The Global Coalition for Radiotherapy brought physicists, therapists, radiation oncologists, industry and charity to the table for its Phase II: RT Essential Standards in Cancer Plans webinar, the second in a series of meetings aimed at creating a framework for planning and monitoring population-based regional radiotherapy programs.
In April, GCR began Phase I by identifying key issues to be addressed in the framework and developing plans for monitoring progress. In this Phase II discussion moderated by Professor Pat Price, GCR shifted to examine five key components that should be considered when either developing or updating a national cancer plan, with presentations made by a team of expert panelists.
The discussion centered on answering:
How do we ensure we are focused on a desirable standard rather than a minimum standard?
We know that all regions should be able to access and adapt these desirable standards, how do we make that happen?
What examples can serve as opportunities to support implementation?
Important question to guide us to Phase III: How do we measure that it’s being implemented effectively?
Phase II Subject panelists
To begin the process of creating a framework that will be continued in working groups through the months of June - September, each panelist shared valuable insights to consider for the respective components:
Training & Technical Support
Prof. Mary Coffey, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin:
“Whatever the resources in the country, whatever they have available to them, there has to be sufficient core, pure radiotherapy knowledge if you really want them to be safe and deliver quality treatment to everybody.”
Prof. Michelle Leech,Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin:
“The most overlooked issues in the development of cancer services and cancer plans, is the education and training of staff, who are actually required to deliver this service”
Maintenance & Service
Antoine Noirot, Accuray Technical Support Engineers team in EIMEA:
“It takes the right person with the parts to be replaced when there is a breakdown, with the right knowledge. So the right person should be the people in the right location, close by to the hospital with a proper background to be trained on the systems”
Markus Greter, Varian Director Field Service Central Europe:
“Quite often we are seeing restrictions in exporting data. So [while] having remote access to the machines in these countries, some of the countries will not allow us at all and in others we simply have not a stability in the access in the 5G environment or whatsoever.”
Data & Monitoring
Caroline Cooke Leksell, Elekta Digital Solutions:
"Benchmark data is extremely valuable to cross reference against for people to understand what does ‘good’ look like. And when we know what ‘good’ looks like, we could really start an overarching training schedule that can go nationwide.”
Dr. Tim Hanna, Queen’s University School of Medicine:
“I think working together on common goals, common projects internationally, benchmarking of radiation utilization or specific quality indicators like waiting times could really rally people together to work on this.”
Quality & Safety
Dr. Kofi Adesi Kyei, University of Ghana:
“We need to ensure prescribed doses are appropriate and safe for patients.”
Shandi Barney, AdvaMed:
“Collaboration is critical to success”
Sarah Quinlan, Radiotherapy UK:
“It is really important that we advocate really strongly for cancer patients and for achieving the best outcomes for these patients.”
Phase ii Next steps
Sign up for a working group
Project leads have been assigned to continue developing the framework for each component. If you have an interest in contributing your expertise in any one of these areas, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the CONTACT US section on our website with your area of interest.
Review the Recording
Watch a recording of the full meeting here:
Review the Notes and Meeting Chat
Download the notes and chat from the 13 June 2023 meeting here:
Review the Slide decks from the presentations
This slide deck includes presentations from GCR, Markus Greter, and Dr. Adesi Kofi Kyei. Download here:
register for Phase III
RT Essential Standards in Cancer Plans Webinar & Roundtable
Tues, 12 September | 13:30-14:30 CEST | via Zoom
Please plan to join and invite your colleagues to participate in this important session.
Webinar Phase III: Align radiotherapy planning with other elements of cancer control plans (prevention, screening, diagnostics, other therapeutic modalities, supportive and palliative care, AI) and primary care
Bring government leaders, ministries of health to the table
Discuss financing to execute, distribute, implement and measure