The EORTC Imaging Group Reborn

Following months of planning, the EORTC Imaging Group has been reborn and will hold its first meeting on 15 January 2010 at the Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium. The goal of this meeting is to introduce the structure and strategic plan of the Imaging Group to the EORTC Community and to present current opportunities for integrating imaging into EORTC clinical trials.

EORTC Imaging Group Executive Committee

The EORTC Imaging Group will be chaired by Dr. Sigrid Stroobants of the Universitair Ziekenhuis, Antwerp, Belgium, and she will be joined by Vice Chair Dr. Jelle Barentsz of Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, The Netherlands, Secretary Dr. Ursula Nestle, University of Freiburg, Germany, and Treasurer Pr. Otto Hoekstra, VUMC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Notable for the Imaging Group, the Chair and Vice Chair will always represent different imaging specialties, i.e., if the specialty of the Chair is nuclear medicine, then the specialty of Vice Chair would be radiology.

EORTC Imaging Group Objectives

Imaging data have the potential to provide information on disease profiling pertaining to diagnosis, prognosis, selection of therapy, monitoring of response to therapy and pharmacokinetic information of drugs. The EORTC Imaging Group will operate to establish and maintain the scientific and clinical value of advanced imaging and will develop specific analytical and review procedures as well as quality control procedures for clinical trials conducted by the EORTC groups.

The main objectives of the Imaging Group will be to ensure standardization of image acquisition and quality assurance for EORTC clinical trials (for CT, PET CT, MRI, RT etc.), increase PET CT expertise across the network, increase functional MRI expertise across the network, and identify and implement predictive and prospective imaging biomarkers of interest.

EORTC Imaging Group Subcommittees

Several Imaging Group Subcommittees are foreseen to assist in achieving these objectives.

The Clinical Trials Advisory Committee (multimodality) will ensure optimal use of multimodal imaging technology in EORTC clinical trials through interaction with disease oriented groups, protocol optimization, platform development, central review, and any other required expertise.

The Nuclear Medicine Technologies Committee will ensure optimal use, quality assurance, and standardization of nuclear medicine technologies in clinical trials.

The Radiology Technologies Committee will ensure optimal use, quality assurance, and standardization of CT, MRI, and Ultrasound in clinical trials.

The Imaging in Radiotherapy Committee (multimodality) will incorporate advances in imaging technologies into radiotherapy and establish bridges with the radiation oncology community.

The New markers and technologies committee (multimodality) will assess, develop, and implement appropriate new markers or technologies into cancer clinical trials and to establish collaborations for participation in IMI or other European platforms.

 

The IT infrastructure Committee

The Education and Training Committee will increase imaging expertise across the network through training, standardization of central reading, and eLearning.

Finally, the IG Advisory Committee will liaise with other organizations involved in the field of imaging.

EORTC Imaging Platform

An EORTC Imaging Platform has been set up to allow exchange and central review of images coming from patients treated in EORTC clinical trials. The platform is being built by Keosys in collaboration with the EORTC IT Department and Imaging Group.

The EORTC Imaging Platform allows the transfer of anonymized DICOM images created at EORTC centers to a central repository. DICOM tags are analyzed in order to prevent uploading invalid files, and stored images become linked to the clinical information of the patient. The platform uses standard internet transfer and tools in order to bypass firewall issues in hospitals and to avoid the need of installing software in an uncontrolled IT environment, and various levels of access rights can be implemented.

Images are automatically available to designated reviewers, and reviewing tools are available to process the images from various modalities. The patient’s clinical data are available to the reviewer within the same environment as the image. The reviewer is able to report the result of his reading on a Central Reading Form, and the conclusion of the reviewer is stored with the clinical data. A case can be automatically closed when sufficient readings have been made or after a predesignated time period, and the software includes an automatic email notification process.

Validation of the system is in process as is FDA (21-CFR Part11) compliance.

1st EORTC Imaging Group Meeting

As previously mentioned, the 1st EORTC Imaging Group meeting will be held on 15 January 2010 at the Universiteit Antwerpen. The agenda for this meeting includes a presentation of the IG structure and strategic plan, a demonstration of the EORTC Imaging Platform during lunch, and presentation and discussion of imaging studies by disease oriented groups. For more complete details of the program, please visit the EORTC Imaging Group website. 

EORTC Imaging Group Membership

Applications for membership in the IG are assessed by the EORTC Membership Committee. Information concerning membership can be found here.

The initial group participants who have submitted a questionnaire do not need to apply.

John Bean

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