Radiotherapy is a milestone in the treatment of cancers and requires complex equipment and techniques. Quality assurance in radiotherapy (QART) is widely recognized as being of vital importance at all levels of the radiotherapy process and is essential in ensuring safe and effective treatment delivery to cancer patients. The EORTC Radiation Oncology Group (ROG) was one of the first to emphasize the importance of QART and started a QART program in 1986.
As part of this program, EORTC Headquarters hosts an Emmanuel van der Schueren Fellow, a fellowship founded in 2002, funded through the Vlaamse Liga Tegen Kanker, and named in memory of Emmanuel van der Schueren. Professor Emmanuel van der Schueren, a former president of the EORTC, was a driving force behind various international organizations for cancer research and was widely recognized for his work concerning QART. The fellowship bearing his name offers young scientists the opportunity to become involved in QART and, concomitantly, increase their understanding of the organization and conduct of clinical research trials.
Dr. Oscar Matzinger from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) in Lausanne, Switzerland recently completed a stay as Emmanuel van der Schueren Fellow at EORTC Headquarters. During his fellowship, Dr. Matzinger became involved in various activities of the ROG including data management, QART analysis, toxicity analysis, study reports, and study development.
The ROG’s Facility Questionnaire serves as the first step in evaluating a radiotherapy center’s human, technical and structural resources as well as the center’s ability to provide adequate radiotherapy; during his tenure at the EORTC, Dr. Matzinger assumed the management of this database. In addition, he collected and validated the QART form for the EORTC 22991 trial on Three Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy / Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy alone versus Three Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy / Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy plus adjuvant hormonal therapy in localized T1b-c, T2a, N0, M0 prostatic carcinoma. Furthermore, Dr. Matzinger was involved in QART analyses for a number of EORTC trials. His work on the dummy run procedure and the individual case review in the EORTC 22991 trial in localized prostate cancer has been published in Radiotherapy and Oncology (1).
In this same trial in collaboration with Dr. Laurence Collette, Associate Head of the Statistics Department at the EORTC Headquarters, he performed an analysis on the acute side effects and the total dose of treatment and the dose reported to the different organs at risk, the results of which were presented at the 2009 EORTC Groups Annual Meeting (EGAM). In the EORTC 26052-22053 trial, a phase III trial comparing conventional adjuvant temozolomide with dose-intensive temozolomide in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, Dr. Matzinger collected the patient files for the individual case review and is performing an analysis on those data. In the EORTC 22922 trial, an investigation of the toxicity at three years with and without irradiation of the internal mammary and medial supraclavicular lymph node chain in stage I to III breast cancer involving over 4 000 patients, he performed a toxicity analysis and presented the results at EGAM 2009. Together with the Gastrointestinal working party of the ROG, Dr. Matzinger developed guidelines for delineation in perioperative radiochemotherapy in gastric cancer, and a paper reporting the results of this work has been accepted in Radiotherapy and Oncology. He was also active in study development and was involved in the writing of several protocols including those for the EORTC 22043-30041 trial of the ROG and Genito-Urinary Group, the EORTC 22071-24071 trial of the ROG and the Head and Neck Cancer Group, as well as the EORTC 40081-22083 and EORTC 22011-40014 trials of the ROG and the Gastrointestinal Group.
Dr. Matzinger returns to the CHUV as Chef de Clinique in the Radiation Oncology Department and will maintain a close working relationship with the EORTC through his planned future activities. He was elected Chair of the Gastrointestinal working party of the ROG and will serve as a member of ROG’s QART committee. In addition, he will continue as the Study Coordinator for both the IMAging in Gastro-Esophageal cancer (IMAGE) trial and the Pooled Analysis of RADiotherapy parameters in phase II and phase III trials in Anal Cancer (PARADAC). The EORTC looks forward to a continuing relationship with Dr. Matzinger and wishes him a successful career.
Beginning on 1 June 2009, Dr. Paul A. Fenton will join the EORTC as the next Emmanuel van der Schueren Fellow. Dr. Fenton received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from King’s College London in 2001. He is a member of the Royal College of Physicians since 2005, and in 2007 he received his Postgraduate Diploma in Oncology from the Institute of Cancer Research in London. Dr Fenton, currently at the Southampton Oncology Centre, Southampton University Hospitals Trust, Southampton, UK, is in his fourth year of training for Clinical Oncology Specialist Registrar, Wessex Deanery Training Scheme. This 5 year training scheme involves practical experience and training in radiotherapy and chemotherapy for all cancer sites as specified by the Royal College of Radiologists and the UK Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board. He will complete this training scheme prior to his arrival at the EORTC. The EORTC looks forward to him joining the Headquarters team as Emmanuel van der Schueren Fellow.
Oscar Matzinger, Philip Poortmans, Jean-Yves Giraud, Philippe Maingon, Tom Budiharto, Alfons C.M. van den Bergh, J. Bernard Davis, Elena Musat, Fatma Ataman, Dominique P. Huyskens, Akos Gulyban, Michel Bolla, for the EORTC Radiation Oncology Group. Quality assurance in the 22991 EORTC ROG trial in localized prostate cancer: Dummy run and individual case review. Radiotherapy and Oncology 90 (2009) 285–290.