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Implementing the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) RT01 trial (ISRCTN 47772397): methods and practicalities of a randomised controlled trial of conformal radiotherapy in men with localised prostate cancer

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 16:16 authored by Matthew R Sydes, Richard J Stephens, A.Rollo Moore, Edwin G. Aird, A.Margaret Bidmead, Lesley FallowfieldLesley Fallowfield, John Graham, Sue Griffiths, W.Philip Mayles, Ali McGuire, Suzanne Stanley, A.P.Jim Warrington, David P Dearnaley
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Radiotherapy is the most frequently used treatment for men with localised prostate cancer. Conformal radiotherapy (CFRT) is a relatively new development. MRC RT01 was set-up to explore optimum CFRT dose. PATIENTS AND METHODS: RT01 was an international multi-centre randomised controlled trial for men with T1b-T3a, N0, M0 prostate cancer that evolved from a single-centre pilot trial of similar design. All men received at least 3 months of pre-radiotherapy hormone treatment, before randomisation to standard (64 Gy) or high dose (74 Gy) radical CFRT. Accrual was completed in December 2001 with 843 men randomised from 25 centres in less than 4 years. RT01 has been a catalyst for implementing CFRT across UK. In addition to the Trial Management Group, independent Data Monitoring and Ethics Committee and independent Trial Steering Committee, a Quality of Life and Health Economics (QL/HE) group, a radiotherapy Quality Assurance (QA) Group and a Radiography Trial Implementation Group were set up. The QL/HE group ensured implementation, compliance, analysis and interpretation of the QL and HE data in the trial. The inauguration of QA and Radiography groups facilitated inter-centre collaboration. The QA Group ensured procedures were in place before and during trial participation, and monitored quality and consistency with systems including a physics questionnaire, a clinical examples exercise, a standard operating procedure document, designing and building a phantom, and convening a complications modelling subgroup. The Radiography group agreed and implemented technique improvements. RESULTS: More centres participated than initially predicted, enabling recruitment better than scheduled. The trial expedited the implementation of CFRT in many UK radiotherapy centres. Additionally, the QA and Radiography groups helped ensure smooth initiation and established consistency in planning, dosimetry and delivery of prostate CFRT services at participating UK centres. Considerable data has been collected; a series of papers will be produced, although mature clinical trial results are not anticipated until 2006-2008.


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Radiotherapy and Oncology









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  • Sussex Health Outcomes Research & Education in Cancer (SHORE-C) Publications

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