To assess compliance with the radiotherapy protocol of a multi-institutional prospective study (JAROG0401/JROSG04-2), which investigated the efficacy and toxicity of definitive radiotherapy using high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy (HDR-ICBT) for early-stage uterine cervical cancer patients.
Individual case reviews (ICRs) were performed on all 60 study participants. Radiotherapy data were submitted to the quality assurance (QA) committee, which performed ICRs on 16 QA items according to previously selected criteria. The items focused on quality of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), HDR-ICBT and both. Each item was determined to be either acceptable or a deviation. The QA committee performed ICR three times as planned, two during the patient accrual and the final one just after the final patient accrued. The QA results of the first and second reviews were reported back to the investigators after each ICR.
In 40 cases (67%), all 16 QA items were classified as acceptable. One deviation was found in 16 cases, two deviations were identified in 3 cases and three deviations were noted in 1 case. The most frequently observed deviation was missing the rules for determining point A (10 cases). The items described by quantitative values, such as prescribed doses, certain time intervals and overall treatment time, were well followed. The proportion of deviations gradually decreased during the ICR process.
The present ICR demonstrated the favorable radiotherapy compliance with the JAROG0401/JROSG04-2 protocol. The QA process using ICRs can potentially be used to improve the quality of radiotherapy, including HDR-ICBT in the multi-institutional prospective studies for cervical cancer.