With this interchangeable setup and a similar study design we intend to follow up this project regularly,” Puijk said.

The project represented a collaboration between the Society of Interventional Oncology (SIO) and the Definition for the Assessment of Time-to-event Endpoints in Cancer (DATECAN) trials initiative. Puijk’s colleague, Martijn R. Meijerink, M.D., Ph.D., was senior author on the paper.

For more information: www.radiologyinfo.org

Related Content

News | Cardiac Imaging

June 24, 2022 — The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) reports that Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) scoring with ...

Time June 24, 2022
arrow
News | Radiation Therapy

June 24, 2022 — Recently, a collaborated research team led by Prof. LI Hai and Hongzhi Wang from Hefei Institutes of ...

Time June 24, 2022
arrow
News | Radiation Therapy

June 23, 2022 — RaySearch Laboratories AB announced the release of the latest version of RayCare*, the next generation ...

Time June 23, 2022
arrow
News | Artificial Intelligence

June 22, 2022 — Gradient Health, a medical technology company based in North Carolina, announced a new initiative which ...

Time June 22, 2022
arrow
News | Radiology Imaging

June 21, 2022 — After less than two years of data collection and processing, the Radiological Society of North America ...

Time June 21, 2022
arrow
News | SIR

June 20, 2022 — SIR Foundation launched a program to enhance the scientific rigor of research into interventional ...

Time June 20, 2022
arrow
News | Radiation Therapy

June 17, 2022 — Accuray Incorporated and Limbus AI Inc. announced they are partnering to augment Accuray adaptive ...

Time June 17, 2022
arrow
News | Interventional Radiology

June 17, 2022 — Parag J. Patel, MD, MS, FSIR, an interventional radiologist and professor of radiology at the Medical ...

Time June 17, 2022
arrow
News | Computed Tomography (CT)

June 16, 2022 — Xoran Technologies has recently received a patent for a modular computed tomography (CT) system assembly ...

Time June 16, 2022
arrow
News | Interventional Radiology

June 13, 2022 — The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) presented its highest honor, the SIR Gold Medal, to ...

Time June 13, 2022
arrow
Subscribe Now