Scientific publications

ESGO/ESTRO quality indicators for radiation therapy of cervical cancer

May 31, 2023 | Magazine: International Journal of Gynecological Cancer

Cyrus Chargari  1 , Kari Tanderup  2 , François Planchamp  3 , Luis Chiva  4 , Pauline Humphrey  5 , Alina Sturdza  6 , Li T Tan  7 , Elzbieta van der Steen-Banasik  8 , Ignacio Zapardiel  9 , Remi A Nout  10 , Christina Fotopoulou  11

Background: The European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO) has previously defined and established a list of quality indicators for the surgical treatment of cervical cancer. As a continuation of this effort to improve overall quality of care for cervical cancer patients across all aspects, ESGO and the European SocieTy for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) initiated the development of quality indicators for radiation therapy of cervical cancer.

Objective: To develop a list of quality indicators for radiation therapy of cervical cancer that can be used to audit and improve clinical practice by giving to practitioners and administrators a quantitative basis to improve care and organizational processes, notably for recognition of the increased complexity of modern external radiotherapy and brachytherapy techniques.

Methods: Quality indicators were based on scientific evidence and/or expert consensus. The development process included a systematic literature search for identification of potential quality indicators and documentation of scientific evidence, consensus meetings of a group of international experts, an internal validation process, and external review by a large international panel of clinicians (n=99).

Results: Using a structured format, each quality indicator has a description specifying what the indicator is measuring. Measurability specifications are detailed to define how the quality indicators will be measured in practice. Targets were also defined for specifying the level which each unit or center should be aiming to achieve. Nineteen structural, process, and outcome indicators were defined. Quality indicators 1-6 are general requirements related to pretreatment workup, time to treatment, upfront radiation therapy, and overall management, including active participation in clinical research and the decision making process within a structured multidisciplinary team. Quality indicators 7-17 are related to treatment indicators. Quality indicators 18 and 19 are related to patient outcomes.

Discussion: This set of quality indicators is a major instrument to standardize the quality of radiation therapy in cervical cancer. A scoring system combining surgical and radiotherapeutic quality indicators will be developed within an envisaged future ESGO accreditation process for the overall management of cervical cancer, in an effort to support institutional and governmental quality assurance programs.

CITATION  Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2023 May 31;ijgc-2022-004180. doi: 10.1136/ijgc-2022-004180