Abstract
QUALITY ASSURANCE IN RADIOTHERAPY FOR CANCER TREATMENT: AIMING TO IMPROVE PATIENT SAFETY

Ajinkya L. Bhusange*, Dr. Madhuri D. Game and Ajinkya A. Kokane

ABSTRACT

The process of radiotherapy (RT) is complex and involves an understanding of the principles of medical physics, radiobiology, radiation safety, dosimetry, radiation treatment planning, simulation, and interaction of radiation with other treatment modalities. Each step in the integrated process of RT needs quality control and quality assurance (QA) to prevent errors and to give high confidence that patients will receive the prescribed treatment correctly. Recent advances in RT, including intensity-modulated and image-guided RT, focus on the need for a systematic RTQA program that balances patient safety and quality with available resources. It is necessary to develop more formal error mitigation and process analysis methods, such as failure mode and effect analysis, to optimize available QA resources on process components. External audit programs are also effective. To strengthen procedures and ensure the dosage from RT equipment, the International Atomic Energy Agency has run both an on-site and off-site postal dosimetry audit. National clinical auditing has been practised in other nations using a similar strategy. Additionally, clinical trial quality assurance plays a key part in raising the standard of treatment. The creation of an infrastructure and QA procedure for clinical trials including advanced technology, including accreditation and individual case reviews, was pioneered by the Advanced Technology Consortium. These initiatives, which have been implemented internationally by the USA, Europe, and Japan as well, have an effect on the quality of care provided to all patients treated in each institution as well as the therapy received by patients involved in clinical trials.

Keywords: Radiation therapy, Quality assurance, Radiation dosimetry, Clinical audit, Clinical trial.


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