March 4, 2010 - Radiation oncologists from University of Norther Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC) worked two years to develop new QUANTEC (Quantitative Analysis of Normal Tissue Effects in the Clinic) guidelines for the safe treatment of cancer with radiation therapy, where were published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics.
These guidelines replace standards established almost 20 years ago, before the widespread use of 3D imaging technology that allows the more precise targeting of radiation to cancerous lesions.
Doctors conducted a systematic review of radiation therapy dose, volume, and outcome data on 16 organs. They used 3D imaging during radiation planning to acquire the data.
Lawrence B. Marks, M.D., chair of the department of radiation oncology and co-editor of the QUANTEC study says the new standards provide a logical framework to assess the risks of complex 3D doses that are now routinely considered.
The research team, comprised of physicians, physicists and statisticians/modelers, said its ultimate goal was to make radiation oncology more standardized and efficient. They first examined literature for each organ and then developed general dose, volume, and outcome data. Based on this information, they made recommendations on the selection of dose and volume prescriptions.
The American Society for Radiation Oncology’s Health Services Research Committee originally recommended a review of the standards, and David Morris, M.D., clinical associate professor of radiation oncology and member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, spearheaded the initiative and obtained funding for the effort.
For more information: www.med.unc.edu